Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Network Theory and Technologies

Course summary

Course code: COMP1560
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Computing and Information Sys.
Course Coordinator(s): Georgia Sakellari


Pre and co requisites

COMP 1587 Communication Systems.


This course will enable the students to be able to design and implement a local area network using Cisco switches and routers. The students will undertake an exercise to design a network for a company using the current wiring standards.

In networking, the emphasis is on understanding the basic design issues in both local and wide area networks, the design trade-offs applied to communications systems at the physical layer and on an understanding of the basics of the most common protocols (IEEE LANs and TCP/IP) in current use. Further details of the protocols and critical analysis of performance will be covered in the final year courses Network Design and Implementation and Network Technology.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand and be able to apply the current wiring standards for a given scenario.

2. Undertake routine tasks to build a simple network - connecting a PC to a LAN, using a switch, configuring a router.

3. Discuss performance issues in network environments in qualitative and quantitative terms.

4. Understand and apply the principles and standards that enable networks to communicate.

5. Evaluate the influence of noise and sampling on communications signals.

Indicative content

Connecting the PC to a network - configuration issues - routers, switches.
Introduction to Transmission Media - signal types, signal spectrum, signal to noise ratio, attenuation, Fourier analysis, Shannon's Theory, Nyquist sampling theorem, basic Modulation Techniques
Design - basic network configurations and wiring:
LANs - shared medium, access control schemes, CSMA/CD and (briefly) flow control, error recovery.
IP and TCP operation - IP addressing issues - subnetting, routing and switching, ports and sockets, encapsulation over MAC frames.
Routers and routing configurations - routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, BGP, EIGRP) - an example router configuration based on Cisco routers.
Troubleshooting network configurations.
Introduction to Wireless Systems.
Performance issues in networks.
Diagnostic tools for networks.

Teaching and learning activity

Concepts will be introduced in lectures and problem solving will be done through tutorials.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)


Portfolio - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark, LO 1-5. Outline Details - An individual portfolio of weekly lab activities addressing all learning outcomes building to a case study report. Word length to include a 2500 word report.

Exam - 50% weighting, 40% pass mark. LO 1, 3 & 4. Outline Details - Answer 2 questions out of 3 based on lectures, labs, tutorials and background reading.

Formative Assessments - For portfolio: Weekly lecture and tutorial questions. For exam: Revision class questions, past 2 years’ exam papers.