Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Advanced Networking and Communications (H) COMPSCI4002

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course adds depth and some breadth to the material covered in Networked Systems (H). Advanced Networking and Communications (H) will show how fundamental principles of communications theory underpin the structures of the global telecommunications network and the Internet and determine the logic of how these networks interact.


3 hours per week.

Requirements of Entry

Networked Systems (H) (or equivalent)

Excluded Courses





Examination (80%), Coursework (20%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Resit examinations ARE NOT ALLOWED for Honours students.

Resit examinations ARE ALLOWED for Masters students.


The coursework cannot be redone because it is impossible to generate an equivalent piece of coursework which replicates the original one because of the follow-up work which was done subsequent to the original submission.

Course Aims

This course adds depth and some breadth to the material covered in Networked Systems (H). Modern global communications rely on international internetworks of which the two most important, the Internet and the telecommunications network, are now richly interdependent. Advanced Networking and Communications (H) will show how fundamental principles of communications theory underpin the structures of these internetworks and determine the logic of how they interact.


The aim of this course is to build on the introductory material taught in Networked Systems (H) in order to give the student a deeper understanding of the technologies and principles involved in the construction and operation of a modern communication system. Although the two great global networks, the Internet and the telecoms system are examined in some detail, there is an emphasis on the understanding of fundamental principles that can be applied more widely. In OSI terms, the course confines its scope to the Transport layer and below.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Explain the relationship between the spectrum of a signal and the transfer function of a channel;

2. Identify the basic limitations on communications as outlined in Shannon Information Theory;

3. Explain the basic architecture of the two great global networks, the Telephone System and the Internet;

4. Explain the operation of the major access technologies;

5. Explain the operation of the major Layer 2 technologies in use today with an emphasis on emerging wireless technologies;

6. Interpret and alter a simple IP forwarding table;

7. Demonstrate understanding of subnetting and supernetting;

8. Describe the operation of several of the routing protocols in common current use;

9. Explain how address translation allows private networks to be connected to the Internet;

10. Identify quality of service issues and explain the major approaches to QoS on IP networks;

11. Identify the causes of congestion and how it can be controlled;

12. Discuss and describe how transport layer protocols can help control congestion on the Internet;

13. Explain how a simple VoIP system works.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.