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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

XJEL2540 Control Systems

10 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr. Zoran Ikonic

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan 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 2020-21. If it is not possible to deliver traditional face-to-face teaching methods, such as lectures and practical classes, we may need to substitute alterative (online) formats of delivery and amend the timetable accordingly. ‘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 aim of this module is to gain understanding of the theory and practice of control systems, including linear systems analysis using Laplace transforms and transfer functions, the transient response of feedback systems, and stability criteria.

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

1. Draw block diagrams of simple feedback systems to represent an engineering problem, derive closed-loop transfer functions and sketch polar and Bode plots of systems which include cascaded terms.
2. Analyse the transfer functions of simple systems, obtain impulse and step responses and combine systems in series and in parallel.
3. Obtain steady-state responses by applying the final-value theorem and frequency response methods.
4. Explain the significance of the system's characteristic equation and how the poles of a system affect its transient response.
5. Explain the relationship between unity and non-unity feedback systems, determine the class of a feedback system and relate it to the system's steady-state error for standard reference inputs.
6. Show a knowledge and understanding of stability in practical and mathematical terms, and how the stability of a feedback system can be inferred from the roots of its characteristic polynomial, from Bode plots, and by the use of Nyquist's criterion.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Linear Systems: Laplace transforms and derivation of transfer functions
Standard form of a first-order system
Cascaded and summed transfer functions
Characteristic equation and significance of poles
Standard form of second-order system and its step response
Introduction to Feedback: Effects of feedback
Proportional, integral and differential control
System Classification: Relationship between unity and non-unity feedback systems
System type (class) and steady-state errors
Polar Frequency Response: Polar form of complex quantities
Frequency-response from transfer function
Cascaded terms
Bode plots
Stability: Concept of stability via roots of characteristic equation, from Bode plots, and from Nyquist's criterion

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Examples Class111.0011.00
Private study hours41.00
Total Contact hours59.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate the material covered in lectures, to undertake preparatory work for examples classes/laboratory classes and to prepare for summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback will be mainly provided through the examples classes.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectProject 120.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

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 assessment2 hr 00 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

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


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