Mechatronics BEng/MEng

Microelectronic Systems 1 ENG1064

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Engineering
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces the basic concepts of digital microelectronic systems to level 1 students.  Both theoretical and practical aspects of the design of digital systems are covered.  Based around programming a modern microcontroller, and interfacing it with peripheral components, the course also introduces the concepts of embedded systems including digital and analogue input and output.


2 lectures per week

5 laboratories

Excluded Courses






60% Examination

25% Laboratories

15% Class Test



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. 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 are listed below in this box.


It is not possible to offer reassessment in group project work in this course. Students failing to complete the Lab work, without good cause, will be receive a Credit Refused (CR) grade and will be required to re-attend the course the following year.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ give practical experience of designing, building and testing embedded systems based around a modern microcontroller;

■ develop skills in systematic design and documentation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ explain concept of embedded electronic systems and give examples; describe a microcontroller (MCU), how it differs from a microprocessor, how memory is organised, and different architectures in common use;

■ explain basic architecture of a modern microcontroller (eg ARM LPC1768) , including arithmetic logic unit, program memory, data memory and input/output ports;

■ identify regions of memory map, which are volatile and non-volatile; understand significance of memory-mapped input and output;

■ introduce programming in C to enable the control of a modern microcontroller;

■ describe process of writing a program in C to control analogue and digital input and output to and from a modern microcontroller using an ARM mbed as the testbed ;

■ connect LEDs to the ports and calculate the value of series resistors;

■ connect pushbuttons and explain the need for pullup resistors;

■ write programs to control analogue and digital inputs and outputs using an ARM mbed;

■ have knowledge of writing a program in assembly language and its relationship with both a C program for a microcontroller, and how the programs relate to movement of data within the microcontroller;

■ use ARM mbed development environment;

■ write C programs for an ARM mbed, compile them and demonstrate control of analogue and digital inputs and outputs to and from the microcontroller;

■ interface peripherals to an ARM mbed, and control their operation;

■ maintain an adequate laboratory record.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must attend the degree examination and submit at least 75% by weight of the other components of the course's summative assessment.


Students must attend the timetabled laboratory classes.


Students should attend at least 75% of the timetabled classes of the course.


Note that these are minimum requirements: good students will achieve far higher participation/submission rates.  Any student who misses an assessment or a significant number of classes because of illness or other good cause should report this by completing a MyCampus absence report.