Computer Science (COMP) 501

Systems Development with Emerging Technology (Revision 4)

COMP 501 Course website

Revision 4 is closed for registrations, replaced by current version

Delivery Mode: Grouped Study Online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: IS Foundation

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

Instructor: Richard Huntrods


COMP 501 provides an industrial-strength coverage of Java programming, including the important core packages; however, one cannot cover all aspects of Java in a single course in any depth. Those areas that are not covered in great depth compose core elements of other courses. For instance, the material for programming in a server environment (networking, distributed systems, enterprise beans, servlets, JSP) is limited. However, these areas will be covered in courses covering e-commerce, website technology, and distributed systems.

COMP 501 is recommended for all students wishing to enroll in graduate courses that require Java programming or an understanding of Java programming, and who do not have Java programming experience.

After completing COMP 501, you will be expected to program well and independently in Java, and be able to pick up new packages and classes as required. Other courses in the MScIS curriculum are dependent upon these skills. Students may come into COMP 501 at different levels of object-oriented programming expertise, but all are expected to leave as competent Java programmers.

Course Objectives

  • Provide the background for and practical applications of Java programming, skills which will be required by courses in the graduate program.
  • Review the basics of Java as an OOP language.
  • Explore the features of Java programming, such as GUI programming, component programming (beans), networking and distributed programming, and multimedia (Java 3D and Java Media Framework).
  • Explore several areas of emerging Java technology through a review of the learning materials, as well as a significant self-directed study project in one of the following areas: Java Beans, Java 3D, Java Media Framework, Design Patterns, and XML.

Learning Outcomes

After completing COMP 501, students will be able to

  • program well and independently in Java;
  • pick up new packages and classes as required;
  • continue with graduate studies courses that require Java programming as a competent Java programmer.


  • Unit 0: Preparation
  • Unit 1: Object-Oriented Programming Fundamentals
  • Unit 2: First Program and Program Control
  • Unit 3: Object Orientation and Re-usability
  • Unit 4: Exceptions, Collections, and I/O
  • Unit 5: Type Information and Threads
  • Unit 6: GUI Development
  • Unit 7: Java Beans
  • Unit 8: Java 3D
  • Unit 9: Selected Topic Readings and Programming


In order to receive credit for COMP 501, you must achieve a cumulative course grade of "B-" (70 percent) or better, and must achieve an average grade of at least 60 percent on the assignments and achieve a grade of at least 60 percent on the Final Exam. Your cumulative course grade will be based on the following assessment.

Assessment Weight
TME 1 (Units 1 & 2) 10%
TME 2 (Unit 3) 15%
TME 3 (Units 1 - 9) 20%
Self Assessment Activity 5%
Conference Participation 15%
Final Exam
Total 100%

Course Materials

  • Readings for this course will be taken entirely from Internet websites, including Wikipedia, e-books, Sun Microsystems' Java tutorials, etc.

Other Materials

The remaining learning materials for COMP 501 are distributed in electronic format. At this time, those materials include:

  • The Study Guide for this course.
  • Detailed descriptions of the requirements for the individual tutor-marked exercises.
  • A course evaluation form.

Course Workload

The course schedule for COMP 501 is based on a workload of approximately 20-25 hours per week:
- Readings (7-8 hours/week)
- Synthesis and/or Exercises (7-8 hours/week)
- TMEs (7-8 hours/week)

Special Course Features

Computer Science 501 is offered by computer mediated communications (CMC) mode, and can be completed at the student's workplace or home. It is a recommended course in the MSc IS for students with no background in Java.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 4, July 21, 2011.