Module code: EEEM044

Module Overview

IMPORTANT: The second assessment pattern (100% Weighting) is only applicable to the MSc Short Course Students

Expected prior learning: EEE3033 – RF and Microwave Fundamentals, or equivalent learning.

Module purpose: Advanced communications systems and radar operate at RF and microwave frequencies. The design principles and circuit operation, underlying these systems, are quite different from those of electronics used in signal processing at baseband frequencies. This module will cover the key elements of RF and microwave system design as well as analysis concepts for a range of commonly used active circuits, including: oscillators, frequency synthesisers, amplifiers and mixers. The module will also cover the circuit design and operation of non-linear devices used in active circuits together with deployment considerations.

Module provider

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Module Leader

BROWN Tim (Elec Elec En)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 111

Lecture Hours: 24

Tutorial Hours: 6

Laboratory Hours: 9

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes the following:

  • Revision of prerequisite background material, including: S-parameters, decibel scale, transmission line theory, smith charts.

  • Functionality and structure of RF non-linear circuit components, including: diodes, and field effect transistors.

  • RF power amplifier performance, analysis, and design, including: amplifier classes, amplifier stability, non-linearity, intermodulation distortion, adjacent channel interference.

  • Oscillator circuit design and operation, including: feedback loops, frequency synthesis, phase noise.

  • Single balanced and double balanced active and passive mixer circuit design.

  • Role of mixers in RF systems, including up conversion, down conversion.

  • RF system considerations, including: dynamic range, link budget analysis, and noise figure calculations.

  • Microwave integrated circuits; role, applications, and technology overview.

  • RF test and measurement, including: spectrum analysers and network analysers.

  • Computer aided RF circuit design laboratories.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination EXAMINATION - 2 HOURS 100

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence in using fundamentals of RF electronics and applying them to real life problem solving scenarios. This is achieved in part through a computer aided design laboratory (CAD) assessment which the student is required to document in a professional manner.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

  • A computer aided design (CAD) laboratory assignment, which follows three weeks of preparation in supervised laboratory sessions. This is weighted to 20% of the final mark.

  • Closed book written examination, 2 hours in which students have a choice of three questions out of four available questions. This is weighted to 80% of the final mark.

    Any deadline given here is indicative. For confirmation of exact date and time, please check the Departmental assessment calendar issued to you.


    Formative assessment and feedback

    For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways:

  • During lectures, by question and answer sessions.

  • During lectures, by peer instruction (subject to a large enough class size).

  • During tutorials/tutorial classes.

  • During supervised computer laboratory sessions.

  • Via assessed coursework.

Module aims

  • To provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding in the area of active microwave circuit and systems design.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate knowledge of how to apply RF systems and circuit design concepts in existing and future radio technologies, including use of S-parameters and the decibel scale. KP
003 Be able to design and analyse circuits containing active non-linear components most commonly used in active RF devices. C
004 Understand how to use and apply data measured with RF test and measurement equipment including network analysers and spectrum analysers. CP
002 Recognise commonly used active RF devices and know how to integrate them into systems. K
005 Apply circuit design theory within a computer simulation environment. P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the following aims:

  • To build on and extend knowledge of measurement parameters used in radio frequency (RF) electronics including scattering parameters, link budgets, the decibel scale and amplifier characteristics.

  • To apply knowledge of the measurement parameters to RF systems and circuit design. To gain competence in RF simulation and test and measurement.


Learning and teaching methods include the following:

  • Lectures 3 hours per week x 8 weeks.

  • Tutorials 3 hours per week x 2 weeks.

  • Computer based laboratory sessions 3 hours per week x 3 weeks. The computer based laboratory sessions will provide an opportunity for the students to learn how to use computer aided design (CAD) software.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEEM044

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Electronic Engineering (by short course) MSc(EEE SHORT COURSES OPTIONAL) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.