ECE4042 - Communications theory - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering

Chief examiner(s)

Professor Tom Drummond


Dr Yi Hong (Clayton)
Dr Joanne Lim (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


ECE2041Not offered in 2018 or ECE3141




This unit will cover aspects of physical layer communications which are relevant to modern communication systems. Digital modulation techniques, including quadrature modulation and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) will be covered. The effects of noise on bit error rates will be covered, along with techniques to reduce them, including matched filtering and equalisation. Information theory covers questions of capacity, diversity, and error correction coding. Finally the use of multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication systems will be covered.


  1. Knowledge of the fundamental limits of communication in noisy band limited channels
  2. Knowledge of digital modulation techniques and the advantages and disadvantages of different techniques
  3. Understanding of the properties of different communication channels and how channels can be modelled mathematically
  4. Knowledge of the properties of modern error correcting codes
  5. Understanding of how orthogonal frequency division multiplexing and multiple input multiple output (MIMO) multiple antenna systems can be used in modern communication systems and the advantages and limitations of their use
  6. Understanding of the statistical nature of communication
  7. Skills to design and simulate modern communication systems using industry standard simulation tools.


Continuous assessment: 40%

Examination (2 hours): 60%

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

3 hours lectures and 3 hours laboratory and practice classes, and 6 hours of private study per week

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study