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Unit information: Principles of Communication Systems in 2018/19

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Principles of Communication Systems
Unit code EENGM0000
Credit points 0
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


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 details

This unit is delivered over the first 4 teaching weeks in TB1. 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 Details

The assessment of this material (all ILOs) is via a closed book examination immediately after completion of lecture delivery.

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)