Module Overview

Computer Networks

This course introduces the architecture, structure, functions, components, and models of the Internet and other computer networks. The principles and structure of IP addressing and the fundamentals of Ethernet concepts, media, and operations are introduced. By the end of the course, students will be able to build simple LANs, perform basic configurations for routers and switches, and implement IP addressing schemes. The course emphasises critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and the practical application of networking skills.

Module Code

MECH H3019

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

The role of the Network.

How networks effect our lives. Describe how networks support communication. Understand converged networks. Compare LAN and WAN topologies. Explain the basic structure of the internet. Identify basic security threats.

Configuring Network Equipment.

Understand how to access and configure network devices. Understand the command structure in network device operating systems. Configure host devices with IP address information. Verify connectivity between end devices.

Network Protocols and Communications

Explain why protocols are necessary in communication. Explain the purpose of adhering to a protocol suite. Understand the role of the TCP/IP model and the OSI model. Understand the role of encapsulation in data networks.

THe Physical Network

Describe the function and purpose of the physical layer in the network. Identify the characteristics of network cabling. Describe wireless media. Select the appropriate media for a given application. Describe the function and purpose of the data link layer. Identify the layer 2 frame structure. Understand the basics of media access control methods on LANs.


Describe the operative of the Ethernet sub layers. Identify the major fields in an Ethernet frame. Describe the purpose and function of ARP. Understand basic switching concepts. Perform basic configuration of a layer 3 switch.

The Network Layer

Describe the function of the network layer in data communication. Explain the role of the header fields in IPv4 and IPv6 packets. Explain how host devices use routing tables to direct packets. Explain how routers use routing tables to direct packets. Describe common components and interfaces of a Router. Configure initial settings on a Router.

The Transport Layer

Understand the purpose of the transport layer in managing data in end to end transmission. Describe the characteristics of TCP and UDP. Determine whether TCP or UDP is more suited to a particular transmission type.

IP Addressing

Understand Addressing as a key function of network layer protocols. Identify how IP enables data communication between hosts, regardless of whether the hosts are on the same network. Describe how IPv4 and IPv6 provide hierarchical addressing for packets that carry data. Be able to designing, implement and manage an effective IP addressing plan. Describe in detail the structure of IP addresses and their application to the construction and testing of IP networks and subnetworks.

Subnetting IP Networks

Understand that subdividing a network adds a level to the network hierarchy, creating three levels: a network, a sub-network, and a host. Explain how sub-netting creates additional sub-groups within an IP network that facilities faster packet delivery and added filtration. Describe in detail, the creation and assignment of IP network and sub-network addresses through the use of the subnet mask.

The Application Layer

Describe the role of the application layer and how the applications, services, and protocols within the application layer make robust communication across data networks possible. Explain how an application is able to format, transmit and interpret messages that are sent and received across the network.

Delivery of module is via weekly face to face lectures and practical labs carried out in a networking room.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination70
Other Assessment(s)30