Last Updated S022019


Unit Code BIA301S
Unit Duration 1 Term (2 Terms for 24 week delivery)

Bachelor of Science (Industrial Automation Engineering)

Duration 3 years  

Year Level Three
Unit Creator / Reviewer N/A
Core/Sub-discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BIA206S
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended - 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with detailed knowledge of communication systems particularly in regard to industrial automation systems , with a focus on the ubiquitous Ethernet and TCP/IP. The subject matter covered in this unit is intended to give students a thorough and systematic overview of communication technologies, devices, and protocols, allowing them to know not only how these systems work, but also be aware of how they are designed, in order to ensure reliable, safe, and secure implementation.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:
1. Describe the OSI model and the TCP / IP implementation protocol stack.
    Bloom's Level 2
2. Compare the protocol data units, addressing schemes, functions and protocols of each layer.
    Bloom's Level 4
3. Classify and describe the principles of operation of switches, routers, and firewalls in the context of the OSI model.
    Bloom's Level 2
4. Solve, design, and develop a switch network for a given case study.
    Bloom's Level 6
5. Design and develop a routed network for a given case study.
    Bloom's Level 6
6. Design a secure network using security protocols, devices, and best practice standards.
    Bloom's Level 6

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Communication system principles.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts

Due after Topic 3 15% 1, 2

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Simulation - design a network systems including connectivity (cable and/or wireless), switching, and routing. The design must incorporate a dynamic routing protocol. The design must also include multiple switches and at least one router.

Students may provide solutions to simple problems on the listed topics

Due after Topic 6 20% 3, 4, 5

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Design a secure network system (AAA, ID, VPN). Students will harden the network by employing security protocols and devices.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers or solve some simple problems or using software to complete a practical.

Due after Topic 9 20% 6

Assessment 4

Type: Examination

Example Topic: All topics

An examination with a mix of detailed report type questions and/or simple numerical problems to be completed in 3 hours

Final Week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 - 6


Prescribed and Recommended readings

Suggested Textbook



Reference Materials

Parziale, L, Britt, DT, Davis, C, Forrester, J, Liu, W, Matthews, C, Rosselot, N 2007, TCP/IP Tutorial andTechnical Overview, 8th edn, IBM Redbooks, ISBN 0738494682. Online version available at:

Dietrich, R 2004, Industrial Ethernet - From the Office to the Machine - World Wide, HARTING Electric GmbH & Co. Online version available at:

Journal, website


Notes and Reference texts

IDC notes and Reference texts as advised.
Other material advised during the lectures
Knovel library:


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

OSI Model and the TCP/IP protocol suite

  1. The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model
  2. The Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP protocol suite)
  3. Protocol data units (PDUs), addressing schemes, TCP/IP layers functions and protocols

Topics 2 and 3

Physical and Data link layers

  1. Physical layer (functions, media (cable and wireless) encoding protocols)
  2. Fiber optic (construction characteristics)
  3. Data link layer (PDU, addressing scheme, functions and protocols)
  4. Switching technology (address table, Virtual LAN (VLAN))
  5. Wireless technologies


Topics 4 and 5

Network layer

  1. Network layer (functions, protocol data unit, addressing scheme)
  2. Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)
  3. IP packets (IPv4 addressing, header, subnet masking, prefix notation, private addresses)
  4. IP addressing, Address Resolution Protocol, Internet Control Message Protocol
  5. Routing (tables, manual and dynamic convergence)
  6. Routing protocols (RIP, OSPF, EIGRP)
  7. Routing tables, default gateways
  8. Security – Network Address Translation (NAT), Port Forwarding, firewalls


Topics 6 and 7

Transport Layer and Firewalls

  1. Transport layer (protocol data unit, addressing scheme, functions)
  2. UDP and TCP (characteristics and applications)
  3. Access Control Lists
  4. Firewalls (security threats, firewall principles and applications)
  5. Functional design specification (key elements and their impact on the project)

Topics 8, 9, and 10


  1. Security Principles (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability)
  2. Cryptosystems (hash functions, authentication, encryption)
  3. Authentication, Authorization, Accounting (AAA)
  4. Intrusion Detection (characteristics, types, attack responses)
  5. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  6. Wireless security
  7. Security planning, implementation, and documentation


Topic 11

Secure SCADA systems

  1. International standards and best practices.
  2. Evaluation, audit checks, surveys, ‘red’ teams
  3. Risk management, strategies, defense-in-depth


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used