SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH623671
Module Leader Alan Nesbitt
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Electronic Engineering
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the theory and practice of designing programs that run on Real-Time Operating Systems. This module examines the main characteristics of Real-Time environments, programming techniques and appropriate supporting toolsets.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas. Characteristics of Real-Time systems and the software that runs within such systems. Hardware considerations. Scheduling methods: pseudokernels, state-drive and interrupt driven systems, pre-emptive priority-based systems. Concurrency and responsiveness, process and thread programming, synchronisation, communication, memory management, resource-sharing, memory management, POSIX. Languages for real-time systems. Software tools: code-coverage, performance evaluation, code tracing in multithreaded systems.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:Identify the characteristic features of Real-Time operating systems (RTOS) Understand and practice fundamental RTOS concepts: multitasking, synchronization and communication.Understand and utilise the key features provided by a representative POSIX operating systemAssess application-timing requirements and propose implementations to meet these requirements.Utilise appropriate toolsets to implement, debug and characterize performance of applications on a suitable RTOS platform.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will use the following approaches: Lectures - information presentations will be used to introduce theoretical concepts and topics. Students will be provided with information and references to be used for reflective learning. Self-assessment questions will be provided and formative feedback provided in tutorials Laboratory sessions will be self-paced, practical implementations of the exemplars, requiring integration of the theoretical knowledge gained with particular learned tool skills. In terms of Outcomes, this module provides significant technical deepening of the concepts of embedded operating systems and the design & implementation of applications.

Indicative Reading

Relevant topics from the following books: Principal text: Real-Time Systems Design and Analysis, 3rd Edition, Phillip A. Laplante ISBN: 978-0-471-64828 480 pages April 2004, Wiley-IEEE Press Software Engineering for Real-Time Systems, Cooling, Addison Wesley (2004 ) 0-201-59620-2

Transferrable Skills

Development of higher level cognitive skills including analysing and synthesising skills - through provided material and directed learning and through case studies. Development of higher level communicative skills - through tutorial and lab work. Development of generic and specific embedded-systems and RT design skills - through practical lab work.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 10.00
Practicals (PT) 15.00
Practicals (FT) 15.00
Tutorials (PT) 10.00
Independent Learning (FT) 85.00
Seminars (PT) 10.00
Lectures (PT) 15.00
Assessment (FT) 15.00
Lectures (FT) 15.00
Assessment (PT) 15.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Independent Learning (PT) 85.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Unseen written exam
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Design and Implementation excercise