COMP3035 - Networked Systems

This database contains the 2017-18 versions of syllabuses. Syllabuses from the 2016-17 session are available here.

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

Code COMP3035 (Also taught as COMPGZ01)
Year 3
Prerequisites Successful completion of years 1 and 2 of the Computer Science programme
Term 1
Taught By Mark Handley (100%)
Aims 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 Understanding the nuances interactions between a network's distributed entities is a vital skill, without which one cannot truly be said to understand networking. To help students develop this skill, 3035/GZ01 incorporates significant programming courseworks in Python and Java, in which students build working implementations of network protocols.


Week 1 Introduction to Networking; Information, Error Control Coding, and Compression.

Week 2 Medium Access Control: CDMA, ALOHA, and Ethernet; Link Layer Addressing and Forwarding; Spanning Trees; MPLS.

Week 3 Achieving Reliability; Stop-and-Wait, Go-Back-N.

Week 4 Achieving Reliability (cont); Selective Repeat; Intro to Internetworking; Network Address Translation; Inside Internet Routers.

Week 5 The Domain Name System; Multi-hop Networks and end-to-end Arguments.

Reading week.

Week 6 Reliable Transport and TCP introduction.

Week 7 TCP and Congestion Control; Intra-Domain Routing: Introduction and Distance-Vector.

Week 8 Intra-Domain Routing: Link-State; Intra-Domain Routing: BGP.

Week 9 Intra-Domain Routing: BGP (cont); Wireless Networks: 802.11 MAC.

Week 10 Security: Firewalls, Worms and IDSes; Content Delivery HTTP, Web Caching, and Content Distribution Networks.

Method of Instruction

Lecture presentations, self-learning modules and tutorials


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Coursework Section (40%)
  • Written Examination (2 hours, 60%)

To pass this course, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 40% for all components combined
  • Obtain a minimum mark of 30% in each component worth ≥ 30% of the module as a whole.


Reading list available via the UCL Library catalogue.