COIT13229 - Applied Distributed Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit you will learn basic principles of distributed systems including architectural design, inter-process communication, remote invocation, web services, coordination and concurrency, and how to use these principles in the development of distributed applications. You will learn about distributed file systems, naming, and data-related aspects of distributed transactions, and data replication. You will be exposed to the significant distributed system characteristics of scalability, heterogeneity, security and failure handling. You will explore the areas of mobile and ubiquitous computing and the social impact arising from the ubiquity of distributed systems.You will practice the theory through laboratory activities developing of secure, reliable, distributed computing applications that can perform concurrent operations across multiple computers in the Internet.


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 3 - 2021

Term 1 - 2022 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 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 33.33% 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: Self Evaluation
Assignment return and feedback.
Unit Coordinator should ensure correct and detailed feedback is provided by the cohort of markers along with the timely return of the assignments within the allocated timelines.
Action Taken
This was implemented with positive feedback from the student evaluation on timely feedback and return policy.
Source: Discipline Leader Review
Unit content needs an update to improve currency and development of practical skills.
Review and go through a substantial update to the unit content to include emergent technologies and develop skills with the use of industry-relevant software tools as applicable in the field of distributed systems. Include materials to improve the development of practical skills in the currently taught theoretical aspects.
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 to using approaches such as remote objects, and client-server solutions
  2. Design and develop secure distributed applications using approaches such as webservices, and peer-to-peer solutions
  3. Discuss the use of algorithms and other mechanisms for executing coordinated concurrent processes in distributed systems
  4. Discuss the technology needs and social impact arising from ubiquitous distributed systems
  5. 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 7. The SFIA code is included:

  • Software Design (SWDN)
  • Systems integration and build (SINT)
  • Programming/Software Development (PROG),
  • Database Design (DBDS)
  • Testing (TEST)
  • Release and Deployment (RELM)
  • Application Support (ASUP)

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
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
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
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
1 - Practical Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment
3 - Written Assessment