Foundation degrees

Course Information

Digital Electronic Systems

Module summary

Module code: ELEE1115
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Engineering Science
Module Coordinator(s): Wim Melis



This course aims to enhance students’ understanding of digital number systems and coding techniques; and to provide an introduction to Boolean logic and how it can be used to solve real design problems.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1 Understand and develop digital circuits using numbering systems and logic.
2 Design and built digital circuits using the main building blocks.
3 Construct and test digital electronic circuits.
4 Design combinational, sequential and mixed logic circuits.

Indicative content

Digital Concepts:
Specific features of digital and analogue systems and how to convert between both.

Number systems:
Binary, octal, decimal, and hexadecimal numbering systems.
Signed and 2’s complement numbers; coding techniques such as Gray code and Binary Coded Decimal (BCD).

Digital Logic:
Digital logic is sub-divided into combinatorial logic that deals with the actual processing of the data and sequential circuits, which form the clocked parts of digital circuits and allow for easy data storage.

Combinatorial logic deals with the basic logic gates (AND, OR, XOR, NOT, and their inverse), their truth tables and how to use them to design circuits by using Boolean algebra, in combination with De Morgan’s theorems and Karnaugh maps to achieve minimal designs.

Sequential circuits ensure that designs can be subdivided into “time”-steps. After introducing the basic sequential circuits, these circuits are combined to obtain shift-registers, counters, among more complicated control functions through the use of finite state machines.

Basic building blocks, such as: adders/subtractors, comparators, encoders/decoders, multiplexers/de-multiplexers and memories.

Teaching and learning activity

A challenge-based approach that focuses on how one can deliver logic and arithmetic functionality with electronics will be applied to lectures, tutorials, and laboratories, where the latter provide for a more practical experience of designing and testing digital circuits. The laboratory work will mainly consist of virtual laboratories using software tools typically encountered in industry.


Design tasks - 40%
LO - 2-4.
Pass mark - 40%
7 Pages (ACM).
Formal report based on practical design tasks.

Examination - 60%
LO - 1-4.
Pass mark - 40%
2 hours unseen written exam.

In order to meet professional body requirements, students are expected to pass this course at 40% overall and with a minimum of 30% for each component.

All elements of summative assessment must be passed to pass the course.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Feedback – model answers in tutorials, Mock Exam.