4286 Data Communication and Computer Networks
Assist.Prof. PD Dr. Sabrina Kirrane
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/05/24 to 02/11/24
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 03/07/24 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 03/14/24 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM TC.5.05
Thursday 03/21/24 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.2.03
Thursday 04/11/24 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 04/18/24 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.05
Thursday 04/25/24 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM TC.5.05
Thursday 05/02/24 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.1.02
Thursday 05/16/24 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM Online-Einheit

The following fundamentals of data communication and computer networks will be covered over the course of the semester:

  • fundamentals of signal/data transmission, physical properties of transmission media;
  • classification of computer networks, network topologies, ISO/OSI reference model;
  • the Internet Protocol family;
  • communication protocols on the application layer: HTTP, SMTP, DNS, ... ;
  • communication protocols on the transport layer ("transport layer"): TCP, UDP, ... ;
  • communication protocols at the network layer: IP, routing protocols, ... ;
  • communication protocols on the security layer ("data link layer"): Ethernet, ... ;
Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to:

  • understand principles and basic relationships in computer communication in computer networks;
  • understand and critically analyze basic design principles and technology decisions for computer networks;
  • characterize computer network architectures;
  • classify and evaluate computer networks and their infrastructures according to quality criteria;
  • name similarities and differences in communication protocols at different levels;
  • critically reflect on and assess current technology-political developments on the issue of computer networks (e.g. the transition to IPv6).
Attendance requirements

According to the examination regulation full attendance is intended for a PI. Absence in one unit is tolerated if a proper reason is given.

If a student cannot attend a particular class, the student should send an email to the course instructor before the class starts, providing a legitimate justification for their absence.

Attendance is absolutely mandatory at the first course date (an unexcused absence will result in the loss of a place).

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course is delivered using a combination of the following:

  • presentation of the basics via contact units;
  • working through in-depth compulsory literature via self-study;
  • discussion on mandatory specialist literature in the contact units;
  • demonstration of software tools;
  • practical exercises.

The language of instruction is English. All course material will be provided in English.

This course will be delivered in hybrid mode. Participants will be part of an international classroom and will benefit from international learning opportunities with students from different countries.

Please note that 2 SWS = 4 ECTS = 100 hours required workload.


Lecture 1:

  1. Introduction to the course (Objectives, Contents, Delivery, Assessment)
  2. Computer Networks Introduction
  3. Activities

Lecture 2: 

  1. Computer Networks Recap & Quiz
  2. The Application Layer Introduction
  3. Activities

Lecture 3: 

  1. The Application Layer Recap & Quiz
  2. The Transport Layer Introduction
  3. Activities

Lecture 4: 

  1. Online Intermediate Exam
    • Based on Lecture material and homework from Lectures 1-3
    • Online exam using Learn@WU
    • Duration 60 minutes
    • 30% of the overall grade
  2. The Evolution of the Internet

Lecture 5: 

  1. The Transport Layer Recap & Quiz
  2. The Network Layer Introduction
  3. Activities

Lecture 6: 

  1. The Network Layer Recap & Quiz
  2. The Link Layer Introduction
  3. Activities

Lecture 7: 

  1. Online Final Exam
    • Based on lecture material and homework from Lectures 4-6
    • Online exam using Learn@WU
    • Duration 60 minutes
    • 30% of the overall grade
  2. The topic of the final lecture will be decided collectively 


Lab 1 & 2: 

Wireshark and Mininet Labs

  • Practical exercises under supervision
  • Not Graded

Lab 3:

Wireshark and Mininet Labs

  • Practical exercise without guidance
  • 20% of Homework Grade

The performance assessment is composed of:

  • Class participation: 20%
    • All participants are expected to actively participate in class discussion, quizzes, and activities.
    • Remote participants are expected to leave their web camera on for the entire duration of the class. 
  • Practical exercise: 20%
  • Intermediate exam: 30%
  • Final exam: 30%

Grading Scheme:

90−100 Sehr gut (Really good) is the best possible grade and indicates outstanding performance with no or only minor errors.

80−89 Gut (Good) is the next-highest grade and is given for performance that is above-average standard but with some errors.

64−79 Befriedigend (Satisfactory) indicates generally sound work with a number of notable errors.

51−63 Genügend (Sufficient) is the lowest passing grade and is given if the standard has been met but with a significant number of shortcomings.

0−50 Nicht genügend (Insufficient) is the lowest possible grade and the only failing grade.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Registration is possible for:

  • students participating in the ENGAGE, ECOL, SIGMA co-operation networks;
  • incoming ERASMUS students;
  • students of the bachelor's degree in economics and social sciences who are taking the business informatics major.

An excellent command of English is essential.

Allocation according to study progress from 40 to 60 course places.

Students who do not get a place in the course must register on the waiting list and attend the first lecture. If new places become available, priority will be given to students who (1) have registered on the waiting list and (2) have attended the first lecture.


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Availability of lecturer(s)

During the lecture and based on individual appointments. To request an appointment send an email to the lecturer with the subject “[Networks]”.

Course Instructor: Sabrina Kirrane,  
Course Tutor: Christoph Ehrenreich,


Last edited: 2024-03-11