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MSc Advanced Control and Systems Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Control Fundamentals

Unit code EEEN60108
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No



  • Laplace transform and inverse Laplace transform
  • Analysis of single-input single-output control structures, including open-loop, closed-loop, feedforward and two-degree-of-freedom control structures.
  • Analysis of step/impulse responses of first and second order dynamic systems
  • Design and tuning of proportional control, PI control, PD control and PID control
  • Interpretation of root locus
  • Frequency response, including direct measurement of responses
  • Nyquist plot and the Nyquist stability test
  • Understanding of gain margin and phase margin and their representation on both Bode plots and Nyquist plots
  • Design of phase lead and phase lag feedback compensators using Bode plots and Nichols charts.
  • Case studies including mechanical and electrical systems
  • Analysis of open and closed loop systems in Matlab and Simulink



The course unit aims to:

  • Give all students a common starting point in the topic of control systems by covering classical techniques for the analysis and design of feedback control systems
  • Enable students to analyse the response of dynamic systems in Matlab
  • Give students a sound understanding of classical robustness measures


Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate knowledge of methods for modelling dynamic systems and designing controllers by classical techniques
  • Identify the principal features of linear system time response
  • Understanding classical robustness measures: gain margin and phase margin.

Intellectual skills

  • Determine the response of a dynamic system
  • Determine bode plot, Nyquist plot and Nichol chart of a transfer function.
  • Use classical control methods to design controllers for specified systems and performance criteria
  • Determine the stability of specific open and closed loop systems

Practical skills

  • Design and implement a proportional control system
  • Design and implement phase lead and phase lag control systems

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Use the relevant modelling and design tools for application in other areas.
  • Use computer based simulation tools to analyse the response of dynamic systems
  • Development of a critical attitude in the assessment of analytical results
  • Encouragement of physical interpretation where possible

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%

Written Examination

Four questions, answer all questions

Length of examination: 3 hours

Calculators are permitted

The maximum mark for this examination forms 80% of the total unit assessment

Course Work- Laboratories

The number of laboratories: 6

The length of each laboratory:

  • 4 software-based laboratories will last for 12 hours.
  • 1 software-based laboratory will last for 1 hour.
  • 1 hardware-based laboratory (single degree of freedom hovercraft) will last for 3 hours (in two separate sessions).

TOTAL: 16 hours  

How laboratories are assessed:

  • 1 software-based laboratory will be assessed in lab (students submit MATLAB code via Blackboard).
  • 1 hardware-based laboratory will be assessed by marking a report. 

Proportion that laboratories form of the overall unit mark:

  • Work from 4 software-based laboratories will not contribute to the overall mark. 
  • Work from 1 software-based laboratory will contribute 10% of the overall mark.
  • Work from hardware-based laboratories will contribute 10% of the overall mark.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 16
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 98

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alessandra Parisio Unit coordinator
Long Zhang Unit coordinator

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