Department of Computer Science

This course will take you on a journey through the technical design and architecture of the internet, by focussing on the most commonly used protocols.

A sample of course outline can be found here.

Choosing the right path

Like a piece of data travelling across the internet, there are several paths that this course could follow. Many courses follow a path that begins with a common activity, such as web browsing and then 'unpacks' the layers of technology that make it all work, right down to the physical infrastructure' a 'top-down' approach. But we take a 'bottom-up' approach, beginning with seeing how a piece of data is sent from one physical location directly to another, then seeing how that is built upon to allow data to be sent across a network, then seeing how data can be sent robustly between applications.

Other useful information

The course text, Introduction to Networking, by Dr Chuck, is free and can be found here.

That text provides a good overview of how the different layers of the internet work, and is a quick and easy read. It's quite short, so in the course itself we will be covering some topics in a lot more detail, including topics not covered at all by that text.

Students wanting a more comprehensive treatment of the subject would be advised to read Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, by Kurose & Ross.

However, please note that text is the basis for many 3-credit courses, and even then most courses trace a path through only a few chapters of it, so don't be intimidated by its lengthy and detailed coverage.