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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

This course discusses core concepts of distributed systems, such as programming with distributed objects, multiple threads of control, multi-tire client-server systems, transactions and concurrency control, distributed transactions and commit protocols, and fault-tolerant systems. The course also discusses aspects of security, such as cryptography, authentication, digital signatures and certificates, SSL etc. Weekly practical sessions cover a set of techniques for the implementation of distributed system concepts such as programming with remote object invocation, thread management and socket communication.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Martin Kollingbaum

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

  • Introduction to Distributed Systems.
  • Programming with Distributed Objects: Java RMI; Object Serialization; Managing Multiple Threads of Control; Security Policies; Multi-Tier Client-Server Systems.
  • Programming with Distributed Data Sources: Transactions and Concurrency Control; Distributed Transactions; Replication; Fault-Tolerant Systems.
  • Security in Distributed Systems: Cryptography, Authentication, Digital Signatures and Certificates, SSL, Firewalls.

Further Information & Notes

(i) Assistive technologies may be required for any student who is unable to use a standard keyboard/mouse/computer monitor. Any students wishing to discuss this further should contact the School Disability Co-ordinator. (ii) Non-graduating students would require the following background/experience: intermediate level Java programming experience; knowledge of database principles including SQL.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 50% computer programming exercise, 50% examination

Resit: 100% examination

Formative Assessment

During lectures, the Personal Response System and/or other ways of student interaction will be used for formative assessment. Additionally, practical sessions will provide students with practice opportunities and formative assessment.


Formative feedback for in-course assessments will be provided in written form. Additionally, formative feedback on performance will be provided informally during practical sessions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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