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COMP28411: Computer Networks (2011-2012)

This is an archived syllabus from 2011-2012

Computer Networks
Level: 2
Credit rating: 10
Pre-requisites: COMP15111 or EEEN10026 or MATH10111
Co-requisites: No Co-requisites
Duration: 11 weeks in first semester
Lectures: 17 in total, 3 per fortnight
Examples classes: 5 in total, 1 per fortnight (Moodle-based)
Labs: 10 hours in total, 5 2-hour sessions
Lecturers: Andy Carpenter, Nick Filer
Course lecturers: Andy Carpenter

Nick Filer

Additional staff: view all staff
Sem 1 A Lecture CHEM G.54 Tue 09:00 - 10:00 -
Sem 1 A Lecture 1.1 Tue 09:00 - 10:00 -
Sem 1 w1 Lecture CHEM G.54 Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 w1 Lecture Simon SIMON 2 (2.39) Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 w2-5 Lecture CHEM G.54 Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 w2-5 Lecture Simon GROUND TH (G.31) Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 B WORKSHOP G23 Tue 09:00 - 10:00 F+H
Sem 1 B Lab G23 Fri 09:00 - 11:00 H
Sem 1 B Lab G23 Thu 09:00 - 11:00 F
Sem 1 B Lab G23 Fri 11:00 - 13:00 I
Sem 1 B WORKSHOP G23 Mon 13:00 - 14:00 G+I
Sem 1 w7-12 Lecture 2.19 Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 w7 Lecture Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Sem 1 w7 Lecture Stopford TH 3 (1.013) Thu 15:00 - 16:00 -
Assessment Breakdown
Exam: 70%
Coursework: 0%
Lab: 30%

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.

Programme outcomeUnit learning outcomesAssessment
A3Understand the characteristics and applications of various networking technologies.
  • Examination
A3Understand how a collection of communication protocols co-operate and communicate to achieve the overall communication function.
  • 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



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

Reading List

Core Text
Title: Computer networking: a top-down approach (6th edition)
Author: Kurose, James and Keith Ross
ISBN: 9780273768968
Publisher: Pearson Education
Edition: 6th
Year: 2013

Title: Computer networks: a systems approach (5th edition)
Author: Peterson, Larry L. and Bruce S. Davie
ISBN: 9780123850591
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann
Edition: 5th
Year: 2011