CSC8701 : Introduction to Smart Systems

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the concepts and principles of smart and urban systems, through examples such as hybrid vehicles,
self-healing power grids, intelligent transport systems, renewable energy. To introduce concepts of systems
engineering to enable students to understand the challenges of working at the level of whole systems, rather than individual components. To introduce a number of big questions to help students understand the changing urban environment, current and future challenges and social/industrial opportunities. To set the scene for later modules in group and individual project work, give students the opportunity to begin identifying the topic they would like to study in their individual project

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Principles of Systems Engineering: systems thinking; professional and ethical issues
2. Concepts of Smart Systems, Urban Systems
3. Model-based techniques
4. Science Central Labs: guest speakers from labs in Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Grid, Urban
Observatory, Sustainability Institute
5. Example cases: such as intelligent transport systems, smart grids, hybrid vehicles,
6. Big Questions: current and future challenges in the changing urban environment

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Application of model-based techniques to a case study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00Core material and guest lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Completion of reflective log
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical42:008:00Working with model-based techniques
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Establishing big questions and challenges
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study118:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion110:0010:00Discuss and review plans for project/big questions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will cover core material and develop knowledge in concepts, challenges and professional
issues. Experience with model-based techniques will be provided in practical classes. Workshops and
online discussion will help students to decide on the direction they wish to take for their research topic and
will develop skills in critical thinking, communicating with different audiences and giving constructive

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M30Application of modelling to a simple case study: 800 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Contribution to online discussion: 600 words (1)
Prof skill assessmnt1M20Contribution to online discussion: 600 words (2)
Reflective log1M30Maintained throughout semester 1, providing reflection on student's plan for research topic: 600 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The modelling application provides an introduction to the modelling and specification of smart systems as a
foundation for later modules and research. The reflective log ensures continued engagement with the
programme and cohort during semester 1, while students are engaged with other modules.

Reading Lists