Communication Circuit Design UESTC3029

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

Although almost all communication signals are now processed digitally, the transmission and reception of these is an analogue process whether this is wireless, wired, or optical. This course covers the analogue and digital circuits required to generate and detect the transmitted signals and transform these into useful information. The course will discuss the major blocks in a communication system and examine the specification and detailed circuit implementation of some of these blocks.


This course will be timetabled in blocks, typically one week in four.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements


Recommended Entry Requirements


Excluded Courses





Final exam - 75%

Laboratory & Coursework - 25%


Due to the team based nature of the coursework and laboratories, it is not possible to reassess the laboratory practical or laboratory project work.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The initial grade on coursework laboratories will be used when calculating the resit grade. Due to the team based nature of lab working, it will not be possible to resit the laboratory components of the assessment. 


The initial grade on coursework and laboratories will be used when calculating the resit grade.

Course Aims

The aims of this course is to provide students with an appreciation and understanding of the requirements, specification, and design of circuits used in communications systems. After explaining and analysing the system and application demands of communication systems incorporating wired, wireless, and optical technologies, the course introduces the analytical tools required for the rigorous treatment of design problems related to communications. Starting at block level, the course progresses through sub-block and circuit level specification and design giving students experience in the practical implementation of mixed signals communications circuits. In a mixed signal context, the course includes discussion and analysis of ADC and DAC components intended to interface into DSP baseband processing.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe the key blocks in a communications system and explain the impact of the channel on system performance (EA2p, EA2m)

■ describe the operational characteristics of common semiconductor devices used in communications and apply their simplified standard models to circuit analyses and simulation (EA3p, EA3m, D2p)

■ analyse circuits used for modulation and demodulation in typical communication systems (SM1p, SM2p, D1p, D2p, ET2p)

■ describe the operation of a phase-locked loop (PLL) and its applications in communication systems (EA2p, EA2m, EP2p, EP6p)

■ analyse and design standard circuits based on transistor amplifiers, integrated circuit blocks, and/or a PLL to meet a given application (EA1p, EA3p, EA4p, D4p, D6p, EP4p)

■ describe the operation of standard analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters and select an appropriate architecture for a given application (EA2p, D2p)

■ assess the stability of a circuit as a function of frequency and jitter (EP2p, EP4p, EP3p, EP6p)

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend all timetabled laboratories.