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The University of Southampton

ELEC6255 IoT Networks

Module Overview

Computer networking is a core technology of the internet of things; without it, ‘things’ would be unable to communicate with each other or report data. This module is concerned with how IoT device network with each other, from the structure and purpose of layers in protocol stacks, through to example IoT protocols, state-of-the-art directions, and security implications. A key part of the module is the coursework, in which students design and implement their own network protocol(s) in either simulation or hardware. This module is taught together with ELEC3227 Embedded Networked Systems. This module and ELEC3227 are mutually exclusive. This module has higher requirements on the desired learning outcomes, which will be assessed by a different coursework assignment.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The principles of layered networking models
  • Architectures and protocols which enable IoT networking
  • Issues regarding the security of IoT networks
  • State-of-the-art research directions in networked IoT devices
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Balance the trade-offs between performance and efficiency in networking protocols
  • Select appropriate protocols to meet application/QoS requirements
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Interpret standardisation documents
  • Communicate your technical work
  • Find, read and evaluate technical literature
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use simulation to test and evaluate networking algorithms, protocols and architectures


Network architectures and principles Physical networks and their design Layered networking models: - Physical layer principles and protocols (radio propagation, modulation and detection) - Data link layer principles and protocols - Network layer principles and protocols - Transport layer principles and protocols - Application layer principles and protocols Example network protocols and architectures (Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoRa/LoRaWAN, TCP/IP) Network security Emerging network technologies Standardisation of communication protocols

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Syllabus material is taught through the lectures and supporting tutorials. Learning will be through a combination of independent study alongside the taught sessions, the coursework and lab activities. Tutorials and lab activities provide an opportunity for teaching and learning which provides a foundation for the practical skills required by the coursework.

Completion of assessment task50
Wider reading or practice19
Specialist Laboratory 15
Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

Laboratory sessions are scheduled in the labs on level 2 of the Zepler building. Length of each session: 3 hours Number of sessions completed by each student: 5 Max number of students per session: unlimited Demonstrator:student ratio: 1:12 Preferred teaching weeks: 2 to 6


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 40%
Final Assessment  60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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