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Module ICE-1302:
Circuit Design (inc. Digital L

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Daniel Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

To provide the fundamentals of analogue and digital circuit analysis and design based on discrete devices to prepare learners for the Analogue Electronics and digital modules in the second year.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

• Circuit symbols and large signal behaviour of resistors, voltage sources and current generator.

• Physical explanation of the mode of operation of diodes and Transitors. I-V characteristics. Methods for biasing to operating (quiescent) point.

• Large signal vs small signal resistance. Calculating the small signal resistance. Transistor configurations and their small-signal equivalent circuits. Single stage audio and buffer amplifiers.

• Basic introduction to Operational Amplifiers.

• Half-wave rectification, full-wave rectification, bridge rectifier, ripple, Zener stabilisation, IC regulators. Voltage doubling - Cockroft Walton stack. RC signal conditioning and diode shaping circuits, DC restoration, clipping.

• Laws of Boolean algebra. De Morgan’s Laws of basic logic gates: OR, AND, NOT Exclusive OR (XOR)

• Digital Comparators; Parity generation and checking; Flip-flops; Memories.

• Karnaugh Maps; Multiplexers and demultiplexers; Shift Registers and Counters; Simple state machines.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 40%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Analyse the large signal behaviour of a Diodes and Transistors and their applications.

  2. Apply the basic rules of binary logic and the operation of simple logic gates.

  3. Design basic combinatorial and sequential logic circuits using logic gates.

  4. Distinguish the I-V characteristics of resistors, constant voltage sources, constant current generators and their combinations.

  5. Analyse the small signal behavior of Diodes and Transistors and their applications

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Laboratory Exercises and Write Up 50
CLASS TEST Midterm In-Class Test 10
EXAM Closed Book Examination 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


2 X 3 hour lab sessions every week starting in week 5.

Private study

Tutor-directed private study including preparation.


8 tutorials spread.


36 hours worth of lectures. .


Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of electronic engineering in an international context;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems engineering in an international context;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Introduction to Analogue Electronics - Bryan Hart;

Electronics: circuits and Systems - Owen Bishop;

Microelectronics - Jacob Millman & Arvin Grabel;

Electrical Circuit Theory and Technology - John Bird;

Electronics Fundamentals: Circuits, Devices and Applications - Thomas L. Floyd.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: