DC AC Principles SCQF Level 7

Apply basic electrical concepts and theorems for the solution of electrical problems.


Why take this course?

This Unit was developed for the HNC/HND Electronics Group Awards or may be taken as a stand alone HN Unit. It has been designed to allow you to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in basic electrical and magnetic concepts and theorems, that underpin so much of more advanced studies in electronic and electrical engineering.

A strong emphasis is placed on putting your theoretical knowledge - within a practical electronics and electrical context - into practice, as you will be provided with the opportunity to conduct practical experiments and computer simulations on electronic and electrical circuits. If you have studied these subjects before, the early parts of this unit will provide you with an opportunity to revise the electrical concepts and theorems you have learnt in previous courses.

Credit points and level: 1 HN credit at SCQF level 7: (8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7)

What you will experience

You will get the opportunity to study the ways in which resistance-inductance and resistance — capacitance series electrical circuits respond to the sudden application or removal of a DC voltage, for example when a switch is closed or opened in such circuits. This in turn will introduce you to the ideas of transient responses that are so important in so many branches of engineering. You will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to solve single-phase ac circuit problems using complex notation - a powerful tool for solving a range of ac circuit problems. A good grasp of this tool will allow you to solve complex problems involving combinations of series and parallel impedance. You will also examine first order transient responses as found in r-l and r-c series circuits. 

By the end of the Unit you will be expected to solve simple electrical and electronic problems using basic electrical concepts and theorems. You will also be expected to sketch the graphs associated with resistance-inductance and resistance-capacitance series circuits when a dc voltage is suddenly applied or removed from these circuits. You will also be expected to use complex notation to solve a range of single-phase ac circuit problems. 

The formal assessment will consist of a single assessment paper lasting one hour and thirty minutes. The assessment will be conducted under closed-book conditions in which you will not be allowed to take notes, textbooks etc. into the assessment. However, you will be allowed to use a scientific calculator. You will sit this assessment paper at the end of the unit.

female wearing blue overalls and protective glasses

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course requires you to manage your workload independently, and will involve attendance at a campus or centre - often for assessment purposes only.

Subject area

Entry requirements

It would be an advantage for candidates to have a basic knowledge and understanding of electrical, electrostatic and magnetic concepts and theorems, although this is not absolutely essential, as some of these concepts and theorems are revised in the first Outcome. Possession of basic knowledge and understanding of these concepts and theorems may be evidenced by possession of a Higher in Electrical Engineering or the following National Qualification units:

  • D136 12 AC Circuit Theory and Applications
  • E9RR 12 Circuit Elements
  • E9RS 12 DC and AC Circuit Responses
  • E9RV 12 Electromagnetics
  • E9RW 12 Electrostatics
  • E9RX 12 Network Analysis
  • E9S0 12 Single Phase AC

It may also be an advantage for candidates to take the Mathematics for Engineering 1: Electronics and Electrical before this unit, as it contains an outcome on complex numbers which would underpin much of the work involved in the second outcome of this unit.

What you will need

Students are responsible for securing any unit resources listed.

What you need to know

Additional costs

This course involves an additional SQA fee. Please see our Courses Explained page for further information on costs.

Anything else?

Please note that fee waivers may apply. Find out more about funding for part-time courses.

Next steps




This course requires some attendance at College, often for assessment purposes only. Please enquire about expectations for your specific course when booking.

Attendance is usually at the Aberdeen City Campus or Fraserburgh Campus.

Pre-entry guidance is required prior to booking a place on this course. Please contact Distance Learning Co-ordinators Sheena Thomson or Susan Smith by email, or phone 01346 586136 in the first instance for more information. When submitting your distance learning application form, please ensure you attach the additional information sheet listing qualifications and previous knowledge with your application. You may be required to attend College for assessment. Please check if this is a requirement for your course.

Duration Fees* Code
40 Hours over 6 Months £125.00
Paper applications only

Paper applications

You must submit a paper application form and additional information form for this course and return them to us completed and signed.

Completed forms should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330
Email: enquiry@nescol.ac.uk

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website: www.nescol.ac.uk, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.