MEng Software Engineering

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Mobile Systems

Unit code COMP28512
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Now that the mobile telephone has evolved into a powerful computer, the mobile dimension of computing is a vital part of Computer Science. This unit will give insights into many issues of mobile systems, including wireless communication networks, the processing of speech, music and other real-time signals, the control of bit-errors and maximising battery life. The techniques and software which underlie commonplace applications of mobile computing systems, including smart-phones, tablets, laptop computers, MP3 players and GPS satellite navigation, will be addressed.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Fundamentals of Computer Architecture COMP15111 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Students who are not from the School of Computer Science must have permission from both Computer Science and their home School to enrol.


Computing is becoming increasingly mobile. This unit will give insights into the issues of mobile systems, covering mobile communications, real-time signals such as speech, video and music, codecs, and maximising battery life.

Learning outcomes

  • Appreciate the issues that differentiate mobile from tethered systems.

  • Have a working knowledge of speech, music and video codecs.

  • Understand the basics of wireless communication.

  • Appreciate the holistic nature of power-efficient system design.


Mobile systems

Commonplace examples of mobile computing systems: - mobile phones; - MP3 players; - laptop computers; - PDAs; - GPS satellite navigation.

Real-time signals

Analogue and digital signals; - time and frequency domain representations; - sampling, aliasing, quantization; - companding; - real-time computation.

Coding, decoding and compression

GSM speech coding; - MP3 music, JPEG image and MPEG video coding & decoding; - error correcting codes; - communications coding schemes.

Mobile communication

Transmitting real-time information over wireless networks; - principles of cellular and ad-hoc networks; - Coding of multimedia signals - to increase the capacity of radio channels; - to minimise the effect of transmission errors.

Maximising battery life

May be addressed at many levels including: - chip design; - signal coding and processing; - medium access control; - transmit power control.

Teaching and learning methods


10, plus a few lab support lectures


2 hours/week

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Group/team working
Project management
Oral communication
Problem solving
Written communication

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 50%
Practical skills assessment 50%

Feedback methods

Marks and feedback on the three laborartory tasks, the presentation and the report will be communicated via Blackboard.
Feedback on previous examinations is available via the School, and feedback on this year's examination will be published in due course.

Recommended reading

COMP28512 reading list can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 26
Practical classes & workshops 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 48

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Barry Cheetham Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

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