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ELE3305 Computer Systems and Communications Protocols

Semester 1, 2021 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Computer Sys & Com'n Protocols
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 031305 - Computer Engineering
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Alexander Kist

Other requisites

Recommended prior or concurrent study: ELE1301 and ELE2303


Computing and data communications have converged, such that data communications has become an integral part of many computer systems. This course is based around two central themes. The first is the logical extension of the material covered in the preceding Computer Engineering courses. This involves a more detailed study of advanced computer design and operating system topics including memory management, virtual memory, process management, cache memory, processor architectures and performance. The second theme is the design, implementation and use of data communication systems. This section, comprising approximately two-thirds of the course, covers local area network protocols such as Ethernet, together with higher-level protocols such as TCP/IP. An in-depth understanding of the theoretical and practical operation of these protocols and the Internet is emphasised by implementation examples.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. describe the basic concepts of computer systems and the relationship between the various subsystems;
  2. discuss factors that impact on the performance of computer systems including disk/memory cache systems, processor architecture and memory management;
  3. select and justify appropriate methods of data compression, encryption and error checking for local and wide-area networks;
  4. interpret data communications standards documents such as Internet RFC's to analyse protocol frames found in a data communications system, and provide explanations for the observed behaviour of communicating entities;
  5. prepare, to a professional standard, technical written reports and verbal presentations in English having good structure and format, high standards of spelling, grammar and punctuation, and appropriate and adequate technical content;
  6. demonstrate information literacy skills to find, analyse and evaluate appropriate information;
  7. critique work of peers and critically analyse information sources;


Description Weighting(%)
1. Operating Systems 20.00
2. Hardware and Architecture 10.00
3. Data Communications and Protocols 70.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.
Comer, D 2014, Computer networks and internets: with Internet applications, 6th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
Silberschatz, A, Galvin, PB & Gagne, G 2014, Operating system concepts essentials, 2nd edn, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
Tanenbaum, AS 2013, Computer networks, 5th edn, Pearson Education International, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Tanenbaum, AS 2014, Modern operating systems, 4th edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 54.00
Lectures 39.00
Private Study 62.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
PROJECT 360 36 15 Mar 2021 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
ASSIGNMENT 1 120 12 19 Apr 2021 1,2,6
ASSIGNMENT 2 120 12 31 May 2021 3,4,6
DESIGN ASSIGNMENT 400 40 07 Jun 2021 1,2,3,4

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's 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 assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements 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:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items 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 weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    No applicable.

  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. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. IEEE is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use IEEE style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For further information on this referencing style, refer to the below website:

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and internet access to UConnect for this course.

Date printed 18 June 2021