IP Networking and Applications

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
16 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC H60112 Computer Networks and Security,
MSC G40912 Internet of Things

Module description

This module introduces the Internet and computer networking from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It first examines fundamentals of computer networking, reference layer models, the architecture and operation of the protocol suits, and shows how information is processed within each layer and transmitted across the Internet using relevant protocols and routing hierarchy. The operation and configuration of routers is discussed alongside the details of protocol operation.

As a practical exercise on routing protocols and router configuration, a specially designed lab simulation experiment using the Cisco Packet Tracer modelling tool is run in the module. The function and implementation of the main support protocols are also covered.

The course then discusses the rationale behind the next generation IPv6 protocol, in particular regarding addressing architecture, header functions, and novel protocol concepts. A comparison between IPv4 and IPv6 and transition to the next generation protocol are discussed in depth. The application of these new networking ideas is illustrated by the application of IPv6 to problems in network layer services, especially security.

Finally, the course describes the operation and configuration of applications and application-layer protocols, especially Domain Name System (DNS).

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce the internet and computer networking from a theoretical and practical perspective. Using reference layer models the operation of the internet is described for each layer of the hierachy.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the course, students should be able to:

1. Understand and describe the layered network architectures, their protocol suites and the operation principles of protocols within each layer.

2. Explain functions and implementation of the main control (support) protocols.

3. Solve problems related to the Internet functioning and network performance evaluation.

4. Discuss the client-server approach to networked computing and show where it is appropriate.

5. Explain how information is routed across the Internet using different approaches, routing hierarchy and corresponding protocols.

6. Describe in general terms and explain the business case and technical case for the next generation IPv6 protocol, its design and network functionality.

7. Understand the operation of common applications and application-layer protocols and be able to discuss their configuration and deployment, particularly the DNS.

Module information

Outline Syllabus:

Review of computer network concepts, layered services and protocols; Local area networks, Ethernets, LLC and MAC sub-layers, CSMA/CD protocol, IP over Ethernet.

Internet protocol IPv4: IP datagrams, Fragmentation, IPv4 addressing; Internet control protocols, ICMP. ARP, RARP, BOOTP and DHCP.

Transport protocols: TCP operation, congestion control algorithms; UDP operation; Performance of computer networks.

Internet routing protocols: Static and dynamic routing; Distance-vector routing, link-state routing, convergence, Dijkstra algorithm; Interior and exterior rooting protocols, RIP, OSPF, BGP. Multicast addressing and routing: IGMP, IP tunnelling, MBONE, PIM.

Next generation IPv6 Internet protocol: IPv6 addressing architecture; IPv6 packet format, Main header and field functions; Extension headers; Auto-configuration and discovery functions; Comparison with IPv4; Review of IPv6 security concepts, IPv6 security services, transport and tunnel encryption modes. General architecture of IPSec and security headers; ICMPv6 functions. IPv6 mobility.

Applications and application-layer protocols. Common Internet services and their configuration; The Domain Name Service (DNS), its purpose, installation and configuration, name resolution algorithms.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and classes


  • Tanenbaum, Andrew S.; Wetherall, D. (2014) Computer networks, Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
  • Halsall, Fred. (2005) Computer Networking and the Internet, New Jersey: Pearson Education (US).

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1 - Report on Practical Exercises and Essays     50% 
Coursework   Assignment 2 - Report on Laboratory Experiment     25% 
Written Exam  Progress Test - Week 9     25% 
Exam  120 minutes during Early Exams (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%


Coursework Exam
40% 60%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Nick Zakhleniuk, email: naz@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Nick Zakhleniuk
School Office, e-mail csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770.



External examiner

Prof Raouf Hamzaoui
De Montfort University
Available via Moodle
Of 39 hours, 32 (82.1%) hours available to students:
7 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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