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This is an archived syllabus from 2015-2016

COMP38512 Digital Wireless Communications and Networks syllabus 2015-2016

COMP38512 Digital Wireless Communications and Networks

Level 3
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 16

Course leader: Nick Filer

Additional staff: view all staff


  • Pre-Requisite (Compulsory): COMP28411

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.

Assessment methods

  • 100% Written exam
Sem 2 Lecture 1.5 Tue 14:00 - 15:00 -
Sem 2 Lecture 1.4 Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Themes to which this unit belongs
  • Mobile Computing and Networks


Mobile systems are rapidly becoming ubiquitous in the form of laptops, tablets and smart-phones. These use a mixture of wireless technologies such as 4G (LTE), 3G (UMTS), 2G (GSM), WiFi (IEEE 802.11), Bluetooth, NFC and others to communicate. Future common devices will start to fulfil the Internet of Things (IoT) with massive numbers of static and mobile sensors envisaged all of which will need to upload values as well as receive instructions and updates.

This course aims to raise your awareness of the networking underlying many of these systems and to investigate future trends using a mixture of lectures and directed reading of research papers and on-line tutorials.


The core 2nd year networking course has introduced the background that all computer scientists need. That course is almost entirely about wired networks. This course extends the networking to various types of wireless networks both centrally controlled and distributed. The course covers wireless propagation, various types of wireless data distribution, issues with connectivity, routing and transport. The main goal is for students to build a deeper understanding of how today's wireless networks operate and to be aware of current and possible future developments in this domain.


To develop awareness and experience of:

  • Wireless propagation in theory and practice.
  • To learn about the techniques used to modulate digital data onto radio waves, error detection and prevention.
  • To overview the different types of digital communications in use today.
  • To overview and gain insight of wireless system evolution.
  • To be aware of the latest research being carried out and its relevance to future wireless and network developments.

Teaching methods


Up to 22 lecture and class sessions, 2 per week.

Feedback methods

The course consists of lectures introducing different networking topics accompanied by research papers (mainly surveys) to read and use in problem solving classes. Some sessions are kept for the problem solving classes and for students to talk about what they have learned with feedback both from the lecturer and their peers. In these sessions more diverse ideas and examples can be raised and used as examples for system design and other applications oriented problem solving.

Study hours

  • Lectures (15 hours)
  • Practical classes & workshops (7 hours)

Employability skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Research

Learning outcomes

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A3 A5 B1 B3Have a knowledge and understanding of the architecture and communication protocols for wireless networks used in both fixed and mobile applications.
  • Examination
A3 A5 B1 B3Have an understanding of the latest developments in wireless network protocols and technologies.
  • Examination
A3 A5 B1 B3Be able to aid in the design and implementation of systems using wireless communications technology.
  • Examination

Reading list

Mobile communications (2nd edition)Schiller, Jochen0321123816Pearson Education Limited2003
Digital communications: design for the real worldBateman, Andrew0201343010Pearson Education Limited1999
Introduction to wireless and mobile systems (3rd edition)Agrawal, Dharma Prakesh and Qing-An Zeng9781439062050Cengage Learning2010
Telecommunication networks: protocols, modeling and analysisSchwartz, Mischa020116423XAddison Wesley1987
802.11 wireless networks: the definitive guide (2nd edition)Gast, Matthew S.0596100523O'Reilly2005
Digital communications: fundamentals and applications (2nd edition)Sklar, Bernard0130847887Prentice -Hall2001
Computer networks (5th edition)Tanenbaum, Andrew S. and David Wetherall9780132126953Prentice Hall2010
Introduction to digital communicationsKurzweil, Jack0471157724John Wiley and Sons Ltd2000
Digital communication (3rd edition)Barry, John R. and Edward A. Lee and David G. Messerschmidt9780792375487Springer2003
Wireless communications: principles and practice (2nd edition)Rappaport, Theodore S.0130422320Pearson Education (US)2002

Additional notes

Course unit materials

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