COMP SCI 3001 - Computer Networks & Applications

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2024

Introduction to networks and digital communications with a focus on Internet protocols: Application layer architectures (client/server, peer-to-peer) and protocols (HTTP-web, SMTP-mail, etc), Transport layer operation: (reliable transport, congestion and flow control, UDP, TCP); Network layer operation - (routing, addressing, IPv4 and IPv6), Data Link layer operation (error detection/correction, access control, Ethernet, 802.11), Layer 2/3 protocols (MPLS); security, selected current topics such as: multimedia protocols, quality of Service, mobility, wireless networking, emerging protocols, network management.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 3001
    Course Computer Networks & Applications
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2.5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites (COMP SCI 2009 and COMP SCI 2208) or COMP SCI 2103
    Assessment Written exam and/or assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Damith Ranasinghe

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1 Explain the way protocols currently in use in the Internet work and the requirements for designing network protocols.
    2 Analyse and capture network traffic.
    3 Apply the theory of basic network performance analysis
    4 Analyse soundness or potential flaws in proposed protocols
    5 Describe the current architecture of the Internet and the entities involved with the day to day running of the Internet and the process involved with development of policy and new protocols
    6 Explain and identify security and ethical issues in computer networking.
    7 Design and evaluate key networking algorithms in simulation

    The above course learning outcomes are aligned with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standard for the Professional Engineer.
    The course is designed to develop the following Elements of Competency: 1.1   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.5   1.6   2.1   2.2   2.3   3.1   3.5   

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 2, 5, 6

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The prescribed textbook for the course is:

    Computer Networking: a Top-Down Approach, Seventh Edition (Sixth is acceptable), Kurose and Ross, 2017. ISBN: 9781292153599

    Limited copies of past editions also available from the library.
    Recommended Resources
    Students will be required to write reports of varying length, as well as computer programs. Students should have access to guides to writing essays, as well as books on programming in Python, Java and C.
    Online Learning
    All assessments, notices and course materials are located on the Canvas (MyUni) site.  Students are expected to check the forum on a regular basis for announcements relating to the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course aims to introduce students to fundamental concepts in Computer Networking and Applications, building to an understanding of the structure and function of the Internet, and the construction of networks in general.

    Lectures will focus on theory and problem solving. Workshops will extend lectures and provide an opportunity for discussion and feedback. Assignemnts and lab work will reinforce theoretical concepts through their application. All material covered in the lectures, labs, assignments, workshops and assigned reading are assessable. Students are expected to be able to explain what they have learned and apply their knowledge.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Computer Networks and Applications is a three-unit course. We expect that students will spend approximately 10-12 hours a week working on the course. This will consist of 2 hours of lectures a week, 1 workshop in the odd weeks, approximately 1-2 hours of workshop preparation, up to 1 hour of pre-lecture preparation a week viewing podcasts or reading, 1 hour a week spent completing networking labs, and up to 7 hours a week spent completing assignments.

    The work spent on assignments is likely to be closely associated with an assignment deadline, rather than spread out evenly across the semester. You should allow yourself enough time to understand, start and complete the assignments to a high level.
    Learning Activities Summary



    Introduction to Networking

    An overview of networking, history and the multi-layer model.

    Application Layer

    A discussion of Client/Server and Peer-to-Peer models, examples of existing application layer technologies and Socket programming

    Transport Layer

    Discusses the issues in multiplexing reliable and unreliable connections across potentially unreliable fabric, including discussions of UDP and TCP.

    Network Layer

    Discusses network routing, compares and contrasts link-state and distance vector routing, introduction to IP and IPv6

    Data Link Layer

    Covers error detection and correction, sharing a medium, local area networks, commonly used protocols, and Layer 2.5 protocols


    Discusses principles of cryptography, the use of digital signatures and a number of secure applications. Also discusses the use of security at the Transport and Network layer, as well as ethical issues potentially arising in security environments.

    Specific Course Requirements
    The final exam component attracts a minimum performance hurdle. Students must obtain at least 40% of the marks for the final exam in order to pass the course.

    Students must also obtain at least 50% of the total marks to pass the course.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Weighting (%) Individual/ Group Formative/ Summative
    Due (week)*
    Hurdle criteria Learning outcomes CBOK Alignment**
    Final exam 60 Individual Summative Week 14 Min 40% 1. 3. 5. 6. 1.1 1.2 3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 5.4
    Programming Assignments 25 Individual Formative Weeks 2-14 1. 4. 7. 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.6 3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 4.2 4.3 5.1 5.3 5.4
    Labs  10 Individual Formative Weeks 1-12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 2.3 4.2 4.3 5.4
    Workshops 5 Individual Formative Weeks 3-12 (see Schedule on Course Planner) 1. 3. 4. 6. 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.5 3.1 3.2 3.3 4.2 5.4
    Total 100
    * The specific due date for each assessment task will be available on MyUni.
    This assessment breakdown complies with the University's Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy.
    This course has a hurdle requirement. Meeting the specified hurdle criteria is a requirement for passing the course.

    **CBOK is the Core Body of Knowledge for ICT Professionals defined by the Australian Computer Society. The alignment in the table above corresponds with the following CBOK Areas:

    1. Problem Solving
    1.1 Abstraction
    1.2 Design

    2. Professional Knowledge
    2.1 Ethics
    2.2 Professional expectations
    2.3 Teamwork concepts & issues
    2.4 Interpersonal communications
    2.5 Societal issues
    2.6 Understanding of ICT profession

    3. Technology resources
    3.1 Hardware & Software
    3.2 Data & information
    3.3 Networking

    4. Technology Building
    4.1 Programming
    4.2 Human factors
    4.3 Systems development
    4.4 Systems acquisition

    5.  ICT Management
    5.1 IT governance & organisational
    5.2 IT project management
    5.3 Service management 
    5.4 Security management

    Assessment Related Requirements
    The final exam component has a minimum performance hurdle. Students must obtain at least 40% of the marks for the final exam in order to pass the course.

    Students must obtain at least 50% of the overall marks to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Final Exam (60%)
    There will be a 2 hour examination at the end of the course, consisting of questions that will assess your knowledge of networking protocols, principles and practices. Materials permitted in the examination are limited to basic calculators without alpha-numeric memory.

    Programming Assignment work (25%)
    Each student will be expected to successfully complete assignments, addressing programming of protocols and network configuration applying Computer Networking theory. Work must be the student’s own and students will be required to submit their work for plagiarism detection, where indicated. Students in COMP SCI 7039 and DEFSCI 7042 will submit additional work.

    Labs (10%)
    Lab work is comprised of wireshark network packet capture labs. Wireshark labs have online associated quizzes that must be completed for credit.

    Workshops (5%)

    All work will be submitted through the School of Computer Science’s electronic submission forums, including MyUni and the School’s web submission gateway. All programs are to be submitted in the programming language specified, and any text reports are to be submitted as PDF files.

    While students are required to use the School’s SVN repository, we will not mark any work unless it is handed in through the correct method, as designated in the assignment handout.

    Late hand-ins for programming assignments will have their mark capped after a 3 day automatic grace period:

    1 day late – grace period
    2 days late – grace period
    3 days late – grace period 
    more than 3 days late – no marks available.

    Extensions to due dates for programming assignments will only be considered under exceptional medical or personal conditions. All extension requests must accompnay the SET faculty's Application for Assessment Extension form and must be received at least one business day prior to due date of the assignment and will not be granted on the last day due, or retrospectively. Applications for extensions must be made to the course coordinator by e-mail or hard copy and must include supporting documentation – medical certificate or letter from the student counselling service.

    No late hand-ins or extensions for any other submissions.

    At least one item of work will be returned, with grading and feedback, prior to week 7.

    The final examination will be scheduled by the examinations office. You will be able to access your exam schedule through Access Adelaide. You are expected to be available during the replacement/additional assessment examination period (check University dates). If you are offered a R/AA exam and are unavailable to attend, you will not be able to postpone the R/AA exam.  Please keep this in mind before making any travel plans during the R/AA period.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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