Electrical Motor Drive Systems SCQF Level 8

An introduction to electrical motor drive systems in engineering.


Why take this course?

This Unit has been designed to allow candidates to develop a knowledge and understanding of electrical motor drive systems at both a systems level and at individual component level (e.g. transmission arrangements, electrical protection and starting and braking methods). Candidates will also have an opportunity to consolidate their knowledge of electrical motor drive systems by undertaking an investigation of the reasons for the selection of the component parts in a practical industrial or commercial drive system. On completion of the Unit, candidates should be able to:
  1. Outline factors that influence choice of motor to drive an industrial load
  2. Distinguish different forms of motor to load power transmission systems
  3. Analyse electrical protection arrangements used with electrical motors
  4. Analyse starting/braking arrangements associated with electric motors
  5. Investigate selecting motor and ancillary equipment for industrial loads.

What you will experience

It is important to recognise that an electrical motor is normally part of an overall system which drives a given load. The system will also contain some form of mechanical transmission arrangement (e.g. a coupling, pulley or gearbox) to transmit the motor’s torque to the load. The system will have electrical protection to protect the motor against adverse electrical and mechanical conditions and both starting and braking arrangements to start and stop the motor.

In this Unit you will first consider electrical motor drive systems at a system’s level and then you will look in greater depth at individual parts of the system (e.g. transmission systems, electrical protection and starting and braking methods). You will also be provided with an opportunity to consolidate your knowledge and understanding of motor drive systems by undertaking an investigation of motor and ancillary equipment for a given industrial load.

There are plenty of good learning materials available both in paper format and via the Internet on motor drive systems and the component parts of these systems. Your lecturer is likely to strongly encourage you to explore manufacturers’ catalogues, datasheets and investigate Internet sites to find out more about motor drive systems and their component parts.

Assessment for this Unit will comprise of a two hour written test following the delivery of Outcomes 1 to 4 followed by an Assignment in which you will have an opportunity to investigate the selection of motor, transmission system, electrical protection and starting and braking methods in an industrial or commercial electrical motor drive system.


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

Candidates should have a general knowledge and understanding of electrical motors. This may be evidence by possession of the following HN Unit: DN4J 34 Electrical Machine Principles. Some knowledge and understanding of the dynamics of rotating systems would also be an advantage.

What you will need

Students are responsible for securing 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 for this course and return it 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.