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Module ICE-2801:
System Admin & Mainte

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mr Andy Harbach

Overall aims and purpose

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the concepts and principles for System Administration. Students will develop skills to identify and analyze user needs and take them into account in the selection, creation, evaluation and administration of computer-based systems, and support professional practice within system administration. To provide practical experience of Linux server administration.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Understand the concepts and theories for system administration and the professional roles and responsibilities of different users / administrators.
  • Understanding the need for, adding, removing, and managing user accounts.
  • A practical use of Linux shell commands for system administration.
  • Server administration including general management, network configuration, firewalls, database servers, file shares, web servers, DNS, and system monitoring.
  • Backing up and restoring data.
  • Practical understanding of process lists and resources. Understanding resources (filesystem, CPU). Monitoring users on server. Knowing when a system requires maintenance.
  • Maintenance contracts. Deployment. Ethics. Understanding risks of performing an action. Automating routine tasks. Applying service packs and patches. System logs.
  • Introduction to data protection and information security relating to system administration.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.

Learning outcomes

  1. Configure, manage, and maintain a multi-user *nix-like system and environment.

  2. Employ foundational skills to efficiently utilise a *nix-style OS, including scripting for automation.

  3. Understand the roles and responsibilities and the main processes of system administration.

  4. Understand clients and their respective servers, and support usage of them.

  5. Understand the importance of good security, and data protection, apply this to a systems administration role.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
CLASS TEST Class test 3 15
COURSEWORK Installation and configuration of software 1 10
CLASS TEST Class test 2 15
COURSEWORK Installation and configuration of software 2 10
CLASS TEST Class test 1 15
COURSEWORK Shell scripting assignment 15
COURSEWORK Case Study 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Interactive sessions covering practical use of Linux and revision.

Private study

Completing lab work, revising material in preparation for the class tests. Completing assignments. Reading around the subject area.


Formal lectures covering theory.


Practical sessions using Linux. Includes three class tests and assignments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge of information security issues
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Deploy tools effectively
  • Deploy systems to meet business goals
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain information systems
  • Specify, deploy, verify and maintain computer-based systems


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Courses including this module