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Critical Systems - COM00069M

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

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • deal with the production of critical systems. Such systems can be found in avionics, process control, medical systems and many other application domains. The software in these systems must be produced and verified to a high level of confidence.
  • deals with the methods and techniques available for the production of high integrity software for critical systems. The technical areas covered are not restricted to computer-based systems.

The lectures include some technical material, but also significant discussion periods brainstorming scenarios and discussing previous well documented accidents.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module the student should:

  • have a broad understanding of the issues involved in designing and implementing critical systems,
  • be aware of the methods used to construct critical systems,
  • understand the limitations of the various methods, analysis techniques and tools currently in use,
  • have gained experience in presenting technical material.


Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Open Assessment
N/A 70

Module feedback

Feedback is given in a number of ways. The module features a number of discussions, partially based around videos, where the concepts behind the course is covered. Open assessment 2 is seminars given by the students where immediate feedback is given. Finally written feedback is given on the open assessments submitted as part of open assessment 1.

Indicative reading

++ N.G. Leveson, Safeware: System Safety and Computers, Addison-Wesley, 1995

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students