Module IES-1005:
Circuit Design

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Daniel Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

To provide the fundamentals of analogue circuit analysis and design based on discrete devices to prepare learners for module IES2012.

Course content

• 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, Darlington pairs, Op-amp buffer. • Half-wave rectification, full-wave rectification, bridge rectifier, ripple, Zener stabilisation, IC regulators. Introduction to switch mode power supplies. Voltage doubling - Cockroft Walton stack. RC signal conditioning and diode shaping circuits, DC restoration, clipping, diode gating circuit.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







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

Can sketch on numerically labeled axes the I-V characteristics of combinations of the elements. Can sketch the I-V characteristics of the various circuit elements. Can relate these models to the circuit behaviour of diodes and transistors.

Understand the large signal behavior of a Diodes and Transistors.

Can explain the physics underlying the operation of diodes and transistors. Able to analyse bias circuits and can determine currents and voltages in various parts of the circuit. Understands some of the limitations of PSPICE Can use a load line to determine operating conditions. Can identify the various methods for biasing transistors and can sketch the relevant circuits. Can use PSPICE to simulate circuit operation. Can undertake numerical calculations relating to diode and transistor circuits. With guidance can design bias circuits taking note of resistor tolerances. Can discuss the pros and cons of the different biasing arrangements

Understand the small signal behavior of Diodes and Transistors

Knows that re = 25/I(mA) Can draw a simple equivalent circuit for a transistor . Can sketch circuit diagrams for single stage audio and buffer amplifiers. Can calculate re from data provided., Can analyse the operation of a single stage amplifier by drawing its equivalent circuit Can draw a more complex transistor equivalent circuit. With guidance can design a single stage audio or buffer amplifier. Can explain the benefits of using a Darlington pair.

Know about the applications of diodes.

Can draw circuit diagrams for each application. Can sketch the output signal from RC circuits of different time constants and diode shaping circuits Can explain the circuit operation and analyse the relevant analogue circuits. Can calculate the output signals from RC circuits and diode shaping circuits. With guidance can design circuits and discuss trade-offs, limitations etc in practical circuits.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Examination 80
Transistor Exercises 10
Power Supply Design 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 64

2 x 1 hour lecture per week over 12 weeks


1 hour Tutorial every week over 12 weeks


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.
  • 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;
  • 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.


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: