Module Details

CE222-5-SP-CO: Operating Systems

Year: 2017/18
Department: Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No
Pre-requisites: CE151 AND CE152
Comments: Pre-Requisites - Ability to write and understand programs. That should cover either Java, or other high-level languages plus capacity to find out about Java as needed. Awareness of what programs need for execution, such as complier or interpreter, a file system, network communications, and protection of resources.

Supervisor: Dr Sam Steel
Teaching Staff: Dr Sam Steel
Contact details: CSEE School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Operating systems convert a mass of varied machines and machinery into useful computing. What functionality has to be provided? How is that done? How is it used?

This module will introduce

. the functionality that an operating system has to provide to applications
. different ways it can provide those functions
. the functionality that the hardware has to provide to the operating system
. allocation of processing resources.

The aim of this course is to provide students with a solid background in the principles that underlie the design and function of modern operating systems with reference to some currently available operating systems and middleware.
Various aspects of operating system design and functionality will be introduced. Some programming and other practical activities involving operating system related concepts will be explored in the laboratory sessions.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should

. understand what operating systems do, why they are as they are, and what needs to be considered when using them

. understand the of factors that need to be considered in selecting, deploying, configuring, optimising and securing an operating system and associated middleware.

. be ready to start acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to design and implement operating systems or other software that converts hardware into services.

Outline Syllabus

operating systems: purpose and history, function and structure
(intro to) linux through the shell
processes and threads
concurrency and synchronization
memory management
persistent storage
distributed aspects

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lectures, classes and Labs


50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark


10 exercises, each worth 5% 9 marked in labs, in the last 9 weeks of the module 1 'long lab' submitted through FASER in the last week of the module, week 25

Exam Duration and Period

2:00 during Summer Examination period.

Other information

The module assumes that students have basic abilities in Java and some imperative programming language.


  • Consult the module website at