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BEng Mechatronic Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Signals and Systems

Unit code EEEN20027
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will cover the following:

Induction and overview (2 lectures):Introduction to the course, motivation for why we need to study signals and systems. Demonstration of Matlab and Simulink as computer software tools for analysing signals and systems.

Mathematical fundamentals (2 lectures):Revision of complex numbers, ordinary differntial equations and other mathematics required for studying signals and systems.

Concepts (4 lectures):Definitions of systems, signals and mathematical models of them. Focus on continuous-time and discrete-time signals and linear time-invariant systems.

Convolution (4 lectures):The system impulse response and is use to represent a system. Description of an input signal as a continuum of impulses. Showing how these can be combined to give the convolution operation which calculates the system output. Convolution for both discrete-time and sontinuous-time signals and systems.

Fourier series and transforms (4 lectures): Concept of basis functions. Fourier series representation of signals. Fourier transform representation of signals in the frequency domain. Fourier transform properties.

Laplace transforms (3 lectures):  Laplace transform for representing signals and systems. Similarities and differences between the Fourier transform and the Laplace transform.

Transfer functions of continuous-time systems (2 lectures): Transfer functions in both Laplace and Fourier domains. System frequency response and Bode diagram from the Fourier transfer function. Physical realizability, stability, and poles/zeros from the transfer function.

Transfer functions of discrete-time systems (2 lectures):The Laplace transform of discrete impulses sequences leading to the z transform. Properties of the z transform. Transfer functions for discrete-time systems working in z domain.

Tutorials (1 lecture):  Feedback and working of the lab work. Additional tutorial questions are embedded in the lecture notes.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Circuit Analysis EEEN10024 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Mathematics 1E1 for EEE MATH19681 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
Mathematics 1E2 MATH19682 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
C Programming EEEN10036 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


This course unit detail provides the framework for delivery in 2020/21 and may be subject to change due to any additional Covid-19 impact.  Please see Blackboard / course unit related emails for any further updates.

The course unit aims to:

Introduce the mathematical tools for analysing signals and systems in the time and frequency domains, and provide a basis for applying these techniques in control and communications engineering.


Learning outcomes

On the successful completion of the course, students will be able to:




Analyse and develop simple mathematical models for representing signals and systems




Convert time domain models into frequency, Laplace and Z domain models of signals and linear time-invariant systems (continues and discrete) and vice versa




Analyse and calculate system impulse responses and system responses for given inputs of linear time-invariant systems using convolution (time domain), system transfer function (frequency, Laplace and Z domains)




Explain the signal and system properties and relationship between continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems




Apply basic Matlab and Simulink tools for analysis and simulation of continuous and discrete-time systems




Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 20%
Written exam 80%


Two laboratory sessions, working on computer based simulations in Matlab and Simulink. Each forms 5% of the unit assessment. Laboratory duration: 6 hours in total (3 per session.)

Coursework carried out in own time, working on computer based simulations in Matlab and Simulink. Forms 10% of the unit assessment.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 23
Practical classes & workshops 6
Tutorials 1
Independent study hours
Independent study 70

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Zhirun Hu Unit coordinator
Alex Casson Unit coordinator

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