Course syllabus


A detailed Course-PM is available in the Files tab in the left-hand menu.


Available in TimeEdit: SSY305 Schedule

Contact details


Guest Lecturers

Teaching Assistant

Consultation Hours: Tuesdays 15:15-17:00.

E2 Student Administration Office 

Course literature

Main text book

B. Forouzan, Data Communications and Networking, 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2013, ISBN 978-981-4577-51-9. The book is available at Cremona. Appendices, errata, and other extra material can be found at

Additional texts

We will use parts of the following books

J. R. Barry, E. A. Lee, and D. G. Messerschmidt, Digital Communications, Third edition, ISBN: 978-1-4613-4975-4 (Print) 978-1-4615-0227-2. Available as an e-book at

U. Madhow, Fundamentals of Digital Communication, Cambridge, 2008, eISBN-13: 9780511573804, eISBN-10: 0511573804. Available as an e-book at Chalmers's Library.

If you have problems accessing the e-books with the links above, try connecting to Chalmers via VPN or go to and search for the book.


Course purpose

There are two main aims of this course.

The first is to provide a broad introduction to communication systems as the enabler of information and communication technology (ICT) applications, e.g., E-health, smart grid, automation, process control, and traffic safety, to mention a few. A modern engineer in any field will interact with ICT systems. However, when specifying the requirements of a communication system to support a specific ICT application, the non-communication engineer would benefit tremendously from knowing the terminology, possibilities, and limitations of communication systems.

The second aim is to provide a solid introduction to communication systems for the student planning a career as a communication engineer. We will treat, in some detail, the lower layers of the communication stack. In other words, we are mainly concerned with the basic task of transmitting packets of bits from point A to point B over a physical medium (e.g., a piece of fiber optical cable or a wireless channel). Once we master this task, the communication links will be used to form complex networks, such as the Internet, that are so important today.

Course design

Please see written Course-PM for details about lectures, exercises, projects, quizzes, exams, and grading rules.

Changes made since the last occasion.

No significant areas of improvement were identified in last year's course evaluation meeting. Nevertheless, constant polishing of the course material and procedures are done. In particular, we have added some guidelines for using MATLAB when solving project tasks. 

Learning outcomes

After the course, the students should be able to

  • describe how sustainable development is facilitated by communication
  • describe the purpose of the layers in the OSI model for communication, with emphasis on the network, data link, and physical layers
  • describe the purpose of the main components in the TCP/IP protocol suite
  • analyze the requirements for an ICT application, e.g., E-health, smart grid, automation, process control, or vehicular traffic safety, poses on the communication system
  • explain the blocks in Shannon's model for digital communication
  • define and compute performance metrics for communication
    • error probability
    • spectral efficiency
    • power efficiency
    • latency
    • throughput
  • explain the concepts of symmetric cryptography, asymmetric cryptography, and hash-functions and how these can be used to provide confidentiality, integrity, and authentication

Syllabus on Studieportalen.

Examination form

Please see the written Course-PM for details about examination and grading rules.