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GCO2601 Systems analysis and design - Summer semester , 2007

Unit leader :

Peter O'Donnell

Lecturer(s) :


  • Madhu Chetty


Unit synopsis

This unit will provide students with an introduction to systems analysis and design and give a broad overview of the main techniques commonly used for carrying out the analysis and specification of the design for a computer system. The unit will introduce students to the nature of systems analysis and design as a problem-solving activity, describe the key elements of analysis and design, and explain the place of the analysis and design phases within the system development life cycle. The unit will introduce students to the nature of modelling as an analytical and a communicative process. They will learn to create models that describe system specifications using the unified modelling language (UML). Further, students will learn to interpret and understand models created with traditional structured modelling techniques.

Major topics include:

  • Systems analysis and design in context;
  • Analysis and problem-solving;
  • Fact-finding and data gathering;
  • Systems analysis using UML;
  • Systems design using UML.
  • Learning outcomes

    At the completion of this unit students will have knowledge and understanding of:

    • The roles of systems analysts and designers system development;
    • Various system development methodologies;
    • The processes of systems analysis and design in structured and object-oriented systems development methodologies and life-cycles;
    • Planning and problem definition in simple information technology problems;
    • The principles of systems design, and the relationship of systems design to systems analysis;
    • The criteria that can be used to evaluate the quality of a model of a system;
    • The purpose of different types of models in the UML;
    • The role and application of automated tools in systems modelling.

    and students will have developed attitudes that enable them to:

    • Appreciate that a range of valid solutions exist for any given problem.

    as well as the skills to:

    • Model and design logical and physical systems using industry standard object oriented techniques;
    • Interpret and evaluate systems analysis and systems design models created using both structured and object oriented techniques.
    • Create analysis and design models using the main elements of the unified modelling language (UML);
    • Develop and practice the skills and competencies necessary to undertake a requirements analysis for a business application;
    • Apply problem solving techniques at different levels of abstraction and understand the effect this may have on a system specification;

    and to:

    • Explain the interdependence and relationships between all stake-holders in the systems development process.


    The unit is offered in off campus mode. You workload commitments will involve:

    • Reading and understanding weekly lecture slides (2 hours)
    • Practising weekly totorials (2 hour)
    • Reading weekly study guides, text book, preparation and self study
    You will need to allocate 12-14 hours/week during the semester for this unit.

    Unit relationships


    It is assumed that students taking this unit are in the second year of an undergraduate course on information technology. The common core unit FIT1004 Database is a required corequisite unit. It is expected that all students studying GCO2601 will have at least obtained a passing grade in FIT1004 or be studying it at the same time. In FIT1004 students will have gained and understanding of and an ability to perform logical database design. GCO2601 will further develop these areas.


    GCO2601 is a common core unit for all Faculty of IT undergraduate degrees. It is a prerequisite for many units in the second and third years of these degrees.

    You may not study this unit and BUS2021, BUS2071, CSE1204, CSE1205, GCO1813, GCO2601, GCO2852, GCO2826, IMS1001, IMS1002, IMS1805, or IMS2701 in your degree.

    Continuous improvement

    Monash is committed to ‘Excellence in education' and strives for the highest possible quality in teaching and learning. To monitor how successful we are in providing quality teaching and learning Monash regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. Two of the formal ways that you are invited to provide feedback are through Unit Evaluations and through Monquest Teaching Evaluations.

    One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through Unit Evaluation Surveys. It is Monash policy for every unit offered to be evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys as they are an important avenue for students to "have their say". The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

    Student Evaluations

    The Faculty of IT administers the Unit Evaluation surveys online through the my.monash portal, although for some smaller classes there may be alternative evaluations conducted in class.

    If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to http://www.monash.edu.au/unit-evaluation-reports/

    Over the past few years the Faculty of Information Technology has made a number of improvements to its courses as a result of unit evaluation feedback. Some of these include systematic analysis and planning of unit improvements, and consistent assignment return guidelines.

    Monquest Teaching Evaluation surveys may be used by some of your academic staff this semester. They are administered by the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ) and may be completed in class with a facilitator or on-line through the my.monash portal. The data provided to lecturers is completely anonymous. Monquest surveys provide academic staff with evidence of the effectiveness of their teaching and identify areas for improvement. Individual Monquest reports are confidential, however, you can see the summary results of Monquest evaluations for 2006 at http://www.adm.monash.edu.au/cheq/evaluations/monquest/profiles/index.html

    Unit staff - contact details

    Unit leader

    Mr Peter O'Donnell
    Phone +61 3 990 32502

    Lecturer(s) :

    Dr Madhu Chetty
    Senior Lecturer
    Phone +61 3 990 27148

    Teaching and learning method

    The students will be taught in off-campus model. The students will be provided with weekly lecture slides, tutorials and study guides. Also relevant chapters chapters will be identified for reading for each week.  Sampled solutions to the tutorial assignments will be provided a week later - which will allow the students to go through the tutorial tasks in the meantime.

    Students will be interacting with the fellow students and the unit lecturer through the discussion forums. All study material will be made available through MUSO. 

    Communication, participation and feedback

    Monash aims to provide a learning environment in which students receive a range of ongoing feedback throughout their studies. You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This may take the form of group feedback, individual feedback, peer feedback, self-comparison, verbal and written feedback, discussions (on line and in class) as well as more formal feedback related to assignment marks and grades. You are encouraged to draw on a variety of feedback to enhance your learning.

    It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem that is affecting your study. Semesters are short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

    Summer semester dates

    Key dates for units offered over the summer period vary widely. Please note the following important information with respect to the dates applying to this unit offering.

    Start Date: Week starting 12 Nov 2007 (Week 1)

    End of year closedown: 21 December 2007 till 2nd January 2008 (after Week 6)

    Semester end date: Week starting 28 Jan 2008 (Week 11)

    Exam period: 4 February 2008 till 7 February 2008 

    (Expected MUSO down time for maintanance: 21 November till 26 November 2007. Pls ensure that relevant study materials of this period are downloaded before hand. )

    Unit Schedule

    Week Topic Key dates
    1 Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design + The context of analysis and design  
    2 Requirments Gathering  
    3 Beginning analysis  
    4 Structured Analysis  
    5 Use Case modelling  
    6 Finishing analysis  
    7 Nature of good design  
    8 Structured Design Assignment 1 due
    9 Use Case realisation  
    10 User Interfaces  
    11 Architecture and Security Assignment 2 due

    Unit Resources

    Prescribed text(s) and readings

    Satzinger, J. W., Jackson, R.B., Burd, S.D. and R. Johnson (2006) Systems Analysis and Design in a Changing World, 4th Edition, Thomson Course Technology.

    Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

    Recommended text(s) and readings

    Booch, G., Rumbaugh, J. and I. Jacobson (1999) The Unified Modeling Language User Guide Addison Wesley Professional. (New edition planned for 2006).

    Dennis, A., Wixom, B.H. and D. Tegarden (2005) Systems Analysis and Design with UML Version 2.0: An Object-Oriented Approach, 2nd Edition, Wiley.

    Hoffer, J.A., George, J.F. and J.S. Valacich (2001) Modern Systems Analysis and Design 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall.

    George, J.F., Batra, D., Valacich J.S. and J.A. Hoffer, (2004) Object-Oriented System Analysis and Design Prentice-Hall.

    Lee, R. and W. Tepfenhart (2002) Practical Object-Oriented Development with UML and Java, Prentice Hall.

    Maciaszek, L. (2004) Requirements Analysis and System Design, 2nd Edition, Addison-Wesley.

    Page-Jones, M. (1988) The Practical Guide to Structured Systems Design 2nd Edition, Prentice-Hall.

    Page-Jones, M. (2000) Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Design in UML Addison-Wesley.

    Reed, P.R. (2002) Developing Applications with Java and UML, Addison Wesley.

    Quatrani, T. (2002) Visual Modeling with Rational Rose 2002 and UML, 3rd Edition, Addison Wesley Professional.

    Required software and/or hardware

    Students will require access to an "industrial strength" CASE (computer aided software engineering) tool. In 2007, the tool choosen is Visual Paradigm for UML. This product can be downloaded from the Visual Paradigm web site but to run requires a license key. This is available for download from the GCO2601 MUSO-based unit web site or from your tutor.

    Students will also require access to traditional personal productivity tools (word processing , graphics and presentation).

    Software may be:

    • downloaded from http://www.visual-paradigm.com/
    • purchased at academic price at good software retailers

    Equipment and consumables required or provided

    Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 6 hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

    Study resources

    Study resources we will provide for your study are:

    • A Unit Book (printed or electronic) divided into Unit Information and 12 Study Guides (along with 2 appendices). This is also available for download from the unit web site.
    • An online unit website providing supplementary resources, assignment specifications and other general information. This page is accessed via the Monash Studies On-Line web site located at http://muso.monash.edu.au

    It is important for all students to have the prescribed textbook.

    Library access

    The Monash University Library site contains details about borrowing rights and catalogue searching. To learn more about the library and the various resources available, please go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.

    Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)

    All unit and lecture materials are available through MUSO (Monash University Studies Online). Blackboard is the primary application used to deliver your unit resources.

    You can access MUSO and Blackboard via the portal (http://my.monash.edu.au).

    Click on the Study and enrolment tab, then Blackboard under the MUSO learning systems.

    In order for your Blackboard unit(s) to function correctly, your computer needs to be correctly configured.

    For example :

    • Blackboard supported browser
    • Supported Java runtime environment

    For more information, please visit


    You can contact the MUSO Support by: Phone: (+61 3) 9903 1268

    For further contact information including operational hours, please visit


    Further information can be obtained from the MUSO support site:



    Unit assessment policy

    The unit is assessed with two assignments and a three hour closed book examination. To pass the unit you must:

    • attempt both assignments and the examination
    • achieve no less that 40% of the possible marks individually in the assignment and exam
    • achieve no less than 50% of possible marks (of assignment and exam taken together) for the unit

    Assignment tasks

    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Requirements specification
      Description :

      In this assignment you will develop a requirements specification outlining the functions a computer should perform to satisfy the requriements you identify of the client in a case study. 

      For full details of this assignment refer to the MUSO web site for the unit.

      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :
      The criteria of assessment will be made available along with the assignment specifications.
      Due date :
      8th January 2008
    • Assignment Task
      Title :
      Design specification
      Description :

      Following on from assignment 1, in assignment 2 you will turn the requirements specification into a design specification for the system being developed.

      For full details of this assignment refer to the MUSO web site of the unit.
      Weighting :
      Criteria for assessment :
      The criteria of assessment will be made available along with the assignment specifications.
      Due date :
      29 January 2008


    • Examination
      Weighting :
      Length :
      3 hours
      Type ( open/closed book ) :
      Closed book

    Assignment submission

    All assignments will be submitted electronically via the unit MUSO-based web site.

    Assignment coversheets

    Electronic coversheets are to be submitted with your assignment. These can be obtained from the Assignments page of the unti web site (on MUSO).

    University and Faculty policy on assessment

    Due dates and extensions

    The due dates for the submission of assignments are given in the previous section. Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

    Requests for extensions must be made to the unit lecturer at your campus at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

    Late assignment

    If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness you should apply for an extension before the due date. Medical certificates or certification supporting your application may be required. Assignments submitted after the due date may incur a penalty for lateness. An assignment submitted more than seven days after the due date may be given a score of zero. If you anticipate being late then discuss the situation with your unit lecturer as early as possible; your unit lecturer will decide how many marks you will be penalised for each day your assignment is late, and whether or not any extension is warranted.

    Return dates

    Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.

    Assessment for the unit as a whole is in accordance with the provisions of the Monash University Education Policy at http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/assessment/

    We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

    Plagiarism, cheating and collusion

    Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/about/committees-groups/facboard/policies/studrights.html) and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

    In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

    When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

    Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

    Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

    Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.

    Register of counselling about plagiarism

    The university requires faculties to keep a simple and confidential register to record counselling to students about plagiarism (e.g. warnings). The register is accessible to Associate Deans Teaching (or nominees) and, where requested, students concerned have access to their own details in the register. The register is to serve as a record of counselling about the nature of plagiarism, not as a record of allegations; and no provision of appeals in relation to the register is necessary or applicable.

    Non-discriminatory language

    The Faculty of Information Technology is committed to the use of non-discriminatory language in all forms of communication. Discriminatory language is that which refers in abusive terms to gender, race, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or nationality, ethnic or language background, physical or mental ability, or political or religious views, or which stereotypes groups in an adverse manner. This is not meant to preclude or inhibit legitimate academic debate on any issue; however, the language used in such debate should be non-discriminatory and sensitive to these matters. It is important to avoid the use of discriminatory language in your communications and written work. The most common form of discriminatory language in academic work tends to be in the area of gender inclusiveness. You are, therefore, requested to check for this and to ensure your work and communications are non-discriminatory in all respects.

    Students with disabilities

    Students with disabilities that may disadvantage them in assessment should seek advice from one of the following before completing assessment tasks and examinations:

    Deferred assessment and special consideration

    Deferred assessment (not to be confused with an extension for submission of an assignment) may be granted in cases of extenuating personal circumstances such as serious personal illness or bereavement. Special consideration in the awarding of grades is also possible in some circumstances. Information and forms for Special Consideration and deferred assessment applications are available at http://www.monash.edu.au/exams/special-consideration.html. Contact the Faculty's Student Services staff at your campus for further information and advice.