Module Identifier CS15210  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Mark Ratcliffe  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Mr David Price, Mr Frank Bott  
Co-Requisite CS12230 or CS12320  
Mutually Exclusive CS25010 , CS14020  
Course delivery Lecture   22 lectures  
  Practical   4 x 2 hr  
Assessment Supplementary examination   Will take the same form, under the terms of the Department's policy    
  Exam   2 Hours Multiple-choice   100%  
Further details  

Brief description

Computers and telecommunications have become intimately related in a world in which the Internet and the World Wide Web loom so large. Every graduate in a computing-related discipline needs to have a basic knowledge and understanding of telecommunications. The purpose of this module is to instil this basic knowledge and understanding, which, for most but not all students, will lead on to deeper study of some aspects of communications at level 2 or level 3.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following topics:

In addition, students will be able to carry out straightforward numerical calculations relating to network and channel capacity.


1. Basics of Data Communication
Waves: amplitude, frequency, and phase. Measurement of frequency. Why waves are important.
Analogue and digital data and signals. The PSTN as an analogue network. The concept of bandwidth. Binary data; bits and bytes; ASCII; the use of lateral and longitudinal parity for error correction and detection. The use of the PSTN for transmission of digital data: modems and modulation (amplitude, frequency and phase).
Transmission modes: simplex, half-duplex and duplex transmission; synchronous and asynchronous transmission; parallel and serial transmission.
Transmission media: twisted pairs, co-ax, fibre optics, microwave, radio, satellite transmission. Speed, distance, cost and error rates of various transmission media.
Function and role of the major components of a network: multiplexors, concentrators, repeaters, routers and bridges.
Channel capacity. Nyquist?s Theorem and the Shannon-Hartley Theorem. Application to the PSTN and to modem design.

2. Computer Networks
Networks and what they are used for. Nodes, switches, servers and hosts. Local area networks and wide area networks. Circuit switching and packet switching.   
Standards and protocols. The standards-making process and the standards-making bodies; de facto and de jure standards. The OSI seven layer model.   

3. The Internet
Brief history of the Internet and its evolution. Internet standards, control and regulation. Protocols used on the Internet: IP, TCP, UDP, FTP, Telnet.

4. Wide Area Networks
Public switched data networks: Kilostream, Megastream, and similar services; ISDN. Private services; leased lines. The development of JANET.

5. Local Area Networks
LAN topologies and their characteristics. Cost of attaching devices to networks; Media access and sharing strategies. Ethernet, token rings, slotted rings. Fundamental performance characteristics of the different architectures.

6. Telematic Applications
A survey of current applications of telematics, covering both their commercial characteristics and their technical requirements.
The need for security and its cost; risk assessment.   Passwords and badge readers; limitations of simple approaches.

7. History and Regulation
A brief history of the development of both the technology and the regulation of communication systems. Common Carriers; UK carriers: British Telecom, Mercury, Kingston and the new market entrants.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Behrouz Forouzan. (1998) Introduction to Data Communications and Networking. McGraw Hill ISBN 0071157107