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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 06/10/2021 09:08:06

Title of Module: Unix System Administration

Code: COMP09024 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Henry  Hunter

Summary of Module

Unix-like operating systems are widely used and capable of providing a variety of network-based services. Some of their core concepts differ substantially from comparable Windows-based systems. This module aims to provide a foundational understanding and the skills required to administer a Unix-like operating system within a networked environment. Following an introduction to some of the basics, the concepts covered include file and filesystem management, user accounts, process control and scheduling, and introductory shell commands and scripting. Installation, configuration and updating of additional software is also covered, and once basic networking configurations have been introduced, usage as an email and web server is explored and pointers to the further networking capabilities of Unix-like systems are indicated to develop the following graduate attributes:


  • Knowledge of Discipline

  • Critical Thinker

  • Confidence

Work Ready

  • Problem solver

  • Teamworker

  • Effective communicator



  • Adaptability

  • Autonomy

  • Subject specialist

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a broad and integrated understanding of Unix concepts and terminology

L2. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of areas of Unix system administration

L3. Use a range of Unix system administration skills to configure a system to specified requirements

L4. Use a number of tools to configure, update, monitor and troubleshoot a Unix-like system

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

• Understand and apply the concepts and terminology used in Unix-like operating systems (users, files, processes, filesystems, devices, sockets, etc.)
• Understand core systems such as init, cron, networking

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

• Use a range of tools, including the command line and configuration files, to control core Unix functionality and the services of a Unix-like system
• Monitor the operation of a Unix-like operating system

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

• Consult appropriate documentation when required

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

• Work effectively on the command line
• Edit configuration files in a professional manner

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

• Know when to ask for support or advice when faced with technical problems

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:OR similar previous experience
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Teaching the theoretical concepts and terminology used in Unix-like systems will be undertaken predominantly by means of a regular lecture and tutorial programme. These will be complemented and supplemented by a series of laboratory sessions, in which students will learn to apply this theory in practical operating system situations.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Asynchronous Class Activity12
Independent Study140
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Required Resources:

Access to a working Unix or Unix-like system, with administrative privileges.
Laboratory working sheets, lecture slides and tutorial handouts.

Extension Resources (*):

* Barrett, D. (2016) Linux Pocket Guide, 3rd Revised Edition, O'Reilly Media.

* Blum, R. & Bresnahan, C. (2015) Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible, 3rd Edition, John Wiley.

* Nemeth, E. et al. (2010) Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall.

* Robbins, A. & Beebe, N. (2005) Classic Shell Scripting, O'Reilly Media.

* Shotts, W. (2012) The Linux Command Line: A Complete Introduction, No Starch Press.

* Soyinka, W. (2016) Linux Administration: A Beginner's Guide, 7th Edition, McGraw-Hill.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBusiness & Applied Computing
ModeratorDuncan Thomson
External ExaminerR Khusainov
Accreditation DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment Category 1: An online class test (40%).
Assessment Category 2: A laboratory book (40%) and laboratory demonstration (20%).
Students must achieve a minimum 40% aggregated mark and a minimum of 30% in each assessment category.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck mark  401

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Laboratory/ Clinical/ Field notebookcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark4024
Demonstrations/ Poster presentations/ Exhibitionscheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark200.15
Combined Total For All Components100% 25.15 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The University policies on equality and diversity will apply to this module. In order for the student to complete this module the student will be required to take part in laboratory exercises, including a laboratory-based assessment. Students with substantial physical impairments should be assessed and counselled prior to selecting courses requiring this module. When a student discloses a disability a special needs advisor will agree the appropriate adjustments to be made, consulting with the module coordinator if necessary.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.