module specification

CT4001 - Communications Engineering (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Communications Engineering
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 10%   MCQ Test-1 (unseen)
Coursework 10%   Essay (Individual)
In-Course Test 10%   MCQ Test-2 (unseen)
Coursework 20%   Lab report (individual)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam (online)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North To be arranged -
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces a range of fundamental concepts in both analogue and digital communications, through theory and practical exercises.  The module also considers ethical, social, economic and environmental issues relevant to the Communications and Telecommunications fields. The module aims:
1. To introduce students to fundamental concepts of modern Communication Systems;
2. To differentiate between analogue and digital communications and their typical uses;
3. To provide a working technical vocabulary for describing commonly used telecommunication systems;
4. To provide an understanding of telecommunications systems concepts such as bandwidth, the decibel, sampling, coding, multiplexing, modulation, etc;
5. To provide an opportunity for students to consider the various ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of modern telecommunications.


Overview of communication systems, significant historical events and developments, and regulatory bodies;
Social, Political, Environmental and Economic implications from Modern Telecommunications;
Analogue and Digital Signal Characteristics: Bandwidth, Attenuation, Noise types and the Decibel;
Signal Representation and Spectral Analysis;
Transmission Media;
Analogue and Digital Modulation and Demodulation Techniques;
Analogue and Digital Multiplexing and Demultiplexing Techniques;
Sampling Theorem, Analogue to Digital and Digital to Analogue Conversions (ADC and DAC);
Coding Processes and Line Encoding Schemes;
Examples of modern communications systems. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The teaching and learning strategy for this module is kept in line with the traditional approach of lectures, tutorials, laboratory measurements and exercises. The subject coverage is so arranged that the material covered during the first five/six weeks is of a more basic and generic nature while the material for the remaining weeks incorporates more advanced telecommunications concepts.
The lectures are supported by problem-solving tutorials [LO1-LO5] and laboratory practical sessions (Group/Team work) [LO6-LO7]. All supporting material on the module (lectures/tutorials/assignments/recordings) is available to students on Weblearn (VLE). This site is continuously updated with guidelines and additional lecture support material throughout the year.
The laboratory coursework is based on Group/Team work [LO7]. Student discussion will be encouraged during tutorial sessions [LO2-LO5] and especially for the social implications essay [LO1], even though it is the individual student's effort that is assessed. Multiple choice test problem sheets [LO2-LO5] are designed and graded automatically once submitted so that a fair amount of student self-learning can take place.
Through the laboratory activities students are exposed to the most common modulation techniques such as amplitude and frequency modulation and take relevant measurements. All records are kept in an issued ‘instructions and log-book document’, which also includes additional laboratory relevant exercises for home activity prior to submitting it for assessment in week 23.

Learning outcomes

LO1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of commercial, social and economic issues related to communication systems
LO2. Apply scientific, mathematical and ICT principles and methods to solve problems related to communications systems including statistical analysis;
LO3. Explain the basic structure/architecture of modern communication systems and related concepts, principles and theories;
LO4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of characteristics of signals commonly encountered in communications systems;
LO5. Evaluate communication systems in terms of quality and trade-offs for a given application;
LO6. Use appropriate lab equipment to perform measurements considering health & safety regulations for safe operation of electronic instrumentation/equipment; Work with and relate effectively as a member of a team in the lab.
LO7. Work with and relate effectively as a member of a team in the lab.

Assessment strategy

Coursework (50%):
This would be assessing student’s learning of social / economic / political implication of telecommunications [LO1]. A series of problem sheets promoting learning outcomes LO2-LO5, and Laboratory report [LO6 & LO7].

Unseen Exam (50%):
The exam will be assessing the learning outcomes LO2-LO5.

Problem sheets (online via Weblearn), which are a formative assessment instrument are administered regularly in the Autumn and Spring semesters. Feedback is provided immediate upon submission.
MCQ Test-1 (formative and summative) is administered mid-autumn semester. Feedback on the test is immediate on submission.
Essay (formative and summative) is submitted at the end of the autumn semester, and feedback provided within two weeks of submission.
MCQ Test-2 (formative and summative) is administered in the spring semester. Feedback on the test is immediate on submission.
Lab report (formative and summative) is submitted at the end of spring semester. Feedback on the lab report is provided within two weeks of submission.
The module is concluded with a 2-hour unseen online exam (summative assessment).


Core Text:
1. Forouzan (2013), Data Communications and Networking (2013), ISBN: 9789814577519

Other Texts:
1. Green (1999), Digital Electronics (1999), ISBN-13: 9780582317369
2. Charles A. Schuler (2002), Electronics: Principles and Applications, ISBN: 9780071315531
3. Charles K Alexander and Matthew Sadiku (2008), Fundamentals of Electric Circuits, ISBN: 9780077800765
4. Stephen Brown and ZvonkoVranesic (2009), Fundamentals of Digital Logic, ISBN: 9780071268806
5. Bates, R.J., Gregory, D.W. (2007), Voice& Data Communications Handbook, 5th Ed., McGraw-Hill Osborne, ISBN 0072263350.
6. Beyda, W.J. (2004), Data Communications: From Basics to Broadband, 4th Ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 013145692X.
7. Crisp, J. (2002), Introduction to Copper Cabling: Applications for Telecoms, Data Communications and Networking, Newnes, ISBN 0750655550.
8. Couch, L.W. (2007), Digital and Analogue Communication Systems, 7th Ed., Prentice Hall, ISBN 0131424920.
9. Goleniewski, L. (2002), Telecommunications Essentials: The Complete Global Source for Communications Fundamentals, Data Networking and the Internet, and Next-generation Networks, Addison Wesley, ISBN 0201760320.
10. Halsall, F. (2001), Multimedia Communications, Addison-Wesley, ISBN 0201398184.
11. Haykin, S. and Moher, M. (2007), Introduction to Analog and Digital Communications, 2nd Ed., John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0471432229.
12. Shepard, S. (2005), Telecom Crash Course, 2nd Ed., McGraw-Hill Professional, ISBN 0071451439
13. Stallings, W. (2005), Business Data Communications, 5th Int. Ed., Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0131276336.
14. Tomasi, W. (2005), Introduction to Data Communications and Networking, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0130138282.

IEEE Transactions on Communications, Online at:


1. Cairncross, F. (2001), The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution is Changing Our Lives, Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 157851438X.
2. Martin and Schinzinger (1997), Ethics in Engineering, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0071141952.
3. Solymar, L. (1999), Getting the Message: A History of Communications, Oxford Univ. Press, ISBN 0198503334.
4. Tavani, H.T. (2003), Ethics in an Age of Information and Communication Technology, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0471452505.
5. Winston, B. (1998), Media, Technology and Society: A History - from the Printing Press to the Superhighway, Routledge, ISBN 041514230X.