- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

MA50046: Linear control theory

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Mathematical Sciences
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 25%, EX 75%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 25%)
  • Examination (EX 75%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims & Learning Objectives:
The course is intended to provide an elementary and accessible introduction to the state-space theory of linear control systems. Main emphasis is on continuous-time autonomous systems, although discrete-time systems will receive some attention through sampling of continuous-time systems. Contact with classical (Laplace-transform based) control theory is made in the context of realization theory.
Objectives: To instill basic concepts and results from control theory in a rigorous manner making use of elementary linear algebra and linear ordinary differential equations. Conversance with controllability, observability, stabilizabilty and realization theory in a linear, finite-dimensional context. Students should be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the subject.

Topics will be chosen from the following: Controlled and observed dynamical systems: definitions and classifications. Controllability and observability: Gramians, rank conditions, Hautus criteria, controllable and unobservable subspaces. Input-output maps. Transfer functions and state-space realizations. State feedback: stabilizability and pole placement. Observers and output feedback: detectability, asymptotic state estimation, stabilization by dynamic feedback. Discrete-time systems: z-transform, deadbeat control and observation. Sampling of continuous-time systems: controllability and observability under sampling.

Programme availability:

MA50046 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Mathematical Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.