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Student and tutor module reviews

Communications technology

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  • Points: 30
  • Code: TM355
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

This ended up being one of my favourite modules from my entire degree. It covered a broad range of technologies, from the physical broadcasting infrastructure to how zip files are compressed. I really enjoyed the variety of teaching materials too; the interactive activities helped me understand a concept I've struggled with for years.

There are a fair number of calculations involved, though you're being tested on your understanding of the technologies and principles rather than your ability to derive equations. MST124 was more than enough preparation.

The workload was pretty consistent and reasonable. Exam was about the same difficulty as the tutor-marked assignments and textbook activities, so if you do all the worked examples, you should be absolutely fine.

This module was like a tech class, a computing class, and a physics class rolled into one. Would recommend for anyone interested in how broadcasting, data transmission/compression, or just technology in general. It's a really interesting class!

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: January 2023

I can strongly recommend this module. It covers a diverse range of topics while still exploring them to a good level of depth and detail, and also while keeping the workload reasonable. The materials are exceptionally well-structured and well-written. It was my first OU level 3, and made for a smooth transition from OU level 2.

Even though my career plans mainly involve application programming (rather than networking or electrical engineering), there was a lot of valuable content here for me, particularly the parts related to information theory and compression.

Course starting: October 2021

Review posted: November 2022

I found the module quite technical in nature which was very much to my liking.

It consists of a general introduction to all the topics covered, and while none is studied in great depth I feel I now have a broad overall understanding of signal transmission (radio and wired), encoding/decoding techniques, compression techniques from zip to jpg to mpeg, and mobile technologies including 5G.

There is a little maths involved, but students who understand scientific notation (e.g. 3x10^6) and have undertaken the compulsory OU level 1 maths module (MST124 or equivalent qualification) will find there is nothing they haven't already covered.

I enjoyed pretty much everything about it from the variety of topics it covered to the fact that there is absolutely no programming involved anywhere in it! The material was written with the assumption that students knew nothing of the subject and approached it from the basics upwards.

The module held my interest throughout and I can now even lay claim to having understood the concepts covered and, just as importantly, how and why they worked. I found the workload perfectly manageable within the allotted time, though I admit to being very glad that the 2021 exam was a remote, open-book exam.

Philip Pearson

Course starting: October 2020

Review posted: July 2021

An interesting and varied module that offers useful transferable knowledge and skills. I was pleasantly surprised that the exam questions are based on module activities plus, online activities and quizzes; there are no 'gotchas' to worry about. Hence if a student focuses on these areas they should find the exam quite tame which in turn will help them obtain a good grade.

Course starting: October 2018

Review posted: September 2019

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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