The University of Newcastle, Australia

Course handbook


Introduces computer operating system principles, using practical examples. Topics include tasking and processes, process coordination and synchronisation, resource scheduling, physical and virtual memory organisation, security issues, communications and networking, and distributed operating systems. The Unix operating system is used as a case study where appropriate.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Develop an understanding of the structure and function of operating systems, including the kernel, process scheduling, memory management, input/output device management, file systems, interprocess communication, networks and distributed systems, protection, security and recovery

2. Develop an understanding of how OS abstractions are realized on conventional hardware

3. Gain familiarity with various design issues in operating systems and the corresponding primitive methods and algorithms dealing with these issues.

4. Develop essential programming skills of programming with consideration of concurrency and multithreads etc

5. Gain familiarity with some real operating systems.


  1. Hardware overview.
  2. Processes and process scheduling including multi-processors.
  3. Concurrency control using hardware and software techniques.
  4. Memory Management.
  5. Virtual memory.
  6. I/O and disk management.
  7. File systems and file manipulation.
  8. Security mechanisms.
  9. Networking.
  10. Process migration

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Programming Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Programming Assignment 2

Written Assignment: Programming Assignment 3

Formal Examination: Final Examination *

In Term Test: Midterm test

* This assessment has a compulsory requirement.

Compulsory Requirements

In order to pass this course, each student must complete ALL of the following compulsory requirements:

Course Assessment Requirements:

  • Formal Examination: Minimum Grade / Mark Requirement - Students must obtain a specified minimum grade / mark in this assessment item to pass the course. - Students whose overall mark in the course is 50% or more, but who score less than 40% in the compulsory item and thus fail to demonstrate the required proficiency, will be awarded a Criterion Fail grade, which will show as FF on their formal transcript. However, students in this position who have scored at least 25% in the compulsory item will be allowed to undertake a supplementary 'capped' assessment in which they can score at most 50% of the possible mark for that item.

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term starting in week 2