CSU33D03 – Computer Networks

Module CodeCSU33D03
Module Name Computer Networks
ECTS Weighting [1]5 ECTS
Semester TaughtSemester 2
Module Coordinator/s  Prof. Ciarán Mc Goldrick

Module Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe and critically evaluate the architecture of a network and how the various components work together to achieve data communications;
  2. Describe and appraise how protocols effect data communications in a network and demonstrate and verify understanding through practical implementations;
  3. Explain the role and function of the layers that form part of a specified protocol stack such as TCP/IP and how these layers work together to support applications such as the Web, etc;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to, clearly and concisely, articulate and document descriptions of, and solutions to, complex network, protocol and communication challenges;
  5. Explore and critically evaluate different protocols and modes of operation for wired and wireless LAN and WAN technologies.

Module Content

The course targets the fundamental principles of computer and communication networking. A mix of fundamental concepts and principles, allied to recent and future technologies and advances, help ensure understanding of the many concepts, protocols, and technologies involved in modern networking.

The module uses the Internet’s architecture and protocols as the primary vehicle for studying fundamental computer networking concepts, and supplements these with examples from other network architectures. On completion of this module the student will understand how protocols work together to achieve data communications and the lifecycle of a packet as it traverses a computer network. As part of this, a computer network, its architecture, protocol stacks and the process of data segmentation and encapsulation are introduced. In addition, the principles and structure of Internet Protocol (IP) addressing and sub-networking are explored with students implementing and evaluating practical real-world internet systems. Present and future concepts, under-pinnings and technologies will be used to scaffold the learning journey.

Students will (1) learn protocol design principles, performance considerations, and networking technologies; (2) become familiar with the design issues and tradeoffs that arise in building and using real-world networks; and (3) gain hands-on experience through practical networking projects.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Module delivery will comprise lectures, flip classroom and blended learning modalities. This will be supplemented by media/videos and guest lectures by industry specialists. Self-directed and collaborative learning and problem solving will form a substantial proportion of the methodology for this module.

Assessment Details

Assessment ComponentBrief Description Learning Outcomes Addressed% of TotalWeek SetWeek Due
Examination90 minute in-person LO1, LO2, LO3, LO530%
Mid-Term TestMid-Term real-time test (in-person or online)LO1, LO2, LO3, LO520%88
Homework 1Homework 1LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO56%56
Homework 2Homework 2LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO59% 1011
Assessment 1Practical Assessment 1LO2, LO3, LO4, LO510%47
Assessment 2Practical Assessment 2LO2, LO3, LO4, LO520%811
ParticipationEngagement and participation e.g. blackboard, Piazza, class, demos, etcLO1, LO2, LO3, LO45%
Note that it may be necessary to adjust the number of assessed activities in response to prevailing circumstances and resourcing.
The weighting of actually assigned activities will be adjusted accordingly.

Reassessment Details

Examination (2 hours, 100%, in-person )

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours (scheduled hours per student over full module), broken down by: 44 hours
Lecture (In person, online, recorded)33 hours
Laboratory/Project sessions11 hours
Tutorial or seminar0 hours
Other0 hours
Independent study (outside scheduled contact hours), broken down by:81 hours
Preparation for classes and review of material (including preparation for examination, if applicable)45 hours
Completion of assessments (including examination, if applicable)36 hours
Total Hours125 hours

Recommended Reading List

Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 6th Edition James F. Kurose, Keith W. Ross. Also 7th/8th online edition and support materials.

Module Pre-requisites

Prerequisite modules: N/A

Other/alternative non-module prerequisites: Strong proficiency in programming e.g. C/C++, Java or Python is essential.

Module Co-requisites


Module Website