KD4009 - Digital Electronics and Communications

What will I learn on this module?

The students will gain fundamental knowledge as follows:

Within the digital electronics aspect of this module the student will learn

The operation of logic gates AND,NAND,OR,NOR,XOR.
The use of truth tables and logic gates to solve combinational logic problems.
Boolean algebra and the use of Boolean algebra to simplify logic expressions prior to implementation.
The use of Karnaugh maps to simplify logic expressions prior to implementation.
Implementation of adders/subtractors using logic gates.
Using logic gates to implement S-R flip flop, J-K flip flop and D-type flip flop.
Using flip flops to develop asynchronous counters and shift registers.

Within the communication aspects of this module the student will learn

Typical types of communication techniques
Characteristics of analogue signals, their time- and frequency-domain representations
Importance of bandwidth
Characteristics of digital signals, frequency domain representation of digital signals
Evaluation of basic transmission performance in communications
Signal conversion techniques on communications
Analog and digital modulation

In addition to the gained knowledge, the students will apply this knowledge to analyse and design digital electronics circuits and communication systems. The design of analysis aspects will be targeted especially in the laboratory sessions.

How will I learn on this module?

The students will learn via a combination of lectorials, laboratories, directed learning and independent learning. Four laboratory sessions (two digital electronics and two communications) are scheduled to reinforce module content. The students will apply the knowledge and skills they acquired in the lectorials in the laboratory session. In addition, these sessions will allow the student to enhance their practical skills by building circuits and testing using appropriate laboratory equipment. The students will experience computer simulation tools and measurement instruments in the laboratory sessions.
Learning material will be provided via the eLP to support students’ own learning outside of timetabled hours.
Within lectorials, practical examples and analysis will be explored, and the students will be expected to actively participate in these sessions. Some of these sessions may involve tutor lead Q+A sessions and student to student explanation and response at the front of class.
In addition, the students will be encouraged to research the subject through the directed learning, reading list and topic links. This will broaden students’ knowledge around the current theory, techniques and standards and the hence the future development in communications and enhance students’ experience for future employment

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module content is provided by lectorials supported by laboratories and appropriate directed and undirected learning mechanisms.
Appropriate support materials and additional content are provided on the e-LP. These include pre-recorded videos covering the topics of the module, recordings of the delivered sessions, reading materials and practical examples.
The laboratory sessions are supported by the tutors and demonstrators to provide timely feedback to the students. Practical skills will be enhanced by engaging with the laboratory sessions where circuits will be built and tested using appropriate laboratory equipment
Software tools such as Labview will be demonstrated to enable the effective analysis and design of communication systems .

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge and Understanding:
1. Knowledge of mathematics will be applied to analyse communication systems and digital circuits, will be assessed in the coursework. (AHEP4, C1)

2. Communication systems and digital circuits will be analysed using engineering principles, will be assessed in the coursework. (AHEP4, C2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Design methodology will be covered, starting from a set of specifications and design of digital and communication systems. This will be assessed in the coursework. (AHEP4, C5)

4. A set of 4 experiments in the semester will allow the students to develop their practical skills. Will be assessed in the coursework. (AHEP4, C12, M12)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

How will I be assessed?

This module is assessed by two summative assessments:

A coursework (CW) assignment will be submitted addressing the design of a digital electronics and a communications system starting from system specifications to the final implementation (LO1, LO2, LO3). This will make 60% of the overall mark. Feedback will be provided by eLP.

The laboratory sessions will be complemented with a report based upon the work completed in the laboratory (LO4). These will make up 40% of the overall mark. Feedback will be provided by eLP.





Module abstract

In this module you will develop essential skills in fundamentals of digital electronics and communications. Digital electronics will allow you to analyse and design of combinational and sequential logic circuits. Communications will allow you to understand the fundamentals of signals, networks and communication systems. The module will be complemented by laboratory sessions where you will be completing experiments in basic digital electronics and communication systems. On completion of this module, you will have strengthened your ability to understand basic building blocks in digital electronics and communications for your future career aspirations.

Course info

UCAS Code H601

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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