Skip to content

Module Catalogue

Breadcrumbs navigation

PH3074   Electronics

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF Level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: 11.00 am Mon & Tue; lab 11.00 am Thu or 11.00 am Fri

This module provides a basic grounding in practical electronics. It introduces and develops the basic principles underlying the synthesis and analysis of analogue circuits. The module is divided into two parts: passive circuits, beginning with a review of dc circuit theory before moving onto complex impedance, passive ac circuits and diode applications; active circuits and amplifiers, including simple bipolar amplifiers, operational amplifiers and applications.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass PH2011 and pass PH2012 and ( pass MT2001 or pass MT2501 and pass MT2503 )

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 3 lectures, tutorials or short lab sessions

Scheduled learning hours: 30

Guided independent study hours: 120

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 75%, Coursework = 25%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 75%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 25%

Re-assessment: Oral Re-assessment, capped at grade 7


Module coordinator: Dr P A S Cruickshank
Module teaching staff: Dr P Cruickshank

Additional information from school

Aims & Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide a grounding in the basic principles behind practical electronics that will be useful for any student undertaking experimental physics.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:


1) be familiar with and proficient in using methods to calculate the voltages and currents in linear circuits containing voltage sources, current sources and resistors and be able to calculate Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits and explain and apply the concepts and importance of input and output impedance.


2) be familiar with and proficient in using methods to solve simple ac circuits containing resistors, capacitors and inductors using complex representations. They should be able to explain how simple integrators, differentiators, filters and timing circuits are made using combinations of resistors, capacitors and inductors and be able to design basic examples.


3) be able to solve simple circuits containing non-linear devices and apply appropriate diode models to common applications, including their use in power supplies and voltage references.


4) explain the principles of and design basic transistor circuits and be able to calculate quantities such as gain and input and output impedance for bipolar transistor circuits. They should be able to explain the differences between, and relative merits of, Class A, Class B and Class AB output stages.


5) be able to design and analyse circuits using operational amplifiers and explain how they can be used in a variety of applications. They should also clearly understand the advantages and limitations of operational amplifiers and be able to explain the behaviour of circuits using operational amplifiers.


6) In the lab, be able to predict, test, debug and explain the operation of simple electronic circuits using standard components.



Voltage, current, resistors and voltage/current sources. DC circuit analysis using Kirchhoff’s laws. The theory of superposition in solving circuits. Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits. Capacitors and inductors. AC theory and complex impedance. RC circuits and applications, RLC circuits and applications. Diodes and diode models, diode applications, solving simple circuits with diodes using load lines. Bipolar transistors, the emitter follower and common-emitter amplifier, constant current sources, input and output impedance of single-ended transistor circuits. Power supplies and voltage regulation. Differential, class A, B and AB amplifier stages. Negative feedback in amplifiers. Operational amplifiers and applications, limitations and noise.


Additional information on continuous assessment etc.

Please note that the definitive comments on continuous assessment will be communicated within the module. This section is intended to give an indication of the likely breakdown and timing of the continuous assessment.


There will be three combined laboratory and tutorial sets for this module, with the laboratory work undertaken in weekly one-hour sessions that will run in weeks 2 to 5 and weeks 7 to 11. The submission dates for these exercises are expected to be in weeks 3, 7 and 11. The work will be marked and returned with individual written feedback. These three submissions will together contribute 25% of the overall module grade.


Accreditation Matters

This module may not contain material that is part of the IOP “Core of Physics”, but does contribute to the wider and deeper learning expected in an accredited degree programme.  The skills developed in this module, and others, contribute towards the requirements of the IOP “Graduate Skill Base”.


Recommended Books

Please view University online record:


General Information

Please also read the general information in the School's honours handbook that is available via