KD4009 - Digital Electronics and Communications

What will I learn on this module?

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

a) Basic telephone systems
Introduction to POTS, ISDN, VOIPand emerging telephone systems.
Telephone line encoding technology, A-law, u-law companding and Analogue to Digital conversion ADC , Digital to Analogue conversion DAC techniques.

b) Basic Network Systems
The OSI 7 layer model for networking.
Ethernet frames and IP addressing.
Current physical layer technologies for example Ethernet, Witeless Ethernet, Bluetooth, Zigbee

How will I learn on this module?

Module content is delivered by two hours of lectures per week,.

A one hour seminar is scheduled every week to enable the students to engage in module orientated problem solving. The seminar also provides a forum for students to ask questions and receive feedback with regard to their understanding of module content and problem solving skills.

Four laboratory sessions (two digital electronics and two communications) are scheduled to re-inforce module content and also to allow the student to enhance their practical skills by building circuits and testing using appropriate laboratory equipment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module content is provided by lectures supported by seminars and laboratories and appropriate directed and indirected learning
Appropriate links with additional content are provided on the e-LP

The laboratory sessions are assessed by an MCQ labtest and provide 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 ORCAD will be demonstrated to enable digital circuits to be simulated.

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:
Explain the operation of logic gates and logic circuits and design combinational logic circuits from truth tables using Boolean algebra and truth tables UKSPEC (US1)

Demonstrate understanding of telephone system technology including ADC and DAC techniques UKSPEC US3)

Demonstrate an understanding of the technology protocols and address space used in the internet and other modern communication channels UKSPEC (E2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Explain the operation of sequential logic and use it to develop circuits such as binary counters and shift registers UKSPEC(D1)

How will I be assessed?

Laboratory MCQ test 30%
MLOs addressed
Feedback - Feedback will be provided by eLP

Examination - 70%
MLOs addressed
Feedback - Feedback 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. The summative assessments for this module consist of a laboratory test and an exam. 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 H602

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy