COMP0023 Networked Systems

This database contains the 2018-19 versions of syllabuses.

Note: Whilst every effort is made to keep the syllabus and assessment records correct, the precise details must be checked with the lecturer(s).

Academic session



Networked Systems



Module delivery

1819/A6U/T1/COMP0023 Undergraduate

Related deliveries

1819/A7P/T1/COMP0023 Postgraduate

Prior deliveries




FHEQ Level


FHEQ credits



Term 1

Module leader

Vissicchio, Stefano


Vissicchio, Stefano

Handley, Mark

Module administrator

Ball, Louisa


To offer a rigorous introduction to the problems that arise when networking computer systems, and algorithms and systems design that solve these problems. The architectural principles and protocols that underlie the internet will be explained in detail. Topics to be taught will include the physical layer, widely used link layers (wired and wireless), MAC protocols, internetworking, intra-domain routing, reliable transport, congestion control, wide-area (policy) routing, naming, network security, the end-to-end principle, and network applications.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will understand the nuances of interactions between a network's distributed entities. This is a vital skill, without which one cannot truly be said to understand networking. To help students develop this skill, COMP0023 incorporates significant programming courseworks in Python and Java, in which students build working implementations of network protocols.

Availability and prerequisites

This module delivery is available for selection on the below-listed programmes. The relevant programme structure will specify whether the module is core, optional, or elective.

In order to be eligible to select this module as optional or elective, where available, students must meet all prerequisite conditions to the satisfaction of the module leader. Places for students taking the module as optional or elective are limited and will be allocated according to the department’s module selection policy.

Programmes on which available:

  • BSc Computer Science (Year 3)
  • MEng Computer Science (Year 3)
  • MEng Mathematical Computation (Year 3)
  • MEng Engineering (Electronic with Computer Science)


In order to be eligible to select this module, student must have:

  • passed BSc/ MEng Computer Science (Years 1 and 2) at UCL; or
  • passed MEng Mathematical Computation (Years 1 and 2) at UCL


  • Introduction to Networking; Information, Error Control Coding, and Compression.
  • Medium Access Control: CDMA, ALOHA, and Ethernet; Link Layer Addressing and Forwarding; Spanning Trees.
  • Achieving Reliability; Stop-and-Wait, Go-Back-N.
  • Achieving Reliability (cont); Selective Repeat; Intro to Internetworking; Network Address Translation; Inside Internet Routers.
  • The Domain Name System; Multi-hop Networks and end-to-end Arguments.
  • Reliable Transport and TCP.
  • TCP and Congestion Control.
  • Intra-Domain Routing: Introduction, Distance-Vector, Link-State.
  • Inter-Domain Routing: BGP.
  • Wireless Networks: 802.11 MAC.
  • Security: Firewalls, Worms and IDSes; Content Delivery HTTP, Web Caching, and Content Distribution Networks.

An indicative reading list is available via


The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, written and programming exercises, and project work.


This module delivery is assessed as below:



Weight (%)



Written examination (2hrs)




Coursework 1




Coursework 2




In class test



In order to pass this Module Delivery, students must:

  • achieve an overall weighted Module mark of at least 40.00%;

AND, when taken as part of BSc Computer Science; MEng Computer Science, and MEng Mathematical Computation:

  • achieve a mark of at least 30.00% in any Components of assessment weighed ≥ 30% of the module.

Where a Component comprises multiple Assessment Tasks, the minimum mark applies to the overall component.