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CM50123: Networking

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Computer Science
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework 1 (CW 10%)
  • Coursework 2 (CW 15%)
  • Examination (EX 75%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: To understand the Internet, and associated background and theory, to a level sufficient for a competent domain manager.

Learning Outcomes: After taking this unit a student should be able to:
* explain the acronyms and concepts of the Internet and how they relate;
* state the steps required to connect a domain to the Internet and explain the issues involved to both technical and non-technical audiences;
* understand the ethical issues involved in the use of the Internet, and have an "intelligent layman's" grasp of the legal issues and uncertainties;
* understand fundamental security issues, and advise on the configuration issues surrounding a firewall;
* be aware of the impact on networking of the latest developments in technology and software;
* perform principled analysis and evaluations of network designs.

Skills: A thorough understanding of the concepts and models of networks and the application of these to practical networks at the local, area and global level (T, F, A). Critical analysis a particular network and assess its fitness for purpose (T, A).

Content: The ISO 7-layer model. The Internet: its history and evolution - predictions for the future. The TCP/IP stack: IP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, DNS, XDR, NFS and SMTP. Berkeley Introduction to packet layout: source routing etc. The CONS/CLNS debate: theory versus practice.
Various link levels: SLIP, 802.5 and Ethernet, satellites, the "fat pipe", ATM. Performance issues: bandwidth, MSS and RTT; caching at various layers. Who 'owns' the Internet and who 'manages' it: RFCs, service providers, domain managers, IANA, UKERNA, commercial British activities. Routing protocols and default routers. HTML and electronic publishing. Legal and ethical issues: slander/libel, copyright, pornography, publishing versus carrying. Security and firewalls: Kerberos.

Programme availability:

CM50123 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Computer Science
  • RSCM-AFD06 : Doctor of Engineering (EngD) Digital Entertainment
  • TSCM-AFM19 : MSc Human Computer Interaction
  • TSCM-AWM31 : MSc Human Computer Interaction
  • TSCM-AFM21 : MSc Software Systems
  • TSCM-AWM35 : MSc Software Systems
  • USCM-AFM01 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science (Year 4)
  • USCM-AAM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • USCM-AKM02 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science with Year long work placement (Year 5)
  • USCM-AFM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics (Year 4)
  • USCM-AAM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Study year abroad (Year 5)
  • USCM-AKM14 : MComp(Hons) Computer Science and Mathematics with Year long work placement (Year 5)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.