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MC199 Information Technology

MC199 Information Technology

Credits: 20 Convenor: Dr. A. F. Janes Semester: 1

Assessment: Continual assessment: 50% One and a half hour exam in January: 50%

Lectures: 30 Classes: none
Tutorials: 4 Private Study: 94
Labs: 22 Seminars: none
Project: none Other: none
Total: 150

Explanation of Pre-requisites

For the spreadsheet component of the course, it is assumed that students have the basic mathematical skills that would be acquired by taking GCSE Mathematics or equivalent. Experience with computers is NOT a prerequisite for this module, it not is presumed that one has any prior knowledge of computers.

Course Description

The use of Information Technology has become routine in the modern work environment. Students of all disciplines can benefit from learning to work effectively with computers. The module provides an introduction to Information Technology. There are two strands which run side-by-side. The first places computers in context and explains the some of the important concepts. It explores the construction of a computer system and, in general terms, how it works. The second strand concerns the practical aspects of using computer packages and is mainly taught through weekly laboratory sessions.


This course aims to give students an understanding of Information Technology and its applications. This includes an appreciation of the basic architecture of a computer system: the hardware and the software components of the system, the rôle of each, and their capabilities and limitations. It also includes the use of the computer as a tool and focuses on two of the most successful office applications: the word processor and the spreadsheet. The full scope of these packages is explored and practical skills are developed through a series of laboratory worksheets.


Transferable Skills


Hardware: overview of computer. Computer components. What the microprocessor actually does. Peripherals (input and output). Storage devices. Local area networks, (communications, and the Internet). What the operating systems is. How software is made, how the hardware is made. Sociological implications.

Operating systems and Windows. Document preparation and word processing in Microsoft Word: formatting, layout, styles, sectioning, tables, etc. Storage, analysis and presentation of data using Microsoft Excel: formulae and calculation; charts; databases; applications.

[Note: There is no recommended reading for the laboratory based section of this module, the following is for the general I.T. lecture section]

Reading list


Hutchinson and Sawyer, Computer Essentials, 2nd edition, Irwin, 1996.

Long and Long, Introduction to Computers and Information Systems, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, 1996.


Stern and Stern, Computing: Concepts for End Users, Wiley, 1990

Capron, Essentials of Computing, 2nd edition, Benjamin-Cummings, 1996.

R. White, How Computers Work, 2nd edition, Ziff-Davis Press, 1995.

R. Maran, Computers Simplified, 3rd edition, IDG, 1997.

Details of Assessment

The laboratory work is examined entirely by continual assessment. A selection of the weekly exercises are handed in for marking.

The written January examination covers the rest of the material. There are three questions on the paper, and candidates can obtain full marks for good answers to two questions.

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Next: Year 2 Up: Year 1 Previous: MC198 Information Management
S. J. Ambler