Faculty of Information Technology

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Information Technology


South Africa

  • First semester 2016 (Day)


Processes and threads: interprocess communication, scheduling. Deadlock: detection, prevention, avoidance. Memory management: allocation, swapping, virtual memory. Input/output principles and examples: disks, graphical user interfaces, network terminals. File systems: files, directories, disk space management. Security: authentication, cryptography, common attacks, principles of secure system administration. Case studies: Characteristics of major PC operating systems such as Linux and Windows.


At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. know the general purpose and functions of operating systems;
  2. understand the hardware and software mechanisms used to carry out these functions;
  3. be familiar with the principal differences between common major operating systems such as Windows and Linux;
  4. be able to install new operating systems on PC hardware;
  5. be willing to select operating systems based on their merits rather than their marketing.


Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Two hours of lectures
  • One 2-hour laboratory

(b.) Study schedule for off-campus students:

  • Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources and participating in discussion groups each week.

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours independent study per week for completing lab and project work, private study and revision.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


FIT1031 or FIT1001


FIT2022, FIT2070, GCO2814, GCO3818

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: