Fundamentals of Control Systems & Transducers SCQF Level 7

Learn about the basic but essential functions of control systems and transducers.


Why take this course?

This Unit is designed to help candidates understand the basic principles and concepts of Control Systems and Transducers.  A control system consists of a number of components (which can be electrical, mechanical, thermal or hydraulic) that act together to maintain a desired output in a process. Control systems are used extensively in industries like oil refining, electrical generation, chemical processing, and manufacturing and production. Our homes and offices also use control systems to regulate temperature and air conditioning. 

The Unit will enable you to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the structure and general behaviour of different types of control systems. Study takes a non-mathematical approach to control systems, and you will learn how to explain control system concepts, use block diagrams to model systems, and use graphical methods to describe their behaviour.

What you will experience

You will begin by learning about types of component parts that make up control systems. You will also learn how information is transferred between the component parts by means of analogue and digital signals. You will discover that the operation of a control system is heavily influenced by its environment, and that the choice of equipment and signal types depend on the location of the system. The need for signal conditioning devices such as filters and amplifiers will be covered.

As you progress, you will learn about different methods of controlling the output of a process. Basic methods such as open loop control will be covered. However, these have limitations and disadvantages. Therefore, you will learn about the need for closed loop control systems which have the facility to measure the output variable being controlled, so as to sense changes and enable corrective action to be taken to ensure system output is maintained at the desired value. Such control systems include temperature control and flow control of liquids. You will also develop knowledge and skills to enable you to understand how controllers can be used to modify the way open and closed loop control systems respond (with respect to speed of response, damping, and transient and steady state response).

Closed loop control systems incorporate devices called transducers. These accept energy in one form, e.g. heat, and produce output energy in some other form, such as an electrical signal. You will study the operation and application of a range of transducers suitable for measuring variables such as temperature, flow, displacement, velocity, pressure, strain, position, level and light. In addition, you will have the opportunity to construct circuits and systems that incorporate transducers. You will measure characteristics of transducers, and study the overall operation of the circuits and systems that you build.

By the end of this Unit you should possess the knowledge and skills to enable you to explain control system elements and signals, explain the operation and application of a range of transducers, describe the structure/behaviour of control systems, and demonstrate the application of transducers in control systems.  

The formal assessment for the Unit will consist of a both a written assessment paper lasting two hours and a laboratory assignment lasting two hours.

female wearing blue overalls and protective glasses

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course will require you to manage your workload independently, with a basic level of tutor support.

Subject area

Entry requirements

Learners should have a general knowledge and understanding of electrical and electronic concepts. This may be evidenced by possession of the HN Units: DG54 34 Single Phase AC Circuits, DN46 33 Analogue Electronics: An Introduction, and DN4E 34 Digital Electronics.

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

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:, 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.