Module code: COM3023

Module Overview

Advances related to energy efficiency issues and cost reductions have resulted in the rapid growth and deployment of networked devices and sensing/actuation systems that connect the physical word with the cyber-world. The number of devices connected to the Internet already exceeds the number of people on earth and is estimated to grow to 50 billion devices by 2020. The resulting framework, which is known as the Internet of Things (IoT), incorporates a number of technologies, including wireless sensor networks, pervasive systems, ambient intelligence, context-awareness and distributed systems. This module will provide an overview of the key concepts and enabling technologies for the Internet of Things, including: Wireless Sensor Networks, Platforms (Hardware, Software), Machine-to-Machine communications (M2M), protocols and standards (e.g. 6LowPAN, ZigBee, CoAp), semantic technologies, and data and information processing mechanisms.

Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 43

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 6

Laboratory Hours: 8

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None. Expected prior/parallel learning:  Basic knowledge of hardware systems and Object Oriented Programming and C++, or equivalent knowledge of C++ or of Java programming.

Module content

Indicative content includes the following.

  • Introduction to the module, basic concepts in the Internet of Things domain, and the state of the art in technologies that are used to enable the Internet of Things systems, services and applications     (3 hrs).

  • Cyber-Physical systems, smart devices, sensors and actuators (3 hrs)

  • Key applications, protocols and architectures (3 hrs)

  • Networks and Communications (Wireless Multi-hop Networks (WMN), Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET), Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN)) (3 hrs)

  • Software platforms and services (3 hrs)

  • Intelligent Data Processing and Semantic technologies (3 hrs)

  • Connecting things to the Web (3 hrs)

  • Reliability, Security, Privacy and Trust issues and solutions (3 hrs)

  • Applications, System models, Standards, and Physical-Cyber-Social systems (3 hrs)

  • Wrap-up and outlook (3 hrs)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes. The written examination will assess the knowledge, concepts and theory of key technologies, common protocols, and relevant techniques in the Internet of Things area, as well as the ability to analyse problems and apply the common solutions and techniques to solve different uses-case scenarios in this domain. The Assignment will assess the ability to design a basic Internet of Things system using a common platform and will also evaluate the ability to critically analyse an existing work in a related area.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • An assignment involving two programming exercises and an essay report (due on Tuesday Week 9).

o   The programming exercises comprise development of a basic Fire Alarm system and implementing a data aggregations algorithm on a sensor node. 

o   The essay will be on a topic/work that is discussed in a journal article related to the Internet of Things (the relevant articles and topics will be provided).

  • 2 hour, open-book written examination

Any deadline given here is indicative. For confirmation of exact date and time, please check the Departmental assessment calendar issued to you.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways.

  • During lectures, by question and answer sessions

  • During supervised computer laboratory sessions

  • During the seminar and class discussion

  • Via the marking of written report

  • Via assessed coursework

Module aims

  • introduce the fundamental concepts of the Internet of Things and its applications and architecture models, followed by an introduction to the technologies and mechanisms for sensing, actuation, processing and cyber-physical data communication
  • enable students to develop practical skills that can be transferred into a real-world environment.
  • discuss semantic technologies, service oriented solutions and networking technologies that enable the integration of Internet of Things data and services into the cyber world (i.e. the Internet and the Web)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Explain the key concepts of the Internet of Things and its enabling technologies KC
2 Describe the principles of design and development of Internet-of-Things systems and applications KCT
3 Describe and evaluate theoretical concepts and apply them to practical examples and use-cases KCPT
4 Describe and discuss recent and evolving developments, protocols and technologies such as 6LowPAN, CoAp, ETSI M2M, and W3C SSN. KCP
5 Understand the basic software development concepts and techniques for embedded Internet-of-Things systemS. KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the following aims.

This module is designed to provide up-to-date knowledge that will enhance and extend the students’ theoretical and practical skills in related areas and will also improve their analytical and problem solving skills.  This will be achieved through a set of lectures and classroom practices and discussions that are designed to provide fundamental knowledge of the related areas to the students. The lectures will explore various technologies, methods and techniques, use cases and common practices in the lectures, where students will also learn how the fundamental concepts and solutions that can be applied in solving the problems or extending the frontiers in related areas. The practical sessions will be conducted as lab experiments and will be complimented by the coursework assignment. The coursework comprises a programming assignment and also writing an essay report. Students will be expected to not only investigate the relevant literature and write a report, but also to learn practical skills and develop a basic system and demonstrate it on a common platform.

Learning and teaching methods include the following.

  • Lectures to provide the fundamental knowledge 

  • Class discussion to encourage interaction and participation (no specific time is devoted to this activity; however this will be a part of the activities during the lectures)

  • Seminar to present and discuss the essay work 

  • Programming lab sessions 


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: COM3023

Other information

The COM3032 module contributes to the Surrey Pillars as follows: 

Sustainability: COM3032 enables the deep understanding of IoT systems joint with future internet and system technologies such as LTE and IoT-narrow band, CoAP,4G and 5G generations that play an important role for the postgraduates to link the IoT design to such technologies. Besides, by applying IoT network capabilities, they can cover the different environmental catastrophic events like fire in the forest, understand the Earth’s ecological effects and recognise how to manage the data through IoT network.

Global and cultural intelligence: IoT models and their related infrastructure-linked systems are a global system, and COM3032 helps to understand its details. Therefore, this module promotes the critical thinking (concerning the working of g of IoT networks) of our postgraduates as global citizens who can engage effectively and ethically with people from

Digital capabilities: The skills that COM3032 provides will enable postgraduates and their organisations to be able to participate actively in society and professional life, within a digital world, that will play a critical role in providing future services such as critical event detection, real-time analysis the data through critical infrastructure applications like remote surgency and smart grid and smart homes. 


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Computing and Information Technology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Computer Science BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Computer Science MEng 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.