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CS249 Digital Communications and Signal Processing

CS249 15 CATS (7.5 ECTS) Term 2


Option - CS, DM, CSE, CMS and Data Science.

Note: This module is only available to students in the second year of their degree and is not available as an unusual option to students in other years of study.

Academic Aims

The aim of the module is to acquaint students with the principles and practice of digital communications - from the fundamental basis of communication to how signals are represented and processed.

The module develops an analytical approach to problems in communication design and operation, grounded in elements of communication theory sufficient to give students an understanding of the problems that affect its reliability and efficiency.

It introduces the theory and implementation of digital signal processing approaches, including the representation of signals in communication systems, filtering techniques and the applications of digital signal processing.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to:

  • Understand the structure of the communication process.
  • Explain the main control issues in communication networks.
  • Understand the principles of digital signal processing and have a knowledge of its main areas of application.
  • Design, implement and analyse the behaviour of simple digital signal processing algorithms.


  • Information Sources and Coding: Information theory, coding of information for efficiency and error protection;
  • Data transmission: Channel characteristics, signalling methods, interference and noise, synchronisation, data compression and encryption;
  • Signal Representation: Representation of discrete time signals in time and frequency; z transform and Fourier representations; discrete approximation of continuous signals; sampling and quantisation; stochastic signals and noise processes;
  • Filtering: Analysis and synthesis of discrete time filters; finite impulse response and infinite impulse response filters; frequency response of digital filters; poles and zeros; filters for correlation and detection; matched filters;
  • Digital Signal Processing applications: Processing of speech signals using digital techniques.




Three-hour examination (80%), programming assignment (20%)


30 one-hour lectures and 10 one-hour seminar