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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMP3221 Parallel Computation

10 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr David Head

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22


COMP1711Procedural Programming

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

With single processor performance peaking and the demand for processing time not diminishing parallel hardware and programming is increasingly important. This importance is not exclusively felt in the high performance computing disciplines but also on commodity hardware as end user becomes more demanding.This module introduces the fundamental principles and issues underlying a range of parallel technologies, and provides practical experiences in writing and evaluating programs on a set of architectures including multi-core CPU, GPU, and MPI for distributed parallelism.


This module will introduce the fundamental skills and knowledge required to develop parallel computer software.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module a student will have demonstrated the ability to:

- recall key concepts of parallel software and hardware.
- apply parallel design paradigms to serial algorithms.
- evaluate and select appropriate parallel solutions for real world problems.
- generalise parallel concepts to future hardware and software developments.

Skills outcomes
Programming, design, performance measurement, evaluation.


This module covers the following 3 topic areas:

- Parallel programming design patterns : work pools, data parallelism, synchronisation, locks, MapReduce and atomic instructions.
- Parallel computation models : shared memory parallelism (SMP), distributed memory parallelism and general purpose graphics processing unit (GPGPU).
- Common frameworks : OpenMP, Message passing interface (MPI) and OpenCL.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment12.002.00
Private study hours66.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Taught session preparation: 10 hours
Taught session follow-up: 22 hours
Self-directed study: 10 hours
Assessment activities: 24 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Coursework and labs.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentLong Form Answers (Minerva)10.00
In-course AssessmentOpen MP/C code15.00
In-course AssessmentMPI-C code20.00
In-course AssessmentOpenCL code15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

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 40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)40.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

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


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