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Monash University

FIT9005 Computer architecture and networks - Semester 1, 2012

This unit introduces students to fundamentals of computer hardware and software, and networking. The unit provides knowledge of computer structure and operation, including Arithmetic-Logic Unit, computer registers, internal bus, memory; system software, including compilers and operating systems; and computer networking and data communication.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • Gippsland (Off-campus)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk


Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

  • Lectures: 2 hours per week
  • Practical classes/Tutorials : 2 hours per week
  • Private study (revision, homework and practical class preparation): 8 hours per week

Unit Relationships


FIT1005, FIT1031, FIT9018, FIT9020, BUS4150, BUS5112, CPE4002, CSE4884, CSE9801


FIT9004 or FIT9017


Proficiency in basic mathematics.

Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Ingrid Zukerman, Consultation hours: Wednesday 1pm - 2 pm


Abdullah Yusuf

Academic Overview


At the completion of this unit students will have -
Developed the ability to:
  • understand basic Computer Structure and Operation and demonstrate use of the associated vocabulary;
  • demonstrate knowledge of Arithmetic-Logic Unit, computer registers, Internal Bus, Memory, I/O organisations and interfacing standards;
  • describe the operation of the CPU and explain how it is used to execute instructions;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basics of operating systems software using examples from File Systems, User Interfaces and Software Development Tools;
  • discuss network architecture standards for open systems;
  • describe TCP/IP network protocol;
  • understand the fundamental functions and architectures of LAN and WAN.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • adopt a problem solving approach;
  • accept the code of professional conduct and practice;
  • act in accordance with best practice, industry standards and professional ethics.
Demonstrated the communication and teamwork skills necessary to:
  • cooperate effectively within small groups;
  • present their work in various forms.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Mid-semester test 12% Tuesday, 1 May 2012, 11am
Tutorial tests 1, 2, 3, 4 28% total (7% each) Weeks 5, 7, 10, 12
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Test results and feedback
  • Quiz results
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

Previous evaluations of this unit have been very positive. After feedback from Semester 1, 2011, a more detailed coverage of computer architecture was introduced.

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Prescribed texts are available for you to borrow in the library, and prescribed software is available in student labs.

SPIM. MIPS Simulator: http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/packages/smartAnimator/

Wireshark. Packet Analysis Software: http://www.wireshark.org/

Recommended Resources

D. Tarnoff, Downloadable textbook: Computer organization and design fundamentals.

Recommended text(s)

L. Null and J. Lobur. (2006). Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture. (2nd) Jones and Bartlett Publishing (ISBN: 0-7637-3769-0).

A.S. Tannenbaum. (2006). Structured Computer Organization. (5th) Prentice Hall (ISBN: 9780131485211).

J.F. Kurose and K.W. Ross. (2010). Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach. (5th) Addison-Wesley Publishers (ISBN: 978-0136-07967-5).

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 LN1: Overview of unit; history of computing; overview of computer organisation; why we learn this unit  
2 LN2: Data representation and computer arithmetic (I)  
3 LN2: Data representation and computer arithmetic (II)  
4 LN3: Boolean algebra and digital logic  
5 LN4: Computer architecture Tutorial test 1: LN1-LN2
6 LN4: Computer architecture, LN5: System software  
7 LN5: System software, LN6: Operating systems Tutorial test 2: LN3-LN4
8 LN6: Operating systems  
9 LN7: Introduction to computer networks Mid-semester test: LN1-LN5 on Tuesday, 1 May 2012, 11am
10 LN8: Applications layer Tutorial test 3: LN5-LN6
11 LN9: Transport layer  
12 LN10: Network layer Tutorial test 4: LN7-LN8
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Mid-semester test
    Test includes material taught in modules LN1-LN5.
    Criteria for assessment:
    Due date:
    Tuesday, 1 May 2012, 11am
  • Assessment task 2
    Tutorial tests 1, 2, 3, 4
    • Test 1: modules LN1-LN2
    • Test 2: modules LN3-LN4
    • Test 3: modules LN5-LN6
    • Test 4: modules LN7-LN8
    28% total (7% each)
    Criteria for assessment:

    How well principles and procedures are demonstrated in the student's answers.

    Due date:
    Weeks 5, 7, 10, 12


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the VLE site for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students. For Sunway see http://www.monash.edu.my/Student-services, and for South Africa see http://www.monash.ac.za/current/

The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. At Sunway, visit the Library and Learning Commons at http://www.lib.monash.edu.my/. At South Africa visit http://www.lib.monash.ac.za/.

Academic support services may be available for students who have a disability or medical condition. Registration with the Disability Liaison Unit is required. Further information is available as follows:

  • Website: http://monash.edu/equity-diversity/disability/index.html;
  • Email: dlu@monash.edu
  • Drop In: Equity and Diversity Centre, Level 1 Gallery Building (Building 55), Monash University, Clayton Campus, or Student Community Services Department, Level 2, Building 2, Monash University, Sunway Campus
  • Telephone: 03 9905 5704, or contact the Student Advisor, Student Commuity Services at 03 55146018 at Sunway

Reading list

  • J. FitzGerald and A. Dennis, Business Data Communications and Networking, 10th Edition, John Wiley & Sons Publishers, 2009, ISBN 978-0470-05575-5.
  • Sebastian Coope, John Cowley and Neil Willis, Computer Systems: Architecture, Networks and Communications, McGraw-Hill, 2002.  ISBN: 978-0077098032.
  • Miles Murdocca and Vincent Heuring, Computer Architecture and Organization: An Integrated Approach, Wiley, 2007. ISBN: 978-0471733881.
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