SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3H624812
Module Leader George Cullen
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Instrumentation and Control
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Control and Instrumentation Systems and Mathematics 2A & 2B or Maths for Engineering 3 (HND) or new Engineering Mathematics 5

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a foundation in control system design. The percentage of Work Based Learning for this module, as represented by the Independent Learning "Activity Type", is 67%. The percentage of Work Based Assessment for this module is 15%, which is represented by the Work Based Report Coursework.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Analysis of systems using Laplace - the Laplace transform and its application to the solution of differential equations. Mathematical modelling of system components. Transfer functions of basic system components such as electric motors, valves, linkages, etc. Block diagram representation of open and closed-loop control systems. Block diagram reduction of open and closed-loop control systems. Time domain analysis- step response characteristics of first and second order systems. Frequency domain analysis- Nyquist ( polar ) diagrams, Bode plots. Measuring gain and phase margins from Nyquist and Bode plots and estimating system stability. Effect of gain on stability. Methods of improving control system performance such as compensators, PID controllers, including the practical electronic circuits or programs to achieve compensation. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:Distinguish between on/off, open-loop and closed-loop control systems and identify suitable applications for these control systems.Derive transfer functions for basic electrical and mechanical system components (mathematical modelling).Calculate using block diagram reduction techniques the transfer function of open and closed-loop continuous control systems.Calculate and sketch the response of first-and second order systems in the time and frequency domain.Plot poles and zeros on the S-plane and use dominant pole simplification techniques to predict the dynamic response of 3rd, 4th, 5th and higher order systems.Calulate gain and phase margins using Nyquist and Bode plots and estimate the stability of closed-loop control systems. To improve control system performance using compensators and PID controllers.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures, Laboratory Exercises, Tutorial questions, Demonstrations and Directed Study. The students will be encouraged to reflect upon the theoretical learning within the work place and the application of newly learned concepts to the work environment. Work Based Education aims to maximise the direct and digitally mediated contact time with students by practicing teaching and learning strategies that use authentic work based scenarios and encourage action learning, enquiry based learning, problem based learning and peer learning. All these approaches aim to directly involve the students in the process of learning and to encourage sharing of learning between students. The module team will determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery, inputting when necessary either directly or with the support of external experts who will add to the authenticity, the credibility and application of the education and learning to the workplace.

Indicative Reading

Control Engineering, W. Bolton, Longman Scientific and Tech. ISBN0582097290

Transferrable Skills

Further development of skills and problem solving, numerical analysis and control system design methods.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 134.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 15.00 35% Work Based Report
Exam (School) n/a 15.00 35% Class test, Multiple Choice
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 70.00 35% WRITTEN EXAMINATION