Skip to main content


EEE2009 : Signals and Communications

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Johnston
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide knowledge of the fundamentals of linear systems theory and its application to the analysis of signals and system behaviour.

To be able to design a basic communication systems and explain communications concepts and systems.

To explain the vital role of analogue and digital communications in the modern world.

To explain basic concepts of information theory and their importance in digital communications.

Outline Of Syllabus

Signals and Systems Overview
Introduction to continuous and discrete signals and systems, and classifications of signals

Laplace Transform
The definition of Laplace transforms and their properties and applications, inverse Laplace transform, continuous-time poles and zeros concepts, circuit analysis by applying Laplace transforms.

Fourier Transform
The impulse response, transfer function, Fourier transforms for systems and signals and their applications, inverse Fourier transform, Fourier transform properties and their application to communication systems.

Z transform and its applications, sampling, discrete time pole/zero concepts, description of transfer matrices, analysis of discrete time systems.

Communication system overview
Introduction to elements of communication systems, coding, modulation, channels.

Analogue modulation
Amplitude modulation, frequency modulation, narrow and wide band FM systems.

Digital Communication Schemes
Amplitude shift keying (ASK), Frequency shift keying (FSK), Phase shift keying (PSK), performance in noisy channels.

Information Theory
Entropy and mutual information, conditional entropy and mutual information, relationship between entropy and mutual information, channel capacity and Shannon theorems

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Revision for online NUMBAS test
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Final Exam in Assessment Period
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion241:0024:00Revision for final exam
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture371:0037:00In-person lectures but can be changed to asynchronous activities with synchronous online review sess
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion15:005:00Writing of summatively assessed lab report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formatively assessed online NUMBAS test in middle of semester
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00One three-hour practical lab session on Frequency Modulation. There is also a simulation-based FM la
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities112:0022:00Reading activity to supplement knowledge of material taught in each week.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00One-hour online synchronous tutorial session after the completion of each set of lecture notes.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery111:0011:00One timetabled optional synchronous session for students to attend if they have any queries.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study177:0077:00Reviewing lecture notes; general reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provides the core material and synchronous review sessions give students the opportunity to query material taught in that week. Face-to-face lectures can be replaced with online synchronous sessions supported by non-synchronous videos if the public health situation requires it.

Problem solving is introduced and practiced through synchronous tutorial sessions.

Laboratory sessions provide an opportunity to gain practical experience and validate the theory introduced in lectures. These sessions can be immediately replaced with a simulation-based experiment, supported by synchronous drop-in sessions if the public health situation requires it.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A8524-hour Closed-Book Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M15Lab Report with a maximum of 2000 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MNUMBAS mid-term assessment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination allows students to demonstrate their ability to solve engineering problems focused on signal processing and communication, based on the knowledge and methodology presented in the course material. The laboratory report assesses technical writing skills and provides the opportunity for the students to apply practical skills to validate the theory taught on the course. The formative computer-based assessment will assess the students’ current level of understanding of the material taught up to the middle of the semester and provide useful feedback on strengths and weaknesses.

Reading Lists