Communications Engineering (Internet)

General Course Information

The lectures cover many aspects of data communications. An emphasis will be placed on the practical aspects of packet data communications and will cover the interconnection of computers using a Local Area Network and the Internet. The course will consider the operation of the protocols and the performance of particular configurations. A full syllabus is provided online.

The course will consist of:

Students should read the information on these pages on the web, since the information provided will be an examinable part of the syllabus. Most of this material will be presented in the form of lectures, but students are expected to spend time in private study, attending tutorials, attempting tutorial "exam" questions, and in using the additional material made available via these web pages.

The syllabus contains links to pages on a range of subjects which will also be covered by the lectures. Copies of some of the overhead transparencies which will be used in the lectures also available on-line in PostScript format. These will be available in the documents area.

* N.B. The syllabus for this course has changed significantly over the past few years, before attempting exam questions., please do check the course still covers the topic. These questions are provided on a best effort service - some of the solutions do contain small mistakes which are not corrected in these electronics copies.

The material in the lectures will be supported by tutorials. There will be tutorial problems sheets. In addition, some on-line information with questions and answers are provided on the following world-wide-web pages.

The course also includes an optional set of short practical exercises. To use the practical exercises you will require the use of a computer connected to the Internet - such as a networked PC, or more preferably access to a departmental or computer centre UNIX workstation. The practical exercises will use the campus network to demonstrate some of the concepts introduced in the lecture course. Students should arrange their own computer account (if they have not already done so) and allocate a total of about 1 hour to conduct the practical exercises.

There is a list of books which includes the course book and other recommended books. Students are actively encouraged to buy the recommended course book, and to find one or more other books which are suited to their learning patterns. The list contains a variety of different types of book for different types of people.

Students should note that the information provided here on the web is a


part of the course. As a part of the 4 hours allocated each week to private study for the course, each student is expected to have read the information which is provided and to have conducted the exercises described on the pages which follow. These on-line pages form an examinable part of the course.

Laboratory Design Exercise (before 2015)

Previous versions of the course included a lab exercise consists with a 3 week design activity. This is no longer included in the level 4 course.

The lab starts with a briefing and guidance. students should use the remainder of the time to complete the exercise task (with the support of lab demonstrators who will provide advise and assistance with the design 3:00-5:00pm).

Students will be assigend to one of the three sessions by the Engineering General Office.


The course will be examined by one written paper of 3 hours (90%) and continuous assessment (10%). The paper will include questions covering the topics presented in the syllabus. The students are expected to learn through attendance at lectures, participation in tutorials, and through reading material on the web pages and found in recommended text books.

since 2015, the continuous assessment will be based on an exercise to decode Ethernet frames.

To return to the main course information click HERE

Gorry Fairhurst - Date: 01/20/2015