Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to H1K709


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Enhance the students understanding of the fundamental principles of communications, and signal processing.
  • Develop the students practical experience through laboratory experiments.
  • Intoduce students to programming in Matlab and Simulink.


  • Amplitude modulation and demodulation
  • Spectral analysis
  • RF bandpass filters
  • Optical communications
  • Pseudo random binary sequences and spread spectrum
  • Digital signal processing
  • Matlab and Simulink programming
  • Direct digital synthesis

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of basic modulation theory and why and when to use it.
  • Appreciation of theoretical development of communications and why digital communications is so prevalent today.
  • To understand the mathematical representation of signals in both the time and frequency domains.
  • To know and understand the processing methods required to analyse signals.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • 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.

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

  • Learning through a laboratory programme supported by tutotials.
  • 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
Tutorials 2 1 hour 2
Preparation and Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Lab reports 1 report per practical 100%

Formative Assessment:


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