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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5471M Data Communications and Network Security

15 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Professor Andrew Kemp

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Jan (adv yr), Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) 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.


To provide students with a knowledge and understanding of data communications networks and their use in a range of applications, and to consider the need for network security and appropriate security measures.

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

1. Explain the principles behind the organisation and operation of communications networks.
2. Use mathematical methods and modelling techniques in the analysis of communications networks, including a broad range of network architectures and protocols.
3. Explain the detailed mechanisms for network flow control in local area networks.
4. Discuss the importance of routing and congestion control in the context of wide-area and global networks.
5. Discuss the security issues associated with communications networks and the principles of network security protection.
6. Discuss the high-level protocols and advanced systems used in current and next-generation technology.
7. Apply strategic planning, systems implementation and operating methods to data communications and sensor networks.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The ISO/OSI 7-layer model, and TCP/IP structure
The use of layering, protocols, interfaces etc
Data types, data communications, and networking terminology
Data link control, particularly error control methods such as detection and correction, (parity checks, checksumming, CRC, - ARQ, sequence numbers), flow control, address resolution and wireless LANs
The network layer, IP datagrams, fragmentation and reassembly, IP addresses, routing principles (link-state, distance vector), Internet routing and QoS support
TCP/IP provision and IPv6 (and IPv6 and IPv4 interoperability) and mobility
Basics of network security

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning101.0010.00
Independent online learning hours11.00
Private study hours114.00
Total Contact hours25.00
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

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentAssignment 130.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)30.00

Resits for ELEC and XJEL modules are subject to the School's Resit Policy and the Code of Practice on Assessment (CoPA), which are available on Minerva. Students should be aware that, for some modules, a resit may only be conducted on an internal basis (with tuition) in the next academic session.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)70.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

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


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