Electronic and Communications Engineering - BEng (Hons)

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Why study this course?

Accredited by the Engineering Council through the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), this vocational course is a fast-track route to Chartered Engineer status, giving you hands-on expertise in electronic design, development and maintenance as well as real, client-driven project experience.

More about this course

This course prepares you for a career as an electronic and communications engineer by combining theory with practical work. You’ll develop your technical skills through hands-on modules that give you deep insight into complex circuits, wireless systems, programmable devices, robotics, radars and digital systems.

You’ll trace the full lifecycle of product design, ensuring you have the expertise and knowledge necessary at every step. As well as building industry-specific skills, you’ll develop a broad range of employable skills such as team-working, interpersonal and IT skills, and increase your commercial, ethical and environmental awareness.

The course is designed to cover a broad spectrum, enabling you to work in numerous industries as varied as medical devices, defence, aeronautics, smartphones, telecommunication and railways.


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 don't 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.

Professional accreditation

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code H641
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades CCD in three A levels, one of which must be from a relevant subject (or a minimum of 88 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma; or Advanced Diploma; or Progression Diploma; or Access to HE Diploma of 60 credits).
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

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 Engineering Extended Degree.

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

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.

Accelerated study

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 institute.

Modular structure

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:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    The module covers basic mathematical techniques of differential and integral calculus and of linear algebra that will be of later use throughout Mathematics and related degree courses. The module builds on and extends concepts learned in A-Level Mathematics. The contents covered and the skills developed are fundamental to the development of mathematical competence. Calculus and linear algebra form an important foundation for further studies in Mathematics, Finance, Statistics and Engineering.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning
    • all year (January start)

    This module introduces a range of fundamental concepts in both analogue and digital communications, through theory and practical exercises. The module also considers ethical, social, economic and environmental issues relevant to the Communications and Telecommunications fields. The module aims:
    1. To introduce students to fundamental concepts of modern Communication Systems;
    2. To differentiate between analogue and digital communications and their typical uses;
    3. To provide a working technical vocabulary for describing commonly used telecommunication systems;
    4. To provide an understanding of telecommunications systems concepts such as bandwidth, the decibel, sampling, coding, multiplexing, modulation, etc;
    5. To provide an opportunity for students to consider the various ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of modern telecommunications.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the analysis of DC (including both steady state and transient behaviour) for resistors, capacitors and inductors. Techniques for the analysis of DC resistive circuits will be introduced including serial and parallel networks, mesh and node analysis and the principle of superposition. Equations for the response of a switched voltage across a capacitor and inductor will be developed considering an R-C and R-L circuits
    The module then develops the analysis of AC circuits, introducing the more powerful methods associated with the use of complex numbers.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module examines the technology underlying current and future mobile wireless systems. It provides the essential theoretical principles and concepts encountered in the design of typical modern communications systems. Various analogue and digital modulation schemes essential for information transmission are examined, including the detrimental effect of noise in limiting system performance.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module develops the skills required for the design and analysis of continuous-time signals and linear systems. It provides the necessary mathematical tools for linear circuit analysis and design such as operational amplifier-based active filters.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester

    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.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    This module provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of a range of digital signal processing techniques including z-transformation, Discrete Fourier Transform, Power Spectral Density and their applications in a variety of scientific fields such as Sonar and Radar, Telecommunications, Medical, Geology and Astronomy. It also provides fundamentals of control systems engineering concepts and develops knowledge and understanding of the various feedback control systems leading to the design of such systems mainly in continuous time but also touches upon discrete-time systems.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    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).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module introduces students to microwave and optoelectronic technologies. It covers the key features of modern microwave wireless systems, their operations and design requirements. Also covered is basic concepts of optoelectronics. Students are shown how various optoelectronic devices are currently used in laser line-of-sight and fibre optic communication systems. The module develops analytical and design knowledge, and provides experience of team working through a group work.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    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.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    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.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 modules include:

  • Calculus and Linear Algebra
  • Communications Engineering
  • Electronic Systems
  • Electrical Principles

Year 2 modules include:

  • Advanced Electronics Systems
  • Microprocessors and Embedded Systems
  • Mobile Communications Systems
  • Signals and Systems
  • Professional Issues, Ethics and Computer Law 

Year 3 modules include:

  • Data Acquisition and Interfacing
  • Digital Systems Applications
  • Microwave and Optical Fibre Communications
  • Project
  • Work-Related Learning II

What our students say

“I owe a big thank you to the microwave engineering module and CST-based project for helping me get my first graduate job.”

“I recommend this course to anyone who is interested in understanding the real use of maths in engineering."

“There are so many inspiring lecturers I will never forget. I learned the proper way to use a range of lab equipment, and developed my practical skills.”

“Wonderful course and very supportive course leader.”

After the course

The recent advances in technology mean that electronic and communications engineers are in high demand right now. This course will help you develop the necessary skills to work in data, fibre optic, mobile and satellite communications as part of multinational companies.

You’ll learn to design, develop, install and maintain electronic and communications systems – skills that will be vital when pursuing a career as a hardware designer or tester, or a process engineer or developer. You could also work as a telecommunications architect, a consultant or a team manager.

This programme is also excellent preparation for further research or study.

Additional costs

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.

Unistats - key information set

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

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.

When to apply

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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