Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ENGI30120: Radio Communications

Department: Engineering

ENGI30120: Radio Communications

Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to H1K709


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module is for students intending to fulfil the requirements of the MSc in Communications.
  • Enhance the students understanding of the fundamental principles of communications, and signal processing.
  • Develop the students practical experience through laboratory experiments.


  • To cover the basic mathematical formulation of the laws of electromagnetism and their application to RF circuits and devices.
  • To cover the fundamental concepts of communications engineering and historical development through key theorems and techniques of Shanon, Nyquist, Marconi and Armstrong.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • In-depth knowledge and understanding of fundamental engineering concepts, principles, theories and mathematics relevant to RF Engineering and the fabrication of RF devices.
  • An understanding of basic modulation theory and why and when to use it.
  • Appreciation of optimal coding through an understanding of information theory.
  • Appreciation of Digital Communications.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To apply specialised engineering knowledge to the solution of complex problems in an engineering or industrial context.
  • To be able to apply these methods to new situations.
  • To observe and record accurately, data and experimental evidence in the laboratory.
  • The competent and safe use of standard engineering laboratory instrumentation.
  • To use computational tools and packages.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for self-learning in familiar and unfamiliar situations.
  • Numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Time and resource management.
  • General problem solving skills.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Courses in RF Engineering and Communications are taught by lectures and reinforced by problem assignments. Assessment is through written examination which enables each student to demonstrate an ability to analyse and solve new problems.
  • Learning through a laboratory programme assessed by lab reports.
  • Laboratory-based coursework aids the acquisition of subject-specific and key skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practicals 6 1 per week for 6 weeks 3 hours 18
Lectures 40 2 term 1, 2 per week term 2, 2 revision lectures term 3 1 hour 40
Tutorial Hours 4 0,1 or 2 per week students sign up for appropriate time 4
Preparation and reading 138
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
RF Engineering 1 hour 50% no
Communications 1 hour 50% no
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lab reports 1 report per practical 100%

Formative Assessment:

Problem Sheets for lecture courses.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University