Module Identifier SEM3010  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Jem Rowland  
Pre-Requisite CS22110 , CS23110  
Mutually Exclusive Only available to students registered for Masters in Software Engineering.  
Course delivery Lecture   11 lectures, plus directed self-study (total commitment of 80 hours)  
Assessment Supplementary examination   Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy    
  Exam   2 Hours   100%  
Further details  


To introduce in some detail the issues and techniques relevant to the development of software-based systems for safety-related applications.

General description

Modern computer controlled systems frequently have possible dangers, for workers, the general public and the environment. The module deals with the issues and techniques concerned in specifying, designing and implementing such systems to the appropriate levels of quality and reliability. Students are prepared for advanced study to take responsibility for the development of such systems.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be:


1. Week 1
Introduction. Computers in critical applications, safety concepts, safety requirements.

2. Week 2
Techniques for hazard analysis. Risk analysis and classification. Integrity levels.

3. Week 3
The safety lifecycle. Introduction to techniques for achieving safe systems.

4. Week 4
Fault tolerance

5. Week 5
System reliability: modelling, prediction, assessment. Selection of microprocessors. Design faults in microprocessors.

6. Week 6
Safety-critical software: languages, implementation, tools.

7. Week 7
Implications of the use of PLCs in critical systems. The role of formal methods in critical systems.

8. Week 8
Verification, validation and testing.

9. Week 9
Quality management. Certification.

10. Week 10
Case studies of real systems.

11. Week 11
The DO 178B standard (airborne software).

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Neil Storey. (1996) Safety-Critical Computer Systems. Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-42787-7
** Consult For Futher Information
P. Bennett, editor. Safety Aspects of Computer Control. Butterworth Heinemann, 1993. ISBN 0-7506-1102-2.
Alan Burns and Andy Wellings. (1996) Real-Time Systems and their Programming Languages. 2nd. Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-40365-X
Nancy G. Leveson. (1995) Safeware: System Safety and Computers. Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-11972-2
Peter G. Neumann. (1995) Computer Related Risks. Addison Wesley ISBN 0-201-55805-X