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CM50121: Safety critical systems

[Page last updated: 27 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Computer Science
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 25%)
  • Examination (EX 75%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: This unit shares lectures and tutorials with CM30072.
To give an appreciation of the current state of safe systems development. To develop an understanding of risk in systems. To give a foundation in hazard analysis models and techniques. To show how safety principles may be built into all stages of the software development process.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this unit a student will be able to:
* understand the concepts of safety, risk and the role of human factors in the design and operation of safety critical systems;
* understand the nature and role of the safety lifecycle in developing safety related systems;
* choose and apply appropriate hazard identification and analysis techniques for a variety of safety related problems;
* critically evaluate and reason effectively about hazardous situations in safety critical systems.

Understanding of safety issues in software and systems development (T, A); critical analysis of safety critical situations in software and systems development (T, F, A); choosing appropriate analysis and design techniques for a wide range of safety-critical situations (T, F, A); assessment of risk and associated human factors in a variety of systems (T, A).

The nature of risk: computers and risk; how accidents happen; human error. System safety: historical approaches to system safety; basic concepts and terminology. Managing the development of safety-critical systems. Modelling human error and the accident process. Hazard analysis: basic principles; models and techniques. Safety principles in the software lifecycle: hazard analysis as part of requirements analysis; designing for safety; designing the human-machine interface; verification of safety in computer systems.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CM50121 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science

CM50121 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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