Electrical Engineering: Sensing, powering and controlling

 What is a MOOC? 

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course - these are free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of Higher Education to learners from across the UK and the world. The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University. 

Delivered by world-class academics from the University of Birmingham, the courses enable learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform from a leading global University, increasing access to higher education for a whole new cohort of learners. 

The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University of Birmingham

If you have trouble viewing the above video, you can view it via this page.  A transcript in English and Mandarin Chinese is provided.

Electrical Engineering: Sensing, powering and controlling

The course will explore electrical engineering applications which are down-to-earth - such as an electrical pick-up for a musical instrument - and out of this world - such as measuring Space Weather. Analogue and digital systems will be covered, and you will use technical vocabulary to express key concepts.

You’ll develop skills in analysing and designing digital and analogue circuits and systems, and become familiar with using English technical vocabulary. You’ll understand how electric engineering systems are used in specific contexts, and gain confidence in communicating engineering ideas.

The course is based on first year electrical engineering modules in the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham.

The course is designed for students for whom English is a second language.  It is provided in English, with transcripts in English and Mandarin to help you to develop your technical language skills.

Lead Educator

jackson-timDr Tim Jackson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering. His teaching in Electrical Engineering and Electrical Energy Systems combines traditional-style live lectures with innovations in online learning and practical laboratory classes. Tim has a long standing interest in outreach and public engagement projects including theatre production, appearing and advising on radio and television programmes, and writing for magazines.  

Course knowledge requirements

The course is suitable for Undergraduate engineering students from the UK and beyond or prospective engineering students and anyone with an interest in the role and uses of electrical engineering.  This course is designed for students, particularly those in China, who are thinking about taking an electrical engineering degree in the UK.

Course content

The course has two sets of learning objectives. The first is to help you find out what is meant by Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering; to enable you to understand how different Electronic and Electrical Engineering systems are used in specific contexts; and to develop your skills in analysing and designing circuits and systems.

The second set is related to the communication of ideas, which is essential in Engineering. The course should help you study effectively in English and allow you to gain confidence in communicating Engineering ideas using English technical vocabulary.

There are opportunities to discuss your work through an online forum with fellow students, and teachers at the University of Birmingham.

Learning Objectives

  • Find out what is meant by Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering.
  • Develop your skills in analysing and designing circuits and systems.
  • Gain confidence in communicating Engineering ideas using English technical vocabulary.
  • Understand how different Electronic and Electrical Engineering systems are used in specific contexts.

Duration: 3 weeks

Week 1 - Electronic engineering - Creating a simple musical pick-up to amplify an electrical signal

Week 2 - Electrical Engineering - small scale electrical power systems in space

Week 3 - Systems Engineering - Design of railway control systems

How to apply

The start date for this course is 13 November 2017.  You can register your interest in participating on the FutureLearn website.

Interested in our other courses?

Find out more about our courses and research on our College website.