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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP3211 Distributed Systems

10 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr Karim Djemame

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22



Module replaces

COMP3900 Distributed Systems

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The students will gain an understanding of the principles and techniques behind the design of distributed systems as well practical experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating such systems.


The aim of this module is to provide the fundamental knowledge for designing and engineering distributed systems with reference to system architectures, scalability and performance.
The objectives are:
- Identify the paradigms that determine the requirements, capabilities and performance of distributed systems;
- Design a high-level framework of a distributed system based on the Internet architecture / advanced architectures;
- Use a range of middleware tools to implement a distributed design;
- Reason about the significance of the new directions that distributed systems are taking.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, the students should be able to:
1. Describe distributed systems architectures.
2. Articulate the purpose and role of middleware in distributed systems.
3. Compare distributed system design decisions and associate those decisions with performance characteristics.
4. Implement and evaluate a distributed system.


- Definitions of distributed systems - Applications challenges - Systems challenges - The client-server model - Role of Middleware - The N-tier model - Message oriented communication - Remote database access - Implementation of middleware using a distributed object model - Remote method invocation technologies - Service Oriented Architectures - Web services, SOAP and REST - Naming, directory, and discovery services - Synchronisation in distributed systems - Fault tolerance and Quality of Service - Transactions - Emerging distributed systems - Grid computing - Cloud computing, virtualized infrastructures and Big Data - Edge computing.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours65.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Coursework and labs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQMCQ Test (Minerva)10.00
In-course AssessmentProgramming Exercise (Gradescope)20.00
In-course MCQMCQ Test (Minerva)10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

This module will be reassessed by an online time-constrained assessment.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 15/03/2022 16:12:19


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