ACS132 Modelling, Analysis & Control

Module Description (subject to change)

This module will introduce principles of modelling of simple continuous dynamical systems. This module also introduces analysis of linear models. It includes a detailed analysis of the dynamical behaviour of 1st and 2nd order systems linking behaviour to physical parameters, e.g. Rise time, settling time, overshoot, steady-state. Damping and damping ratio and resonance. Frequency response is also discussed.

We will introduce control and feedback as a topic by providing examples of open-loop and closedloop control, and undertake detailed analysis of linear models with a focus on 1st and 2nd order systems. Students are introduced to simple practical feedback mechanisms, including PID controllers and performance criteria such as offset, stability, poles and zeros.

You will learn about the principles of how to use Laplace Transforms to solve linear differential equations, and for system representation, using transfer functions and block diagram algebra. You will also develop an appreciation of frequency-domain implications of system analysis through the use of Fourier series. MATLAB is used to reinforce the simulation and analysis of all module contents and coursework assignments.

Credits: 20 (Academic Year)

Module Leader


Dr J Anthony Rossiter
Amy Johnson Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to us during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Outside of lectures please contact one of us via email, or drop in to see one of us.

Other teaching staff

Dr Sean Anderson

Ben Taylor

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Use engineering and mathematical principles to model engineering systems and demonstrate the commonality of behaviour irrespective of the physical origin. [SM1p, SM3p, EA1p, EA2p]
  • Apply algebraic techniques to analyse and evaluate the dynamical behaviour of linear systems. [SM2p, SM3p]
  • Explain and illustrate properties of closed loop feedback systems. [SM2p, SM3p, EA1p, EA2p]
  • Apply industry standard software to illustrate and analyse the behaviours of linear systems. [EP2p, EP3p]

    This module satisfies the AHEP3 (Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes, Third Edition) Learning Outcomes that are listed in brackets after each learning outcome above. For further details on AHEP3 Learning Outcomes, see the downloads section of our accreditation webpage.



The module will cover the following topics or themes:

  • Introduction to principles of modelling of continuous dynamical systems.
  • Commonality of behaviour of systems irrespective of the physical origin e.g. financial, electrical, mechanical, thermal and chemical.
  • Newton's law and Kirchhoff's laws. Analogies.
  • Analysis of linear models, including a detailed analysis of the dynamical behaviour of 1st and 2nd order systems linking behaviour to physical parameters.
  • Consideration of examples of open-loop and closed-loop control.
  • Consideration of control strategies are examined by considering sequential, continuous, sampled-data and discrete control.
  • Consideration of practical controllers, including PID controllers.
  • Principles of Laplace Transforms for solving linear differential equations, and for system representation, using transfer functions and block diagram algebra. Performance criteria reflect on stability, poles and zeros, time-domain and frequency-domain performance characteristics by examining first-order and second-order systems.
Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

NOTE: This summary of teaching methods is representative of a normal Semester. Owing to the ongoing disruption from Covid-19, the exact method of delivery will be different in 2020/21.

The module is taught based on a series of lectures, supported by tutorial classes. Lab-based activities are included to reinforce learning on selected topics, including industry-relevant hardware and software.

Lectures: 48 hours
Tutorials: 24 hours
Labs: 10 hours
Independent Study: 116 hours

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

All teaching materials will be available via MOLE and a university shared server (accessible via MUSE and on the main network).


(Note assessment details for ACS1321 can be found here: ACS1321 Introduction to Systems Analysis and Control)

The module is assessed via coursework throughout the year (40% total) and examination in Sem 2 (60%):

Coursework Semester 1 (5%)

Coursework Semester 2 (10%)

Blackboard (MOLE) quizzes throughout the year (25%)

Summative exam worth 60% in Sem 2 exam period.

Resit is usually by examination only.



This module has weekly tutorials where students can ask for feedback on their progress.

Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of each semester.

You can view the latest Department response to the survey feedback here.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

Core Texts:

  • Dorf, R.C and Bishop, R.H, 2011, Modern Control systems, 11th edition, Addison-Wesley [available in Information Commons, 629.8312 (D)].
    Other editions are also acceptable.

Secondary Texts:

  • Nise, N.S, 2011, Control systems engineering (6th edition), Wiley, 2011, ISBN 9780470646120 [available in Information Commons, 629.8 (N)]