• Offered by School of Computing
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering Computing & Cybernetics
  • Course subject Computer Science
  • Areas of interest Computer Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • STEM Course

This is the course where you learn how your computer actually works: you’ll learn how a CPU is constructed, how the parts of your computer work together, and how the high-level programming languages that you have learned in other courses can be translated into assembly language and CPU instructions.

The course is focussed on the connection between software and hardware; you will create programs in assembly language and link the program running on a CPU to its input/output interactions with the real world. You will learn how high-level programming constructs such as control structures, functions, variables, and data structures are represented at the assembly language level. You will explore topics that form a foundation of computer systems knowledge: CPU architectures, networks, operating systems, and concurrency.

This course will challenge your understanding of how computers work, and what happens in our computer when we run a program. At the end of this course, you will be able to navigate between layers of abstraction in a computer system from individual digital circuits to high-level software and understand how low-level structures enable and enhance the abilities of computer systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Describe the foundational concepts of computer systems.
  2. Explain the relationship between high-level languages and assembly languages, including function calls and basic control structures.
  3. Design, construct and analyse programs in assembly language.
  4. Evaluate computer systems at abstraction levels from software to individual digital circuits and account for the implications of machine-level choices.

Other Information


Indicative Assessment

  1. Labs and Quizzes (10) [LO 1,2,3]
  2. Assignments (40) [LO 2,3]
  3. Exams and/or Final Project (50) [LO 3,4]

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12 2-hour lectures and 12 3-hour laboratory sessions plus 70 hours of work outside formal classes

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a Master of Computing, Master of Computing (Advanced) or completed or currently studying COMP6700 or COMP6710. Incompatible with COMP2300, ENGN2219 and COMP6719.

Prescribed Texts



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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