Course Title: Digital Systems Design 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Digital Systems Design 1

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 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Dr. Pj Radcliffe

Course Coordinator Phone:

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 10.10.09

Course Coordinator Availability: Email for appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will teach basic digital circuit design and introduces design from a system level.

First you will become familiar with the lab environment and lab safety. Next you will solder a signal generator and power supply which will be used in later work. This leads into basic digital circuit design where you will be given real world problems and must design a digital solution, simulate the solution, then breadboard the circuit. Debug and testing will require you to become familiar with a range of test equipment such as multi-meters, and test methodologies.

You will learn about various components and their correct use in circuit applications and will understand how this relates to the use of specification sheets and data books. Both analogue and digital components will be considered and you will understand how to tap into the extensive resources that are available to you. This will lead into problems found when circuits are interfaced to each other and the real world. You will also be introduced to programmable devices, showing you how such devices are used for circuit design.

The course considers project and design from a system level and provides you with methods to split a system into subsystems and several methods for describing the behaviour of subsystems.

The lectures and tutorials aim to get you ready for the extensive lab activities and so attendance is strongly recommended to ensure you can pass the lab work.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes of the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours):

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.

2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.

2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.

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

3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.

3.4 Professional use and management of information.

3.5 Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.

3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.



On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Explain workshop safety and regulations
  2. Solder components on PCBs and verify operation. Demonstrate the use of basic measuring equipment: multimeters, and power supplies.
  3. Design and construct digital circuits, simulate those circuits, bread board the circuits using ICs, and trouble shoot the breadboard.
  4. Select the correct components for a particular application.
  5. Demonstrate that you can complete a series of problem based, ’real world’, projects.
  6. Explain how programmable devices are used for circuit design.
  7. Explain how to interface between digital electronics and the real world.
  8. Use block diagrams to decompose a system into subsystems.
  9. Explain project life cycles and their advantages.
  10. Have an improved awareness of what makes a graduate employable and the employability market for the undergraduates program.



Overview of Learning Activities

Student Learning occurs through the following experiences and evaluation processes:

  • Lectures/Lectorial: these will introduce material and work through examples.
  • Tutorials will prepare students for the lab activities and lab exams. Attendance is very strongly recommended.
  • Laboratories build skills in implementation, some are held under exam conditions.
  • A job application video is made by each students and this activity helps to focus students on getting ready for the workforce and especially identifying the skills and attributes that will make them employable.


Overview of Learning Resources

Course material will be available on the University’s Learning Hub using Blackboard. This will include lecture notes, worked problems, and an extensive laboratory guide.

A kit will be provided which includes a bread board, ICs and a PCB to solder in the first lab.

A live-DVD will also be available with course notes and useful programs such as the digital simulator.


Overview of Assessment

☒This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment will typically be based on:

  • In Class Tests
  • Laboratory Projects and Tests
  • Final exam

Assessment tasks are all explained in the extensive lab guide that includes marking guidelines. Feedback will come in the form of written feedback or direct conversation with tutors.


Lab 1 (week 1): PCB soldering, testing, and debugging.

Weighting 6%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1,& 2.

Lab 2: combinational logic design.

Weighting 12%

This assessment task supports CLOs 3 & 4.

Lab 3: traffic light controller.

Weighting 12%

This assessment task supports CLOs 3,4,5 & 7.

Lab 4: Alarm system.

Weighting 13%

This assessment supports CLOs 3,4,5,7 & 8.

Lab Exam A: basic digital implementation.

Weighting 6%

This assessment supports CLOs 3 & 4.

Lab Exam B: Interface electronics.

Weighting 6%

This assessment supports CLOs 3,4,5 & 7.

Job Video Assignment: make a job application as a 4 minute video.

Weighting 5%

This assessment supports CLOs 10.

Final Exam: 2 hour written exam.

Weighting 40%

This assessment supports CLOs 1,3,4,5,6,7,8 & 9.