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MSc Communications and Signal Processing with Extended Research / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Digital Communications Engineering

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN60131
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
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No


Introduction to the basics of digital communication systems including signals spectrum characterisation, Nyquist signalling and intersymbol interference analysis.

Various binary and non-binary baseband signalling techniques: coherent and differential, detection technique using matched filtering and correlation.

Bandpass modulation: binary and non binary PSK, ASK, FSK and QAM. Signal generation and demodulation, performance comparisons.

Synchronisation and Equalisation techniques: parameter estimation for equalisation, maximum likelihood sequence estimation, linear equalisation, feedback equalisation.

Information theory: various entropy definitions and uses, channel capacity, source coding Hoffman and Lemple-ziv.

Channel coding: coding and decoding method for various channel coding techniques including automatic repeat request, linear block codes, convolutional codes.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Introduction to Communication and Signal Analysis EEEN60180 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


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

To develop an understanding of basic and advanced principles in digital Communication systems.

The unit addresses the issues in the generation and detection of digital signals in physical layer including modulation, detection, synchronisation and equalisation aspects.

Channel coding and decoding techniques will be covered with particular focus on fundamental methods for coding and decoding techniques in block coding and convolutional codes.

The fundamental aspects of information theory including channel capacity and source coding techniques will be covered.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Describe the process of transmitting, receiving, and analysing the performance of a digital communication system, especially the main functionalities of such systems and how to overcome realistic environmental challenges such as the multipath channel and additive white Gaussian noise.
  • Use baseband equivalent circuits and system models to simplify the detection and analysis of bandpass signals.
  • Calculate various performance metrics such as bandwidth, bit error rate and signal to noise ratio of different signalling waveforms.
  • Be able to construct simple digital transceiver designs and test in noisy channels. Explain the relationship between bandwidth and signal to noise ratio as well as bit error rate performance. Appreciate the impact of source coding and channel coding on the capacity and performance of digital systems.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Report 30%

Recommended reading

Digital Communications, 2nd edition, B Sklar

Digital and Analogue Communication Systems, L W Couch

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 15
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 108

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Emad Alsusa Unit coordinator

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