KD5080 - Electrical Product Development

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides you with the knowledge and skills required to research, design, implement and manage the development of an electrical/electronic product. Specifically, you will learn:
• Systems level approach to product design and development.
• The use of online databases to search for patents and research current market trends.
• Project management and the use of Gantt charts.
• Project specification development, project design, electronic/electrical and mechanical design.
• Use of simulation tools, PCB design and rapid prototyping.
• Design analysis and selection, design for manufacturing, product life cycle and product costing.
• Standards and legal issues: market and technical risk assessment, intellectual property, product end of life considerations.
• Ethical aspects, social aspects, and environmental aspects of electrical/electronic engineering product development.
• Communication skills: Pitching technical ideas to general and technical audience.
• Engineering report writing, style, citation tools and content.
• Tracking and managing your professional skill development.

How will I learn on this module?

This module is workshop based, with supporting material is available on elp. Weekly workshops offer you the opportunity to provide a weekly review to staff supervising and to discuss plans for future development and review timescales. Each team will be given atleast 20 minutes of directly supervised session in these workshops each week to monitor progress and provide appropriate support towards completion of planned tasks.

You will form into teams of four or five students, mimicking the functioning of a start-up company. Each team will develop an electrical/electronic engineering product. You will take on a particular role within your team, for example, team leader, circuit designer, mechanical designer etc., thus simulating the activity of a small industrial company.

You will be required to learn to work as part of a team, ensuring completion of timely individual deliverables aligning with the deliverables and the progress of the team. Discussions in the weekly workshops are recorded and kept by the students to provide feedback and suggestions for future work. Team meetings outside of the scheduled workshops will be required to tackle directed and independent project development aspects including timely progress and completion of deliverables.

Each team will submit a Group Product Design Review report containing all aspects of research, design, development, analysis, and conclusion to develop report writing skills. At the end of the semester, you will undergo an ‘investor pitch’ to pitch your product in a 3-minute presentation. The presentation will be followed by an individual viva to evaluate an individual’s contribution and understanding towards the product development process. Self and peer assessment will be incorporated into the marking of the final report to enable you to have an input to the mark obtained for your own performance and other group members.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module content is delivered by lecture with additional support and appropriate links via the e-LP
The weekly workshops provide an essential forum for discussion of project progress with staff, allowing staff to provide advice, and to enable the groups to receive documented up to date feedback. Each team will be given at least 20 minutes of directly supervised session in these workshops each week to monitor progress and provide appropriate support towards completion of planned tasks.

You will be directed to Library facilities, specifically Skills+ . Researching online databases will be demonstrated in lectures as will the use of Endnote, to assist in the development of reference sections and the citation of references in reports.

You will use industry standard software and hardware tools, such for PCB design and simulation, mechanical design softwares and 3D printers. You will also use necessary hardware development tools, such as microcontroller boards, electronic components, oscilloscopes and meters, to practically test developed circuits in the laboratory.

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 & Understanding:
1. Investigate an engineering design problem to develop product solutions taking into account, customer and business needs considering constraints including environmental, societal, cultural, ethical, accessibility, safety, sustainability and legal issues. This will include considering aspects of product life cycle, cost drivers, health and safety and equality, diversity and inclusion in product and process design. (AHEP4 C5, C7, C8, C11, M5, M5,M8,M11)
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Formulate and analyse complex problems in context of developing a product based on given specification guidelines, while evaluating existing commercial products (AHEP4 C2, C4, C5).
3. Apply key engineering principles using integrated or systems approach to solve engineering problems using appropriate theory, methods, practical implementation, and IT tools, while undergoing a critical evaluation of the methods used (AHEP4 C6, C12, C13, M6, M12, M13)
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Work effectively as a team to manage the engineering design process and evaluate outcomes. Develop as an individual to self-manage tasks and responsibilities toward product development considering ethical values and evaluate self and peer performance periodically (AHEP4 C8, C11, C16, M8, M11, M16)
5. Communicate technical and non-technical information about product development process by written report and oral presentation (AHEP4 C17)
6. Plan and record your professional skill development while learning and managing individual and team tasks towards product development (AHEP4 C18, M18)

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment is based on the product developed by the group.

Formative assessment is made throughout the scheduled lab time where each team has 1-2-1 discussions with the tutor about the work completed and next steps, while maintaining a weekly progress log for the project. The feedback received from the tutor will aid the team’s product development through a critical review of their work and time management. All LOs will be assessed through this assessment.

Summative assignment comprises of four components:
1. Coursework (CW – 70%): This is a group report which details information regarding the product design, background literature, environmental and social aspects and commercial aspects. The report will also contain project management details about time and work distribution through Gantt charts and responsibility matrices. The report contains a section on individual contributions and individual reflection of each team member. Feedback will be provided in electronic form via the eLP. (Assessed LOs: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6).

2.Presentation (PRE – 30%): A group product presentation. Each team will provide 20 minute presentation providing an overview of their project with contributions from each team member. Feedback will be provided in electronic form via the eLP. (Assesed LO 5)





Module abstract

In this module you will develop an electrical/electronic product with guideline specifications as a start-up company comprising of a group of 4-5 students. You will be exposed to an open-ended product development process while addressing the design cycle of an electrical/electronic product incorporating market evaluation, detailed specification development, electronic circuit design, mechanical design, use of simulation tools, PCB development, end of life considerations, ethical design and societal considerations.

While working in a team you will also develop skills in project management by managing your and your team’s tasks and responsibilities. Each member of the group will be allocated specific tasks to enable the product to be completed within the required timeframe. You will also take part in an ‘investor pitch’ of your product as a 3-minute presentation along with a preparing a group design report. You will also have an input in the marking through peer and self-assessment.

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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