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CSC3412 System and Security Administration

Semester 1, 2020 Online
Short Description: System & Security Administra'n
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 029999 - Information Technology not els
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Leigh Brookshaw

Other requisites

Recommended pre-requisite: CSC2408 and CSC2404
Students who have enrolled in or completed CSC8512 Advanced System Administration cannot enrol in this course.
Some experience with a Unix Operating System


System and security administration is management and configuration of one or more computers with multiple operating systems, multiple hardware architectures, multiple software suites, together with the shared resources necessary, such as wired and wireless networks, to make them work effectively and securely. System administration requires an understanding of how computer systems work, an attention to detail, problem solving, people skills, security and planning. Computers which function as servers may run Unix-like systems, although others run proprietary software such as Novell, IBM or Microsoft.


This course introduces students to the administration of computer systems and computer networks. Coverage includes system administration tools, security techniques, system initialisation, resource management, backups, performance measurement, and network and security administration. Further topics include documentation policy development and disaster recovery. Practical work requires use of Unix- like operating systems on dedicated Intel-architecture PCs or equivalent hardware and software negotiated with the lecturer prior to commencement of the semester.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an intermediate level of understanding of general principles of computer system administration (Assignment 1, Exam);
  2. apply security techniques to enhance computer system security and communication (Assignment 1, Exam);
  3. select, install, and configure applications on an Open Source operating system (Assignment 1 and 2, Exam);
  4. manage and implement a system for backup and recovery (Assignment 2, Exam);
  5. maintain routing tables and firewalls (Assignment 2, Exam);
  6. demonstrate an appreciation for the intrusion detection systems and techniques (Assignment 2, Exam).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction 10.00
2. Linux basics 10.00
3. System Programming 5.00
4. Encryption, Authentication Techniques 10.00
5. File system, Partitioning 10.00
6. Security, monitoring, audit 10.00
7. Resource management 5.00
8. Network services, DNS, DHCP, HTTP, SSH, SAMBA 15.00
9. Data and network security 15.00
10. Ethical systems administration 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Nemeth,E., Snyder, G., Hein, T., Whaley, B, Mackin, D 2018, Unix and Linux System Administration Handbook, 5th edn, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 978-0-13-427755-4.
ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated).
Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop.
This course requires access to the GNU/Linux Operating System to run the course software. Debian GNU/Linux can be installed from the Department of Mathematics and Computing's GNU/Linux DVD. The DVD is available from the USQ Bookshop.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 160.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 60 12 25 Mar 2020 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 12 29 Apr 2020 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 60 12 27 May 2020
Online Exam 100 64 End S1 (see note 3)

  1. This will be an open examination. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    In an Open Examination, candidates may have access to any material during the examination except the following: electronic communication devices, bulky materials, devices requiring mains power and material likely to disturb other students.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2020 are: The details regarding deferred/supplementary examinations will be communicated at a later date

    Requirements after S1 2020:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

Other requirements

  1. Computer requirements: Students must have exclusive and fully privileged access to an Intel x 86 architecture PC with at least 500MB free disk space and an unused disk partition.

  2. To complete the examination satisfactorily, students must obtain at least half of the marks available for the examination.

Date printed 19 June 2020