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Unit of study_

ELEC3802: Fundamentals of Biomedical Engineering

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit assumes a knowledge of basic principles in physics, mathematics, circuit theory and electronics. In particular, some understanding of the following is required: Thevenins and Nortons theorems, Fourier analysis, radiation, filtering, bipolar and field effect transistors, and operational amplifiers. The following topics are covered. Biology of the heart, circulatory and respiratory systems, physiology of nerve and muscle cells, fundamental organization of the brain and spinal cord. Medical instrumentation. ElectrocardioGram and automated diagnosis. Heart pacemakers and defibrillators. The bionic ear. Apparatus for treatment of sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnoea). This unit is descriptive and does not require detailed knowledge of electronics or mathematics, but does require an understanding of some key aspects of mathematical and electronic theory. The unit concentrates on some of the practical applications of biomedical engineering to patient diagnosis and treatment.

Unit details and rules

Unit code ELEC3802
Academic unit Electrical and Information Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

ELEC2004 or ELEC2104 A knowledge of basic electrical engineering is required: Ohm's law, Thevenin and Nortons' theorems, basic circuit theory involving linear resistors, capacitors and inductors, a basic knowledge of bipolar and field effect transistor theory, simplified theoretical mechanism of operation of transformers.

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Alistair McEwan,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam hurdle task Final exam
50% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO8
Tutorial quiz Quizzes
15% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO4 LO6 LO8
Small continuous assessment group assignment Lab skills
35% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 1. Introduction; 2. Biology of nerves Lecture (2 hr)  
1. Introduction; 2. Biology of nerves Project (2 hr)  
Week 02 Biology of nerves, muscles, heart, lungs Lecture (2 hr)  
Biology of nerves, muscles, heart, lungs Project (2 hr)  
Week 03 Instrumentation Lecture (2 hr)  
Instrumentation Project (2 hr)  
Week 04 ECG Lecture (2 hr)  
ECG Project (2 hr)  
Week 05 Electrical implants Lecture (2 hr)  
Electrical implants Project (2 hr)  
Week 06 CPAP Lecture (2 hr)  
CPAP Project (2 hr)  
Week 07 Signals 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Signals 1 Project (2 hr)  
Week 08 Signals 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Signals 2 Project (2 hr)  
Week 09 Imaging HW1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Imaging HW1 Project (2 hr)  
Week 10 Imaging HW2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Imaging HW2 Project (2 hr)  
Week 11 Image processing 1 Lecture (2 hr)  
Image processing 1 Project (2 hr)  
Week 12 Image processing 2 Lecture (2 hr)  
Image processing 2 Project (2 hr)  
Week 13 Review Lecture (2 hr)  
Review Project (2 hr)  

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. practice working in a team, acting diverse roles and responsibilities, showing initiative and leadership, as well as receptiveness to various contributions and viewpoints to reach a multilateral consensus in the approach and results of lab experiments
  • LO2. identify information needs and use these as drivers to instigate inquiry and knowledge development by drawing on, and evaluating diverse sources of information to produce meaningful conclusions on the specific subject of biomedical engineering
  • LO3. write lab reports to convey complex and technical data in clear and concise terms, and argue persuasively the approach and results obtained in light of the problem or task assigned and the adopted methodology
  • LO4. explain fundamental concepts of biology including anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology
  • LO5. apply technical principles and methodologies throughout the course to implement appropriate quality control procedures in the development of biomedical engineering lab experiments
  • LO6. describe medical instrumentation including ECG, heart pacemakers and defibrillators, hearing aid and bionic ear and ventilators proficiently; explain the principles of biomedical signal processing and medical imaging to the extent of the material presented
  • LO7. complete experiments using a clearly defined approach, employ various medical instrumentation for measurements, and practice diagnosis
  • LO8. practice basic circuit theory at a level suitable for use with medical instrumentation; practice signal processing and pattern recognition methods at a basic level for medical image analysis.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Updates based on student feedback over several years


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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