Computer systems engineers work on everything from games consoles, to car controls, to hospital equipment. Reviewed every year to make sure it’s up-to-date, this hands-on degree will help you get to grips the with hardware and software design in any computer system. We focus on giving you the skills, knowledge and work experience needed to get straight into a career in the field.
This course will help you develop your expertise as a hardware designer, developer and programmer in the field of computer systems engineering. There’s an emphasis on microprocessor and microcontroller-based systems and embedded systems.
One of the main strengths of our course is its focus on practical work. You’ll develop your hands-on skills through lab work and optional work placements, ensuring your technical expertise is just as strong as your knowledge base.
Alongside subject-specific knowledge, the course is designed to further your interpersonal, team-working and IT skills, and develop your ethical and environmental awareness. As the course progresses, you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in areas that interest you, through modules like Audio Engineering, Ethical Hacking and Network Security.
You'll be assessed through coursework reports, case studies, individual and group research assignments, written and laboratory-based examinations and a final engineering project or dissertation. You'll receive regular, supportive feedback throughout the course.
If you do not complete the course with the required achievements to qualify for the IET-accredited BEng (Hons) degree, you may be awarded a lesser degree, such as the BSc (Hons) degree. The final award will be determined at the end of the course.
The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). You’ll be able to apply for student membership while undertaking your degree. Your fees will be covered by the University, and you’ll have access to resources such as a digital library, jobs boards and networking events.
In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:
Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.
If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Computer Network Enginerring Extended Degree.
All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.
If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.
Specific qualifications that may make you eligible for advanced entry to this course include studies undertaken at an IET-accredited institution.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
The module introduces students to the basics of Information Technology; past, current and future trend in computer systems. The detailed design of a small scale Computer Systems is presented where students have the opportunity to build, configure and test a computer system for a given application. Students will identify the basic features of the Windows operating system and its elements. Health Safety issues and the safe disposal of equipment is also covered leading to an understanding and appreciation of social, ethical, environmental and economic issues related to computer’s hardware and software element. The module aims to
1. To introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Information Technology and basic networking,
2. To provide a working technical knowledge of modern computer systems and their respective components,
3. To introduce Operating systems by focusing on Windows products, identifying similarities and differences,
4. Identify the correct approach to preventive maintenance and upgrading, and troubleshooting
5. Introducing students to Assembly language and how it interacts with hardware
6. Awareness of social, environmental, commercial and economic aspects of PC technology
The module is designed to introduce the most common electronics devices and their applications in small-scale systems. The module is divided into two broad sections of analogue and digital electronics. The module is based on formal seminar/lecture sessions followed by comprehensive practicals/tutorials in both areas which provide an opportunity for students to gain experience in using and applying the laboratory’s test and measurement equipments/simulators.
This module develops a range of mathematical techniques including set theory, logic, relations and functions, algebra, differentiation and integration. The techniques provide the foundation for further study of Mathematics, Computer Science and Computer Games Programming and Computer Systems Engineering.
This is an introductory programming module, designed to develop interest, ability and confidence in using a programming language. Students will gain the basic knowledge and experience to solve simple programming problems using established techniques in program design, development and documentation.
The student is also expected to develop their confidence needed to program solutions to problems through a series of practical programming exercises.
Assessment: Coursework 1 (30%) + Coursework 2 (30%) + Multiple choice test (40%) [Pass on aggregate]
Year 2 modules include:
This module builds on the knowledge gained in the first year module - Electronic Systems (CT4002). It aims to introduce some of the more subtle, real world issues associated with the design and implementation of the electronic systems through group case study. Group case study design involves application of both analogue and digital electronics through hands-on system design approach using both discrete and IC components. This laboratory based module also involves brief outlining lectures and interactive group discussion relevant to the given case study. The module will present students with a set of processes such as research skills, systems level analysis and design, circuit simulation, PCB design, soldering and testing which enable them to understand the real-world aspects of simple but sufficiently involved electronic systems.
This module introduces students to the basic concepts of microprocessors and the role that hardware and software play in the functional behaviour of microprocessor systems. Students are then introduced to some of the more common microcontrollers. Interfacing external memories as well as various input/output devices and sensors are also covered. The module enables students to analyse the requirements of a given task, make decisions in selecting an appropriate controller, design and implement prototype hardware/software for a typical embedded systems product. Practical workshops are designed to introduce microprocessor software development, testing and debugging. Workshops provide students with an opportunity to use both ‘C’ and assembly language.
This module helps the student to develop theoretical and practical knowledge of network operating systems, This is achieved by exposing the student to some of the most commonly used network operating systems. The student will reinforce their theoretical knowledge in practical sessions where they will install configure , manage and trouble-shoot network operating systems.
This module aims to introduce students to the range of equipment available in a modern recording studio, and develop both an operational and technological understanding.
The University has a policy that all undergraduates must, at either Level 5 or 6, take a Work Related Learning (WRL) module i.e. a module which requires them to directly experience and operate in the real world of work and to reflect on that episode in order to identify skill and knowledge areas that they need to develop for their career. This module (and “partner” modules, namely, Creating a Winning Business 2 (Level 6) and Creating a Successful Social Enterprise 1 and 2), are module options available to ALL University students to fulfil the University’s WRL requirement.
This module challenges students to be creative in identifying a new business opportunity and in examining the viability of all aspects of the idea in the real world context e.g. testing potential customers’ views. As a result of the feedback received and enquiries carried out, the idea will change and develop over the duration of the module. Throughout the module, students are required to not only apply the business development theory taught but also to continuously reflect on how they have applied the theory and the skills and knowledge gained from their work. This reflective dimension promotes the development of practical attributes for employment and career progression.
The QAA Benchmark on Business and Management (2015) emphasises the attribute of “entrepreneurship” and of “the value of real world learning”. In terms of promoting work related skills, the module specifically focuses on practical techniques for generating and developing new business ideas and so develops creative thinking. In addition, it requires students to examine market potential and prepare a “pitch” as if seeking investment. The module requires a high level of self-reliance to pursue their business idea. Students develop an understanding of the role of new ideas in business start-ups, business growth and development.
These skills and techniques are of practical relevance to anyone considering starting a new business, working for a Small or Medium sized Enterprise (SME) or taking on an intrapreneurial role within a larger organisation where the business environment is constantly evolving and producing new challenges and opportunities.
For those students keen to go beyond this module and start their own business, they can apply to the Accelerator for access to “seed” money and advice and support.
This module further develops students’ knowledge and skills in developing software applications for solving problems. It focuses on the data structures and algorithms in programming and the software technologies for building standalone, networked and Internet applications. The module is designed to enhance employability through the use of modern industrial tools and technologies, and familiarisation with the software development life cycle.
The key skills and knowledge to be gained are:-
• Provide students with an understanding of theoretical concepts related to the use of data structures, algorithms, programming patterns and software infrastructure in standalone, networked and Internet environments.
• Develop students’ analytical skills in the context of processing, generating, transforming, transporting, storing, retrieving and presenting data.
• Enhance students’ practical skills using appropriate methods and techniques for designing, programming and integrating software applications using user interfaces, data structures and persistent storage.
• Provide students with an understanding of programming during the different stages of the software development lifecycle.
• Enable students to apply analytical and practical skill in solving typical problems in standalone, networked and Internet environments.
• Enhance students’ experience and employability through the use of appropriate current technologies, enterprise tools and development environments during software development.
Introduces techniques for analysing, designing and implementing database systems. An understanding of data modelling and design concepts is provided and database programming language skills are taught. The practical aspect of developing database systems is emphasised and use is made of a widely-used commercial database system (e.g. Oracle) for this purpose.
The module will enable students to give an introduction to the issues governing the design and implementation of database systems. Theoretical aspects of designing sound database systems, as well as the practical aspects of implementing such systems are presented. This therefore allows students to understand, and put into practice, the techniques available for analysing, designing and developing database systems.
This module is based on Networking Essentials (Cisco). It teaches networking based on application, covering networking concepts within the context of network environments students may encounter in their daily lives – from small office and home office (SOHO) networking. Students who complete this course are prepared to begin the CCNA Routing & Switching and IoT curricula.
Students will recognize the significant impact of networking in the world and learn skills needed for entry-level home and small business network installation positions.
This module focuses on computer laws, social, ethical and professional issues (LSEPI) underpinning the IT discipline. It also covers techniques for the world of work such as job search, CV and interviews as well as professional ethics and responsibilities. Topics on academic research and academic writing are also presented. (Exam and course work).
Assessment: Coursework (60%) + Unseen exam (40%) [Pass on aggregate]
The aims of this module are to:
• Provide students with knowledge and understanding of the regulations governing the digital environment (e.g. Internet) and social, ethical and professional issues (LSEPI) underpinning the IT discipline.
• Prepare students for the world of work and equip them with the knowledge and appreciation of professional bodies, code of conducts and professional certifications.
• Introduce students to academic research and research ethics, and to academic writing.
This module consists of a short work placement of 25 full working days (or the part time equivalent of this).
The module enables students to undertake an appropriate short period of professional activity, related to their course at level 5 (Intermediate level), with a business or community organisation and to gain credit for their achievements. The activity can be a volunteering activity, employmentactivity,an activity within the Faculty of Computing Virtual Business Environment (VBE), placement orbusiness start-up activity.
For the purpose of this module – the FOC VBE will be also be recognised as ‘the employer’.
It is expected that the student should work for 150 hours which should be recorded clearly in the learning log. The 150 hours can be completed in 25 working days in a FT mode, or spread over a semester in a PT mode.
Students should register with the module leader to be briefed on the module, undergo induction and planning and to have the learning outcomes approved, before they start thelearning activity. It is essential that students are made aware that both the “learning agreement” and “health and safety checklist” where is applicable need to be approved before starting the placement.
Year 3 modules include:
This module reviews a selection of sensors and transducers and the signal conditioning necessary for including these in a data acquisition system. It provides a good grounding on analogue to digital and digital to analogue conversion principles and their practical applications.
Examples of a selection of output drivers and devices are also provided.
This module extends the digital design techniques learnt at intermediate level to the use of Application Specific Integrated Circuits. It provides an extensive treatment of the use of Virtual Hardware Description Language using the industry's standard (Xilinx and its associated hardware).
The module enables students to demonstrate their acquired knowledge and skills through a systematic and creative investigation of a project work, either individually or as part of a group, in accordance with their course requirements. The topic of investigation will cover a broad spectrum of various analysis and techniques and will lead to a comprehensive and concise academic/industry-related report. Students will be assisted in exploring areas that may be unfamiliar to them and encouraged to develop innovative ideas and techniques. Students will be able to choose a project that may require the solution to a specific problem, creation of an artefact in a real-world environment or an investigation of innovative ideas and techniques related to an area within their field of study. Collaboration with outside agencies and projects with industrial, business or research partners/ sponsors will be encouraged.
This module focuses on the design, planning, implementation, operation and troubleshooting of Wireless LANs. It covers fundamentals of WLAN technologies, security, and best practices
This module equips students with professional level programming skills required for developing distributed software systems to solve real-world problems with guaranteed security. Students are taught alternative conceptual paradigms, design patterns, frameworks and programming techniques for developing distributed systems for local networks, Internet or the Web and securing data and applications. The typical phases of software development life cycle are covered using industry standard languages and tools, for example modelling (UML, XML), design, implementation and testing using popular IDEs, thereby improving students’ employment prospects. Successful completion of this module will give students an opportunity to gain professional Java certification or similar and essential modern requirements of risk assessment prior to embedding appropriate cybersecurity.
This module is designed to develop understanding, knowledge and skills associated with the various malicious hacking attacks targeting computer systems and the appropriate safeguards needed to minimise such attacks.
This module introduces a range of specialist programming techniques as applied to mobile platforms. Specific areas of study will include: programming strategies for resource-limited portable devices – including reviewing key components through the development of exemplar applications using an appropriate mobile-based programming platform such as Java ME and Google Android. The key skills and knowledge to be gained are:
• Understanding theoretical concepts related to the work of software in wireless networks and the use of different protocols, frameworks and tools for building mobile applications
• Learning techniques for programming mobile applications using standard technological frameworks, development tools, mobile device emulators and handsets
• Acquiring practical skills in developing mobile applications which utilize wireless services and mobile Internet
• Applying analytical knowledge and practical skills for building typical mobile applications
• Developing ability to compare protocols, models and paradigms for mobile applications and estimate trade-offs during design using different design patterns, development frameworks and programming techniques
• Building professional competence and increasing the employability through the use of industrial standard technologies and tools for software development
The module provides an introduction to computer and telecommunications network planning, design and simulation. Aspects of network management, monitoring as well as security embedded to the design are considered as well. The theoretical work is focusing on two main aspects: (a) WAN design principles and relevant algorithms based on Graph Theory, and (b) systems approach to network design. The practical work involves development and manipulation of network models with the help of tools such WAN design tool and network simulator as well as analysis of the obtained designs and results of simulations.
This module is based on Cisco CCNA Security curriculum delivered through Cisco Networking Academy at the University.
This module provides a next step for individuals who want to enhance their CCNA-level skillset and help meet the growing demand for network security professionals. The curriculum provides an introduction to the core security concepts and skills needed for the installation, troubleshooting, and monitoring of network devices to maintain the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data and devices. This module helps prepare students for entry-level security career opportunities and the globally recognized Cisco CCNA Security certification.
This module is a hands-on, career-oriented e-learning solution with an emphasis on practical experience to help students develop specialized security skills, along with critical thinking and complex problem solving skills. It offers a blended curriculum with both online and classroom learning. To pass this module with good grades, students are expected to have CCNA-level networking concepts knowledge and skills, along with basic PC and Internet navigation skills. The module aims:
1. To provide a firm understanding of Security Policy design and management.
2. To introduce students to security technologies, products and solutions.
3. To provide students with practical experience of configuring firewalls and router security
4. To discuss VPN implementation using routers and firewalls
5. To introduce concepts of Intrusion Detection
6. To explain the implementation of AAA (Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting)
If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.
Year 1 modules include:
Year 2 modules include:
Year 3 modules include:
“Thanks to this course, I can now build my own robot - just like I dreamed during my school days!”
"This course taught me how to solve engineering problems using Java, C, Matlab, Assembly language and VHDL.”
“The course provided lots of varied options, so I could decide what I studied in my second and third years.”
The recent advances in computing mean that system engineers are in high demand right now. Through this course, you’ll learn to design, program and build devices and systems used by a number of industries, including games and entertainment, medicine and automotive.
With the technical skills and the know-how to work on anything from generic embedded systems to extremely sophisticated, specialised and critical systems such as safety systems, you’ll be well equipped to pursue a career as a hardware designer, a systems programmer or a designer or consultant.
This course is also excellent preparation for postgraduate study or research.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
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UK/EU applicants for September full-time entry must apply via UCAS unless specified otherwise.
UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.
Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.
The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.
If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.
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Congratulations to our 2017/18 Academic Excellence Award winners. We are proud of your achievements and wish you all the best for the future.