Course Title: Instrumentation for Scientists and Engineers

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Instrumentation for Scientists and Engineers

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


135H Applied Sciences


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 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019


Open Learning Australia

Non Award

171H School of Science

Distance / Correspondence





171H School of Science



Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Johan DuPlessis

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2144

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.06.03

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointments via email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students should have a pass in year 12 VCE Physics or equivalent.

Course Description

Instrumentation deals with the means of detecting and measuring attributes of a physical object or process. It has wide applicability to almost all areas of science and technology. 

This is an introductory course and assumes little physics or electrical knowledge. It covers the physical knowledge of some sensor mechanisms as well as the basic concepts of electrical signal manipulation. 

This course is a blended learning course: there are no lectures and all learning material will be made available on Canvas. Each week’s learning material will consist of several shorter videos and notes on a topic which will later that week be demonstrated and investigated in the laboratory session.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

CLO 1. recall and apply knowledge in the areas of analog and digital electronics, interfacing and data acquisition and programming of data acquisition systems and microprocessors (developing the knowledge capability dimension);

CLO 2. analyse and solve problems in these areas (developing the critical analysis and problem solving capability dimension);

CLO3 .conduct relevant experiments, analyse data and report results in written form (developing the technical capability and communication dimensions)

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning will occur through self-study of extensive online material (provided by the course coordinator) and application of these principles in a laboratory environment

In the laboratory you will

  • have an introduction to safety issues;
  • be working in small teams;
  • receive mini tutorials conducted by the demonstrator during the experiments.
  • gain practical "hands on" experience of a number of widely used techniques.
  • use equipment manuals;
  • develop interactive equipment skills;
  • use various data acquisition and analysis techniques;
  • maintain a comprehensive laboratory journal


Total study hours

You should spend about 5 hours per week to go through the online material and to complete the weekly quiz before you come to the laboratory session.

Each laboratory session lasts 3 hours

You will need about 20 hours to build and program a robot (parts supplied)

The total hours for this course is therefore 116 hours

Overview of Learning Resources

The course is supported by the Canvas learning management system which provides specific learning resources. See the RMIT Library Guide at

Overview of Assessment

Note: This course has no hurdle requirements.

The assessment groups will carry the following weightings:


Weekly quizzes – 25%  supporting CLO 1 and 2

Laboratory reports (including Arduino robot presentation) – 35% supporting CLO 1, 2 and 3

Final exam – 40% supporting CLO 1 and 2