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Module ICE-3301:
Signal Processing & Tranducers

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce the concepts of digital signal processing and transducers. To enable students to analyse and design simple digital processing and transducer systems.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Time and frequency response of linear systems, Z-transform; Continuous and discrete signals; Sampling theory; Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT); Digital Signal Processing (DSP) theory and systems; FIR and IIR filters; Deterministic and stochastic signals; Classical spectral estimation; Analogue to Digital Conversion.
  • Limitations of FIR and IIR filter design methods; Effects of finite word length and sampling on DSP systems; Effect of windowing and averaging on spectral estimation.
  • Design methods for FIR and IIR filters; Design of spectral estimation systems.

Assessment Criteria


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.


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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Evaluate the main limitations and sources of error in digital signal processing systems and methods of minimising their effect.

  2. Analyse and design of digital signal processing systems.

  3. Compute the characteristics of digital signal processing systems and transducors using appropriate theory.

  4. Characterise a given Digital Signal Processing system, relating analog input to its digital output and the equivalent analog system.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Final Examination

Unseen end-of-semester examination

COURSEWORK DSP Design Exercise

Design, analyse and evaluate a DSP system to a given specification.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


1hr lectures three time per week - 36 lectures over the semester. Some of these will be tutorial sessions.

Private study

Review of notes from class; Formative assessment exercises; Revision and past papers; Review of blackboard resources; Review of course text and recommended reading.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • 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
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • 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.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: