Accessibility statement

Communication Systems and Digital Communications - ELE00078H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Paul Mitchell
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The Communication Systems module provides you with a detailed understanding of how wired and wireless communication systems work, from theoretical concepts through to the design of practical radio systems and networks. Topics include: information theory; wireless link design; signals, baseband and passband radio modulation and demodulation; transmitter and receiver architectures, networks and protocols.

Professional requirements

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information



Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

  • To introduce the basic knowledge necessary for transmitting and receiving information using today's communication technologies.

  • To introduce analogue and digital communication systems and networks, emphasising the transition from analogue to predominantly digital transmission.

  • To introduce the most common forms of passband modulation, both linear and exponential, their characteristics and error rates.

  • To introduce the student to radio modem principles and architectures.

Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop skills in the selection and application of appropriate numeric and algebraic techniques.

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to quantify the information content of a source, understand the rate of information transfer across a communication channel and how this relates to capacity.

  • Be able to represent information and systems as time-domain or frequency-domain functions with an understanding of the equivalence between these domains

  • Explain the basic theory and operation of analogue communication systems, e.g. AM and FM modulation.

  • Describe the fundamentals of digital communication systems, especially baseband signalling, digital modulation and error control coding.

  • Be able to produce a communications link budget and analyse and design simple analogue/digital communications systems.

  • Explain the principles of networks and the underlying protocols, including medium access control and automatic repeat request schemes.

  • Be able to evaluate the design, operation, application and performance of a selection of wired/wireless communication systems using appropriate tools.

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to explain and evaluate advanced technical concepts concisely and accurately

  • Be able to select, adapt and apply a range of mathematical techniques to solve advanced problems

  • Have developed skills in problem solving, critical analysis and applied mathematics

Module content

Information Theory; Wireless Links; Modulation and Demodulation; Reliable Communication ; Network; Fourier and Noise; Baseband modulation and coding; Optimum reception in the presence of noise, Error rates in AWGN; Inter-symbol interference and Nyquist signals; Introduction to modems, mixers and radio transmitters; Radio receivers; Digital passband modulation: equivalent baseband representation; Linear and exponential digital passband modulation schemes.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Communication Systems and Digital Communications
2 hours 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Closed-book exam - worth 100% of the module mark. This will comprise three questions with the students required to complete all questions on the paper. Any special formulas or additional information will be provided as part of the examination paper.


Task Length % of module mark
Closed/in-person Exam (Centrally scheduled)
Closed exam : Communication Systems and Digital Communications
2 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The School of PET aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. The School will endeavour to return all exam feedback within the timescale set out in the University's Policy on Assessment Feedback Turnaround Time. The School would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The School will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Formative Feedback

Labs will allow you to design, model/implement and evaluate communication systems and you will receive verbal help and feedback in all the aspects during the session.

Tutorial questions at the end of each main section help you to gain feedback on your understanding of the key concepts covered in the lectures.

Structured solutions to questions sheets help you not only to gain feedback on your understanding of the key material covered in the lectures, but also to identify the steps you have done correctly/incorrectly.

Workshop sessions will allow you to work through questions and to receive verbal feedback of your work

Questions posted to the VLE forum/wiki will be answered as soon as possible by the module coordinator and also an opportunity for the peers to contribute/learn/discuss.

Summative Feedback

Marks will be provided for the exam.

Indicative reading

Digital and Analog Communication Systems by Leon W. Couch, Eighth Edition. Pearson Education ( 2012)

Communication Systems by Simon Haykin, Fifth Edition. Wiley (2009)

Modern Digital and Analog Communications System by B. Lathi, Zhi Ding. OUP (2009)

Fundamentals of Communication Systems by John G. Proakis , Masoud Salehi. Pearson Education (2014)

Digital Communications by Ian Glover and Peter Grant, Third Edition, Pearson Education ( 2009).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.