Short courses


Telecommunications Networks: an Introduction

  • 150 hours
  • 5 days + 2 mornings + optional exam


This short course will give you an introduction to, and wide perspective on, communication networks and their properties.

The module leader, Professor Izzat Darwazeh, heads the 70-strong Communications and Information Systems Group in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL. The course is taught by five UCL experts within the Department.

Who this course is for

Many of the topics in this course are fundamental to communication engineers, whether you're working in a circuit switched or packet switched environment.

The department's courses/CPD modules in general are aimed at those working in the telecommunications industry such as researchers, engineers, IT professionals and managers. 

They're particularly suited to graduates in electronic and electrical engineering, physics, communications engineering and computer science who want to further their knowledge on a particular topic, or work towards a Master's degree. 

You don't need to have any pre-requisite qualifications to take this course.

Course content

You'll look at the following areas during this course:

  • Introduction to communication networks and services, network hardware, voice and data network structures and protocols
  • The rapidly changing world of telecommunications
  • Telecommunication networks and the internet
  • Sources and signal characteristics
  • PCM systems
  • PDH and SDH: plesiochronous digital hierarchy (PDH), synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH), synchronous transport networks
  • Teletraffic engineering and performance evaluation
  • Control and management planes: network control and signalling, management of networks

You'll also look at the following:

  • Multimedia systems
  • Multimedia communications and processing
  • Packet network technologies
  • Services management
  • Internet technologies
  • Introduction to access network technologies including xDSL, PONS, Fibre Coax; evolution and potential of ATM, ADSL and PONs, outline and development
  • Multi-services networks

Dates, assessment and certificates

The course runs over five days, with 6 to 8 teaching hours per day. This is followed by two three-hour tutorials.

Teaching will take place in person with some materials available online. Please note, dates and teaching arrangements may need to change in response to government guidance around Covid-19.

The course is assessed through an exam.

If you complete the course but not the exam, you'll receive a certificate of attendance.

If you take and pass the exam you'll get a certificate stating this, which includes your pass level.

Benefits of UCL's Electronics and Electrical Engineering CPD courses

You can take this course as a standalone (one-off) course/module, or accumulate it towards an MSc qualification (up to two standalone modules can be transferred towards the flexible MSc degree).

Benefits to employees
The programme offers the opportunity for professional people working in the telecommunications industry to develop their career, be able to respond to changes in their environment, and learn while they earn. It's also designed to give you the opportunity of working towards an MSc qualification from an academic institution whose quality is recognised world-wide.

Benefits to employers
Our flexible CPD courses enhance staff motivation and assists in the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff. It enables your company to keep ahead of the competition by tapping into world-leading research, and to profit from UCL's world class Telecommunications and Business expertise.

View the full range of related courses available.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

  • know and understand the engineering principles and methodologies of digital transmission and detection and use this to analyse and design systems which minimise error rates and minimise inter symbol interference (ISI)
  • have a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying technologies of digital communication networks and data transport technologies for use in access and core networks
  • have a comprehensive knowledge of the underlying technologies of packet-based networks and use this to analyse the different components and layer functionality of such networks
  • know and understand the fundamentals of circuit switching and the multi-stage switching arrangements and use such knowledge to design and analyse optimum switches with varying degrees of availability and complexity
  • analyse the functional differences between circuit switched and packet switched networks and between connection oriented and connectionless architectures
  • know and understand the traffic engineering principles and the basic measures of traffic and use these to estimate traffic statistical parameters and analyse networks capacity
  • identify and classify the key metrics required to assess the quality of service (QoS) in IP-based networks and then to optimise network operation on the basis of specific metrics
  • use fundamental knowledge to assess communication system performance and identify the necessary compromises between bandwidth, signal quality and coding requirements
  • calculate the design requirements for coding in systems for speech and video transmission
  • investigate and define various types of networks appropriate for pre specified applications and operation scenarios
  • understand the contexts in which communication engineering knowledge can be applied
  • identify user demands and appropriate network designs for specific demands

Course team

Professor Izzat Darwazeh

Professor Izzat Darwazeh

Izzat is the course (module) leader. His teaching covers aspects of optical fibre communications, telecommunication networks and high speed integrated circuits and MMICs. His research interests are mainly in the areas of high speed optical communication systems and networks, microwave circuits and MMICs for optical fibre applications and in mobile communication circuits and systems.

He's authored/co-authored more than 250 papers in the areas of optical and wireless (cellular) communications and MMICs and high speed/frequency circuits. He's co-editor of the IEE book 'Analogue Optical Communications' and co-author (with Luis Moura) of 'Linear Circuit Analysis and Modelling: From DC to RF'. He's also co-author (with Dr Clive Poole) of 'Microwave Active Circuit Analysis and Design'.

He acts as a consultant to several UK and international organisations and commercial bodies and he serves on a wide range of professional committees. Since 2001 he's been at UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, becoming a Professor of Telecommunications Engineering in 2006.

Course information last modified: 15 Sep 2023, 16:49