Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer





BSC101C, BSC102C

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hour Tutorial – 1.5 hours

Guided Labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours

Personal Study (recommended) - 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims


The objective of this unit is to familiarise the students with the various elements of electrical circuits and the behaviour of circuits when connected to a power source. Information covered in this unit will include: the fundamentals of DC and AC circuits; the measurement of voltage, current, power, resistance; and, other basic electrical concepts. Additionally, the various circuit combinations, mathematical methods for resolving DC and AC circuits, calculations for AC circuits involving the use of complex numbers in Cartesian and polar forms, the use of various circuit theorems, the maximum power transfer theorem, and the basics of resonance and harmonics in complex waveforms, will also be discussed.

Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:


  1. Explain the different passive components found in electrical circuits and their behaviour.

  2. Perform calculations involving simple circuits in DC networks including the behaviour under sudden voltage change conditions.

  3. Explain the behaviour of passive components in AC circuits powered by single phase AC supply.

  4. Perform calculations in AC circuits using polar and Cartesian systems (involving complex numbers) and applying various circuit theorems to solve complex networks.

  5. Explain the analysis of complex waveforms and analyse the frequency components in commonly encountered non-sinusoidal waveforms using numerical methods.

  6. Discuss the principles of measurement of electrical parameters using electrical instruments, bridges, and applications of electromagnetism.

    Professional Development

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 4, 5, 6

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




2, 3, 4, 6

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


1, 5

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain




B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3


2, 3, 4, 5, 6

B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2


C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience




1, 5, 6

C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3


D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain




E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


Unit Competency and Learning Outcome Map

This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes




























































Student Assessment



Assessment Type

When Assessed



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Electrical quantities, circuit components, and DC circuit analysis.

Students may complete a quiz with MCQ type answers and solve some simple equations to demonstrate a good understanding of the fundamental concepts


Week 3




1, 2


Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Solving AC circuits using polar and Cartesian coordinate systems.

Students may be asked to provide solutions to simple problems on various topics


Week 6




3 and 4


Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Perform electrical measurements on circuits using digital instruments such as oscilloscopes or simulate and analyse complex waveforms.


Week 10






Assessment 4

Type: Examination

An examination with a mix of descriptive questions and numerical problems to be completed within 3 hours.


Final Week




1 to 6


Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.



1 to 6

Prescribed and recommended readings


Suggested Textbook

  • Bird John, 2013, Electric Circuit Theory and Technology, Newnes (Elsevier Science), ISBN 978-0415662864


    Reference Material

  • Circuit Theory, 2013, (download link:

  • Peer reviewed Journals

  • Knovel library:

  • IDC Technologies publications

  • Other material and online collections as advised during the lectures


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

Electrical quantities, resistance in DC circuits.

  1. Units of electrical measurements

  2. Conductors and insulators

  3. Introduction to circuits and Ohm’s law

  4. Resistance and its variation with temperature

  5. Different types of resistances and their comparison

  6. Solving combinations of series and parallel circuits

  7. Kirchhoff’s Law and its application in DC circuits

  8. Voltage and current division in series/parallel circuits


Topic 2

Capacitance and capacitors

  1. Capacitance

  2. Parallel plate capacitor

  3. Dielectric strength and permittivity

  4. Electrostatic field and field strength

  5. Series/parallel circuits with capacitive elements

  6. Behaviour of capacitors for step variations in DC voltage

  7. Energy stored in capacitive components

  8. Need for discharging of capacitors to discharge stored energy

  9. Different types of capacitors and applications

  10. Construction of a practical capacitor and calculation of capacitance

Topic 3

Inductance and inductors

  1. Inductance

  2. Construction of an inductor

  3. MMF/Ampere turns

  4. Flux and flux density

  5. Permeability and reluctance in a magnetic core

  6. B-H curve and saturation

  7. Hysteresis

  8. Behaviour of inductances for step variations in DC voltage

  9. Energy storage in inductive components

  10. Need for discharging of inductances to discharge stored energy


Topics 4 and 5

AC circuits

  1. AC waveform characteristics and mathematical expression (amplitude/time relationship)

  2. Peak and RMS values and calculation of crest (peak) factor and form factor for pure sine wave using mathematical methods

  3. Purely resistive circuits: voltage/current relationships

  4. Purely inductive circuits and the concept of inductive reactance

  5. Voltage/current relationships in inductive AC circuits

  6. Saturation and the behaviour of inductance upon saturation in an AC circuit

  7. Hysteresis associated with AC supply and hysteresis loss

  8. Purely capacitive circuits: Capacitive reactance, series and parallel capacitor calculations

  9. Voltage/current phase relationships of capacitive AC circuits

  10. Dielectric loss and loss angle in a capacitor

  11. Concept of impedance in AC circuits and voltage/current calculations using an impedance

  12. Power in AC circuits and the concept of power factor to calculate useful power

  13. Resonance in AC circuits-definition

  14. Series resonance

  15. Parallel resonance

  16. Q factor

  17. Voltage magnification


Topics 6 and 7

Solving AC circuits using polar and Cartesian coordinates principles

  1. Introduction to phasors and polar coordinates

  2. Expressing an AC voltage waveform using polar coordinates

  3. Using polar coordinate system to explain voltage/current relationship of an inductor

  4. Using polar coordinate system to explain voltage/current relationship of a capacitor

  5. Calculation of impedance of AC circuits using polar coordinates in series and parallel circuits

  6. Voltage/current/impedance relationship using polar representation

  7. Use of Cartesian coordinates to express voltage and current in AC circuits

  8. Introduction to complex algebra and the operator ‘i’

  9. Cartesian coordinates to represent AC circuits using complex notation

  10. Expressing an AC voltage waveform using complex numbers

  11. Using complex numbers to explain voltage/current relationship of an inductor

  12. Using complex numbers to explain voltage/current relationship of a capacitor

  13. Conversion between polar and Cartesian coordinates

  14. Calculation of impedance of AC circuits using complex numbers in series and parallel circuits

  15. Voltage/current/impedance relationship using complex numbers

  16. Use of complex numbers to express voltage and current in AC circuits with a mix of components

Topic 8

Electromagnetism and its applications

  1. The relation between current and flux produced by a conductor

  2. The principle of flux linkage inducing a voltage in a coil

  3. The relation between current, flux, and force on a conductor

  4. Fleming’s rules

  5. Application in electrical machines and transformers


Topic 9

Electrical measurements

  1. Measurement using instruments-Basic galvanometer principle

  2. Analogue instruments using moving coil/moving iron principle

  3. Use of shunts and multipliers

  4. Ohm metres and power metres

  5. Digital instruments and their principle

  6. Loading effect of instruments and errors introduced

  7. Oscilloscope as measuring device

  8. Potentiometers

  9. Bridges and their use in measurements


Topic 10

Circuit theorems applied to AC circuits

  1. Constant voltage source

  2. Constant current source

  3. Kirchhoff’s Law as applied to AC circuits

  4. The Superposition Theorem

  5. Thevenin’s Theorem

  6. Norton’s Theorem

  7. Thevenin and Norton equivalent networks

  8. Maximum Power Transfer Theorem

  9. Impedance matching

  10. Delta-star transformation for circuit reduction

  11. Mesh current analysis in AC circuits

  12. Nodal analysis

  13. Example calculations


Topic 11

Complex waveforms and harmonics

  1. General equation for a complex waveform

  2. Harmonic synthesis

  3. RMS, Mean and form factor for complex waveforms

  4. Power associated with harmonic components

  5. Resonance due to harmonics

  6. Sources of harmonics

  7. Harmonic analysis Fourier transform

  8. Harmonic analysis using numerical methods from graphical/tabular data


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.