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







Able to use vector calculus.

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

Have an understanding of basic concepts in electricity and magnetism

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. Can apply the laws to unseen problems

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

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

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Examination 70
Mathematical exercise on the fundamentals of Vector Calculus 15
Mathematical exercises that test ability to solve standard EM problems 15

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


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
  • 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

Introduction and use of Vector Calculus Application of Vector Calculus to Electromagnetism Derivation and use of Maxwell's Equations from basic observed phenomena Maxwell's Equation in Integral and derivative form Development and application Electromagnetic Wave Equation to specific conditions that allow meaningful analytic solutions Use and importance of the Dispersion Equation


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: