module specification

CT3101 - Design and Communication Skills (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Design and Communication Skills
Module level Foundation (03)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Early Logbook Task (500 words)
In-Course Test 20%   In class test 1 hour
In-Course Test 20%   Unseen In class test (1hour)
Group Coursework 50%   Logbook + Group Mini Project(1500 Words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module introduces the basic concepts, and the design, of Analogue and Digital Electronics Communication Systems and Computer Networks. The module is designed to deliver basic concepts and applications through hands-on practical workshops.

It is assessed by Progress Tests: Test 1 (week due 14), 25% weighting; Test 2 (Week due 24), 25%; Duration: 1 Hour each; and Coursework Assignment: Logbook  (week due 30), 50%;

Module aims

The module aims at providing students with a solid foundation in design of products in various areas from Communications to Robotics to Networking and Internet.  The module covers the necessary background through formal lectures/seminars followed by comprehensive laboratory and workshop-based excecises/projects.
Academic skills are embedded in the work on the log book – for example, a high standard of written English, written in the third-person as appropriate for a report, is expected.


Basic number systems (decimal, binary, Hexadecimal and Octal), Logic components and circuits, Boolean expressions,

Current, voltage, Resistor and basic circuits, AC and DC signals, graphical illustrations of signals, generation of signals in the laboratories, measurement of signal parameters, voltage, current, power.
Capacitors, Inductors, diodes and basics transistors, Small amplifiers.

Basic timers, applications, Building simple timer circuits.
Communications: Analogue vs. Digital, simple transmitters, simple receivers, Building blocks, Wireless communications systems,

Cisco - Internet of Everything (IoE):  impact and LSEPI (Legal, social, ethical and professional issues).
Safety in Electronics Workshops

Learning and teaching

This Module comprises of:

  • Lectures for defining theoretical concepts and to provide support for the workshop practical sessions
  • Workshops using simulators and standard electronics lab equipment will help students to acquiring hands-on experience. Open learning materials will encourage the students to work at their own speed and develop their self learning skills.
  • Progress tests,will take place on different times to enable feedback for learning. Students are expected to spend time on directed reading and additional exercises to prepare for the progress tests and to attend all tests and face to face feedback sessions.
  • The logbook will be assessed weekly and feedback will be given during the session.
  • Students will be encouraged to use the Weblearn to manage their own learning practice.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

LO1:   understand the basic electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, as well as semiconductors such as diodes and Transistors;
LO2:   develop a basic knowledge of analogue and digital electronic devices, robots and sensor circuits and  systems;
LO3:   analyse requirement, design, simulate and implement basic analogue and digital circuits;
LO4:   explain the basic structure of modern communications systems and distinguish between the various systems;
LO5:   appreciate and understand the Internet of Everything (Legal, social, ethical and professional issues) and its impact;

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed through both progress tests and coursework assignments:

An early coursework which should reflect laboratory tasks up to and including week 6.  The logbooks will be collected in week 8, marked with appropriate feedback to students by week 10.

Progress Tests: Test 1 (week due 14), 20% weighting; Test 2 (Week due 28), 20%; Duration: 1 Hour each.

Coursework Assignment: In week 30, the completed logbook as well as the poster for the group mini project (due in week 30) will be collected for assessment.  The logbook has a weighting of 30% and the Poster has a weighting of 20% constituting the 50% for the coursework component of this module.  
The poster is only related to the mini project.   The mini project has been designed to consist of a number of distinct parts.  For the re-assessment of this element, students will be expected to produce a poster on selected parts of project.  The logbook consisting of a series of guided exercises must be submitted in full for re-assessment.

Practical Workshops: Students will be working in groups of 2 to 3.  Appropriate training will be provided of the importance of working as a team.   The workhops are designed to further enhance students knowledge of the topics covered in the lecture classes as well as to provide an opportunity to explore and engage students in topics such as ethical and social issues which are integrated in various workshop tasks. Students working on the reassessment aspects of the coursework will need to attend a selected series of workshops Intended to be carried out using the simulator (free) but  covering the intended learning outcome.

Logbook (summative): Student will produce a logbook of all the practical activities that will take place in the weekly labs.Students will be trained on how to maintain a technical logbook.  Face to face feedback will given to selected studentsin a weekly basis.


Eggleston, D.L. (2011) Basic Electronics for Scientists and Engineers, Cambridge University Press,  ISBN:978-0521154307 [CORE]

DaCosta, F. (2013) Rethinking the Internet of Things: A Scalable Approach to Connecting Everything [Kindle Edition], Apress, 1st Edition, ISBN: 1430257407 CORE

Duncan, T. (1997)Electronics for today and tomorrow, John Murray, ISBN: 0-7195-7413-7

Karris, S.T. (2012) Electronic Devices and Amplifier Circuits with MATLAB® Computing, Orchard Publications, ISBN: 1−934404−14−4

Madhow, U. (2014) Introduction to Communication Systems, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-1107022775