Electronic and Communication Engineering MSc 2016-17
At a Glance
This course has multiple start dates:
19 / 09 / 2016
09 / 01 / 2017
1 year full-time
(this number may be subject to change)
The normal entry requirement for a Master's degree is an Honours degree or equivalent qualification in electronic engineering or related disciplines.
Other qualifications and/or experience that demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills at Honours degree standard may also be acceptable.
The normal entry requirement for the Postgraduate Diploma is a degree or equivalent qualification. A lower level qualification together with appropriate experience or, exceptionally, substantial industrial experience alone, may also be acceptable.
The Admissions and Marketing Office
Tel. 01484 473116
This course has been designed in collaboration with industry to develop your knowledge and skills to meet the needs of industry and to update or retrain more experienced engineers.
This broad-based programme deals with a range of design and development areas relevant to electronic systems and communication projects. You will gain the knowledge and skills required of a professional engineer to design and develop systems for applications such as remote control, instrumentation, diagnostics, monitoring, wireless communications and home appliances.
You will have the opportunity to work within modern facilities, including an impressive range of professionally equipped electronic project, communication, embedded systems and computer work-station laboratories with industry standard software and equipment.
+ Digital Design
The module combines a broad spectrum of digital systems theory with the implementation and simulation using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software through schematic capture and extensive VHDL coding. After a look at the historical development of Integrated Circuit (IC) technology we will, assess current technologies and the future direction of digital IC development. Topics extensive covered are; data error coding, error detection and correction; advanced asynchronous and generic synchronous controllers; processor architecture design, data flow and control. Advanced arithmetic circuit design techniques along with pipelining will also be covered in depth.
+ Virtual Instrumentation
Virtual instruments represent a change from traditional hardware-centred instrumentation systems to software-centred systems that use the computing power, display, and connectivity capabilities of desktop computers and workstations. With virtual instruments, engineers and scientists build measurement and automation systems that suit their needs exactly (user-defined) instead of being limited by traditional fixed-function instruments (manufacturer-defined). In this module you will learn fundamentals of programming in LabVIEW and acquire skills to design effective solutions to variety of instrumentation problems. The laboratory exercises will provide the necessary practical experience required to design and develop computer-based systems to emulate a range of instruments. The module is assessed by practical assignment based on laboratory work (100%).
+ Parallel Computer Architectures Computer Clusters
Many existing and future computer-based applications impose exceptional demands on performance that traditional predominantly single-processor systems cannot offer. Large-scale computational simulations for scientific and engineering applications now routinely require highly parallel computers. In this module you will learn about Parallel Computer Architectures, Legacy and Current Parallel Computers, trends in Supercomputers and Software Issues in Parallel Computing; you will be introduced to Computer Cluster, Cloud and Grid technologies and applications. You will study the fundamental components of Cluster environments, such as Commodity Components for Clusters, Network Services/Communication software, Cluster Middleware, Resource management, and Programming Environments. The hands-on laboratory exercises will provide the necessary practical experience with Cluster middleware software required to construct Cluster applications. The module is assessed by examination (60%) and practical assignment based on laboratory work (40%).
+ Communication Systems
The module is concerned with the design and performance of various communications systems. You will begin with a basic discussion of communications techniques and noise. and develop your understanding of several systems drawing from optical fibre, coaxial cable, radio, TV, satellite, ad-hoc RF links, ZigBee. Practical examples are used wherever possible.
+ Computers in Control
Computers are extensively used in monitoring and controlling process plants. Many of the modern instruments contain a small computer chip called microcontroller. These computer chips are normally hidden in instruments and many other products such as mobile phones, cars, cameras, printers, toys etc.
This module introduces the principle of computer chips and demonstrates how they can sense their surrounding environment by receiving signals from a variety of transducers and control the attached actuators such as lights and motors according to a specified control strategy.
You will design and develop efficient ‘C’ programs in practical sessions and download them onto development boards containing many sensors and actuators. This will allow you to see your programs in action.
The module is assessed by one assignment.
+ Planning an Advanced Technical Project
Initially, a draft project specification will be proposed, either by you or by your supervisory team, outlining an engineering problem. You will then discuss this draft project specification in detail with your supervisory team and, during these initial discussions, a series of project aims and objectives will be identified relevant to the solution of the engineering problem. You will then undertake a major background literature review in order to (i) gain a greater understanding of the field and (ii) develop an understanding of potential methodologies for solving the engineering problem at hand. You will then propose suitable methodologies, which may be experimental, analytical or computational, for achieving the project aims and objectives. Finally, you will write a report describing in detail (i) the identified project aims and objectives; (ii) the literature review that has been undertaken and (iii) the proposed methodologies for achieving the project aims and objectives. The module is assessed entirely on the basis of this report.
+ Advanced Technical Project
The project provides the opportunity required within an MSc to undertake a major programme of advanced independent work. Where possible the project is carried out in collaboration with an industrial company and takes place at the company. Alternatively it may take place in collaboration with one of the Research Groups within the School of Computing and Engineering. On the basis of the objectives identified via module NME3511 you will develop an effective solution to the identified engineering problem, applying the necessary practical and analytical skills. You will then write a dissertation on your work and give an oral presentation to a group of staff and students. The project is assessed via the dissertation (90%) and the presentation (10%).
You will undertake a Major Research Project which is supervised by a member of staff, many of whom are internationally recognised experts in their field. Every effort is made to obtain an industrial based project, but all projects are real and relevant.
Career opportunities for graduates from this course are diverse and are growing in step with advancements in the electronics industry.
Graduates from our postgraduate courses have gone on to enjoy employment in a range of areas such as design and development of electronics systems, computer design and manufacturing, car industries, robotics and animatronics, airports, oil refineries and process industries.
Graduate destinations include famous names such as Hewlett Packard, Cummins Engineering, Ford, Philips, Intel and Matrix Multimedia. Many of our graduates have pursued careers
in research organisations.
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught through structured lectures, tutorials and practical laboratory-based sessions. For the practical sessions, you will work in our modern laboratories equipped with the latest development tools and software design packages.
You will be able to take control of your learning through access to on-line learning material, the Internet and by interactive demonstrations.
For your individual project you will be expected to carry out an individual in-depth study of an engineering problem from an initial objective to a satisfactory conclusion which will include
the design, development and implementation of a substantial
and complete system.
Recent projects include self optimising low-noise pre-amplifiers, a black box data recorder for cars, a computer based helper for children with special needs and a ZigBee-based wireless network for building automation.
You will be assessed through a mix of examinations, reports on laboratory experiments, laboratory-based assignments and project work.
How much will it cost me?
Please contact the Student Finance Office for more information about 2016/17 fees and finance.
A Master’s course is 180 Master’s level credits, which would normally take one calendar year full-time study. Interim awards are available at Postgraduate Certificate level or Postgraduate Diploma level should you decide to exit the course early. Please contact us for details of the credits required for these interim awards.
For advice and guidance on your postgraduate study options join us at the next Postgraduate Open Day or contact us.
How to apply
We hope you are interested in what you have seen and want to apply to join us.
If you are planning to study part-time, please get in touch with the contact in the 'At a glance' section above.
Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.