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Monash University

FIT9005 Computer architecture and networks - Semester 2, 2013

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 (Evening)
  • Sunway (Evening)

Contact Hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs tutorials/wk

Workload requirements

For on-campus students, the workload commitments per week during semester totals 12 hours 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


Professor Ingrid Zukerman

Consultation hours: Wednesday 3-4pm


Lua Eng Keong



Sepehr Minagar

Consultation hours: TBA

Ricky Wu

Consultation hours: TBA

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

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.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0   No formal assessment or activities are undertaken in week 0
1 LN0 -- Unit Introduction & LN1 -- Introduction to Computer Systems  
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 (I) Tutorial Test 1 (TT1: LN1-LN2) will be held during this week's tutorials
6 LN4 -- Computer Architecture (II)  
7 LN5 -- System Software Tutorial Test 2 (TT2: LN3-LN4) will be held during this week's tutorials
8 LN6 -- Operating Systems (I)  
9 LN6 -- Operating Systems (II) Mid-semester Test (MST: LN1-LN5) will be held during this week's lecture
10 LN7 -- Introduction to Computer Networks Tutorial Test 3 (TT3: LN5-LN6) will be held during this week's tutorials
11 LN8 -- The Application Layer  
12 LN9 -- The Transport Layer; and The Network Layer Tutorial Test 4 (TT4: LN7-LN8) will be held during this week's tutorials
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in 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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Mid-semester Test 12% Tuesday 24 September 2013
Tutorial Tests 1, 2, 3 and 4 28% total (7% each) Weeks 5, 7, 10 and 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.

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)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Mid-semester Test
    Test includes material taught in lectures and tutorials from LN1-LN5. Students are expected to include text and online references cited in the lecture notes and tutorials in preparing for this test.
    Criteria for assessment:

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

    Due date:
    Tuesday 24 September 2013
  • Assessment task 2
    Tutorial Tests 1, 2, 3 and 4
    • Tutorial Test 1: modules from (TT1: LN1-LN2)
    • Tutorial Test 2: modules from (TT2: LN3-LN4)
    • Tutorial Test 3: modules from (TT3: LN5-LN6)
    • Tutoiral Test 4: modules from (TT4: LN7-LN8)
    Students are expected to include text and online references cited in the lecture notes and tutorials in preparing for these tutorial tests.
    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 and 12


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:
    Students are expected to include text and online references cited in the lecture notes and tutorials in preparing for the exam.

Learning resources

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.

Monash Library Unit Reading List

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

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). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

Online submission

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

Required Resources

Please check with your lecturer before purchasing any Required Resources. Limited copies of 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 Edition) Jones and Bartlett Publishing (ISBN: 0-7637-3769-0).

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

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

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Previous student 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

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