Course Title: Circuit Theory

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Circuit Theory

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


125H Electrical & Computer Engineering


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Alan Wong

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2101

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.8.18

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities



Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities:

You are expected to be capable of solving basic algebraic equations, set of Linear Equations, and be familiar with fundamentals of geometry and calculus.

It is also expected that you will have a fundamental knowledge of physics including basics of mechanics and basic particles such as electron and electric charges.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to make you competent in analysing electrical circuits and performing basic electrical measurements to verify circuit concepts experimentally.

In this course, you will be introduced to the concepts and definitions of charges, currents, voltages, power, and energy. You will learn the voltage- current relationship of basic circuit elements – resistors, inductors, capacitors, dependent and independent voltage and current sources; apply Kirchhoff’s current and voltage laws to circuits in order to determine voltage, current and power in branches of any circuits excited by DC voltages and current sources. Apply simplifying techniques to solve DC circuit problems using basic circuit theorems and structured methods like node voltage and mesh current analysis. The goal also includes derivation of the transient responses of RC and RL circuits, steady state response of circuits to sinusoidal excitation in time domain, application of phasors to circuit analysis, introduction to non-linear electronic devices such as diodes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes:

1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Identify the main circuit elements and apply Kirchhoff’s Laws to calculate currents, voltages and powers in typical linear and nonlinear electric circuits using a variety of analytical methods for DC, AC, transient and nonlinear analyses.
  2. Reduce more complicated circuits into the Thevenin’s and Norton’s equivalent circuits.
  3. Describe the operation and v-i characteristics of a diode and the operation of diode circuits.
  4. Describe circuit elements in phasor domain and perform steady-state analysis using phasors.
  5. Connect correctly an electrical circuit according to a given circuit diagram and use the analogue and digital multimeters and oscilloscope to display and measure basic electrical signals.
  6. Write reports on laboratory experiments.

Overview of Learning Activities

The typical learning activities included in this course are:

  • Weekly lectures which will introduce you to important principles and concepts. It also gives you many practical hints for using appropriate problem solving techniques. 
  • The laboratory work which will help you to connect theory with practice and will reinforce the principles and concepts learned in the class. 
  • The tutorial classes which provide opportunity to learn many useful numerical techniques used to solve circuit problems which can be learned only through repeated practice. It also provides opportunity to develop your communication and leadership skills by interacting with staff and fellow students in a smaller group.

Overview of Learning Resources

Prescribed text book

Lecture Notes / Lab Notes

Course materials are available through RMIT’s online systems.

Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

☐ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

There are 4 assessment methods applied in this course:

  • Laboratory exercises
  • Tutorial tests
  • Online homework
  • Final examination

Assessment tasks

Task 1: Laboratory Exercises

Weighting 20%

These assessment tasks support CLOs 1,2,3,4,5,6

Task 2: Tutorial Tests

Weighting 10%

These assessment tasks support CLO’s 1,2,3,4

Task 3: Online Homework

Weighting 20%

These assessment tasks support CLO’s 1,2,3,4

Task 4: Final Examination

Weighting 50%  

This assessment supports CLOs 1,2,3,4