University of London

Small Navigation Menu

Primary Menu

Introduction to computer systems architecture and programming IS1168

This unit presents an introduction to computer science and programming. It introduces the foundations of computer architecture with data representation, manipulation and storage.

The use of algorithms for problem solving is introduced as well as operating systems and computer networks. Fundamental programming methods, constructs and concerns will be introduced using the Java programming language.


This course may not be taken with:

  • IS1181 Digital infrastructures for business.

Topics covered

  • Computer Architecture and Organisation
  • Operating Systems
  • Networking:
  • Problem Solving and Programming Concepts
  • Introducing Programming with Java.

Learning outcomes

If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:

  • Identify the basic elements of hardware and explain their functions and how they fit together to form an architecture
  • Explain how data is represented, manipulated and stored within a computer system
  • Identify and explain the functions of operating systems
  • Explain how computers interact through local and wide area networks
  • Identify various different types of programming languages and appreciate how they have evolved since the early days of computer programming
  • Design algorithms to solve basic programming problems
  • Explain common data types and structures
  • Explain basic programming structures
  • Explain the underlying concepts of object-oriented programming
  • Write simple but effective programs in Java.


Unseen written examination (3 hrs).

Essential reading

  • Brookshear, J.G. Computer Science: An Overview. Boston: Pearson.
  • Carrano F.M. Imagine! Java: Programming Concepts in Context. Boston: Pearson.
  • Reynolds, C. and P. Tymann Schaum’s Outline of Principles of Computer Science Schaum’s Outline Series. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Course information sheets

Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.