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This is an archived syllabus from 2013-2014

COMP28411 Computer Networks syllabus 2013-2014

COMP28411 Computer Networks

Level 2
Credits: 10
Enrolled students: 76

Course leader: Andy Carpenter

Additional staff: view all staff

Assessment methods

  • 70% Written exam
  • 30% Practical skills assessment
Sem 1 Lecture Schuster BRAGG TH Thu 15:00 - 15:00 -
Sem 1 A Lecture 1.1 Tue 09:00 - 09:00 -
Sem 1 B Workshop G23 Tue 09:00 - 09:00 J
Sem 1 B Lab LF31 Fri 09:00 - 09:00 H
Sem 1 B Lab LF31 Thu 09:00 - 09:00 F
Sem 1 B Workshop G23 Mon 13:00 - 13:00 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

On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

Learning outcomes are detailed on the COMP28411 course unit syllabus page on the School of Computer Science's website for current students.

Reading list

No reading list found for COMP28411.

Additional notes

Course unit materials

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