Accessibility statement

Computers & Safety - COM00017M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ibrahim Habli
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This course is primarily intended to give system safety engineers an introduction to the issues that must be considered when computers are used in safety-critical or safety-related applications. The course starts with a rapid overview of how computer systems work, from basic hardware components up to application software. The emphasis throughout this introduction is on highlighting areas that are of potential concern to safety engineers. This introduction is followed by a more in-depth examination of the software development process, considering especially aspects of requirements specification, design and analysis that are critical to deployment of computers in safety-critical applications. The course also considers the structuring and collection of evidence for the software safety case.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify and describe the implications of using computers in safety related applications, using this to inform and challenge project decisions.
  • Assess the credibility of a proposed design and identify derived software safety requirements on computing elements of the design throughout development.
  • Assess the safety properties of computing elements of a system.
  • Develop a software safety assurance case for a system.


Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 100

Module feedback

Individual written feedback is provided via the online feedback system. There will be general feedback on the answers I was expecting and individual feedback on how well you did for each question.

Indicative reading

** J. Knight, Fundamentals of Dependable Computing for Software Engineers, Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2012

** N. G. Leveson, Safeware, Addison-Wesley, 1995

** J. Barnes, High Integrity Software: SPARK approach, Addison-Wesley, 2006

* A. Burns & A. Wellings, Real-time systems and programming languages 4th Ed, Addison-Wesley, 2009

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.