Free course

Protocols in multi-service networks

Free statement of participation on completion
Protocols in multi-service networks Copyrighted Icon

The internet, like the telephone system which preceded it, depends for its existence on communications networks. This free course, Protocols in multi-service networks, examines these networks as the means of interconnecting devices so that two-way communication is possible. Examining protocols like HTTP, TCP/IP and ATM as well as the OSI reference model, it provides an overview of the topic for learners who have significant prior knowledge of the subject.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • evaluate technical descriptions of communication protocols and demonstrate an understanding of their operation
  • describe the characteristics of circuit-switched and packet-switched networks, and of connectionless and connection-oriented modes in packet-switched networks
  • describe the role played by primitives in the OSI reference model
  • explain how ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ communication takes place in the OSI reference model
  • describe the main functions of the principal protocols in the TCP/IP architecture.

First Published: 09/08/2012

Updated: 16/05/2018

Skip Rate and Review

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371