MSc Communications and Signal Processing

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Networks and Internet of Things

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN60482
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit’s primary focus is on the networking aspects of the Internet of Things (IoT). However, platforms and applications will also be covered, as will network modelling.

  • Introduction to the IoT

Wireline, ad hoc and sensor networks, PANs, LANs, WANs
Node and network technology, applications and links to enabling technologies (e.g. DSP, machine learning).
[1 lectures]

  • IoT platforms: hardware and software:

Transceivers, microcontrollers, interfacing, operating systems and APIs, examples.
[2 lectures]

  • Networking for IoT:

Revision of basic networks:
Wired vs wireless, protocols, state machines, the protocol stack, infrastructure vs ad hoc, channel access, reliable transmission, addressing, routing, congestion
[5 lectures]

  • Protocol stack for energy-constrained nodes and ad hoc networks:

Wireless Physical Layer
Characteristics of the wireless channel, low-cost radio transceiver modules, physical layer software.
Medium Access Control
The need for energy efficiency in WAHSN, duty-cycle protocols, contention-based and contention-free protocols. Implementation issues. Example protocols.
Routing Protocols
Proactive and reactive routing revisited, energy-based routing, position-based routing, data-oriented routing
Transport Protocols
Issues with TCP, adaptations, alternatives
Application Layer Protocols
Purpose and examples e.g. MQTT and CoAP.
[10 lectures]

  • IoT applications

[2 lectures]

  • IOT Security

Basic IoT security requirements, introduction to cryptography, securing different stack layers (e.g. LANs, network, transport).
[2 lectures]

  • Network performance, modelling and simulation:

Performance metrics, review of Markov chains, simple queuing theory and application to protocols, discrete event simulation.
[4 lectures]



Students are expected to have a knowledge of basic computer networks and programming, as per entry requirements to the MSc programme. 



This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 2020/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The unit aims to:

Provide a thorough introduction to the Internet of Things (IoT) in general and to those aspects of computer networks that underpin the IoT in particular. Students will gain some practical experience with typical IoT hardware and with networking tools.



Learning outcomes

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

Understand and describe:

  • The scope of the IOT, the nature of the IOT applications and the dependence on enabling technologies.
  • The requirements and structure of IoT platforms.
  • The protocol stack and the issues and tecniques relevant at each layer.
  • THe implementation of IoT networks in terms of sftware and hardware.

Be able to:

  • Find and use published literature to explain the reasons for various design differences between different IOTsystems
  • Identify and discuss the networking requirements of IoT applications.
  • Be able to reason about situations arising in the use of IoT MAC, routing and transport protocools.
  • Design simple models and simulation experiments to answer questions about network behaviour and performance.
  • Be able to use the results of a network simulation to draw conclusions about network behaviour and performance.

Teaching and learning methods

Approaches to be employed will include:

Face-to-face lectures
Recorded lectures
On-line quizzes
Tutorials/problems classes






Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 80%
Report 20%

Feedback methods


Recommended reading

P. Lea, ‘Internet of Things for Architects’, Packt (sic) Publishing, 2018.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 12
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 108

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Peter Green Unit coordinator
Fumie Costen Unit coordinator

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