module specification

CT5001 - Signals and Systems (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Signals and Systems
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   Coursework 1
Coursework 25%   Coursework 2
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen Examination, 2-Hours
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module develops the skills required for the design and analysis of continuous-time signals and linear systems.  It provides the necessary mathematical tools for linear circuit analysis and design such as operational amplifier-based active filters.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

To understand the necessary mathematical tools for linear system analysis and design
To understand the necessary mathematical tools for the analysis of signals
To apply the mathematical tools on real applications involving signals and linear time-invariant  systems
To develop the ability in solving a real problem in the field of linear systems such as active filter design and analysis.


Basic fundamental concepts: Signal classifications - periodic/non-periodic; deterministic/random; continuous/discrete; Some basic signals - unit impulse; unit step; exponential; sinusoid;
Basic operations on signals - amplitude scaling; time shifting; addition of signals;
System classifications - linear/non-linear; time variant/time invariant; stable/unstable.
Transforms and their applications:
Laplace transforms – definition; Laplace transforms of some basic signals; s-domain impedance of electrical networks; Active and Passive filters; Transient and steady-state response of linear systems (e.g. filters); unit step and sinusoidal responses of a linear systems; filter's transfer function and its use in determining the transient and steady state response; frequency response and determination of steady-state sinusoidal response of linear systems.
Fourier series – definition; exponential form; trigonometric form; and evaluation of coefficients; applications in circuit analysis. 
Fourier transforms – definition; properties; Fourier transforms of some basic signals; table of Fourier transforms and properties; applications to continuous time signals and systems.


Learning and teaching

Lecture (1 Hour per week) followed by Laboratory work/ Tutorials (2 hours per week)
All lecture material including supplementary notes as well as the workshop manuals, guidelines on how to maintain the logbooks, past exam papers, tutorial and solutions are available via Weblearn site for the module.  Student’s query and feedback are also announced on this website.  

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will have:

LO1.  The knowledge of the functionality of linear systems.
LO2.  The ability to analyse behaviour of linear systems.
LO3.   The ability to use some of the most common types of transforms in the analysis of appropriate signals and systems.
LO4. The ability to design and analyse some common types of analogue filters, given an engineering set of specification.
LO5.  The ability to use appropriate simulation tools such as Matlab and laboratory equipment in the design, analysis and testing of linear systems.
LO6.  The ability to estimate cost of a product within the economic context of engineering process.

Assessment strategy

Assessment instrument consists of three components:
(1) Coursework 1 (25%), (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6);
(2) Coursework 2 (25%), (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6);
(3) Unseen Exam (50%), (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4). 

Coursework 1 involves analysis and Design of a linear system using mathematical tools such as Laplace transform.  It also involves implementation (by the use of appropriate software such as Matlab), simulation and testing of the designed circuit.  Students would be expected to submit an individual report reflecting the theoretical design and simulation and also Matlab simulation and analysis of the obtained simulation results. 

Coursework 2 involves analysis of periodic and non-periodic signals and also simulation of such signals be the use of an appropriate software (Matlab).  Students are expected to submit an individual report for this coursework reflecting theoretical analysis and simulation results and analysis.

The coursework components bring together the applications of the mathematical contents of the module into the design and analysis signals and liner systems.  This would develop students’ skills, knowledge and confidence in handling continuous-time linear systems and also analysing appropriate signals. 

The supporting tutorial activities provide a mechanism by which students would learn the lecture materials at a deeper level. 

In addition to the regular feedback during tutorial and laboratory work that students would receive on a weekly basis, there are a number of (three maximum) progressive tests that takes place throughout the year (uniformly distributed).  This would provide  a very effective feedback to students about their progress with the module.  It helps them to identify their shortcoming early enough so that a realistic recovery plan could be put in place.  It would also work as means of engaging students with the learning process of the module during the year

The unseen examination is used to assess students’ deeper understanding and learning of the concepts of the module.  Due to the nature of the assessment, the major learning outcomes of the module (LO1, LO2 and LO3) are effectively assessed by the unseen examination.  Assessment of the other two learning outcome (LO5 and LO6) is more appropriately done by means of the coursework.


1. Ziemer R. E., Tranter W. H., Fannin D. R., "Signals and Systems: Continuous and Discrete", 3rd Ed., Macmillan
2. Balmer L., "Signals and Systems", 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall
3. Girod B., Rabenstein R., Stenger A., "Signals and Systems", Wiley
4. Lathi B.P., (2004)“Linear Systems and Signals (The Oxford Series in Electrical and Computer Engineering)”, ISBN 0195158334.
5. Karris S. T., (2008),“Signals and Systems with MATLAB Computing and Simulink Modeling”, 4th  Ed., Orchard Publications, ISBN 193440411X.
6. Hsu H. P., (2010), “Schaum's Outline of Signals and Systems, (Schaum's Outline Series)” , 2nd Ed.,  ISBN 007163472X.
7. Palamides A., Veloni  A., (2010),“Signals and Systems Laboratory With Matlab” , CRC Press, ISBN 143983055X.