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CIS3003 Networks and Distributed Systems

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Information Systems

Contents on this page


Examiner: Srecko Howard
Moderator: Jianming Yong

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //


The climate of rapid technological change which characterises modern society and the desire for increased efficiency and effective decision making in today's business has resulted in enterprise information systems and inter-organisational systems being brought into sharp focus for information systems professionals. Data networks, interoperability and distributed systems philosophies are key components in the delivery of such systems. Therefore it is vital that network communications form an integral part of all contemporary information systems design and not simply an afterthought at the implementation stage.


This course seeks to broaden the student's knowledge of telecommunications and networking fundamentals and to provide a greater depth of understanding of networking concepts and the importance of networking and communication in business environment. In addition, the student will expand upon their knowledge of distributed systems models and concepts by examining existing and newly emerging communication technologies. Finally, the student will be provided with the opportunity to combine their knowledge of networking fundamentals and distributed systems to provide tailored business solutions, analysis of emerging networking topics (such as cloud computing, virtualisations, wireless technologies, fiber networks and so on) for contemporary business problems.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. review applicable concepts and techniques learned in the course and integrate these ideas with the concepts and approaches developed in this course
  2. demonstrate an understanding of telecommunications fundamentals technologies and implementations
  3. demonstrate an understanding of local area network, metropolitan and wide area network architectures technologies and implementations
  4. demonstrate written communication skills by critical evaluation and writing up evaluation in a concise format
  5. demonstrate academic and professional literacy by collating theoretical and practical course material into a workable application through understanding concepts and their practical application
  6. demonstrate the specific skills required by external accreditation bodies (especially the Australian Computing Society) through a variety of theory and practical in-class activities, assignments and the examination
  7. demonstrate creativity, initiative, and enterprise by translating problems into a solutions that are efficient, economic and provide business benefits in telecommunications.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Review of applicable concepts and techniques 10.00
2. Network mechanisms 15.00
3. Network architectures 20.00
4. Network design methodologies 20.00
5. Business applications and distributed systems issues 25.00
6. Network management fundamentals 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Fitzgerald, J & Dennis, A 2009, Business data communications and networking, 10th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • Summers, J & Smith, B 2010, Communication skills handbook, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Stallings, W 1999, ISDN and broadband ISDN with frame relay and ATM, 4th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Stallings, W 2009, Business data communications, 6th edn, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Stallings, W 2010, Data and computer communications, 9th edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Lectures 14.00
Private Study 128.00
Tutorials 28.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASST 1 - ONLINE QUIZ 100 5 20 Mar 2012
ASST 2 - ESSAY & SMALL REPORT 100 10 27 Apr 2012
ASST 3 - REPORT 100 20 28 May 2012
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 100 65 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the examination for this course are (i) Writing materials: non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination; (ii) Translation dictionaries: with the examiner's approval, candidates may, take an appropriate non-electronic translation dictionary into the examination. This will be subject to perusal and, if it is found to contain annotations or markings that could give the candidate an unfair advantage, it may be removed from the candidate's possession until the appropriate disciplinary action is completed.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to the USQ. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) In accordance with university policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (iv) The examiner will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media. (v) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience.

  2. Course weightings: Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions testing those topics in an examination paper.

  3. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //

  4. Make-up work: Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  5. Deferred work: Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded: IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  6. Appeals: Any appeal against the award of a grade in the course will be conducted in accordance with university regulations. These regulations are published in the university handbook.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //