COIT13229 - Applied Distributed Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Modern Computer Systems commonly rely on Distributed and cloud computing systems which enable seamless access to networked resources such as processors, data stores, sensor networks, cyber-physical systems, and multimedia services. In this unit, you will gain foundation knowledge and understanding of the system models and enabling technologies, including clustering and virtualization, and cloud computing. You will learn the core concepts of distributed computing such as interprocess communication, concurrency and synchronisation, transactions and concurrency control, and distributed databases and files. This unit also exposes you to distributed system characteristics of scalability, heterogeneity, security, and failure handling. The areas of mobile and ubiquitous computing and the social impact arising from the ubiquity of distributed systems will also be explored. You will learn to develop secure and reliable distributed computing applications and web services that can perform concurrent operations across multiple computers.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Prerequisite: COIT11134 and COIT11237.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical Assessment 30%
2. Practical Assessment 35%
3. Written Assessment 35%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 30.00% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 22.45% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit Coordinator reflection and teaching team feedback
A good proportion of students lacked the required programming skills expected to be achieved from pre-requisite units.
Students should be reminded of the required programming skills and the necessity to revise relevant materials from pre-requisite units, especially if they have a large time gap between completing pre-requisite units and enrolling in this unit.
Action Taken
Students have been reminded of the required programming skills and the necessity to revise relevant materials from pre-requisite units.
Source: Unit Coordinator reflection and teaching team feedback
The technology-related contents of this unit including the textbook are outdated and don't follow the current industry technology trends.
Replace the current textbook and introduce the implementation of theoretical concepts such as "consensus systems", "secure interprocess communications", and "load-balancing" techniques.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback
Some contents are difficult to understand and there aren't enough resources to explain the content.
Revise unit materials and provide more real-life examples to help students understand the applicability of contents in real-life situations.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Develop software applications that can run in parallel and on multiple networked computers using approaches such as multi-threading, and client-server architecture
  2. Design and develop secure distributed applications using approaches such as RESTful webservices
  3. Implement software applications that enable concurrent access to distributed databases
  4. Analyse the use of algorithms and other mechanisms such as replication and load balancing to execute coordinated concurrent processes in distributed systems
  5. Examine the technology needs and social impact arising from ubiquitous distributed systems
  6. Evaluate techniques for creating secure, reliable and efficient distributed systems.

Australian Computer Society (ACS) recognises the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). SFIA is a widely used and consistent definition of ICT skills. SFIA is increasingly being used when developing job descriptions and role profiles. ACS members can use the tool MySFIA to build a skills profile at
This unit contributes to the following workplace skills as defined by SFIA 8. The SFIA code is included:

  • Software Design (SWDN)
  • Systems integration and build (SINT)
  • Programming/Software Development (PROG),
  • Database Design (DBDS)
  • User Experience Evaluation (USEV)
  • Testing (TEST)
  • System Installation and Removal (HSIN)
  • Application Support (ASUP)

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Written Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10