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Unit 002/025 – Computer Systems – Level 3 – 10 Credits [M/601/7261]

Aim and purpose

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the components of computer systems and develop the skills needed to recommend appropriate systems for business purposes and set up and maintain computer systems.

Unit introduction

At some stage most IT professionals will have to set up and customise a computer system or systems. To do so effectively they will need to understand the components that make up computer systems. The operating system interacts with the hardware and software components in order to make a functioning machine.

In this unit learners will consider a range of hardware and come to understand the technical specifications of components. There are a number of different operating systems, despite the dominance of the Microsoft operating system, and learners will explore at least one other. In terms of software, the operating system itself often provides utility programmes that assist the user in managing the machine. Other third party software utility programmes such as virus checkers are also used extensively. This unit considers both types of utility software.

IT professionals will often be asked to recommend systems for varied user needs. There are many different manufacturers of computer systems and each manufacturer produces a wide range of models with different specifications. Deciding which particular model is appropriate for a given situation depends on a
variety of factors. These factors are explored in this unit so that learners can make informed choices when recommending computer systems.

IT professionals also need to develop the skills required to install and configure computer systems. A large part of this unit will involve practical work in installing hardware components and software, configuring systems to meet specific requirements and testing to ensure a fully functioning system is produced.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this unit a learner should:

  1. Understand the components of computer systems
  2. Be able to recommend computer systems for a business purpose
  3. Be able to set up and maintain computer systems.

Essential resources

Learners will need access to practical resources and suitable technology, they can also use simulators or multimedia tools to gain experience before handling ‘live resources’. Learners will require access to computer equipment to enable them to gain a practical awareness and enable them to apply their knowledge and understanding in a practical situation.

Recommended Resources


Anderson H and Yull S – BTEC Nationals IT Practitioners: Core Units for Computing and IT (Newnes, 2002) ISBN-10 0750656840, ISBN-13 978-0750656849
Fulton J – Complete Idiot’s Guide to Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 4th Edition (Alpha, 1999) ISBN-10 0789722062, ISBN-13 978-0789722065
Knott G and Waites N – BTEC Nationals for IT Practitioners (Brancepeth Computer Publications, 2002) ISBN-10 0953884821, ISBN-13 978-0953884827
White R and Downs T – How Computers Work, 9th Edition (Que, 2007) ISBN-10 0789736136, ISBN-13 978-0789736130


Computer Weekly
Which? Computer




This unit links to the following related units:

  • Unit

Links to the following Level 3 Nationals in IT Courses

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