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Unit of study_

ELEC4505: Digital Communication Systems

The lecture starts with an overview of major components of a digital communication system and current technology. Then the following knowledge will be covered: efficient coding/representation of information source, channel coding of information to combat noise and interference, optimal received design, principles of incoherent systems, error probability calculations, solutions to problems caused by transmitting a signal through a bandlimited channel and caused by multipath, and spread spectrum systems. The lecture concludes with a discussion of future directions of digital communication systems.


Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Unit code ELEC4505
Unit name Digital Communication Systems
Session, year
Semester 1, 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 Zihuai Lin,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Record+) Type B final exam Final exam
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Assignment Lab report
15% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO6
Assignment Assignment
10% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO3 LO4 LO6
Assignment Project report
25% Week 13 n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Type B final exam = Type B final exam ?
  • Lab report: There will be three labs, conducted in groups of 3 to 4 students each. For each lab, you are asked to hand in one report, each worth 5%. You need to attend the lab to submit a lab report.
  • Project report: Students will be required to submit a team report written in a formal report style.
  • Final exam: The final exam is a close book examination and will feature 5 to 6 questions, each consisting of a few parts.

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 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.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction to wireless communication systems Lecture (2 hr) LO1
Week 02 Source coding Lecture (2 hr) LO4
Laboratory 1 Computer laboratory (3 hr) LO2
Week 03 Source coding Lecture (2 hr) LO4
Tutorial 1 Tutorial (2 hr) LO1
Week 04 Channel coding Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Tutorial 2 Tutorial (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 05 Channel coding Lecture (2 hr) LO4 LO5
Laboratory 2 Computer laboratory (3 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 06 Optimal receiver design Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Tutorial 3 Tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 07 1. Incoherent systems; 2. Error probability calculations Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Laboratory 3 Computer laboratory (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Error probability calculations Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Tutorial 4 Tutorial (2 hr) LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 09 Transmission through bandlimited channels Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Laboratory 4 Computer laboratory (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Week 10 Transmission on fading multipath channels Lecture (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Tutorial 5 Tutorial (2 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6

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.

  • Proakis and Salehi, Communication Systems Engineering (2nd). Prentice Hall, 2002. 0-13-095007-6.

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. describe the concepts and techniques in the design of digital communications systems to the extent of the material presented in the course
  • LO2. conduct lab experiments applying knowledge and principles and ensuring quality control in taking measurements to understand the influence of various factors on digital communications
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of modern modulation and equalization techniques
  • LO4. demonstrate an understanding of coding concepts, including both source and channel coding
  • LO5. recognise the limits of existing information and undertake knowledge development by drawing upon a range of sources and media formats to synthesise the information most relevant
  • LO6. demonstrate proficiency in scoring system design tradeoff issues, by using the various principles, techniques and materials as the drivers for particular case assessment.

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 significant changes have been made since this unit was last offered


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