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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5442M Digital Signal Processing for Communications

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr. Des McLernon

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Jan (adv yr), Semester 1 (Sep to Jan), Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) any online activities/sessions. Where learning activities are scheduled to take place on campus, it may be possible and/or necessary for some students to join these sessions remotely. Some of the listed contact hours may also be optional surgeries. Students will be provided with full information about the arrangements for all of these activities by the module staff at the beginning of the teaching semester.‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of online sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


This module covers the fundamental principles of digital signal processing, and provides students with the skills to apply DSP techniques to a broad range of signal processing problems.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Explain the fundamental principles of digital signal processing (DSP).
2. Discuss a comprehensive range of applications of DSP in communications, including important parameters, limitations, etc.
3. Use the mathematical theories of DSP for both analysis and design.
4. Use DSP techniques to process signals that derive from random processes.
5. Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of various DSP implementations.
6. Explain how DSP algorithms can enhance the performance of cellular mobile radio.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Brief history of DSP and advantages of modern DSP applications
The sampling theorem, analogue-to-digital conversion, quantisation and limitations of DSP
Discrete-time signals and systems, linear convolution, linear difference equations (LDEs) and system frequency response
Discrete-Time Fourier Transform (DTFT), Z-transform, system pole/zero plots and stability analysis
Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) and its relationship to circular convolution/OFDM/fast linear convolution/spectral analysis
The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)
Introduction to discrete-time modelling, digital filter design, random processes and adaptive signal processing
Case studies taken from: wireless channel estimation/equalisation, linear predictive coding for speech compression, interpolation/decimation/multirate structures, MIMO signal processing applications, quadrature DSP, direction of arrival (DoA) estimation, software defined radio (SDR) and DSP applied to music

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning91.009.00
Examples Class71.007.00
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours112.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/06/2021 16:47:30


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