• Offered by RS Electrical, Energy and Materials 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 Xiangyun Zhou
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    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:

• Review of Probability and Random Processes and Modelling of Gaussian noise process.

• 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 and Source Coding: Source Entropy, Huffman Coding, Channel Capacity.

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

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Model digital communication signals and systems using appropriate mathematical techniques (e.g., probability, random process, signal-space analysis, constellation diagram, trellis diagram).
  2. Analyse the performance of digital modulation schemes over AWGN channels and choose appropriate modulation schemes according to design criteria.
  3. Characterise error-control codes and apply the encoding and decoding processes.
  4. Compute source entropy and channel capacity and apply the Huffman coding technique.
  5. Provide sound evaluation of practical digital communication systems in terms of their performance and complexity.
  6. Simulate digital communication systems in a proficient and confident manner.
  7. Apply engineering design practice in a laboratory setting, individually or in a small team, and communicate the results effectively.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Assignments (12) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
  2. Computer and Hardware Labs (15) [LO 1,2,3,5,6,7]
  3. Mid-term exam (20) [LO 1,2,5]
  4. Final exam (53) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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.


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.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed ENGN2228. Incompatible with ENGN6626

Prescribed Texts

Not applicable

Preliminary Reading

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


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:
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
2020 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
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
2538 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person N/A

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