CSU33031 – Computer Networks

Module CodeCSU33031
Module NameComputer Networks
ECTS Weighting [1]5 ECTS
Semester TaughtSemester 1
Module Coordinator/s  Stefan Weber

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Describe and discuss protocols used at the Link layer for communication between nodes connected to a local area network;
  2. Describe and discuss protocols used at the Network layer for communication between nodes connected to the Internet;
  3. Describe and analyse the flow of information between two devices connected to the Internet;
  4. Analyse and appraise current protocols underlying the Internet;
  5. Design and develop solutions for communication between nodes in the Internet;
  6. Assess designs of communication protocols.

Module Content

The module introduces the basic concepts underlying the communication between nodes connected to the Internet. The explanation of this communication can be split into two layers: one layer focuses on the delivery of data between two immediately connected devices e.g. nodes connected to the same local network; the other layer focuses on the interconnection of individual networks into the Internet and the communication between nodes connected to the Internet.

Topics addressed in this module include:

  • Error Detection and Flow Control;
  • Example protocols such as HDLC and PPP;
  • Medium Access Control (MAC);
  • Examples of MAC protocols such as IEEE 802.11 Wifi and IEEE 802.3 Ethernet;
  • Switching & Routing;
  • Internet Protocol v4/v6;
  • Routing Protocols;
  • Software-Defined Networking and OpenFlow Past & current structure of the Internet.

Teaching and Learning Methods

The module is taught through a number of lectures and tutorials in combination with practical assignments.

Assessment Details

Assessment ComponentBrief DescriptionLearning Outcomes Addressed% of totalWeek SetWeek Due
Examination2 hour written in-person examination L01, L02, L0340%N/AN/A
Coding AssignmentDevelopment of a communication protocolL04, L05, L0630%Week 1Week 6
Coding AssignmentDevelopment of a forwarding approachL04, L05, L0630%Week 5Week 12

Reassessment Details

Written Exam, 100%.

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours (scheduled hours per student over full module), broken down by:44 hours
Lecture (online Q&A)22 hours
Laboratory11 hours
Tutorial or seminar11 hours
Other0 hours
Independent Study (outside scheduled contact hours), broken down by:68 hours
Preparation for classes/exams and review of material16 hours
Completion of assessments (including examination, if applicable)52 hours
Total Hours112 hours

Recommended Reading List

  • Computer Networks, 5th edition, Andrew Tanenbaum & David Wetherall (6th edition w/ Nick Feamster).

Module Pre-requisites

Being able to develop software solutions in a language such as Java, Python, C/C++/C#/F#, etc.

Prerequisite modules: N/A

Module Co-requisites


Module Website