Module information on this degree can be found below, separated by year of study.

The module information below applies for the current academic year. The academic year runs from August to July; the 'current year' switches over at the end of July.

Students select optional courses subject to rules specified in the Mechanical Engineering Student Handbook,  for example at most three Design and Business courses. Please note that numbers are limited on some optional courses and selection criteria will apply.

Advanced Control

Module aims

The principal aim of the course is to give students understanding and working knowledge of modelling, analysis and design methods in relation to continuous and discrete control systems. Introduction to state variable analysis is also provided. It is assumed that the students have some knowledge of classical control theory, including frequency response methods and complex frequency methods. A level of understanding of linear algebra is also assumed. Part of the timetabled lecture periods is dedicated to solving the tutorial examples with the aim of highlighting the more subtle aspects of the material presented in the lectures.

ECTS units:  5

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Explain the principles on which continuous and discrete-time control systems are modelled, analysed and designed
  • Discuss the modelling and analysis of dynamics systems using state variable theory
  • Analyse a continuous control system using Bode diagrams and Root Locus methods
  • Design a closed-loop continuous control system for specified transient and steady state performance
  • Develop discrete-time models of sampled data systems using the z-transform methods
  • Perform stability analysis and closed loop control system design for sampled data systems system using Root Locus method in the z-domain
  • Develop state variable models of linear dynamic systems

Module syllabus

  • Analogue control systems: models of signals and linear dynamic systems; signal representation in the frequency domain and transfer functions; frequency response analysis and design, Bode diagrams; design of compensation; complex frequency analysis, Laplace transforms; root locus design method including compensation design.
  • Digital control systems: preliminary design of a digital controller using continuous system theory; case study; CNC design for transients, disturbance rejection and multi-axis contouring; effects of sampling; z-transforms of sampled data signals, discrete transfer function and its derivation from a continuous transfer function (approximation of integration, MPZ, ZOH); root locus design in the 'z' domain; Jury's stability test.
  • Introduction to state variable analysis: state variable models of continuous systems; eigenvalues, eigenvectors and characteristic equation; conversion between transfer function and state variable models; time-domain solution of state equation; closed loop systems using state variable feedback; design of a tracking controller; state variable representation of discrete systems.

Teaching methods

  • Duration: Autumn and Spring terms (21 weeks)
  • Lectures: 1 x 1hr per week

Summary of student timetabled hours










26 hrs (if 5 tutorials attended)

Expected private study time

4-5 h per week, plus exam revision



Date (approx.)

Max. mark

Pass mark

Written examination Advanced Control (3h)

This is a CLOSED BOOK Examination

April/ May



Coursework    10 n/a
Total Marks   200 n/a

Module leaders

Dr Mihailo Ristic