Network Engineering

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
07 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BENGG420 Computer Networks,
BENGG421 Computer Networks (Including Year Abroad),
BENGI120 Computer Networks (Including Placement Year),
BENGH641 Communications Engineering,
BENGHP41 Communications Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BENGHPK1 Communications Engineering (Including Placement Year),
BENGHQ41 Communications Engineering (Including Year Abroad),
MENGH642 Communications Engineering

Module description

This module demonstrates the methods behind simulating and analysing network performance using basic concepts and traffic theory used in contemporary protocols. It introduces internet routing protocols for WAN and LAN technologies and describes access technologies and router configurations to make networks possible.

Module aims

The aims of this module are to address the suitability of WAN and LAN protocols for communications infrastructure. Simulation and network analysis performance are evaluated for contemporary networks. Access technologies and router configurations in WAN and LAN based networks are studied to evaluate their place in modern networks.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to:

1. Understand the principles behind simulating and analysing network performance using basic concepts in traffic theory
2. Discuss and analyse the fundamental principles behind contemporary network architectures and protocols, and understand how and why new protocols are created by standardization bodies
3. Explain and configure Internet routing protocols for interconnecting WAN and LAN technologies
4. Understand the principles of access technologies and configure routers to use these technologies
5. Assess the suitability of relevant WAN protocols within a modern communications infrastructure

Module information

Outline Syllabus

Elementary traffic theory and communications switching theory
o The Erlang and basic concepts in traffic theory
o Principles of computer simulation

Network architectures and principles of network protocols
o Core, metro and access networking
o Transport network technologies - MPLS, SDH
o Communicating routing algorithms and protocols
o The standardization process (case study - the evolution and development of MPLS)

Data link layer protocols
o PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol)
o ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
o Frame Relay
o DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)

Wide area network access
o Configuring routers for WAN access
o Comparison of WAN protocols
o Securing WAN networks

This module includes Cisco CCNA Connecting Networks, (Semester 4) which requires that students have taken CCNA Semseters 1-3 as taught in CE155 and CE231.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and Cisco laboratory


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Connecting Networks Assignment - Week 9 28/11/2019 50%
Practical CISCO Connecting Networks Test (online MCQ) - Week 16 50%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
30% 70%


Coursework Exam
30% 70%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Martin Reed
CSEE School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

Dr Yunfei Chen
University of Warwick
Associate Professor
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 19 (47.5%) hours available to students:
21 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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