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Electronics

What will I study?

This course offers students the chance to learn the theoretical and practical skills required to design and build electronic circuits.  The course starts by building upon basic electrical principles learnt in GCSE Physics and quickly progresses onto more complex circuits.  Much of the course material is covered through practical work and students will learn to use professional test equipment such as oscilloscopes, signal generators and frequency analysers, and the course will include the use of professional software for circuit design and simulation.

AS-Level

Unit Title

Description

Introductory Electronics

Electrical principles, sensors and transducers, output devices, transistors, op-amps and logic gates.

Further  Electronics

Capacitors, RC networks, timers, sequential logic, counters, amplifiers, power amplifiers.

Practical System Development

Identify a problem, suggest various solutions, conduct research then build and test an electronic system to solve the problem.

 

A2-level

 

Unit Title

Description

Programmable Control Systems

Features of a control system, programming, microprocessors, inputs/outputs and interfacing, robotic systems.

Communication Systems

Principles of communication systems, audio systems, radio systems, digital communication, mobile communication, optoelectronics.

Practical System Synthesis

Undertake practical coursework similar to that for AS-level, but focussing on higher level skills.

 

How will I be assessed?

 

 

 

Unit Title

Nature of Assessment

Time Allocated

AS level

Unit 1

Introductory Electronics

Written Examination

6 or 7 compulsory questions.

1 hour

Unit 2

Further  Electronics

Written Examination

6 or 7 compulsory questions.

1 hour

Unit 3

Practical System Development

Coursework

Produce a working electronic system and a written report.

30 hours

A2 level

Unit 4

Programmable Control Systems

Written Examination

7 or 8 compulsory questions.

1½ hours

Unit 5

Communication Systems

Written Examination

7 or 8 compulsory questions.

1½ hours

Unit 6

Practical System Synthesis

Coursework

Produce a working electronic system and a written report.

30 hours

 

Desirable requirements

This course is a natural progression from GCSE Electronics and, therefore, it is beneficial (although not essential) to have achieved a respectable grade in the GCSE course before embarking on the A-level course.  Students should also have achieved a reasonable standard in Mathematics and Physics at GCSE.  Students will need to possess the motivation to work independently in a practical laboratory environment.

Where will it lead?

Electronics is useful for a wide range of careers.  It forms a useful supplement for careers in any of the Engineering disciplines including, of course, Electronic Engineering.  The course also supports study in further education courses such as Physics and the other sciences, in Music Technology, Computer Science, Design etc.