Computer Science (COMP) 601

Survey of Computing and Information Systems (Revision 4)

COMP 601

Delivery Mode: Grouped Study Online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: IS Foundation - Required

Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program or equivalent status. If you are not currently a graduate student in SCIS, then please contact the SCIS Graduate Student Office for further information.

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

Instructor: Richard Huntrods

**Note:  This is a graduate level course and students need to apply and be approved to one of the graduate programs or as a non-program School of Computing and Information Systems graduate student in order to take this course.  Minimum admission requirements must be met.  Undergraduate students who do not meet admission requirements will not normally be permitted to take this course.


Please Note: No course extension is available for COMP 601.

COMP 601 is a first course in information systems for graduate students in the Master of Science (Information Systems) program at Athabasca University. It provides an overview of topics relevant to graduate students, including research, presentation of academic material, ethics, project management, and learning objects as well as a background in information systems and related topics required by courses in the graduate program.


  • Unit 0: Orientation
  • Unit 1: Introduction – Exploring Digital Resources
  • Unit 2: Internet-searching Techniques, Tools, and Resources
  • Unit 3: Information Source Assessment Techniques, Tools, and Resources
  • Unit 4: Managing and Presenting Research
  • Unit 5: Modelling, Simulation, and Optimization Techniques, Tools, and Resources
  • Unit 6: Probability, Descriptive Statistics, and Other Mathematical Techniques, Tools, and Resources
  • Unit 7: Research Ethics
  • Unit 8: Computing Hardware
  • Unit 9: Data Management
  • Unit 10: Software 1 – Operating Systems
  • Unit 11: Software 2 – Applications
  • Unit 12: Summing Up

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to

  • explore the Athabasca University library, ACM, and IEEE catalogues to source information needed for other graduate courses and graduate research.
  • assess information sources for probable reliability, timeliness, and other key factors; support assessments with sound analytical discussion.
  • select and use appropriate electronic communications systems for discussion, reflection, and collaborative work.
  • present information in a variety of forms, including summaries, full technical reports, and multimedia presentations.
  • write academic essays following standard academic essay design criteria, including an abstract, references, and attribution of the work of others used in creating the essay.
  • discuss current topics in information and computer technology based on personal research and the research of colleagues.
  • articulate design decisions and create a personal notebook describing learning experiences, which forms a portfolio of competence.


In order to receive credit for COMP 601, 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 Take-home Examination. Your cumulative course grade will be based on the following assessment.

Assessment Weight
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 (Project) 30%
Assignment 4 10%
Collaboration 10%
Take-home Test 30%

Course Materials

All learning materials for COMP 601 are delivered through Athabasca University’s learning management system, Moodle, and on the Landing, AU’s social learning space. Online course materials include study guide, discussion forums, learning objects, and assignments.
Assignments will be submitted online.

Special Course Features

COMP 601 is offered completely online and can be completed at the student’s workplace or home. It is a required course for all students in the MSc IS program.

Special Note

Students registered in this course will NOT be allowed to take an extension due to the nature of the course activities.

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, June 18, 2013