Radio to Optical Frequency Engineering (H6109)

15 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

Radio Frequency (RF) circuits are the fundamental building blocks in a vast array of consumer electronics and wireless communication devices. Fibre optic communications is the backbone of the internet and enabler of mobile communication systems.

This modules provides insight into the principles of operation, and guidance to developing, RF circuit designs. It also covers fundamental principles and design of fibre optics. We draw on on industry-grade software tools and hardware and use a combination of theory and practice.

We teach key concepts of broad- and narrow-band small signal amplifiers, mixers and high-efficiency broadband power amplifier design. You also learn about the underlying mathematical models, complemented by PCB design, fabrication and laboratory implementation.

Topics covered include:

  • high-frequency devices and equivalent circuit models
  • coverage of electromagnetic transmission to millimetre wave and optical frequencies
  • the Smith chart
  • two-port systems
  • S-parameters
  • biasing
  • linearity
  • stability and matching
  • RF noise
  • RF circuits PCB software design
  • RF circuit PCB implementation and measurements
  • high-frequency measurements using vector network analyser
  • fundamentals and design of waveguides
  • fundamentals and design of optical fibres.


65%: Lecture
35%: Practical (Laboratory)


30%: Coursework (Report)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 34 hours of contact time and about 116 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: