Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

This is an archived syllabus from 2017-2018

COMP28411 Computer Networks syllabus 2017-2018

COMP28411 materials

COMP28411 Computer Networks

Level 2
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 101

Course leader: Andy Carpenter

Additional staff: view all staff


  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP18112
  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP15111

Additional requirements

  • Students who are not from the School of Computer Science must have permission from both Computer Science and their home School to enrol.


    To enrol students are required to have taken COMP18112 plus one of COMP15111 or MATH10111

Assessment methods

  • 70% Written exam
  • 30% Practical skills assessment
Sem 1 Lecture 1.1 Mon 09:00 - 10:00 -
Sem 1 A Lecture 1.1 Tue 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 B Lab LF31 Thu 09:00 - 11:00 G
Sem 1 B Lab LF31 Fri 11:00 - 13:00 F
Sem 1 B Workshop G23 Mon 13:00 - 14:00 J
Sem 1 B Workshop G23 Tue 15:00 - 16:00 K
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Mobile Computing and Networks


In today's connected world, phones, PDAs, computers, .. all share information. In reality, it's the applications running on these devices, e.g. picture messaging and e-Commerce, that share the information. This course unit examines the principles involved in making this sharing possible, efficient and secure. In particular, it looks at how networking can mask many of the imperfections of interconnection technologies from applications; allow applications to share communication mediums; and potentially give Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees to applications. At the end of the unit you'll appreciate how different applications can place different demands on the interconnection infrastructure and conversely how technology can limit the types of application that can be run.


This course unit aims to build on the ideas gained in the first year course unit Fundamentals of Distributed Systems. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the techniques that networking protocols use to achieve error detection and recovery, multiplexing and security protection. To also seeks to show students how the limitations of communication media can limit what applications can achieve. Equipment with the skills needed to go out and setup networks in small and medium sized organisations.



network elements, network structures, protocols, service models, encapsulation, sharing, performance measures


networking elements of an application (multiple protocols, clients, servers, meaning of data, data encoding), styles of protocols, relationship of control and data, distributing information, caching


attacks, authentication, confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation, encryption/decryption, keys, key distribution, digital certificates, implementing secure systems (IPSEC, TLS), firewalls

Multimedia networks

IP multimedia, VoIP, streaming and buffering, jitter, multimedia error recovery, RTP, content distribution networks, peer-to-peer, bit torrent, multimedia QoS

Inter-process communication

service models, reliability (acknowledgements, retransmission, variable timeouts), flow control, congestion control, RPC, discovery (port mappers)

Host-to-host communication

forwarding, mapping to physical networks (address, fragmentation), address managment (sub-netting, cidr)

Node-to-node communication

error detection (parity, crc), framing, bit encoding, wireless transmissions


relationship mobile phones and data communications

Teaching methods


17 in total, 3 per fortnight

Examples classes

5 in total, 1 per fortnight (Moodle-based)


10 hours in total, 5 2-hour sessions

Feedback methods

Coursework is submitted on-line with numeric and written feedback provided for each individual element of this

Study hours

  • Assessment written exam (2 hours)
  • Lectures (18 hours)
  • Practical classes & workshops (15 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A3Understand how a collection of communication protocols co-operate and communicate to achieve the overall communication function.
  • Examination
A3Understand the characteristics and applications of various networking technologies.
  • Examination
A3Have a working knowledge of at least one protocol at each of the main levels of the OSI seven layer reference model.
  • Examination
B1Carry out network designs using appropriate hardware and software components to provide specified services for a given site.
  • Examination
B1 D6Be able to calculate message delays and throughput for a given application.
  • Examination
C5 C6 D4 D5Be able to specify the implementation of a simple protocol.
  • Lab assessment
A3Understand packet forwarding and the role of routing protocols.
  • Examination
A3Understand error detection and recovery mechanisms.
  • Examination
A3Understand how features such as flow control and quality of service are achieved.
  • Examination
B1 C5 C6 D4 D5For given scenarios, demonstrate an understanding of 6, 7 and 8.
  • Examination
A3Appreciate how internetworking demands changes in the operation of basic techniques.
  • Examination
C5 C6 D4 D5Be able to design and implement a program that allows client-server file transfer.
  • Lab assessment

Reading list

Computer networking: a top-down approach (7th edition)Kurose, James and Keith Ross9781292153599Pearson2016
Computer networks: a systems approach (5th edition)Peterson, Larry L. and Bruce S. Davie9780123850591Morgan Kaufmann2011
Software quality assuranceLaporte, Claude Y. and Alain April9781118501825Wiley2018

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.