Digital Communications (H6106)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module introduces the basic principles of digital communications and applications. Mobile phones, WiFi, satellite, internet, and digital TV are all examples of digital communication systems that we all use every day.

The module will:

  • provide you with fundamental knowledge and skills for the design and analysis of digital communication systems
  • start with an introduction to communication systems
  • cover major topics on digital baseband and digital bandpass communication principles
  • cover techniques used in wired and wireless communication systems
  • finish with higher-level topics including performance analysis, multiplexing methods, and information theory concepts
  • contain a mix of lectures and laboratory-based project work using MATLAB/Simulink software tools.

Topics include:

  • basic elements and categories of communication systems, signals and spectra
  • digital baseband communications, source coding for analogue signals, and data transmission fundamentals
  • physical layer transmission and reception systems
  • digital bandpass communications, digital modulation and demodulation methods
  • error performance and bandwidth efficiency of digital communication systems
  • frequency and time division multiplexing methods
  • information theory, Shannon channel capacity, source coding, and channel coding
  • modelling, simulations. and performance analysis of digital communication systems using MATLAB/Simulink software tools


55%: Lecture
45%: Practical (Laboratory)


100%: Coursework (Presentation, Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 40 hours of contact time and about 110 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: