Fundamentals of Control Systems and Transducers

North East Scotland College


Aberdeen City Campus, Fraserburgh Campus, Off campus


You will begin by learning about types of component parts that make up control systems. You will also learn how information is transferred between the component parts by means of analogue and digital signals. You will discover that the operation of a control system is heavily influenced by its environment, and that the choice of equipment and signal types depend on the location of the system. The need for signal conditioning devices such as filters and amplifiers will be covered.

As you progress, you will learn about different methods of controlling the output of a process. Basic methods such as open loop control will be covered. However, these have limitations and disadvantages. Therefore, you will learn about the need for closed loop control systems which have the facility to measure the output variable being controlled, so as to sense changes and enable corrective action to be taken to ensure system output is maintained at the desired value. Such control systems include temperature control and flow control of liquids. You will also develop knowledge and skills to enable you to understand how controllers can be used to modify the way open and closed loop control systems respond (with respect to speed of response, damping, and transient and steady state response).

Closed loop control systems incorporate devices called transducers. These accept energy in one form, e.g. heat, and produce output energy in some other form, such as an electrical signal. You will study the operation and application of a range of transducers suitable for measuring variables such as temperature, flow, displacement, velocity, pressure, strain, position, level and light. In addition, you will have the opportunity to construct circuits and systems that incorporate transducers. You will measure characteristics of transducers, and study the overall operation of the circuits and systems that you build.

By the end of this Unit you should possess the knowledge and skills to enable you to explain control system elements and signals, explain the operation and application of a range of transducers, describe the structure/behaviour of control systems, and demonstrate the application of transducers in control systems.

Entry Requirements

Learners should have a general knowledge and understanding of electrical and electronic concepts. This may be evidenced by possession of the HN Units: DG54 34 Single Phase AC Circuits, DN46 33 Analogue Electronics: An Introduction, and DN4E 34 Digital Electronics.

Start Date




Study Method

Distance and Flexible learning

Course Length

6 months



SCQF Level




Career Area


Career Sectors

Aeronautical Engineering

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Engineering General

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (including Fabrication and Welding)

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Offshore and Energy