Course Title: Software Systems Engineering 3

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Software Systems Engineering 3

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Pj Radcliffe

Course Coordinator Phone: please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 87.2.10

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students are expected to have a pass in the second year Software Systems Engineering subject and should have knowledge of communication and network engineering principles, mathematics fundamentals, engineering programming concepts. Knowledge of the languages Java or C++ or C# is required to complete project work.

Course Description

The course provides students with an introduction to systems engineering particularly with reference to network systems. The course examines how to extract requirements for engineering systems from users, how to model those systems and how to implement and test those systems.

Key topics in the subject will include-
• Engineering lifecycles (including management issues) and how they aid a project.
• Extracting specifications from clients including scenario and use-case analysis, interaction diagrams, decision tables, prototyping, and specification.
• Design issues and approaches including block diagrams,  state oriented methods, SDL, Petri nets, ASN1 and other methods.
• Testing methods, conformance testing, testing issues and psychology.
• Maintenance issues and solutions.

The subject is built on a single project where students must write a Requirements Analysis, Design Proposal, implement the system, and run in through a conformance test.  This project will normally have a networking and communications bias.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Dimensions of Capability - Skills/Knowledge Capabilities
  Technical competence : Ability to apply knowledge of technical issues taught in this course.

  Problem solving and decision-making  : Ability to formulate and solve problems creatively, especially in the design and implementation of software for network services. 

  Systematic design approach : Ability to formulate and implement software solutions using industry design techniques.

 Communication : Ability to communicate effectively in writing (both verbally and graphically).  
 The ability to present your solution to an audience ina  formal presentation.

 Lifelong learning : Ability to undertake self-directed study.

After having taken this course a student should feel competent to-

  • Interview and communicate with clients in order to extract requirements and keep them "in the loop" as a project proceeds.
  • Use formal and heuristic techniques to defined a problem and refine it in consultation with the clients.
  • Be able to design a system using your preferred technology.
  • Be able to manage a project with respect to the full lifecycle.
  • Be able to define and apply tests to ensure a product conforms to an agreed standard.

Overview of Learning Activities

There are two main sources of learning : the interactive lectures and the major project.

Interactive lectures discuss and explain important software systems theory and practice. They also enable us to talk about the major project, its problems, and how to solve them.

The major project first requires analysis of “what” the problem is that must be solved and specifying the properties of the solution. This culminates in a Requirements Analysis (RA) report. Next a Design Proposal (DP) report defines “how” the problem will be solved. Next the project is implemented, and finally marked as a presentation.

Tutorials will help students gain skills in key techniques needed for the major project deliveries

The final exam ensures students really do know the key techniques used in the major project and other key issues presented in the lectures. The exam is “doing” exam not “memory” exam.

Overview of Learning Resources

Extensive subject notes, tutorial, and lab guide is available as one book from the book shop.
Please see the course directory on the ECE S: drive from Copy all files and read the content ASAP.
Please try to get these resources before the first lecture.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks consist of:
• Assignments: 50% of the total mark of the course.
• Examination: 50% of the total mark of the course.
The major project forms the basis of the exam and students are encouraged to understand the project work in depth.