Module IES-1007:
Circuit Theory

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Daniel Roberts

Overall aims and purpose

To introduce the main techniques of circuit analysis and demonstrate that this is a key framework of electronic engineering

Course content

• Introduction (Passive and Active Circuits, Resistance & Conductance, Ohm's Law); Voltage and Current Sources (Ideal and Practical); Independent and Dependent Sources; Passive sign convention; Kirchhoff's Laws; Voltage and Current Dividers. Introduction to A.C. Circuits: Sinusoidal Waveforms; Concept of Phasors and Phase Angle. • Voltage and Current in A.C. Resistive Circuits, Power Waveform, RMS values; Voltage and Current in Inductive Circuits, Inductive Reactance; Introduction to j-Notation; Voltage and Current in Capacitive Circuits, Capacitive Reactance; Concepts of Impedance and Admittance; Analysis of Series and Parallel Resistive and Reactive Circuits. Power in A.C. Circuits. • Resonant frequency, Q-factor and bandwidth for series and parallel resonant circuits. • Use of Loop/Mesh Current Method, Node-Voltage Method and Superposition to analyse electric circuits. Use of Thévenin's and Norton's Theorems to obtain equivalent circuits

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Understand and manipulate the mathematical models of the basic components found in AC and DC circuits.

Understand Kirchhoff's laws and the passive sign convention. Knows the relationship between the current and the voltage of ideal passive and active components. Has understanding of the physical laws and the extent of their applicability. Has understanding of phasors notation and its uses. Has excellent understanding of the scientific principles and the limitations of phasors.

Analyse simple AC circuits.

Knows the principles of AC analysis. Can use j-notation. Can calculate the amplitude and phase of the impedance and/or admittance. Can calculate the magnitude of the voltage and current anywhere in a simple circuit and can state the phase difference between the two quantities. Has excellent knowledge and understanding of j-notation and appreciates the limitations of a steady state analysis.

Recognise and analyze a resonant circuit.

Understands why resonance occurs and its practical uses. Can state the resonant frequency of simple resonant circuits. Can calculate all the salient features of simple resonant circuits. Understands why parallel and series resonant circuits have different characteristics. Able to determine all the salient features of non-trivial resonant circuits. Appreciates how the characteristics of real components influence performance.

Apply various circuit analysis techniques to electric circuits.

Can state the Superposition principle and the Thévenin's and Norton's Theorems. Can apply the various techniques to simple problems. Can apply an appropriate technique to analyse familiar circuits with independent sources. Has excellent knowledge and understanding of all the circuit analyses techniques and can apply them to unfamiliar circuits.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Closed Book Examination 80
Mathematical exercised on Circuit analysis techniques 10
Mathematical exercises that test ability to solve standard AC problems 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study 70

1 hour tutorials (ran in weeks, 2,4,6,8,9,10)


2 x 1 hour Lectures 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
  • 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.

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;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems engineering in safety-critical areas;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.


Reading list

Electrical Circuit Theory And Technology - John Bird;

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

Introduction to Electric Circuits (Essential Electronics) - Ray Powell;

Electric Circuits - James W. Nilsson & Susan Riedel;

Electronics: Circuits and Systems - Owen Bishop.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: