Modules | CSCU9W6 | Syllabus CSCU9W6 | Syllabus Updated 2/02/17 14:13
CSCU9W6 - Communications and Networks Spring 2017
menu Communications and Networks Spring 2017














CSCU9W6 - Communications and Networks
20 SCQF Credits at Level 10

Module Co-ordinator
Dr Marwan Fayed, Room 4B72,

Dr Marwan Fayed: Room 4B72
Mr Kevin Swingler: Room 4B97

CSCU9P5 (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
  • Transport: 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


  • Engagement (eg. Laboratory, Peerwise) (10%)
  • Network Communications Class Test (20%)
  • PHP Programming In-course Assessment (20%)
  • Examination (50%)
In order to be considered for a pass grade for the module you must:

  • Submit the assessed coursework
  • Attend the examination

Both the class tests are compulsory and the non-submission of either component will result in the award of grade X for the module as a whole. (See paragraph 61:

Laboratory checkpoints must be completed by the end of the week following a lab. (Exceptions can be made for special circumstances.)


Attendance at practicals will be recorded. If you are unable to attend a class, then please email the module organizer, and submit a self-certification of absence via the Portal if appropriate. The University has a policy of monitoring attendance, and repeated absence will be followed up in order to identify any problems at an early stage and to offer students appropriate support.


Work which is submitted for assessment must be your own work. All students should note that the University has a formal policy on plagiarism which can be found at

Plagiarism means presenting the work of others as though it were your own. The University takes a very serious view of plagiarism, and the penalties can be severe (ranging from a reduced grade in the assessment, through a fail grade for the module, to expulsion from the University for more serious, or repeated, offences). Specific guidance in relation to Computing Science assignments may be found in the Computing Science Student Handbook.

Repeat Assessments

Students who fulfil the module requirements, but obtain an overall fail mark (0-39) following the Main examination, are eligible for repeat assessment. In most cases, this will be a repeat examination (grade RE). In some cases, the Examiners may permit repeat submission of coursework (grade RC) or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade RA). Repeats are not permitted for laboratory checkpoints or group work. The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40.

Discretionary Repeat Assessments

In exceptional circumstances, a student who has not met all the module requirements, following the Main examination, may be permitted a discretionary repeat. This may be a repeat examination (grade XE), repeat submission of coursework (grade XC), or a repeat of both coursework and examination (grade XA). Repeats are not permitted for laboratory checkpoints or group work. The mark following any repeat assessment is capped at 40. If you are granted a discretionary repeat assessment but do not attempt it, you will be awarded grade X for the module.

In deciding whether to grant a discretionary repeat, the Examiners will consider your record of attendance and engagement in the module. Students with a poor attendance record will not normally be permitted a discretionary repeat.

Deferred Exams

If you are unable to attend the Main examination, you must apply for a Deferred examination through the link on the Student Portal. If a Deferred examination is denied and you do not attend the Main examination, you will be deemed not to have met the module requirements. For further information see:



  • Computer Networking: A Top-down Approach, J.F. Kurose and K.W. Ross. Addison Wesley, 6th edition. 2012. (Highly recommended)
  • Computer Networks: A Systems Approach, L. Peterson and B. Davie. Kaufmann, 5th edition, (highly recommended for additional 'systems'

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

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

  • Computer Networks, A S Tanenbaum, Prentice-Hall, 5th edition, (recommended).
  • 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).
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