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CIS3003 Networks and Distributed Systems

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Networks & Distributed Systems
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 020113 - Networks and Communications
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Ron Addie


Pre-requisite: CIS2005

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 current climate of rapid technological change which characterises modern society and the desire for increased efficiency and effective decision making in today's business has brought into focus the need for effective information exchange. This has resulted in enterprise information systems and inter-organisational systems being brought into sharp focus by 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 an afterthought at the implementation stage.


The course seeks to broaden students' knowledge of telecommunications and networking fundamentals, as well as to provide an in depth understanding of networking concepts and the importance of network communication in a business environment. This course requires students to analyse and present information in a manner that facilitates the process of decision making in the field of business and telecommunication. The course expands upon knowledge of distributed system models and concepts by examining existing and emerging network communication technologies such as cloud computing, virtualisations, wireless technologies, optical fibre networks. As part of the course participants are expected to combine networking fundamentals and distributed systems covered in the course to provide tailored business solutions.


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

  1. Appraise and explain telecommunications fundamental technologies and including implementation of local area network, metropolitan and wide area network architectures;
  2. Analyse applicable prior concepts and approaches learned in the course and integrate these ideas with the concepts and approaches developed in this course;
  3. Analyse academic and professional literacy by collating theoretical and practical course material into solutions through directed activity, practical in-class activities, assignment, and the examination;
  4. Investigate solutions that are efficient, economic and provide business benefits in telecommunications.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Review of applicable concepts and techniques 15.00
2. Network mechanisms 20.00
3. Network architectures 20.00
4. Network design methodologies 10.00
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 2017, Business data communications and networking, 13th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Australia and NZ.
(ISBN : 978-1-119-136883-0 or alternatively eBook version from

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 2012, Business data communications: infrastructure, networking and security, 7th edn, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Stallings, W 2014, Data and computer communications, 10th edn, Pearson, Boston, Massachusetts.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Online Lectures 26.00
Online Tutorials 26.00
Private Study 116.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Asst 1 - Online Quiz 100 5 18 Mar 2021 1
Asst 2 - Essay & Small Report 100 15 20 Apr 2021 1,3
Asst 3 - Report & Presentation 100 30 21 May 2021 2,3,4
Open Examination - Online 100 50 End S1 1,2,4 (see note 1)

  1. This will be an online exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    External/Online: If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility 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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  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:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    Candidates are only allowed to access specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    i. writing materials. These must be non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination.
    ii. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  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. 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

Date printed 18 June 2021