• Offered by Research School of Engineering
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Course subject Engineering
  • Areas of interest Information Technology, Engineering
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Parastoo Sadeghi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2014
    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, bit error rates.
  • Digital Demodulation & Detection Techniques: Correlator, Maximum a posteriori detection (MAP), Maximum likelihood detection (MLSD).
  • Channel Encoder/Decoder: Linear block codes, Cyclic codes, Convolutional codes, Viterbi algorithm.
  • Channel Characteristics: Wireline vs. wireless channels, Mathematical models for communication cannels, Characterization of multipath channels.
  • Digital Communication Systems: Multiple Access techniques, TDMA vs. CDMA communication systems.

Simulink/Matlab is used extensively in the analysis and design.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Having successfully completed this course, students should be able to:-

Knowledge Base

  1. Describe a random process in terms of its mean and correlation functions and characterize special Gaussian and Rayleigh distributions.
  2. Identify methods of digital modulation and compare their performance using signal-space analysis.
  3. Explain receiver techniques for detection of a signal in AWGN channel.
  4. Characterize error-control coding techniques and explain the working of Viterbi algorithm.
  5. Explain the mechanism of signal propagation in wireless communication and classify characteristics of multipath propagation channels.

Engineering Ability

  1. Explain in simple words the working principles of basic building blocks of a digital communication system.
  2. Model digital communication systems using appropriate mathematical techniques (probability distributions, signal-space analysis, constellation diagrams, trellis graphs, impulse response).
  3. Develop an intuitive grasp of random variables and notion of random process and their characteristics.

Practical Skills

  1. Simulate digital communication applications using Simulink.
  2. Calculate results using Matlab in a knowledgeable and confident manner.
  3. Typset mathematical reports in Latex.

Indicative Assessment

Labs (18%), Project (20%), Mid-Semester Exam (12%), Final Exam (50%)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Thirty one-hour lectures, four three-hour computer labs, two three-hour hardware labs and ten one-hour project tutorials

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed ENGN2228.

Prescribed Texts


  • Proakis, J.G. & Salehi, M., Communications Systems Engineering, 2nd  edition, Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2002

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.




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. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
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 Description
1994-2003 $1650
2014 $2952
2013 $2946
2012 $2946
2011 $2946
2010 $2916
2009 $2850
2008 $2592
2007 $2298
2006 $2190
2005 $2190
2004 $2190
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $3450
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3618
2008 $3618
2007 $3618
2006 $3618
2005 $3534
2004 $3450
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3877 17 Feb 2014 07 Mar 2014 31 Mar 2014 30 May 2014 In Person N/A

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