Module Identifier COM1320  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Mr Christopher W Loftus  
Semester Available all semesters  
Other staff Mr Christopher W Loftus  
Pre-Requisite Available only to students taking the Diploma/MSc in Internet and Distributed Systems (Advanced) scheme.  
Course delivery Workload Breakdown   55 hours of contact time; seminars and tutorials  
  Workload Breakdown   145 hours of private study, practical work and assessment  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Participation and contribution  15%
Semester Assessment A critique presentation and paper of approximately 2000 words  25%
Semester Assessment Course Work: A survey paper of approximately 9000 words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmision of a survey paper, under the terms of the Department's policy.   
Further details  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. be able to identify and use the main research resources that are available to software engineers.

2. constructively participate in advanced technical debate in the field.

3. have a general overview of the Internet and Distribution fields and be aware of focused areas of research interest within them.

4. be able to produce a survey paper on some current area of Internet or distributed systems research.

5. be able to present current Internet or distributed systems research at an appropriate level of detail to a technical audience.


This module forms a core part of the new Internet and Distributed Systems (Advanced) MSc. This module concentrates on current research and development issues. It is focused on discussion led tutorials, presentations and papers. It prepares the students for Part Two.

Brief description

This module focuses on current issues in the field of Internet and distributed systems. The module will involve students in an examination of current research literature of interest to software developers in this field. Significant emphasis is placed on student discussion and peer review.


The content will vary from year to year, but will be based on a selection of current and relevant literature from academic articles, the Web and other sources. Examples include: search engines, semantic webs, data mining, video conferencing, web graphics, peer-to-peer distribution, GRID, OMG Model Driven Architecture, mobile agents etc.

The module is run as a series of tutorials during which students present papers to their peers and where other students are required to prepare and ask relevant questions.

Students are required to write a survey-style paper that necessitates an extensive literature and web search.

Students participate in a conference organized by the Department of Computer Science where they present papers to peers and staff. The aim is to simulate a real academic conference with plenary and technical sessions.

Module Skills

Problem_solving The required papers address challenging issues concerned with developing distributed systems  
Research skills Students are required to read relevant academic and other materials when preparing presentations and papers.  
Communication Presentations are required, both within tutorials and an internal conference. Students must be able to field questions and argue their point of view.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The assessed coursework requires students to develop their understanding of issues associated with the module  
Team work No  
Information Technology Entire content of module  
Application of Number Depends on the papers selected for discussion, but generally no.  
Personal Development and Career planning No  
Subject Specific Skills See learning outcomes  

Reading Lists

Students will be directed to the primary literature and will be expected to search for additional material themselves. The Department produces a handbook to accompany this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7