BN103 - Platform Technologies

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 48 hours

Prerequisite: N/A

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a core unit out of a total of 24 units in the Bachelor of Networking (BNet) and Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Telecommunications) (BEngTech(Tel)). This unit addresses the BNet and BEngTech(Tel) course learning outcomes and complements other courses in a related field by developing students’ knowledge and skills in platform technologies. For further course information refer to: and This unit is part of the AQF Level 7 (BNet and BEngTech(Tel)) courses.

This unit provides the concepts and principles of the basic operation of platform technologies, including general purpose computers and peripherals, and communication infrastructure such as transmission systems (copper, wireless, optical fibre), networking and networking devices. In addition, this unit introduces digital data representation, including number systems and character encodings.
A practical "hands-on" component will develop essential skills to install, use, and support PC hardware and software by providing the training to ensure the necessary proficiency. This unit also develops skills to be able to identify and diagnose possible problems and troubleshoot personal computer systems.

Unit topics include:

  • Historic evolution of computers
  • Basic computer structure and operation
  • Troubleshoot computer system/parts
  • Number systems    
  • Future directions

Learning Outcomes

4.1 Course Learning Outcomes
The Course learning outcomes applicable to this unit are listed on the Melbourne Institute of Technology’s website: 

4.2 Unit Learning Outcomes
At the completion of this unit students should be able to:
a. Describe basic computer structure and operation;
b. List factors that may affect computer performance, diagnose basic computer problems and perform some hardware troubleshooting;
c. Report on different integer number systems and convert between them;
d. Explain floating point representations using the IEEE754 standard;
e. Describe basic electrical primitives;
f. Describe drivers of future change in computing;
g. Under supervision, explain and describe the working of a general-use computer system.

Weekly Topics

This unit will cover the content below:

Week # Lecture Topic Laboratory
1 Lecture 1 Basic Concepts and Computer Evolution Lab 1 Computer Architecture
2 Lecture 2 A Top-Level View Lab 2 Basic Concepts and Computer Evolution
3 Lecture 3 Cache Memory Lab 3 Computer Function and Interconnection
4 Lecture 4 Number Systems Lab 4 Cache Memory
5 Lecture 5 Computer Arithmetic Lab 6 Number System
6 Lecture 6 Internal Memory Lab 7 Computer Arithmetic
7 Lecture 7 External Memory Mid-Term Test
8 Lecture 8 Input-Output Lab 8 Operating Systems
9 Lecture 9 Digital Logic Lab 9 Computer Assembly
10 Lecture 10 Electrical Signalling Lab 10 Digital Logic
11 Lecture 11 Future Directions Lab 11 Electrical Signalling
12 Review Review


Assessment Task Due Date A B Learning Outcomes Assessed
Formative Assignment 1 Week 3 (10/04/2022) 5%   a-b
In-Class Test Week 7 (04/05/2022)   10% a-d
Assignment 2: Reflective Journal Week 11 (02/06/2022) 25%   a-f
Laboratory participation & submissions Week 2 – 11 (9/06/2022) 10%   a-g
Final Examination (2 hours)     50% a-g
TOTALS   40% 60%  

Task Type: Type A: unsupervised, Type B: supervised.

Class Participation and Contribution
This unit has class participation and student contribution as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Presentations (if applicable)
For presentations conducted in class, students are required to wear business attire.

Textbook and Reference Materials

Text Book:

  • W. Stallings, Computer Organization and Architecture, 10th Ed,, Pearson Higher Ed., USA, 2016.


  • J.G. de Lamadrid, Computer Organization: Basic Processor Structure 1st Edition, Chapman and Hall/CRC; 1 edition, 2018.
  • J. Andrews, J. Dark, J. West, A+ Guide to Hardware, 9th ed., Cengage Learning, MA, USA, 2016.
  • I. Englander, The Architecture of Computer Hardware and Systems Software: An Information Technology Approach, 5th ed., Wiley, 2014.
  • S. Mueller, Upgrading and Repairing PCs. 22nd ed., Que Publishing, 2015.
  • R. White, How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology. 10th ed., Que Publishing, 2014.
  • J. Andrews, A+ Guide to Software, 9th ed., Cengage Learning, 2016.

Adopted Reference Style: IEEE

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.