Foundation degrees

Course Information

Systems Modelling

Module summary

Module code: COMP1429
Level: 7
Credits: 15
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Computing and Information Sys.
Module Coordinator(s): Avgousta Kyriakidou



Systems modelling is a key phase of any complex software development and one that requires the selection of appropriate tools and techniques. Systems models may be used in different ways as part of a systems development process for: illustrating user requirements; improving understanding of a situation; identifying problems or formulating opportunities and supporting decision making. This course provides students with a practical and theoretical insight into the methods, attitudes, techniques and tools employed in the modelling of complex contemporary Information Systems. Particular attention is given to problem structuring and problem design using Soft Systems Methodology and the Unified Modelling Language as a toolkit. The course focuses on new technologies and practices and introduces methodological themes and issues from various contemporary contexts.

The aims of the course are: to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of how to express, visualise, analyse and design an Information System through various methods and associated notations; to provide them with sufficient knowledge of the various methodologies and techniques systems analysts may employ when developing software with a particular focus on the Object-Oriented approach; as well as to provide them with an experience of the way techniques are applied in practice through an intensive group project based on a "real-world" case study of systems development. Students are also introduced to a number of CASE tools throughout the semester.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. Acquire and demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of methods, tools and techniques employed in the analysis and design of contemporary information systems.
2. Demonstrate ability to use various CASE Tools to model Information Systems using both Object-Oriented and Structured methods. Particular focus will, however, be given to the Object- Oriented paradigm.
3. Gain substantial experience in working in an agile team environment on a well-documented systems development case study which will expose students to a realistic experience of analysing requirements, structuring problems and modelling the solution of an Information System.

Indicative content

Traditional and contemporary systems development processes.

 Open source development, hybrid methodologies and agile methods such as Extreme Programming and Scrum form a core part of the course and are contrasted with traditional methodologies. The methodological diversity in other contemporary industry contexts is also discussed.

Modelling problems:
 Stakeholders, organisational culture, rich pictures
 Requirements analysis

Modelling solutions:
 In depth Object-Oriented analysis and design using UML models and diagrams.
o Use case modelling, Object modelling, Dynamic modelling
 Structured Systems analysis and design with associated models and diagrams.
o Process modelling, Data Modelling, Behavioural Modelling

The role of CASE tools within the software development process.
 Discussion and use of Case tools (e.g. IBM rational architecture, Visio)

Team work, planning, meetings, requirements and production of technical documentation.

Employability Skills gained on the course:
This course will enhance a number of students’ key skills. It will expose students to a wider set of problems, case studies and types of systems with an emphasis on justifying their methodological decisions and drawing conclusions, thereby enhancing students’ cognitive skills as well as their organisational awareness of contemporary business and various organisational cultures. It will increase students’ technical ability and provide them with knowledge on how to use different software tools and technologies such as IBM rational architecture, ArgoUML, Visio etc. It will also consolidate their understanding of the structured systems analysis and design as well as object oriented paradigm in terms of analysing and designing of systems using associated models and diagrams. Working as a part of a group and be exposed to the complexities of group work and different group dynamics while at the same time they maintain professionalism and adhere to the deadlines will also enhance their interpersonal capabilities.

Teaching and learning activity

The course will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars and laboratory work. Major concepts will be introduced and explained in the lectures. Practical exercises will be developed in tutorial and laboratory sessions, which will combine group based and individual practical work. The supervised laboratory sessions will also be used to provide students with the technical skills required to design systems and to gain experience of a number of CASE tools. Time will be divided between lecture presentations, tutorials and laboratory sessions. Some weeks there will be a 2 hour lecture followed by a tutorial or a lab, while other weeks there will be a 1 hour lecture followed by a tutorial and then a lab.


Group Coursework with an Individual Component - 100% weighting, 50% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes - 1, 2, 3.
Outline Details - Participate in an agile team to produce the analysis and design documentation of a specified product. The coursework will also include an individual component which will assess students’ theoretical knowledge and understanding. Individual team members will get a mark based on their contribution to the team effort and the completion of the individual component of the coursework.

Formative Assessment:

• Students will be given in-class tasks to check understanding on a regular basis.
• Students will be given the opportunity to gain feedback on coursework during tutorial feedback sessions.
• During tutorial sessions students will be encouraged to work in groups and formative feedback will be provided by their peers, as well as their tutors.