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An Introduction to Electronic Engineering

Prepare for further study and a career in the electronics sector by exploring electronic technology in context.

3,041 enrolled on this course

A blueish computer circuit board with different electronic components on it.

An Introduction to Electronic Engineering

3,041 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Explore electronic and electrical engineering systems

The UK electronics industry is one of the largest in the world, helping produce technological solutions for the evolving needs of our society.

Developed by the UK Electronics Skill Foundation and the University of Birmingham, this three-week course will introduce the fundamentals of electronics in preparation for university or an apprenticeship.

Examine electronic components and their applications

Using real-world examples, you’ll begin the course by exploring electronics at a component level, learning how transducers sense vibrations in musical instruments.

You’ll assess circuit models and, using electronic theory, analyse sensor circuits and design your own, gaining practical experience of work as an electronic engineer.

Discover how electronics are used in extreme conditions

Moving from the everyday to the extraordinary, you’ll examine how electrical power is used both in daily life and to control systems in space.

You’ll learn how to power a satellite and explain how transducers convert energy from electromagnetic radiation into electricity.

With these skills, you’ll be able to plan functioning systems in target environments, appreciating the interdisciplinary nature of engineering.

Investigate a real world control system in action

In the final week of this course, you’ll explore digital electronics and their applications in railway systems engineering.

Featuring technology from the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education, you’ll assess the implementation of platform shield walls to enhance railway safety procedures.

By the end of this course, you’ll have begun to explore the broad subject of electronic engineering and have gained insights into the potential areas of study you could pursue when studying electronics in higher education.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 second [Music]

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Electronic and electrical systems are at the heart of almost everything that we do. You could be traveling on a train and you might be listening to music or watching an on-demand video or you could be talking to friends or you could be studying on an online course. In all of these examples you, as the user, are at the centre of an electronic and electrical system. My name’s Tim Jackson from the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham. I work in the department of Electronic Electrical and Systems Engineering. During this course you’ll find out what we mean by electronic engineering, by electrical engineering and by systems engineering.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds And you’ll do that through examples drawn from the research that we do here in the department and from the material that we teach on our first-year courses. Our three examples illustrate the diversity and importance of electronic electrical and systems engineering. We’ll begin with looking at the context behind each example because understanding context is important to designing a system that meets our needs. We’ll also look at some of the underlying principles behind the methods that we’ll use in our design and in our analysis. You will do some exercises that will help you develop your understanding as well as your confidence in communicating your ideas. We look forward to welcoming you to our course. [Music]


  • Week 1

    What is electronics?

    • Welcome to the course

      The educators welcome you to the course.

    • Introduction to electronic systems

      Here you'll be introduced to Electronic Systems.

    • Transducers and electronics basics

      Sensors, actuators and basic electronic components.

    • Sensors in systems

      Sensors and transducers in context.

    • Summary

      A review of Week 1.

  • Week 2

    Electronics in extreme environments

    • Power budgets and systems in space

      This week we are going to explore household power budgets and how to power a satellite.

    • Powering satellites

      Exploring how we power satellites in the extreme environment of space.

    • Space weather

      An introduction to the work of the Birmingham Space Weather Group.

    • Summary and next steps

      A review of Week 2 and look ahead to Week 3.

  • Week 3

    Systems and digital electronics

    • Railway systems engineering

      This week we will be looking at the control of passenger safety systems in underground and metro rail stations.

    • Digital electronics

      Moving from analogue to digital electronics.

    • Platform shield walls

      Using digital electronics.

    • Course summary and next steps

      We've reached the end of this course.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore real world Electronic systems and their components.
  • Investigate the most common Electronic components and how they work.
  • Improve your confidence in using the technical language surrounding Electronics.
  • Compare how Electronics is used in the context of different systems.
  • Develop the skills needed to start designing your own Electronic circuits.
  • Produce designs for your own Electronic circuits and systems.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for sixth formers who are considering studying electronic engineering at university or college.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Reader in Electrical Engineering, teaching electronics and electrical machines and supervising student projects. I also work in the planning and design of engineering education.

I am a PhD researcher in Electronic Engineering, with a focus on 3D time-of-flight cameras and their applications. I am also a keen electronics tinkerer with a passion for education and outreach.

Who developed the course?

UK Electronic Skills Foundation

The UKESF’s mission is to encourage more young people to study Electronics and to pursue careers in the sector.

The UKESF ensures that more school children are aware of Electronics and the opportunities available, helping them to develop their interest through to university study.

At university, we support undergraduates and prepare them for the workplace.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 20 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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