Martin Gairing
University of Liverpool
Univ Liv » Comp Sci » Ec Co » Martin Gairing » COMP211
Computer Networks


Martin Gairing
Ashton Building
Room 3.03
m.gairing [at]

If you wish to see us, please talk to us after class or send an email to make an appointment.

Meeting Times

Lecture Times and Locations:

  • Monday 16:00 - 17:00

  • Tuesday 14:00 - 15:00

  • Thursday 9:00 - 10:00

Demonstration Times and Locations:

Lab session run only in in weeks 2-6.

  • Tuesday 15:00 - 17:00 (Lab 3)

  • Thursday 11:00 - 13:00 (Lab 2)

  • Friday 9:00 - 11:00 (Lab 2)

  • Friday 11:00 - 13:00 (Lab 3)

Labs and Assignments


Course Aims and Objectives

Module Description:

This module provides an introduction to current computer networks and communications technologies. We will use the architecture and protocols of the Internet as a primary vehicle for studying fundamental computer networking concepts. This will include an in-depth study of the key protocols that enable communications accross the Internet. You will become familiar with the various network devices and network addressing schemes. We will identify critical network security issues and study approaches towards addressing these issues.


  • To introduce networked computer systems in general, and the Internet in particular.
  • To introduce the basic principles that govern their operation.
  • To introduce the design and organisation principles of successful computer networks.
  • To introduce the key protocols and technologies that are used in the Internet.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completing this module, you should be able to:

  • describe and justify the OSI Reference Model and the key protocols that govern the Internet.
  • program applications and protocols for computer networks.
  • illustrate and debate the use and need of cryptographic techniques in nework security. (eg the notion of bandwidth, Shannon's law, etc)

Course Outline

This table presents the provisional structure for the course, and may change as the semester progresses. We will be following a top-down approach to the protocol stack, as presented in the text book by Kurose and Ross. Most other textbooks, including Tanenbaum, follow a bottom-up approach.

Lectures Topics ISO Layer Textbook
1-3 Introduction   KR1, T1
4-8 Application Layer
(Presentation Layer)
(Session Layer)
KR2, T7
9-13 Transport Layer ISO-4 KR3, T6
14-18 Network Layer ISO-3 KR4, KR5, T5
19-22 Data Link Layer ISO-2 KR6, KR7, T2.1, T3.2
23-25 Physical Layer and
Communications Theory
ISO-1 T2
26-30 Internet Security   KR8, T8

Key to textbooks:
KR = Kurose and Ross
T = Tanenbaum

Text Books

The main textbook for the course is:

  • James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross (2017): Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach, 7/e. (Pearson).

In addition, some material to be presented will follow:

I encourage you to visit the web-sites for these textbooks, and make use of the student resources you find there.


  • Coursework: 20 %
    The coursework will consist of 2 programming assignments worth 10% each.

  • Final Exam: 80 %
    The exam will be 2 hours long. Calculators will not be necessary and will not be permitted. The exam consists of 50 MCQ questions.


MCQ Mock Exam

Old Exams and Solutions
Year Exam Solution
2018 Exam (MC questions are ommited) Solutions
2017 Exam (MC questions are ommited) Solutions
2016 Exam (MC questions are ommited) Solutions

Lecture Notes

Please refer to this web-page frequently. Further information about the course will be added in due course.

last modified: 03 December 2019 | yummy built with TT | Layout by Christian Kreibich (cc)