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Unit information: Principles of Communication Systems in 2020/21

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Unit name Principles of Communication Systems
Unit code EENGM0033
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1A (weeks 1 - 6)
Unit director Professor. Beach
Open unit status Not open

Entry to MSc Programmes (MS61 to MS64)



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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides a review of the underpinning material to support the understanding of both Analogue and Digital Communication Techniques taught in subsequent units with our MSc programmes (Communication Networks and Signal Processing, Image and Video Communication and Signal Processing, Optical Communications and Signal Processing and Wireless Communications and Signal Processing).


Overview of modern communication systems;

Fundamentals of baseband transmission: system capacity, bandwidth noise and distortion, PAM binary and multi-level signalling, intersymbol interference and pulse shaping, eye diagrams, sources of channel degradation and correction techniques, line coding;

Bandpass Digital Modulation: generation, detection spectra and performance, amplitude shift keying, phase shift keying, frequency shift keying, minimum shift keying (MSK, CPM), multi-level signalling, M-ary systems (QAM), orthogonal signalling (MFSK);

Amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, linear modulation and spectra;

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will 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 select appropriate techniques for different applications.

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.

Example sheets and solutions for each topic are provided as well as example end of unit examination. Practical illustations of both Analogue and Digital Communication Systems is given (where possible) using NI Labview and USRPs.

Assessment Information

The assessment of this material (all ILOs) is via a single timed assessment.

Reading and References

  • Bateman, A. Digital Communications, Addison Wesley, 1999, ISBN:0201343010
  • Haykin, S. Communication Systems, 2010, ISBN:0470169966
  • Stremler, F.G. Introduction to Communication Systems, 3rd edition, Addison Wesley, 1990, ISBN:0201516519 (TK 5101 STR)