KD5064 - Analogue Electronics and Instrumentation

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn on module key technical content around two themes that of analogue electronics and instrumentation. These are important topics for electrical engineering covering the key basics of analogue design and the use of analogue signals used in instrumentation. Amplifiers and signal conditioning devices will be covered that convert the sensor output into usable signals for typical process control platforms. Operational amplifiers will be used extensively in the module, leading up to an understanding of discrete electronic transistor design.

Operational Amplifiers - Operational amplifier applications applied to instrumentation signals, active filter circuits, and instrumentation amplifiers. Filter considerations including magnitude and phase bode diagrams, and compensation methods.

Sensors - Temperature, strain and light sensor systems looking into devices and signals. Additional sensors considered may also include slot encoders, accelerometers and hall-effect devices.

Instrumentation - Amplifiers and signal conditioning demonstrates the ability for signal conversion and used in real world environments. Operational amplifiers will be expanded upon with the design of the instrumentation amplifier to highlight the performance improvements. Noise analysis will be introduced to show how instrumentation techniques reduce this phenomenon.

Discrete Electronics - Operational amplifiers are made from discrete elements; these building blocks will be explained include the Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and the Field Effect Transistor (FET). Biasing and amplifier design for these will be shown, with more advanced introduction to performance analysis using Monticarlo simulations. Transistor applications may include current sources, current sinks, and differential input stages.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn on this module via a combination of lectures, workshops, and directed and independent learning materials. Your lectures will follow an integrated approach to learning with initial information dissemination, followed by your opportunity to practice the application of knowledge to a puzzle, using a problem based learning approach. Classes will be instructed to read ahead in the notes and to use the reading lists for background reading. Furthermore, this module uses a combination of ScreenCam videos integrated into the learning such that examples are rich in providing self-paced learning and the ability to repeat content as needed. Lectures may also provide a formative approach to assessment with integrated quizzes and problems to solve.
Workshops are in smaller groups and can provide a rich feedback framework based on problem based learning, where the learner can contextualise theory in practice in an appropriate lab session. This session also provides the appropriate learning tools, possibly electrical hardware (breadboards, oscilloscopes, signal generators etc.) or software based (LabVIEW, OrCAD, Matlab). These enhance students skills for future employment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You are supported on the module specifically in both lectures and workshops. These provide the key academic support framework for you to learn.
Workshops, supported by lab tutors, effectively provide verbal feedback and comments throughout the session. Such comments may be generic and applicable to all students, typically noting procedures or some technical guideline or could be may be more directed to the individuals learning. Your key to workshop activities is to question the results, and attempt to link the work performed to your theoretical study.
The most appropriate use of blackboard (an online platform) is made in the module where your taught content is provided along with links to both the reading list support, relevant professional body related web sites showing relation of the theory to the industrial context.
Additional support is provided in this module in the form of integrated ScreenCam’s. These provide support for the development of key skills in using software tools (specifically OrCAD) and some support in tricky derivations or circuit theory examples such that you can observe not only the problem but the process and the thinking behind the examples.

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. Demonstrate the application of knowledge in the design of instrumentation, and sensor systems with reference to real world problems. (UK-Spec 3rd Ed. SM1m EA1m, D4m)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Mathematically model system-level and circuit solutions for instrumentation and analogue electronic systems (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. D4m, EA1m, EA4m)
3. Simulate, build and test circuitry using simulation and practical lab equipment (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. EA3m, EP3m)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Analyse the specification and performance requirements necessary for sensors, instrumentation and general circuit operation within a regulatory framework (UK-Spec, 3rd Ed. ET1m, ET5m, ET6m)

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessed will include an in-class laboratory test paper (30%) and an end of year final exam (70%). The end of year exam will cover all the theoretical material and aspects of learning from the laboratory sessions. LO1, LO3 and LO4 will be assessed by the lab test and LO1, LO2 and LO3 will be assessed in the exam.

Formative assessment will take the form of: quizzes in the lectures and some use of case studies in the lecture to promote a more interactive learning environment; formative testing in the workshops to provide regular opportunities for the student to assess their own learning.
Verbal feedback will be provided during the workshop (laboratory) sessions. Written feedback will be provided through the laboratory test paper (as this is electronic based on blackboard). Examination feedback will be provided following the normal processes to show generically where the cohort has a strong or a weaker answer to the examination. Exam scripts are also returned to the students with limited relevant comments where appropriate.


KC2065 Engineering Maths (or equivalent knowledge)
KD4010 Electrical and Electronic Principles (or equivalent knowledge)



Module abstract

Analogue electronics is a crucial part of almost all electronic products, and in some form analogue signals are used everywhere from audio reproduction through to sensors in industrial control environments. You will learn some depth in analogue electronics, to enable you to design transistor level circuitry, through to operational amplifier filter design. You will be using our specialist purpose laboratories along with industry standard CAD tools for example OrCAD in all aspects of analogue design. You will also be shown Instrumentation design, from sensors and their application, through to the linearization maths using CAD packages; for example, you may use Matlab to model industrial systems.
You are taught in this module using a combination of lectures, additional electronic resources (typically Blackboard, YouTube), and workshops using our specialist purpose laboratories.
Your assessment on this module is through an online lab test paper following completion of the workshops and an examination paper.

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 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and 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.


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