Fundamentals of Computers Code:  22.629    :  6
View general information   Description   The subject within the syllabus as a whole   Prior knowledge   Learning objectives and results   Content   View the UOC learning resources used in the subject   Additional information on support tools and learning resources   Guidelines on assessment at the UOC   View the assessment model  
This is the course plan for the second semester of the academic year 2023/2024. To check whether the course is being run this semester, go to the Virtual Campus section More UOC / The University / Programmes of study section on Campus. Once teaching starts, you'll be able to find it in the classroom. The course plan may be subject to change.

Computer Fundamentals is an optional third-year course. This course aims to be the entry point to the knowledge of computer architecture. Hence, prior knowledge of this discipline is not needed, but it is convenient to have a basic understanding of arithmetic. In all probability, any professional practice related to these studies will require hardware knowledge. The objective of this course is to acquire the necessary concepts to understand what is a computer and be able to develop any professional activity in its environment. Specifically, in Computer Fundamentals, we will introduce and consolidate the principles of operation of a computer. Thus, the objectives of this subject are: i) To know how to represent information in different systems (binary, hexadecimal, decimal) and do arithmetic operations; ii) to know how to analyze and synthesize combinational and sequential digital circuits used to built a computer


Computer Fundamentals (CF) has a strong relationship with the Structure of Computers course, since it deals with the basic principles of operation and design of computers. In CF, it is studied the principles to design a digital system as a computer. In summary, it is an optional course that has a strong link with the rest of the subjects of the degree. Students will be able to acquire knowledge and practical skills to understand the design of computers, and understanding the principle designs that affect their performance.


There are no defined prerequisites. The contents of the subject can be assimilated without additional material. In any case, it is convenient to have basic notions of arithmetic.


This subject aims to introduce and consolidate the operating principles of digital circuitry as the basis of digital electronics used in digital systems in general and in digital computers in particular. The objectives of this course are to know how to analyze and synthesize combinational and sequential digital circuits, know how to design digital systems.

The competencies that will be developed in the learning of this subject are listed below.

  • Ability to analyze a problem with the appropriate level of abstraction and apply the skills and knowledge acquired to solve it.
  • Ability to identify the elements of a computer and its operating principles.
  • Ability to analyze the architecture and organization of digital systems and applications on the network.
  • Teamwork.


This course is divided into five different modules:

Module 1: Computer Basics
   1. Introduction. Brief historical perspective
   2. Computers and their use
   3. Hierarchical structure of a computer
   4. Encoding information using binary signals

Module 2: Representation of numerical information
   1. Numbers and representation systems
   2. Representation of numbers on a computer
   3. Other types of representations

Module 3: Combinational logic circuits
   1. Fundamentals of Digital Electronics
   2. Implementation of combinational logic circuits
   3. Combinational blocks

Module 4: Sequential Logic Circuits
   1. Characterization of sequential logic circuits
   2. The Flip-flop D
   3. Sequential blocks
   4. Moore's model


Information representation Audiovisual
Combinational circuits (Karnaugh method) Audiovisual
Sequential circuits (Circuit analysis) Audiovisual
VerilUOC: basics and instalation Audiovisual
VerilCirc: presentation Audiovisual
Introduction to extended state machines Audiovisual
Moore's Model Audiovisual


Students will have access to different book where the contents of the course are explained and study guides to find easily the contents to acquire.

Additionally, the students will have access to VerilUOC, a tool to practice the design of digital circuits, and practice exercises related to optimization using Karnaugh maps and analysis of chronograms


Assessment at the UOC is, in general, online, structured around the continuous assessment activities, the final assessment tests and exams, and the programme's final project.

Assessment activities and tests can be written texts and/or video recordings, use random questions, and synchronous or asynchronous oral tests, etc., as decided by each teaching team. The final project marks the end of the learning process and consists of an original and tutored piece of work to demonstrate that students have acquired the competencies worked on during the programme.

To verify students' identity and authorship in the assessment tests, the UOC reserves the right to use identity recognition and plagiarism detection systems. For these purposes, the UOC may make video recordings or use supervision methods or techniques while students carry out any of their academic activities.

The UOC may also require students to use electronic devices (microphones, webcams or other tools) or specific software during assessments. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that these devices work properly.

The assessment process is based on students' individual efforts, and the assumption that the student is the author of the work submitted for academic activities and that this work is original. The UOC's website on academic integrity and plagiarism has more information on this.

Submitting work that is not one's own or not original for assessment tests; copying or plagiarism; impersonation; accepting or obtaining any assignments, whether for compensation or otherwise; collaboration, cover-up or encouragement to copy; and using materials, software or devices not authorized in the course plan or instructions for the activity, including artificial intelligence and machine translation, among others, are examples of misconduct in assessments that may have serious academic and disciplinary consequences.

If students are found to be engaging in any such misconduct, they may receive a Fail (D/0) for the graded activities in the course plan (including final tests) or for the final grade for the course. This could be because they have used unauthorized materials, software or devices (such as artificial intelligence when it is not permitted, social media or internet search engines) during the tests; copied fragments of text from an external source (the internet, notes, books, articles, other students' work or tests, etc.) without the corresponding citation; purchased or sold assignments, or undertaken any other form of misconduct.

Likewise and in accordance with the UOC's academic regulations, misconduct during assessment may also be grounds for disciplinary proceedings and, where appropriate, the corresponding disciplinary measures, as established in the regulations governing the UOC community (Normativa de convivència).

In its assessment process, the UOC reserves the right to:

  • Ask students to provide proof of their identity as established in the UOC's academic regulations.
  • Ask students to prove the authorship of their work throughout the assessment process, in both continuous and final assessments, through a synchronous oral interview, of which a video recording or any other type of recording established by the UOC may be made. These methods seek to ensure verification of the student's identity, and their knowledge and competencies. If it is not possible to ensure the student's authorship, they may receive a D grade in the case of continuous assessment or a Fail grade in the case of the final assessment.

Artificial intelligence in assessments

The UOC understands the value and potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in education, but it also understands the risks involved if it is not used ethically, critically and responsibly. So, in each assessment activity, students will be told which AI tools and resources can be used and under what conditions. In turn, students must agree to follow the guidelines set by the UOC when it comes to completing the assessment activities and citing the tools used. Specifically, they must identify any texts or images generated by AI systems and they must not present them as their own work.

In terms of using AI, or not, to complete an activity, the instructions for assessment activities indicate the restrictions on the use of these tools. Bear in mind that using them inappropriately, such as using them in activities where they are not allowed or not citing them in activities where they are, may be considered misconduct. If in doubt, we recommend getting in touch with the course instructor and asking them before you submit your work.


In order to pass the course, you must pass the continuous assessment and take an exam.

Your final mark for the course will be calculated as follows:

  • If you pass the continuous assessment and get the required minimum mark in the exam, your final mark will be based on the weightings specified in the course plan.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment but don't get the required minimum mark in the exam, your final mark will be your numerical mark from the exam.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment and don't sit the exam, you'll get a final mark of Fail (3).
  • If you don't pass the continuous assessment, your final mark will be the mark you received in the continuous assessment.
  • If you don't take part in the continuous assessment, you'll receive a final mark of Absent.