NWEN302 (2019) - Computer Network Design


This course addresses the principles, architectures and protocols that have shaped the development of the Internet and modern networked applications. It examines network design principles, underlying protocols, technologies and architectures of the TCP/IP protocol stack. Topics include the design of transport protocols, routing protocols, logical link control, medium access control and physical media.

Course learning objectives

Students who pass this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the process in which packets are delivered from source to destination in the Internet (GA 3(b))
  2. Explain key routing algorithms, the process of how routing protocols communicate/exchange topology information and set up routing tables (GA 3(a), 3(b), 3(d), 3(e ))
  3. Explain the operation of the TCP flow and congestion control algorithms (GA 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e))
  4. Explain the role of medium access control and implications of different types of physical layers (GA 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 3(d), 3(e))
  5. Setup and interconnect networks with an emulation tool (GA 3(b), 3(d ), 3(f))
  6. Implement simple networking algorithms and protocols using TCP/IP primitives (GA 3(b), 3(d), 3(f))
  7. Setup and configure a simple network of SDN-enabled devices and demonstrate the usage, comparing it with the traditional Internet model (GA 3(b), 3(d), 3(f)).

Required Academic Background

Students must have basic networking protocols knowledge (cf: NWEN 243) and be able to program in C and Python (cf: NWEN 241).

Withdrawal from Course

Withdrawal dates and process:


Alvin Valera (Coordinator)

Winston Seah

Teaching Format

During the trimester there will be three lectures per week. Students are encouraged to approach the lecturers if they have questions; students can also discuss with tutors if they have questions on the assignments/labs.

Student feedback

A summary of the course feedback provided by students previously for this course is available from: http://www.cad.vuw.ac.nz/feedback/feedback_display.php

Dates (trimester, teaching & break dates)

  • Teaching: 08 July 2019 - 13 October 2019
  • Break: 19 August 2019 - 01 September 2019
  • Study period: 14 October 2019 - 17 October 2019
  • Exam period: 18 October 2019 - 09 November 2019

Class Times and Room Numbers

08 July 2019 - 18 August 2019

  • Monday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Thursday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
02 September 2019 - 13 October 2019

  • Monday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn
  • Thursday 12:00 - 12:50 – LT103, Hugh Mackenzie, Kelburn

Other Classes

There will be weekly 3hr periods in CO246 reserved for NWEN 302 labs.


There are no required texts for this offering.

Mandatory Course Requirements

In addition to achieving an overall pass mark of at least 50%, students must:

  • Attempt all labs and obtain at least 40% of the total available marks across all the labs.
  • Obtain a C- grade or better in the final exam.

If you believe that exceptional circumstances may prevent you from meeting the mandatory course requirements, contact the Course Coordinator for advice as soon as possible.


This course will be assessed through assignments, labs and a final examination.

Assessment ItemDue Date or Test DateCLO(s)Percentage
Assignment 1Week 4CLO: 1,2,3,42.5%
Assignment 2Week 7CLO: 1,2,3,42.5%
Assignment 3Week 9CLO: 1,2,3,42.5%
Assignment 4Week 12CLO: 1,2,3,42.5%
Lab 1Week 4CLO: 5,6,715%
Lab 2Week 8CLO: 5,6,715%
Lab 3Week 12CLO: 5,6,710%
Final ExaminationCLO: 1,2,3,450%


The penalty for late submissions will be a deduction of 20% of the marks per day late (00:00 the following day is counted as one day late).


Any request for extension must be supported by a medical certificate or other acceptable documentation for non medical reasons. Medical certificates must be provided by a registered medical practitioner. Approval for extensions can only be granted by the course lecturers.

Submission & Return

All assignments are to be submitted electronically (in PDF format) via the ECS submission system and are due at 23:59 on the date specified.
All lab reports (and supplementary documents, e.g. source codes) are to be submitted electronically via the ECS submission system and are due at 23:59 on the date specified.


In order to maintain satisfactory progress in NWEN 302, you should plan to spend an average of 10 - 11 hours per week on this paper. A plausible and approximate breakdown for these hours would be:

  • Lectures: 3 hours
  • Readings: 2 hours
  • Assignments: 2 hours
  • Labs: 3-4 hours

Teaching Plan

See https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Courses/NWEN302_2019T2/LectureSchedule

Communication of Additional Information

Please refer to the ECS Wiki Page at https://ecs.victoria.ac.nz/Courses/NWEN302_2019T2/ for the latest information related to the course.

Offering CRN: 17181

Points: 15
Prerequisites: NWEN 241, 243; ENGR 123 or (MATH 161, one of MATH 177, QUAN 102 or STAT 193)
Duration: 08 July 2019 - 10 November 2019
Starts: Trimester 2
Campus: Kelburn