ENEE20003 - Advanced Communication Systems

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will expand your understanding of communications systems encompassing both optical and wireless technologies. You will gain advanced knowledge into the operation of communication devices and systems and the ability to analyse various parameters such as loss, bandwidth, and signal quality. You will verify the developed theories using advanced simulation tools or practical demonstrations. Upon completion of the unit, you will gain advanced knowledge in communications systems and technologies. The prior knowledge of basic electrical circuit analysis, signals and systems and fundamental electromagnetic theory is assumed.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 12
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.25
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

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Residential School Compulsory Residential School
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Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2022

Term 2 - 2022 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 20%
2. Project (applied) 30%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 10%
4. Online Test 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 5 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 100% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit's survey
The unit covers all essential aspects of optical communications.
The unit's material is constantly improved and updated with the latest developments in the fast growing field of optical communications.
Action Taken
Unit materials were reviewed at each offering, the content was updated to enhance the learning of fundamental concepts.
Source: Unit's survey
The best thing about this unit is the experience in learning how to use the VPIPhotonics Design Suite software to simulate optical systems.
VPIPhotonics Design Suite is a state of the art photonics simulation software. It provides students with a virtual environment to learn and experience the sophisticated behaviors of optical components and systems. This software will continue to be used to enrich learning in the future offering of the unit.
Action Taken
For Term 2, 2021, it is not possible to offer VPI Photonics simulation due to low enrolment, instead, the design project using VPI Photonics was replaced by a written assignment.
Source: Unit's survey
Due to COVID-19, the practical laboratory was replaced by a video laboratory demonstration and Zoom session. This has negatively impacted on the hands-on skills that could be gained.
The laboratory is an important and integral part of the unit's learning and it is also aimed to provide students with hands-on experience of optical components and systems. The laboratory will be resumed to face to face and hand-on mode in the future when the restrictions are lifted.
Action Taken
For Term 2, 2021, the unit was offered through the remote learning mode due to the COVID-19 pandemic and thus the laboratory was replaced by a technology discussion paper where students gained independent learning and research skills through a scientific literature review.
Source: Unit's survey
More tutorials on how to use the VPIPhotonics Design Suite would be helpful in learning how to use the software.
Weekly VPIPhotonics Design Suite's tutorials will be developed to assist students in gaining know-hows in using the software.
Action Taken
For Term 2, 2021, no VPI Photonics simulation was offered in this unit.
Source: Unit Coordinator's observation
Hand-on experiences with the application of the theory learned in this unit will significantly enhance student learning and satisfaction with the unit.
Create hand-on simulations or practical exercises to illustrate the learning concepts.
Action Taken
Source: Unit Coordinator's observation
Guidance and providing specific explanations of the assessment tasks will improve student performance.
Provide customised workshops to assist students with the assessments to improve their understanding of the assessment expectations.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse communications systems
  2. Calculate power, bandwidth and signal quality of communications systems
  3. Characterise common communications components and systems through simulations or measurements
  4. Design sophisticated communications systems and predict their performance
  5. Communicate professional engineering information including computer-based simulations and drawings using appropriate electrical engineering standards, terminology, and symbols
  6. Scope, plan, manage, and successfully complete engineering projects autonomously and in teams with a responsible, ethical, and professional attitude regarding the role of engineers.

The Learning Outcomes for this unit are linked with the Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Professional Engineers in the areas of 1. Knowledge and Skill Base, 2. Engineering Application Ability and 3. Professional and Personal Attributes at the following levels:
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability. (LO: 5N 6N )
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains. (LO: 5N 6N )
3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct. (LO: 5N 6N )
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership. (LO: 3N 4N 5N 6N )
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4I )
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4I )
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4I )
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes. (LO: 4I )
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects. (LO: 2I 3I 4I 6I )
3.4 Professional use and management of information. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4I )
1.1 Comprehensive, theory-based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4A )
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline. (LO: 1I 2A 3I 4A )
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources. (LO: 1I 2I 3I 4A 5I 6I )

Note: LO refers to the Learning Outcome number(s) which link to the competency and the levels: N – Introductory, I – Intermediate and A - Advanced.
Refer to the Engineering Postgraduate Units Moodle site for further information on the Engineers Australia's Stage 1 Competency Standard for Professional Engineers and course level mapping information

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Project (applied)
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8