SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHI124569
Module Leader Omair Uthmani
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Cyber Security and Networks
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programming 2 Advanced Switching

Summary of Content

This module introduces the architecture, structure, functions, components, and models of Software Defined Networks (SDN). It details evolving switching technologies that provide a foundation for SDN functionality and addresses the requirements and advantages of integrating SDN tools and technologies in a network.


SDN Fundamentals A review of fundamental networking concepts and principles and how these extend into the software defined environment, with particular emphasis on the roles of the data plane, control plane and management plane and how the abstraction of their specific functionalities allows SDN to address the limitations of scalability of traditional networks in increasingly large-scale and distributed networking environments. SDN Components An overview of abstract SDN functional components, with particular emphasis on discussion of controllers, devices and applications and how these relate and interact in the SDN networking environment. Analysis of SDN controller functionality with reference to the evolution from early controllers to current widely utilised controller frameworks.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:1 - Explain the risks and potential benefits of the SDN model, and the implications of introducing SDN into networks.2 - Understand and explain the requirements needed to effectively integrate SDN technologies in a network.3 - Utilise network design and SDN concepts and principles to develop SDN applications.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The course material will be introduced through lectures, while practical exercises, based on the lecture material, will be given to students for their laboratory sessions. Tutorials will be used to help explain and elaborate on both the lecture material and the laboratory exercises. The practical work and coursework will be based around the integrating case study. Learning and teaching will take place through a variety of mechanisms, including lectures and practical sessions, research into current developments and issues, and case studies. This module emphasises an active "hands-on" approach to learning. Case studies will be used formatively in tutorials throughout the module in order to promote the application of knowledge to specific problems and to facilitate discussion. Topics will be introduced in lectures and discussed through guided inquiry learning activities. Key concepts of knowledge and understanding will be re-enforced and consolidated through the critical analysis and discussion of case studies that are designed to explain and elaborate both on lecture and laboratory content. Additionally, directed learning will reinforce essential theory and place understanding into context. Independent study will be encouraged to satisfy the student's own interests. A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will also be used that will provide access to a range of relevant learning resources and materials to enhance the teaching strategy. Managed blended learning environments will be used to consider material and provide the capability for reflection on material related to learning outcomes. The subject discipline is continuously developing, evolving and changing and as a result students will be expected to keep up to date with developments through independent research. Students will be encouraged to adopt an independent learning style, acquiring and applying knowledge through their own research and enquiry, supported by a series of guided activities and exercises. Students will be encouraged to share findings of their research through discussions and participation in on-line forums.

Indicative Reading

Goransson, & Black (2014) Software Defined Networks: A Comprehensive Approach, First Edition, Elsevier (9780124166844). In addition to the above, several online resources (blogs, journals, websites, etc.), may be utilised in the course of this module to reflect up to date understanding in the field.

Transferrable Skills

D1 Critical thinking and problem solving D2 Cognitive/intellectual skills D3 Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject D4 Learning style and orientation to learning D5 Time management: organising and planning work D6 Independent working D7 Planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating own learning and development D9 Information Retrieval Skills D10 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D11 Group working D12 IT Skills Traditional Academic Skills - specialist knowledge, ability to apply knowledge, logical thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, written and spoken communication, ability to use numerical data, and research skills. Personal Development Skills - self-confidence, self-discipline, self-reliance, awareness of strengths and weaknesses, creativity, independence, knowledge of international affairs, desire to go on learning, ability to reflect, reliability, integrity, honesty and regard for others. Enterprise Or Business Skills - ability to prioritise tasks, time management, interpersonal skills, presentational skills, ability to work in teams and leadership skills, flexibility, innovation, independence and risk-taking.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 120.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 60.00 35% Official Examination
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 35% Practical based assignment