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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC1620 Digital Electronics and Microcontrollers

20 creditsClass Size: 180

Module manager: Dr Craig Evans

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2020-21. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) the Online Learning Workshops. For Semester 2 (from January 2021), we anticipate that this will be most likely, in which case online teaching will be substituted for traditional face-to-face teaching methods, including lectures and practical classes. ‘Independent online learning’ will involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or remote/virtual laboratory work, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of Online Learning Workshops, are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.


The objectives of this module are for students to learn how to design digital circuits, gain an understanding of how microcontrollers (MCUs) are implemented in hardware and develop the programming skills required in order to write embedded software using C++.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Solve logical expressions using Boolean algebra.
2. Design and simulate digital logic circuits.
3. Use binary and hexadecimal numbers and be able to apply the rules of binary arithmetic.
4. Describe and discuss the operation of digital circuits (including microcontrollers).
5. Write, compile, run and de-bug simple C++ programs.
6. Explain how hardware components are interfaced with MCUs.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Digital logic gates
Combinational logic
Boolean algebra
Boolean arithmetic
Arithmetic Logic Units (ALUs)
Flip-flops and registers
Microcontroller architecture
Counter and timer circuits
Embedded software development
C++ variables and operators
C++ control statements (branches and loops)
Functions, C++ classes and object-oriented programming
Microcontroller peripherals

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning161.0016.00
Independent online learning hours64.00
Private study hours120.00
Total Contact hours16.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Watching screen-casts, example sheets and online quizzes, reading laboratory notes, recommended text books and data sheets; logic circuit design and simulation; writing and debugging software; revision for tests.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored during the laboratory sessions and progress made with the taught material. In-semester tests in each semester will give summative feedback.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Online AssessmentOnline Assessment/Test 115.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assessment/Test 225.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assessment/Test 325.00
Online AssessmentOnline Assessment/Test 435.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits for ELEC and XJEL modules are subject to the School's Resit Policy and the Code of Practice on Assessment (CoPA), which are available on Minerva. Students should be aware that, for some modules, a resit may only be conducted on an internal basis (with tuition) in the next academic session. .

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 10/08/2020 08:35:35


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