Electronics is used in communication and control systems and virtually every gadget in our lives has an electronic component. From the smart phone in your pocket, the TV in your home, the giant servers storing the entire content of the internet, to the satellite orbiting the earth relaying signals between them all; Electronics makes it possible. This electronics course will enable you to appreciate how many problems in society can be tackled by the application of the scientific ideas from the field of electronics, whilst the large amount of practical work will enable you to solve some of these problems for yourself, using engineering processes.
We assume you have no previous knowledge or experience in Electronics. However, to ensure you have the best possible chance of success, you are required to have obtained at least a double grade 6 in GCSE Science, a grade 6 in GCSE Mathematics and 5 or better in GCSE English. If you have studied the three sciences separately at GCSE you should have obtained at least a grade 6 in Physics and one of the other sciences.
During your studies you will develop the skills to perform investigations in our state of the art laboratories, you will learn how to build prototype circuits, fault-find and analyse their operation. You will learn how to use signal generators, oscilloscopes, multi-meters, power supplies and logic probes. You will be required to apply your new-found knowledge to unfamiliar contexts and must be able to clearly communicate the reasoning behind your conclusions. This qualification is very good preparation for engineering of all kinds and for computer courses that include some study of hardware. If you want to be a practical scientist or engineer this could be the perfect course for you. Please note, for engineering make sure that you study Physics and Mathematics but Electronics can also be combined with Computer Science.
The linear A Level Electronics course will be assessed by your performance in two exams at the end of the second year. These exams are synoptic and between them, will cover all the elements from the entire two years of study. Each exam is 2 hours 45 minutes long and will contribute 40% to your final A Level grade. The coursework component contributes the final 20%. There are two elements to this; the first task will challenge you to solve a problem by programming a microcontroller in assembly language. The second will require you to design, build and test a sophisticated circuit that performs a function of your own choosing. This will require you to apply a number of aspects of the course into a complete circuit realisation.
You will start by studying the fundamental building blocks of electronics from which all useful circuits are made and gradually learn how to put them together in increasingly complex ways to solve problems. You will learn to understand how circuits behave, whilst also learning the practical skills required to investigate them.
Component 1 covers the following:
Component 2 covers the following:
You will need a number of course booklets plus a variety of components and circuit building and testing equipment but everything you require will be provided. Your teacher may recommend books for study and revision but it is up to you whether you buy these or access them in the College Library.
QMC offers a wide range of courses within the field of Digital Technology; Electronics, Computer Science & Information Technology. Watch this video to find out where the subjects overlap, where they differ and to help decide which is right for you.
This video should give you a good idea about what to expect from the course and why you should choose to study Electronics @ QMC
The Head of Department, Nick Everett