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Unit information: Communications in 2021/22

Unit name Communications
Unit code EENG22000
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Armour
Open unit status Not open

EENG11001, EENG16000



School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit covers the basics of digital and analogue information transfer over wired and wireless links. Topics include baseband and bandpass (M-FSK, M-PSK, M-QAM) modulation formats and associated error control coding, pulse shaping, symbol timing and carrier recovery techniques, together with bandpass analogue modulation techniques.

Fundamentals Communications:

Overview of communication systems. Factors affecting system capacity: bandwidth, noise, distortion. Quantitative metrics for Communications. Shannon's capacity theorem and bandwidth efficiency.

Baseband Digital Modulation:

PAM binary and multi-level signalling, Implications of inter-symbol interference and pulse shaping, Nyquist filters, matched filters, root raised cosine filters. Generation and interpretation of eye diagrams.

Bandpass Digital Modulation:

Introduction to the generation, detection, spectra and performance of digital modulation methods: Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK), Frequency Shift Keying (FSK), Minimum Shift Keying (MSK), Phase Shift Keying (PSK), Phase Shift Keying (DPSK). Binary and Multilevel modulation schemes. Coherent, non-coherent and differentially coherent detection methods.


Modem design exercise

Error Control: Automatic Repeat Request and Forward Error Correction as strategies for error control. The pros and cons of each and the implications of error control in the context of Shannon Capacity.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the fundamental limitations on the performance of communication systems
  2. Evaluate the performance of communications systems both qualitatively and quantitatively
  3. Calculate the theoretical capacity of a channel as a function of bandwidth and SNR
  4. Apply engineering trade-offs in using different modulation techniques and be able to select appropriate techniques for different applications
  5. Outline the practical challenges associated with different modulation methods
  6. Apply the above to design, implement and evaluate a communications modem and compare theoretical capacity and practical system capabilities.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

Formative: Lab Assessment & Online Test 1

Summative: Exam (Summer, 100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EENG22000).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.