• Class Number 4242
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Markus Buchhorn
    • Dr Markus Buchhorn
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

This course studies the standard models for the layered approach to communication between autonomous machines in a network, and the main characteristics of data transmission across various physical link types. It considers how to design networks and protocols for diverse situations, analyses several application and support protocols from a distributed systems viewpoint, and identifies significant problem areas in networked communications.

Topics include: communication network architectures, signalling and modulation across physical media, real-world local and wide-area networks, internet protocol fundamentals, performance and monitoring of networks, routing, network security, and application protocols for distributed systems including web, email, video, internet-of-everything and other contemporary network topics.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret and articulate the layered protocol model.
  2. Articulate, analyse and evaluate a number of datalink, network, and transport layer protocols.
  3. Program simple network communication services for client/server and other application layouts
  4. Articulate, analyse and evaluate various related technical, administrative and social aspects of specific computer network protocols from standards documents and other primary materials found through research
  5. Design, analyse, and evaluate networks and services for homes, data centres, IoT/IoE, LANs and WANs.

Examination Material or equipment

Details will be provided on the wattle course page.

There are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These include videos for lectures and other instruction, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given information on their work in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments (on assignments)
  • comments to whole class, groups, individuals, via lectures and the wattle forum
  • On request, via tutors and/or lecturer, as appropriate

Students are encouraged to developed feedback literacy, i.e. to learn how to interpret, internalise and act on it, to make requests for particular types of feedback (from staff and peers). Course staff are also developing feedback literacy to understand it is an ongoing process with students, and not just cannonballs of comments fired after each assessment item.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

This course introduces fundamental concepts that could potentially be addressed by certain Generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT). Hence, the use of any Generative AI tools is not permitted in graded assessments within this course. 

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Communications - Getting from A to B Week numbers are very approximate only, monitor the wattle site for details. Apart from lectures there are 2hrs of tutorials/labs each week from week 1 onwards. Assessment items (exams and assignments) are sprinkled throughout the semester, see the assessment section here and on the wattle site for release/due dates. Note that assessment is a portfolio total of all items, none of them are hurdles and none of them are redeemable. 
2 Media types
3 LANs, Ethernet, WiFi
4 WANs and Layers
5 Internet Protocol, TCP/UDP Assignment 1 - Last Mile networks - Due this week
6 Applications and application designs Scheduling may bump around the mid-semester test - TBD
7 Applications and application designs Assignment 2 - Protocol coding challenge - Due this week
8 Routing
9 When Good Networks Go Bad: Congestion and Measurement
10 When Good Networks Go Bad: Security
11 Guest lectures Due: Assignment 3 - Internet of Things coding and analysis challenge TBC
12 Guest lectures Due: Final Exam in Exam Period. Date TBC

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 - Last Mile networks 15 % 4,5
Assignment 2 - Protocol coding challenge 15 % 1,2,3,4
Assignment 3 - Internet of Things coding and analysis challenge 15 % 1,2,3,4,5
Mid-Semester Test 15 % 1,2,3,4
Final Exam 40 % 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Two tests, as per above, worth 55%, held during mid-semester-test and final-exam weeks. Neither of these, nor the assignments, are a hurdle assessment, nor are they redeemable.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 4,5

Assignment 1 - Last Mile networks

(15%) A short technical report to design a simple last-mile network for a specified rural situation. Out in week 2, due in week 5, marked within 2 weeks

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Assignment 2 - Protocol coding challenge

(15%) Writing software to exchange protocol messages with known servers/clients as per documented standards. Out in week 5, due in week 7, marked within 2 weeks

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Assignment 3 - Internet of Things coding and analysis challenge

(15%) Writing software to control and test the performance of networked MQTT/IOT services, and analysing the results. Probably working in pairs, but individually assessed. Out in about week 8, due in about week 11, marked within 2 weeks

Assessment Task 4

Value: 15 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4

Mid-Semester Test

(15%) Wattle-quiz - held during mid-semester test period, week 6, marked within 2 weeks

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final Exam

(40%) Wattle-quiz - held during final exam period, after end of semester 1.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin, or other mechanism accessible via the wattle site.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submissions are not permitted for this course, unless approval has been sought from and given by the course convenor.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Returning Assignments

Assignments will be returned via wattle, with comments embedded or alongside (depending on the submission type)

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission is not permitted, unless a clear error has occurred, it is not too long after the deadline, and approval has been sought from and given by the course convenor.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

Dr Markus Buchhorn

Research Interests

Dr Markus Buchhorn

By Appointment
Dr Markus Buchhorn

Research Interests

Dr Markus Buchhorn

By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions