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COMP2204 Computer Networking in Organisations

Module Overview

The aim of this module is to give students a solid grounding in the principles and protocols behind modern data networks, grounding the theory in its application to organisational networks, most specifically a campus enterprise. The module material will be underpinned by consideration of data communication technologies, but also include aspects related to network management and operation, and the principles surrounding distributed and cloud computing that are likely to be most important to organisations such as typical enterprise/campus networks. The more theoretical aspects of the module will expose students to the principles of layered communication protocols, the architecture of the Internet, and the principles of how the components of the TCP/IP layered model, including the link, network and transport layers, are designed and operate. The more practical aspects will cover network design and operation, including network security and network management and monitoring, as well as models for delivering an IT support service (such as ITIL). A campus enterprise network will be used as a case study and a focus for operational discussions in the module. Outsourcing considerations and principles surrounding distributed systems and commercial cloud services will be included.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to give students a solid grounding in the principles and protocols behind modern data networks, grounding the theory in its application to organisational networks, most specifically a campus enterprise.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The Internet architecture and layered TCP/IP networking model
  • Principles and functions of the ink, network and transport layers
  • Network design, services and operation in the context of an enterprise network
  • Network infrastructures, and their management and monitoring
  • Web services, both classic and RESTful
  • Cloud computing; software/platform/infrastructure as a service
  • Distributed computing and algorithms
  • Network security; IPsec, VPNs, malware, denial of service attacks and resilience
  • Delivering a large-scale enterprise (campus) IT service
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse and design simple networks
  • Analyse existing TCP/IP-based network protocols
  • Explain the network protocols and services required to operate an enterprise network
  • Critically evaluate the design of an existing enterprise network
  • Explain how a wide range of services (web, cloud, etc) apply to an enterprise environment
  • Read and understand high-level articles on emerging networking technologies
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Examine and describe network configurations in a LAN environment
  • Design/define the components of an enterprise network
  • Use appropriate tools to manage/monitor an enterprise network
  • Use network security tools, understanding their correct application
  • Describe how to deliver IT services through cloud provider(s)


The topics include: Introduction to networking - The Internet architecture - The TCP/IP layered model - Protocols, their design principles and standardisation in the IETF - Naming and addressing Organisational networks - Campus/enterprise - ISPs and home networks Link-layer networking - Ethernet networks, switches - Wireless networks Network layer - The evolution of IPv4 - Routing, link state and distance vector algorithms - Subnet, enterprise and ISP routing perspectives - IPv6, coexistence strategies with IPv4 Network services - Quality of service (QoS) - IP multicast, reliable multicast - Host configuration, service discovery, zero-configuration networking - DHCP, DNS Transport layer - TCP, UDP Network design and operation - IP addressing plans - Layer 2/3 considerations; VLANs, routing - Infrastructures; enterprise/campus, ISP/home networks - Network monitoring and management, SNMP Applications - Web/HTTP, Email/SMTP - Voice and video - Requirements on lower layers and infrastructure Distributed computing - An overview of distributed algorithms - Message oriented middleware - Principles and history of Grid computing - Evolution of peer-to-peer systems; examples including BitTorrent Cloud computing - Outsourcing considerations; technical and legal - Software/platform/infrastructure as a service - Examples of cloud services, such as Amazon S3 Web services - Classic web services - RESTful web services - The principles and value of (linked) open data Network security - Authentication and encryption, PKI - Firewalls, intrusion detection and penetration testing - Securing wireless networks - IPsec, VPNs - Malware, botnets - (Distributed) denial of service attacks Delivering an IT service - Support models - ITIL - Handling security incidents; CSIRTs

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures are used to present the underpinning theory, while laboratories will give student the opportunity to practice what hey have been learning.

Follow-up work16.5
Preparation for scheduled sessions16.5
Wider reading or practice61.5
Completion of assessment task12.5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A Tanenbaum, D.J. Wetherall (2010). Computer Networks. 

L.L. Peterson and B.S. Davie (2011). Computer Networks, a Systems Approach. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 80%
Laboratory 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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