Fundamentals of Biosignals

Subject BMEN30006 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours of lectures; 12 hours of tutorials; 12 hours of workshops
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: These subjects may be taken as corequisites also
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Corequisites: These subjects may be taken as prerequisites also
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: This subject replaces
Core Participation Requirements: Ability to participate actively and safely in the laboratory


Assoc Prof David Grayden


Melbourne School of Engineering

Building 173, Grattan Street

The University of Melbourne

VIC 3010 Australia

General Telephone Enquiries

+ 61 3 8344 6703

+ 61 3 8344 6507


+ 61 3 9349 2182

+ 61 3 8344 7707


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces students to the fundamental principles of signals measurement and analysis in a biosignals context. This subject takes the perspective of conservation of charge to examine basic principles of charge, current, Coulomb's law, electric fields and electrical energy. Analysis techniques are introduced with Krichhoff's current law, Kirchhoff's voltage law and frequency domain models for signals and frequency response for systems, covering topics such as Fourier representations of periodic signals, continuous-time and discrete-time Fourier transforms, frequency response, filtering, transfer functions, Z-transforms, Laplace transforms, poles and zeros, Bode plots, and the relationship to state-space representations.

In addition to the fundamental concepts, topics to be covered include an introduction to various types of sensors and the basic physical phenomena underpining their operation as well as the basic statistics required to analyse measurements, calibrate sensors and evaluate measurement system performance.

In the laboratories, students will learn about laboratory safety, team work and measurement safety in an integrated way. Students will learn how to measure a range of variables to monitor various biosignals, such as electrocardiogram (ECG), electromyogram (EMG), and electrocencephalogram (EEG) signals.


On completing this subject the student should have the ability to:

  • Analyse signals in a biosignals context;
  • Design a solution to a particular sensing problem;
  • Explain the fundamentals of the operation of sensors and transducers for the measurement of biosignals;
  • Use a range of laboratory equipment to measure these quantities;

Four laboratory reports of 1,000 words each spread from week 5 to week 12 (40%).

One mid-semester test of one hour duration (10%).

One excamination of two hours duration at the end of the semester (50%).

Prescribed Texts: To be advised
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed their:

  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals.
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution.
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems and to design and operational performance.
  • Proficiency in engineering design.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, with the engineering team and with the community at large.
  • Capacity for creativity and innovation.
  • Ability to function effectively as an individual and in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams, as a team leader or manager as well as an effective team member.
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Bioengineering Systems
Bioengineering Systems
Master of Engineering (Biomedical)

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