module specification

CT4001 - Communications Engineering (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
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
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
150 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Essay
In-Course Test 20%   MCQ Test
Coursework 20%   Lab
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam (online)
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces a range of fundamental concepts in both analogue and digital communications, through theory and lab work. The module also considers ethical, social, economic and environmental issues relevant to the communications and telecommunications fields.


Overview of communication systems, significant historical events and developments, and regulatory bodies; LO1-LO4
Social, political, environmental and economic implications from modern communications;
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;
Lab coursework. LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be expected to carry out independent background study to familiarise themselves with the platforms and tools that will be used during the module. The module includes online learning material via Weblearn (VLE), face-to-face delivery of content, teaching/tutorial and assessment activities, student support and feedback.

Learning outcomes

LO1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of commercial, social and economic issues related to communication systems;
LO2. Explain the basic structure/architecture of modern communication systems and related concepts, principles and theories;
LO3. Apply scientific, mathematical and ICT principles and methods to solve problems related to communications systems;
LO4. Identify, categorise and evaluate the characteristics of communications techniques and media;
LO5. Work proactively with and relate effectively as a member of a team in the lab; plan and manage the experimental tasks, show equipment
LO6. Present the knowledge, skills and findings effectively and professionally to the tutors and/or the team through assessments and interactions

Assessment strategy

Teaching and learning strategy for this module is kept in line with the traditional approach of lectures, tutorials, laboratory and problem-sheets. Subject coverage is so arranged that the material covered during the first five weeks is of a more basic and generic nature while the material for the remaining weeks incorporates more advanced telecommunications concepts. Lectures are supported with problem-solving tutorials [LO2-LO4]. Lab coursework covers [LO5]. All supporting material on the module (lecture notes/ tutorials/ assignments/ video recordings) is available to students on Weblearn (VLE). This site is continuously updated with guidelines and additional lecture support material throughout the year. Student discussion is encouraged and especially for the social implications essay [LO1]. Multiple choice tests [LO2-LO4] administered are designed to assess the student’s understanding and application of knowledge in solving numerical problems. The tests identify weak students so that early intervention can be taken to help and support these students. Tests are graded automatically once they are submitted online and feedback provided to facilitate self-learning.


1. Forouzan (2013), Data Communications and Networking, ISBN: 9789814577519
2. Proakis & Salehi (2014), Fundamentals of Communications, ISBN: 9780133354942
3. Green (1999), Digital Electronics (1999), ISBN-13: 9780582317369
4. Charles A. Schuler (2002), Electronics: Principles and Applications, ISBN: 9780071315531
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. Couch, L.W. (2007), Digital and Analogue Communication Systems, 7th Ed., Prentice Hall, ISBN 0131424920.
8. Haykin, S. and Moher, M. (2007), Introduction to Analog and Digital Communications, 2nd Ed., John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0471432229.
9. Tomasi, W. (2005), Introduction to Data Communications and Networking, Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 0130138282.

Non-Technical references:

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.

Journal of Communications and Networks
IEEE Communications Magazine
IET Communications

Websites: IEEE xplore