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Unit of study_

ELEC3506: Data Communications and the Internet

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

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.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ELEC3506
Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Wibowo Hardjawana,
Laboratory supervisor(s) Thomas Huang,
Tutor(s) Hao Chang,
Shuvashis Saha,
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: LO6 LO7 LO3 LO4
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
In-semester two Quizzes
30% Multiple weeks 30 minutes each
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type C final exam = Type C final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • 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

For more information see guide to grades.

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.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity 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 integrity breaches seriously.  

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

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

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

  • Behrouz A. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking with TCP/IP Protocol Suite, 6th ed., 2022

  • J. F. Kurose and K. W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 8th ed., 2022

  • J. F. Kurose and K. W. Ross, Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 6th ed., 2013

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

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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