BMEN30006 Circuits and Systems

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2017:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.Show/hide details
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Feb-2017 to 28-May-2017
Assessment Period End 23-Jun-2017
Last date to Self-Enrol 10-Mar-2017
Census Date 31-Mar-2017
Last date to Withdraw without fail 05-May-2017

Timetable can be viewed here.
For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x 1 hour lectures per week, 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week, and 6 x 2 hour workshops per semester
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


The prerequisites for this subject are:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 2

AND one of either

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2


Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2


both of the following subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2

OR Admission into MC-ENG Master of Engineering (Biomed) or (Biomed with Business)

NOTE: For students enrolled in MC-ENG (Biomedical) or MC-ENG (Biomedical with Business) BMEN20001 Biomechanical Physics and Computation and MAST20029 Engineering Mathematics may be taken concurrently.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

Anti-requisites for this subject are:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering applications for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005) and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, this subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit. http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Leigh Johnston


Leigh Johnston
Email: l.johnston@unimelb.edu.au

Anthony Burkitt
Email: aburkitt@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:


This subject introduces students to the fundamental principles of circuit and signal measurements and analyses in a biosignals context. In addition to the fundamental concepts, topics to be covered include an introduction to various types of sensors and the basic methods required to analyse measurements, calibrate sensors and evaluate measurement system performance.

In the laboratories, students will learn about laboratory safety, team work and measurement safety in an integrated way.

This subject is one of the subjects that define the Bioengineering Systems Major in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Biomedicine, and it is a core requirement for the Master of Engineering (Biomedical). It provides a foundation for various subsequent subjects, including BMEN90002 Neural Information Processing and BMEN90021 Medical Imaging.


Topics include:

Basic principles of charge, current, Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrical energy, Kirchhoff's current law, Kirchhoff's voltage law, voltage and current division, node voltage analysis, mesh current analysis, Thévenin and Norton equivalent circuits, transient analysis of RC and RL circuits, steady-state analysis of RLC circuits, phasors and impedance, frequency domain models for signals and frequency response for systems, continuous-time and discrete-time Fourier transforms, frequency response, filtering, transfer functions, Z-transforms, Laplace transforms, poles and zeros, Bode plots, and the relationship to state-space representations.

This material is complemented by the use of software tools (e.g. MATLAB) for computation and simulation, and practical experience with circuits and systems in the laboratory.

Learning Outcomes:


Having completed this unit the student should be able to:

1 - apply physical principles, fundamental abstractions and modelling techniques in the analysis of electrical systems;
2 - develop and demonstrate basic biosignals laboratory skills through implementing, testing and debugging simple circuits on prototyping breadboards;
3 - apply fundamental mathematical analysis and modelling techniques to understand signals and systems in both time-domain and frequency-domain;
4 - demonstrate the ability to analyse continuous-time and discrete-time signals and systems.

  • Six workshop group reports (students work in group of 2 or 3) not exceeding 30 pages in total each spread from week 2 to week 12, requiring 30-40 hours of work in total per student, worth 30%. ILOs 1-4 are assessed in the submitted workshop reports.
  • One mid-semester test of 50 minutes duration, worth 10%. ILO 1 is assessed in the mid-semester test.
  • One examination of two hours duration at the end of the semester, worth 60%. ILOs 1, 3 and 4 are assessed in the final examination.

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the end of semester examination to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals.
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance.
  • Proficiency in engineering design.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation.
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.


The subject is delivered through lectures, tutorials and workshop classes for hands-on laboratory activities.


Students are provided with lecture slides, tutorials and worked solutions, a problem set and solutions, problem sets, laboratory sheets, and reference text lists.


Exposure to signal processing in a bioengineering context through research lab visits and/or guest lectures.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bioengineering Systems
Master of Engineering (Biomedical with Business)
Master of Engineering (Biomedical)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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