CSCU9W6 - Communications and Networks

Module Co-ordinator
Prof Evan Magill, Room 4B84,

Dr Marwan Fayed, Room 4B72
Dr Mario Kolberg: Room 4B60
Prof Evan Magill, Room 4B84

CSC9P5 (general understanding of system design principles and techniques)

Learning Outcomes

  • data communications principles
  • open communications architectures
  • communication services and protocols in current use, particularly on the Internet
  • web scripting approaches
  • interpret observed message exchanges in a live data network setting
  • display an ability to apply theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, to work independently, and under a time constraint

Transferable Skills

  • understanding of layered systems
  • understanding of Internet techniques and applications
  • understanding and experience of scripts

Contents Communications Architecture (22 Lectures)

  • Data Communications and Networking Overview: communications, networking,
    information technology, standards, equipment
  • Architectural Principles: layering, services, protocols, layer-specific mechanisms
  • Communications Mechanisms: networking, data transmission
  • Medium Access: multiple access, LANs, Ethernet, wireless & Bluetooth.
  • Networking: routing, congestion, IP
  • ransport: TCP/UDP (Transmission Control Protocol/Unconfirmed Datagram Protocol)
  • Application support: DNS (Domain Name System), email, POP (Post Office Protocol),
    & SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol),
    WWW and HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol).

Web Scripting (8 Lectures)

  • PHP: data structures, conditions and loop constructs, built-in and user-defined functions
  • Client-side WWW scripting using JavaScript


  • laboratory check points (10%)
  • Network Communications Class Test (20%)
  • PHP Programming Test (20%)
  • Examination (50%)

In order to obtain a pass grade for the module you must:

  • Submit all items of assessed coursework
  • Attend the examination

Non-submission of any single item of assessed coursework will result in the award of no grade for the module as a whole. This rule (regarding coursework) may be relaxed for students who can show good cause for failure to submit. 'Good cause' may include illness (for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required). If a student is unable to attend the exam, he/she must apply to Student Programmes for a deferred exam. There are established procedures for this: further information is available from the Student Programmes Office.



  • Computer Networking: A Top-down Approach, J.F. Kurose and K.W. Ross. Addison Wesley, 5th edition. 2009. (Highly recommended)
  • Computer Networks, A S Tanenbaum, Prentice-Hall, 5th edition, (recommended).

If you are going to buy one book, buy one of the above.

The following books are relevant, and form useful background reading:

  • Data and Computer Communications, W. Stallings, Prentice-Hall, 2009 8th edition, (background reading).
  • Data Communications, Computer Networks and Open Systems, F. Halsall, Addison-Wesley, 1996, 4th edition, (background).
  • Internet and World-Wide Web - How to Program, H.M. Deitel, P.J. Deitel, T.R. Nieto, Prentice-Hall, 2011, 5th edition (background)


  • Programming PHP, R. Lerdorf and K. Tatroe, O'Reilly and Associates, 2013, 3rd edition, (recommended).
  • Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites, R. Nixon, O'Reilly and Associates, 2nd edition, 2012, (background).

Further information and teaching materials for this module.

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