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During 2021 we will continue to support students who need to study remotely due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and travel restrictions. Make sure you check the location code when selecting a unit outline or choosing your units of study in Sydney Student. Find out more about what these codes mean. Both remote and on-campus locations have the same learning activities and assessments, however teaching staff may vary. More information about face-to-face teaching and assessment arrangements for each unit will be provided on Canvas.

Unit of study_

ELEC3506: Data Communications and the Internet

Students undertaking this unit should be familiar with fundamental digital technologies and representations such as bit complement and internal word representation. Students should also have a basic understanding of the physical properties of communication channels, techniques and limitations. Furthermore, students should be able to apply fundamental mathematical skills. The unit will cover the following specific material: Communication reference models (TCP/IP and OSI). Circuit switched and packet switched communication. Network node functions and building blocks. LAN, MAN, WAN, WLAN technologies. Protocols fundamental mechanisms. The TCP/IP core protocols (IP, ICMP, DHCP, ARP, TCP, UDP etc. ). Applications and protocols (ftP, Telnet, SMTP, HTTP etc. ), Network Management and Security.


Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Unit code ELEC3506
Unit name Data Communications and the Internet
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Wibowo Hardjawana,
Laboratory supervisor(s) Thomas Huang ,
Tutor(s) Shuvashis Saha ,
Alva Kosasih,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Open book) Type C final exam Final exam
Open book on Canvas
38% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO7 LO3 LO4 LO6
Assignment group assignment Lab reports
~5 pages description of lab outcomes in relation to the course material
32% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5 LO6
Small test Quizzes
Two Quizzes - Week 5 and 10
30% Multiple weeks 30 minutes each
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?
  • Quizes: Quizes will be on weeks 5 and 10.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Background and preview: an introduction to the Internet (4 hr)  
Week 02 Physical layer (4 hr)  
Week 03 Data link layer (4 hr)  
Week 04 1. MAC Protocols; 2. Wired LAN Standards (4 hr)  
Week 05 Network Layer – part 1 (4 hr)  
Week 06 Network Layer – part 2 (4 hr)  
Week 07 Transport Layer (4 hr)  
Week 09 Application layer (4 hr)  
Week 10 WAN Technologies (4 hr)  
Week 11 QoS in IP networks (4 hr)  
Week 12 Wireless Networks (4 hr)  
Week 13 1. Mobile IP; 2. Network Security (4 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Laboratory: The labs are designed to greatly deepen students` understanding of network protocols by seeing them in action. The labs cover various layers of internet protocols, and will give students the opportunity to observe the sequence of messages exchanged between two protocol entities, and to even try different parameters in some protocols to watch the effects.
  • Tutorial: Tutorials are designed to help student understand the materials from the lectures, as well as the textbook.
  • Independent Study: The introductory nature of this UoS means that students will encounter various pieces of knowledge in networking areas. Therefore, independent study is essential for a successful completion.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • J. Kurose, K. Ross, Computer Networking (4). Addison Wesley, 2007. 9780321497703.
  • B. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking. McGraw Hill, 2007. 9780072967753.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. write reports to communicate complex and technical material clearly and concisely, addressing a specific target audience
  • LO2. work in a team by drawing on the abilities and knowledge of others, emphasising and fulfilling clear responsibilities, and leading in the development of a consensus to the specific engineering problem at hand
  • LO3. solve ill-defined network problems by employing techniques and principles of protocol design, implementation, and analysis
  • LO4. demonstrate an understanding of concepts in data communications and networking, and the advantages and disadvantages of alternative protocols, algorithms, and designs
  • LO5. demonstrate proficiency in assessing and troubleshooting different networks using specific network tools, such as packet sniffer to the extent presented in the course
  • LO6. apply principles and concepts of communication and networking protocols, algorithms, and designs to specific engineering problems and situations to the extent of the material presented
  • LO7. demonstrate an understanding of network protocols and algorithms using fundamental mathematical derivations.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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