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Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16

Course Overview

This course explores the techniques for packet data communication using Internet technologies.  It starts by understanding Ethernet local network standards and how this developed from a cable bus to a switched high-speed network.  It then proceeds to describe the operation of the network and transport layers, using examples from Internet Engineering to explain how a packet switched network can provide services that can be used by applications.  The course is accessible to students of computer science and electronic engineering.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Godred Fairhurst

Qualification Prerequisites

  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of EE3576 Communications Engineering 1 (Passed) or EG3567 Communications Engineering 1a (Passed) or EG3576 Communications Engineering 1 (Passed)
  • One of Computing Science (CS) (Studied) or Bachelor of Engineering in Eng (Electrical and Electronic) (Studied) or Bachelor of Engineering in Eng (Electr and Electro) Edin Col (Studied) or Master of Engineering in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • EG4546 Communications Engineering 2 (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The practical working of a communications network is studied together with the fundamental features required to provide a communications service. The basic concepts and terminology used in data communications are explained with reference to the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model. For the Physical Layer the use of synchronous digital transmission is described. For the Link Layer, the evolution and operation of the Ethernet Local Area Network is studied, including a practical exercise to design a network. For the Network Layer, the Internet is used as an example of a wide area network. At the Transport Layer, the UDP protocol is presented and the role of the transport service is discussed. By the end of the course students should have knowledge and understanding of data transmission over digital communications networks and the technology used to construct Local and Wide Area Networks.

Further Information & Notes

This is also intended to serve as course available for computer scientists in which case equivalent pre-requisites may be available for this course at either level 3 or level 4 in computer science..

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 three hour written examination (90%) + 10% continuous assessment Resit: 1 three hour written examination (90%) + 10% continuous assessment (from 1st attempt)* * Laboratory assessment will not be repeated for resit examinations.

Formative Assessment

Students must provide written notes for their laboratory assessment. The requirements and date for submission of the written material will be provided to students as a part of the laboratory notes.


 a)Students can receive feedback on their progress with the Course on request at the tutorial/feedback sessions and at the design lab sessions

b)Students requesting individual feedback on their exam performance should make an appointment within 3 weeks of the publication of the exam results.

Course Learning Outcomes


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