Module Identifier SEM3120  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Mr Jem Rowland  
Semester Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)  
Other staff Mr Christopher W Loftus, Mr Jem Rowland  
Pre-Requisite CS33110 , Only available to MEng Software Engineering Students.  
Course delivery Lecture    
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 tutorials, 10 group meetings with supervisor  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Project Report  80%
Semester Assessment Group Presentation  20%
Supplementary Assessment Because of the group nature of the project, supplementary assessment is not possible   
Further details  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate increased awareness of issues of software quality and correctness and the consequences for development cost and timescale.

2. Have gained practical experience of working to the methodologies and standards used for the development of high integrity systems in industry.

3 Understand and be able to analyze the issues of working in a group where software integrity is paramount.

4. Demonstrate increased awareness of organisational and management skills.

5. Demonstrate the ability to provide a critical evaluation of their performance.

Brief description

This module covers issues of system integrity and dependability and the consequences for development of safety-related computer systems. In addition to formal seminars based on directed reading, there is a group design project. This requires students to analyse a safety-critical scenario and then produce a design and safety case for a computer system of an appropriate level of integrity. In the project students will select suitable methods and techniques in accordance with international standards and established practice.


Formal teaching - 10 seminars

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

Introduction to Group Project

Written material.

Various written material giving guidance on carrying out the project, assessment issues, and the project submission is provided by the department.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Through designing a solution to a complex safety-critical problem.  
Research skills Students will be required to acquire further knowledge from books and on-line sources  
Communication Through group working and presentation.  
Improving own Learning and Performance The assessed coursework requires students to develop their understanding of safety-critical issues.  
Team work Key to the project..  
Information Technology The module is IT focused.  
Application of Number No  
Personal Development and Career planning No  
Subject Specific Skills Methodological skills, design skills, programming skills  

Reading Lists

** Should Be Purchased
Neil Storey (1995) Safety-Critical Systems Addison Wesley 0201427877
** Consult For Futher Information
P. Bennett (editor) (1993) Safety Aspects of Computer Control Butterworth Heinemann 0750611022
** Recommended Background
Alan Burns and Andy Wellings (2001) Real-time Systems and their Programming Languages 3. Addison Wesley 0201729881
Nancy G. Leveson (1995) Safeware: System Safety and Computers Addison Wesley 0201119722
Peter G. Neumann (1995) Computer Related Risks Addison Wesley 020155805X


This module is at CQFW Level 7