This unit introduces operational amplifiers as a major building block of analogue electronics. The ideal op-amp model will be covered and the fundamental op-amp circuits discussed, e.g single ended amplifiers, differential amplifiers, integrators and differentiators, summing and instrumentation amplifiers. The non-ideal characteristics of the op-amp such as saturation, input offset voltage, input bias currents, finite open loop gain and finite gain bandwidth will then be covered. The final part of the unit introduces semiconductor discrete devices at an introductory level. These include for example, zener diodes, BJTs and MOSFETS. Examples of practical issues, such as biasing and amplifier configuration will be covered from the perspective of a single device type i.e. selected from either BJT or MOSFET.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


NEF1205 - Engineering Fundamentals

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Discuss the ideal op-amp model and use it to analyze op-amp circuits;  
  2. Appraise the non-ideal op-amp properties and compensation methods;  
  3. Discuss the characteristics of semiconductor devices (Diodes, Bipolar and Metal Oxide Transistors);  
  4. Analyse and design a single-stage amplifiers;  
  5. Differentiate between the linear op-amp device and discrete semiconductor devices as amplifiers.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Tests (2) 20%
Test Tests (2) 20%
Practicum Laboratory work 30%
Report Laboratory Reports (2) 30%

Required reading

Microelectronic Circuits. 7th ed.
Sedra, A. & Smith, K., (2014).
Oxford University Press.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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