• Offered by Research School of Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Xiangyun Zhou
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course ENGN3226
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course presents the principles and techniques fundamental to the analysis and design of digital communication systems. It focuses on the basic building blocks of a digital communication system (channel encoder/decoder, digital modulator/demodulator and channel characteristics). The emphasis is on mathematical underpinnings of communications theory along with practical applications. Specific topics include:

  • Probability and Random Processes: Probability distributions, Random variables, Random processes, Statistical averages, Correlation.
  • Digital Modulation Techniques: Signal space analysis, BPSK, QPSK, QAM.
  • Digital Demodulation & Detection Techniques: Correlator-demodulator, Maximum likelihood detection (MLD) in additive white Gaussian noise (AWGN), bit error rate (BER) performance.
  • Channel Encoder/Decoder: Linear block codes, Cyclic codes, Convolutional codes, Viterbi algorithm.
  • Information Theory: Source Entropy, Huffman Coding, Channel Capacity.

Advanced topics in digital communications are briefly discussed if time allows. Matlab is used extensively in the analysis and design.

Learning Outcomes

1.  Describe random variables and random processes in terms of their mean, variance, and correlation functions and characterize important random variables and processes.
2.  Identify and analyse methods of digital modulation and compare their performance using signal-space analysis.
3.  Explain receiver techniques for detection of a signal in AWGN channels.
4.  Characterize error-control coding techniques and explain the working of Viterbi algorithm.
5.  Compute source entropy and channel capacity and apply Huffman coding technique.
6.  Develop an intuitive grasp of random variables and notion of random process and their characteristics.
7.  Explain in simple words the working principles of basic building blocks of a digital   communication systems.
8.  Model digital communication systems using appropriate mathematical techniques (probability distributions, signal-space analysis, constellation diagrams, trellis graphs).
9.  Provide sound evaluation of digital communication systems in terms of their performance and complexity.
10.  Use Matlab for simulation of digital communication systems in a knowledgeable and confident manner.  

Indicative Assessment


Assignments 12%

Labs 15%

Mid-semester Exam 20%

Final Exam 53%

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10 hours per week is expected. approximately 36 hours of formal lectures, 2 three-hour computer labs, 3 two-to-three-hour hardware labs, 5 one-hour tutorials, plus adequate self-study, assignments and exam preparations.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying Master of Engineering. Incompatible with ENGN3226.

Indicative Reading List

Recommended reading:

  • Proakis, John G., Digital Communications, 4th ed, McGraw Hill, 2001
  • Sklar, Bernard, Digital Communications: Fundamentals and Applications, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall
  • Rappaport, Theodore S. Wireless Communications Principles & Practice, 2nd edition, Prentice Hall, 2002.
  • Haykin, Simon, Communication Systems, 4th edition, John Wiley, 2001.
  • Goldsmith, Andrea Wireless Communications, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Proakis, J.G. & Salehi, M., Communications Systems Engineering, 2nd  edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2002

Assumed Knowledge

Assumed knowledge of electronics and communications enigneering


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4878
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
3040 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person

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