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Module ICM-3008:

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Paul Spencer

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce electromagnetics and the necessary vector calculus required to appreciate the subject. To derive the electromagnetic wave equation and solve one-dimensional problems.

Course content

• Vectors: Concept and definition. Addition, subtraction, components. Vector multiplication: dot and cross products. Volume integral (scalar), line integral (vector). Differentiation of vectors: Div, Grad and Curl. Triple scalar and vector products. Stoke’s theorem and Divergence theorem.

• Charge and electric flux: force on a charge, Gauss’ law. Capacitance. Electrostatic force and energy storage. Magnetic field and flux. Lorentz force. Ampere’s Law. Biot-Savart Law. Faraday’s and Lenz’s law. Inductance.

• E-M waves and Maxwell’s equations. Displacement current and continuity equation

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Have an understanding of basic concepts in electricity and magnetism

Can apply the laws to unseen problems Can state the basic laws of electrostatics and magneto statics. Capable of basic mathematical manipulations. Understands the basic laws of electrostatics and magneto statics and can apply to simple problems.

Have an understanding of the unification of electricity and magnetism into Maxwell’s equations and their application.

Can derive the e/m wave equation from Maxwell’s equations. Can state Maxwell’s equations. Capable of basic mathematical manipulations. Can state Maxwell’s equations and understand concepts involved

Able to use vector calculus.

Able to use the laws of vector algebra to determine electric and magnetic fields Can state the laws of vector algebra. Capable of basic mathematical manipulations Can apply to vector calculus to unseen problems.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
EXAM Examination

Section A covers core knowledge and application. All questions to be attempted. Section B covers more in-depth question which require a multi-step analysis and/or the extrapolation of core knowledge to unfamiliar areas

SUMMATIVE THEORETICAL ASSMT Mathematical exercise on the fundamentals of Vector Calculus

Set of mathematical question graded in difficulty. Students to attempt all questions

SUMMATIVE THEORETICAL ASSMT Mathematical exercises that test ability to solve standard EM problems

A set of problems that are similar in format and nature to those found in section B of the final unseen examination


Teaching and Learning Strategy


3 x 1 hour lectures/tutorial sessions per week over 12 weeks

Private study

Background reading and application of techniques to problems using tutorial sheets and past papers. Review of recommended text and blackboard content. Review of past papers.


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
  • 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.
  • 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

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of electronic engineering in an international context;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines


Resource implications for students

Recommended that they purchase the course text, but this is not essential.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

A Students Guide to Maxwell’s Equations Daniel Fleisch Cambridge Press ISBN: 978-0-521-70147-1

Schaum’s Outline of Vector Analysis Murray R Spiegal and Seymour Lipschutz McGraw-Hill ISBN: 978-0071615457

Introduction to Electrodynamics (4th Ed) David J. Griffiths Pearson ISBN: 978-1-29202-143-3

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: