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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

XJEL1620 Digital Electronics and Microcontrollers

20 creditsClass Size: 75

Module manager: Dr. James Chandler

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

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. If it is not possible to deliver traditional teaching methods, such as lectures and practical classes, we may need to substitute alternative (online) formats of delivery and amend the timetable accordingly. ‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, 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 sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


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
Independent online learning hours66.00
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentAssignment 135.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)35.00

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.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins15.00
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins25.00
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)65.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/06/2021 16:47:30


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