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Unit information: Control Theory in 2021/22

Unit name Control Theory
Unit code EMAT30014
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Szalai
Open unit status Not open

EMAT20200 or equivalent



School/department Department of Engineering Mathematics
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This course will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of “feedback” and “adaptation” as essential mechanisms in Science and Engineering. Specifically, you will be introduced to the foundations of modern control theory. The aim is to equip you with the skills and analytical tools required to design methods for the control of both linear and nonlinear dynamical systems. Applications will be studied to nonlinear systems, complex networks, engineering devices and systems biology

No previous knowledge of control or nonlinear dynamics is required.

Aims: The aim of this unit is to introduce you to the mathematical foundations of Control Theory. It will allow you to develop new skills and analytical tools required to analyse and design methods for the control of both linear and nonlinear dynamical systems.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, you will be able to use appropriate analytical tools to model and control a given physical system. Specifically, you will be able to:

  1. Assess the effects of a given controller on a system of interest
  2. Decide whether a system is stable, controllable or observable
  3. Select and design a suitable controller to stabilize an unstable system
  4. Derive optimal control actions based on Pontryagin’s methodology

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities supported by drop-in sessions, problem sheets and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 Summative Assessment, 100% - Summer exam. This will assess all ILOs.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EMAT30014).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.