The range of uses for computers is increasing all the time – from smart phones and games consoles to aircraft flight control systems, super computers and global telecommunications.
This programme develops the skills and expertise needed to design computer systems, covering up-to-date detailed knowledge of computer hardware and software including electronics, communications systems and interface technologies.
We base our courses on leading-edge research, which is vital in a field that advances at such a fast pace. Our courses are designed with strong industrial input and therefore students graduate with excellent career prospects.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has always scored well in the National Student Survey, coming top three times in the last six years. We recently celebrated over 30 years’ continuous accreditation by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
We are sure you will find your time at Kent enjoyable and rewarding.
Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 1st for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and 2nd for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 90% of students in Electronic and Electrical Engineering were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.
For graduate prospects, Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
This programme is for students who do not have the qualifications needed for direct entry to Stage 1 of our degree programmes. It covers electronics, computing, physics and mathematics.
If you successfully complete the foundation year, you can go on to take either the Computer Systems Engineering programmes mentioned above or Electronics and Communications Engineering.
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL021 - Calculus
Graphical interpretation of a derivative and its numerical estimation
Differentiation of y = x squared from first principles
Differentiation of x to the power of n and polynomials by inference
Stationary values (turning points, Max and Min)
Differentiation of trigonometric functions
Differentiation of exponential functions
Differentiation of logarithmic functions
Differentiation of sums, products, quotients and functions of a function
Maclaurens series for sin x, cos x, e to the power of x, ln (1+x), (1+x) to the power of n
Comprehension and use of the integral notation symbol
Integration as the inverse operation of differentiation Constant of integration
Integration of polynomials, trigonometric functions and exponential functions
Integration of products and fractions
Integration by substitution (change of variables)
Integration by parts
Use of partial fractions
Integration of compound trigonometric functions
Calculation of the constant of integration
Integration as the process of summation
Definite integrals calculations of areas
Simple first order differential equations solution by the method of separation of variables.
Differentiation - 3 hours
Integration - 5 hours
Calculus x 4Read more
EL024 - Electromagnetics for Engineers
Capacitance as a charge storage element
Capacitors in series and parallel
Charging capacitors using a current source
Charging capacitors using a resistor and voltage source
Discharging capacitors Energy stored in capacitors Coulombs Law
Electric field between parallel plates Breakdown field of insulators Equipotentials
Electric flux density
Capacitance of a parallel plate capacitor
Magnetic field around permanent magnets and current carrying conductors
Rules for working out direction of magnetic field
Quantifying a magnetic field flux and flux density
Force on a current carrying conductor simple applications Loudspeaker Magnetic field intensity. Fields for toroids, solenoids and long wires Permeability of free space. Magnetic materials, relative permeability.
Faraday's Law of Induction. Simple applications: Dynamic microphone, AC generator.
Mutual Inductance, Self Inductance. The transformer.
There will be 3 x 3 hour laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are: Magnetic field around a long wire
Parallel plate capacitor
Electrostatics - 5 hours
Magnetism - 4 hours
There will be 9 hours of examples classes. This work will be assessed by a 1 hour test in conjunction with EL026 and EL027.Read more
EL025 - Electrical Principles and Measurements
Forms of reports
Structure of a report
DC CIRCUITS Introduction
S.I. units Charge flow and current Electrical power and energy
Circuit elements: voltage sources, resistance
Simple electrical circuits involving resistors Circuits involving series and parallel elements Potential divider and current divider
Real voltage sources and current sources
General Measurement Theory:
Notion that a measurement is of no value without an estimation of its error
Notion of Random errors and Systematic errors
Estimation of random errors
Calculation of mean and standard deviation
Improvement by repeated measurements. Standard error of the mean. Combining errors: Linearly related quantities. Quantities related by products. Electronic Measurement Techniques:
Accuracy and Resolution of an Instrument with examples of difference
Moving coil meter. Ammeters and shunts Voltmeters and multipliers, Ohm meters Bridges
AC instruments: RMS, rectification. Notion of frequency response of instrument. Oscilloscope Structure/Operation
Use of Oscilloscope to measure amplitude and period Conversion of time difference to phase difference and back Introduction to other electronic instruments
There will be 5 x 3 hour laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are:
Use of Multimeter (assessed by report)
Resistance and Resistivity (assessed by proforma)
Further Resistive Networks (assessed by report)
Moving Coil Meters (assessed by report)
The Oscilloscope (assessed by proforma)
DC Circuits - 5 hours
Measurements - 3 hours
Assessed by 1 two-hour test in conjunction with modules EL026 and EL027.
DC Circuits x 1
Measurements x 1Read more
EL026 - Analogue Electronics
INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS AND SYSTEMS
Brief summary of circuit laws applications to general circuits
Engineering aspects of resistors preferred values, tolerance, power rating
Signals time varying DC, AC, square, sine, ramp characterisation
Diodes functionality, terminal characteristics, simple circuits, Light Emitting diode
Capacitors: charge storage device, AC performance
Filters, low pass, high pass, simple circuits using resistors and capacitors
Transistors terminal characteristics gain
Simple transistor amplifier
Transistor as a switch simple applications
Operational amplifiers characteristics. Inverting and non-inverting circuits. The operational amplifier as a comparator simple applications
Power supplies: transformer, rectifier, smoothing capacitor
The inductor AC operation
Harmonic signals: frequency, phase and amplitude Energy and power for resistive loads, R.M.S. Values Capacitors in A.C. Circuits
Inductance, inductors in A.C. Circuits
Analysis of circuits with more than one element
There will be 6 x 3 hours of laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are: Filters
Inductors and capacitors in AC circuits
Operational amplifier circuits
The Radio Project (triple session)
Introduction to Electronic Circuits and Systems - 5 hours
AC Circuits - 3 hours
This work will be assessed by two 1-hour tests held in conjunction with modules EL025, EL024 andEL027.
Electronic Circuits and Systems x 2
AC Circuits x 1Read more
EL027 - Semiconductor and Digital Electronics
Basic structure of atoms notion of electronic energy levels in atoms
Formation of energy bands in solids
Notion of division of materials into insulators, metals and semiconductors. Resistivity
Formation of charged carriers in semiconductors. Doping. P-N junction operation
I-V characteristic curve
Operation of bipolar transistor and field effect transistors
Simple FET circuits
INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL ELECTRONICS
Binary decisions (yes/no) (on/off)
Binary decisions dependant on other binary decisions
Logic gates in electronics Networks of logic gates Simple Boolian algebra Real life applications Simple Memory elements Digital numbers
There will be 4 x 3 hour laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are: Logic gate experiment
Bipolar transistor amplifier
There will be 7 hours of examples classes. This work will be assessed by a 2 1-hour tests in conjunction with EL024, EL025 and EL026.
Digital Electronics x 1
Semiconductor Electronics x 1Read more
EL033 - Introduction to programming using MATLAB
INTRODUCTION TO MATLAB 20 Lectures
An introduction to the use of computers and the process of programming them
Introduction to the MATLAB programming environment
MATLAB basics: Variables and Arrays, Displaying Output Data, Data Files, Operations
Built-in MATLAB Functions
Branching statements and Loops
An introduction to problem solving techniques and the Program development cycle
Program design tools: Flowcharts and Pseudocode
Introduction to Plotting: Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, Multiple Plots and Animation
Additional data types: Cell arrays, Structures and Graphics handles.
22 hours terminal based exercises integrated with the lectures. This will take the form of 11, 2-hour exercises during the year of which 6 will be assessed.Read more
MA022 - Graphs, Geometry and Trigonometry
This module will focus on the topics which are fundamental across mathematics and the sciences. We will learn about the properties of many functions such as straight lines, quadratics, circles, exponentials, logarithms and the trigonometric functions. The focus of this module is on applied problem solving in many real-life situations, as well as some coverage of the rigorous theory behind many of these ideas. The material is delivered through lectures and examples classes, so that students have many different ways to learn. Many harder, extra-curricular examples are provided for keen students.Read more
PH020 - Algebra and Arithmetic
Simplification of fractions
Percentages and fractional changes
Logarithmic and exponential functions
Basic rules (operations and indices).
Solving equations (substitution and order of operation).
Changing subject of a formula
Rules of indices
Expansion and Factorisation
Solving linear and simultaneous equations
Binomial TheoremRead more
|Modules may include||Credits|
CO320 - Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development. Software pervades many aspects of most professional fields and sciences, and an understanding of the development of software applications is useful as a basis for many disciplines. This module covers the development of simple software systems. Students will gain an understanding of the software development process, and learn to design and implement applications in a popular object-oriented programming language. Fundamentals of classes and objects are introduced, and key features of class descriptions: constructors, methods and fields. Method implementation through assignment, selection control structures, iterative control structures and other statements is introduced. Collection objects are also covered and the availability of library classes as building blocks. Throughout the course, the quality of class design and the need for a professional approach to software development is emphasizedRead more
CO323 - Databases and the Web
An introduction to databases and SQL, focussing on their use as a source for content for websites.
Creating static content for websites using HTML(5) and controlling their appearance using CSS.
Using PHP to integrate static and dynamic content for web sites.
Securing dynamic websites.
CO324 - Computer Systems
14. A synopsis of the curriculum
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the fundamental behaviour and components (hardware and software) of a typical computer system, and how they collaborate to manage resources and provide services. The module has two strands: Hardware Architecture and Operating Systems and Networks, which form around 35% and 65% of the material respectively. Both strands contain material which is of general interest to computer users; quite apart from their academic value, they will be useful to anyone using any modern computer system.
Data representation: Bits, bytes and words. Numeric and non-numeric data. Number representation.
Computer architecture: Fundamental building blocks (logic gates, flip-flops, counters, registers). The fetch/execute cycle. Instruction sets and types.
Data storage: Memory hierarchies and associated technologies. Physical and virtual memory.
Operating Systems and Networks
Operating systems principles. Abstractions. Processes and resources. Security. Application Program Interfaces.
Device interfaces: Handshaking, buffering, programmed and interrupt-driven i/o. Direct Memory Access.
File Systems: Physical structure. File and directory organisation, structure and contents. Naming hierarchies and access. Backup.
Background and history of networking and the Internet.
Networks and protocols: LANs and WANs, layered protocol design. The TCP/IP protocol stack; theory and practice. Connection-oriented and connectionless communication. Unicast, multicast and broadcast. Naming and addressing. Application protocols; worked examples: SMTP, HTTP).Read more
EL305 - Introduction to Electronics
INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRIC CIRCUITS
Resistors, voltage, current, power, Ohm's law. Ideal and non-ideal voltage and current sources. Maximum power transfer in DC circuits and load matching. Kirchoff's voltage and current laws, series and parallel connection, voltage divider. Node voltage analysis of DC circuits. Mesh analysis. Superposition, Thevenin's and Norton's theorems. Transfer functions, attenuation, gain, decibel. Equivalent circuits for subsystems.
Capacitors, inductors, and RC circuits. Harmonic signals, magnitude and phase, voltage and current vectors, voltage-current relationships. Impedance and admittance.
Simple filter circuits. Series and parallel resonant circuits.
PRACTICAL OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIER CIRCUITS
Non-inverting amplifier, inverting amplifier, voltage follower and summing amplifier (including DC off-set circuit). Differential amplifier and instrumentation amplifier. Active filter, differentiator and integrator. Comparator (zero-crossing/threshold detector) and Schmitt trigger. Ideal op-amp (the golden rules) and practical op-amp. Static and dynamic op-amp parameters. Frequency response of op-amp circuits. Open-loop and closed-loop. Negative feedback and positive feedback. Op-amp circuit simulation. Trouble-shooting and testing.
There are 6 assessed and 4 non-assessed laboratories.
There will be an assessed Operational amplifier mini project together with 2 non-assessed tutorials associated with the mini-project.Read more
EL311 - The Robotics Project
Introduction to the project and use of log-books. PCB manufacture. Resistor and capacitor components. Robot mechanics.
INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY TALK
USE OF INSTRUMENTS AND INTRODUCTION TO FAULT-FINDING
INTRODUCTION TO CAD OF PCBS AND ROBOT CIRCUITRY
CAD tools. Dos/don'ts on CAD package. Robot sensors and circuits.
ROBOTS AND C/C++ PROGRAMMING
Introduction to Robots. Introduction to C/C++ Programming.. Programming of self-built robots using C/C++ Programming and the Arduino Duemillenova Board.
LAB PRACTICE IN THE PROJECT LAB AND PCB CONSTRUCTION
This is designed to provide experience in the practical and management aspects of project work and is supported by lectures and weekly small group tutorials. There is a total of 42 laboratory hours over the Autumn and Spring terms. The main components are: use of the Mechanical Workshop, basic mechanical work, soldering, assembly and testing of a printed circuit board.
A series of weekly exercises (Weeks 14 to 16) aimed at familiarising the students with the Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools needed to develop the PCB circuit which will later be integrated into the robot. This practical work will be supported by three lectures given at the beginning of term.
A series of weekly individual exercises, of which two are assessed. The exercises are designed to provide experience with the robot kit, and programming the robots using C/C++ language. During the second Project Week of the term, the developed PCB will be integrated into the robot and the complete design will be assessed by demonstration at the end of the term. This practical work will be supported by five lectures given towards the beginning of term. There will be a competition for the best robot, with the award of a prize.
ASSIGNMENT 1 - THE USE OF INSTRUMENTS
A laboratory exercise using the Project Laboratory facilities.
Assessment is by completing an answer booklet.
ASSIGNMENT 2 - MECHANICAL DESIGN OF THE ROBOT BASEPLATE
Assessment of students' design and built quality of the robot baseplate.
ASSIGNMENT 3 - PCB LAYOUT
Assessment of students' PCB design.
ASSIGNMENT 4 - ROBOT PROGRAMMING EXERCISE 1
Weekly exercises of programming of robots.
ASSIGNMENT 5 - ROBOT PROGRAMMING EXERCISE 2
Weekly exercises of programming of robots.
ASSIGNMENT 6 - PCB FABRICATION
Assessment of students' hardware construction of the PCB.
ASSIGNMENT 7 - DEMONSTRATION OF ROBOT
An assessed demonstration of the robot constructed in the project.
ASSIGNMENT 8 - LOG BOOK
An assessed record of PCB design and construction.Read more
EL315 - Digital Technologies
The analogue world, the digital world. Digital systems design: hardware and software. An overview of digital technologies. Examples of digital systems. Combinatorial logic. AND, OR and NOT gates. Introduction to Boolean algebra. Karnaugh maps and minimisation techniques. Functional building blocks: adder, comparator, encoders and decoders. Implementation issues, programmable devices.
The NAND latch, D-type FF, shift register, counters. Delays, clocks. Hierarchical design. Overview of Computer Systems. Architectural and operational properties of sequential machines, comparison with combinational circuits. Finite State Machines. Realisation of synchronous machines: design technique, approaches, examples. Algorithmic State Machines. Basic computer operation. The stored program concept.Read more
EL318 - Engineering Mathematics
INTRODUCTION TO MATLAB (4 lectures)
Introduction to MATLAB, syntax, graphs, functions, loops, logical operators, arrays and matrices.
SIMPLE FUNCTIONS AND GRAPHS (4 lectures)
Revision of fundamental mathematics. Linear, polynomial, exp, log, circular functions. Odd and
COMPLEX NUMBERS (4 lectures)
Complex Numbers: Addition, multiplication, division. Argand diagram, modulus argument
representation. De Moivre's theorem.
DIFFERENTIATION and SERIES (6 lectures)
Differentiation of simple functions, sums, products, reciprocals, inverses, function of a function.
Higher order derivatives. Maclaurin and Taylor series.
TRIGONOMETRY, VECTORS AND MATRICES (6 lectures)
Definition of a vector. Basic properties of vectors. Vector addition and subtraction. The scalar
product. Cross product. Definition of a matrix. Addition, subtraction and product. Determinant and
inverse of square matrices. Solution of simultaneous equations using matrices.
INTEGRATION (4 lectures)
Revision. Indefinite integrals. Definite integrals and interpretation as an area. Evaluation using
substitution and integration by parts.
SETS, PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS (6 lectures)
Sets and elements. Basic set operations. Probability and probability distributions. Mean, standard
deviation and variance. The Normal distribution.Read more
EL319 - Engineering Analysis
SYSTEMS ANALYSIS (6 lectures + 3 examples classes)
Introduction to differential equations.
First order DE and methods of solution.
Initial conditions and solutions of RC and RL circuits.
Homogeneous second order differential equations. General solution.
Initial conditions, particular solution and examples of RLC circuits.
Non homogeneous 2nd order differential equations.
SIGNAL ANALYSIS (6 lectures + 3 examples classes)
Odd, even and periodic functions
Integration of Trig. Functions.
The Fourier Series.
Examples of the Fourier series for simple functions
The concept of discrete spectrum and Paserval's Theorem
The complex Fourier series and examples.
ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD ANALYSIS (12 lectures + 4 examples classes)
Introduction to partial differential equations
Laplace, Poisson and Wave equations. Boundary conditions and initial conditions
Introduction to electromagnetism and fields
Electrostatic examples. Fields around common transmission lines. Capacitance.
Amperes law and magneto-statics field examples. Inductance.
The wave equation for transmission lines. Time harmonic solutions
Reflections and wave propagation
Introduction to Maxwell's equations and EM wave propagationRead more
Teaching and assessment
Teaching includes lectures, coursework and laboratory assignments, examples classes where you develop your problem-solving skills and regular staff ‘surgeries’. Practical work is carried out in air-conditioned laboratories, with state-of-the-art equipment and outstanding IT infrastructure.
Stage 1 modules are assessed by coursework and examination at the end of the year. Stage 2 and 3 modules, with the exception of the final-year project, are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. All years include project work to replicate industrial practice and develop skills to maximise employability.
The programme aims to:
- educate students to become engineers, well-equipped for professional careers in development, research and production in industry and universities, and capable of meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing subject
- produce computer systems engineers with specialist skills in hardware and software engineering, prepared for the complexities of modern computer system design
- enable students to satisfy the professional requirements of the IET
- provide academic guidance and welfare support for all students
- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer students an environment where they can develop their potential.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- mathematical principles relevant to computer systems engineering
- scientific principles and methodology relevant to computer systems engineering
- advanced concepts of embedded systems, signals and image processing, control, computer communications and operating systems
- the value of intellectual property and contractual issues
- business and management techniques which may be used to achieve engineering objectives
- the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in computer systems engineering
- current manufacturing practice with particular emphasis on product safety and EMC standards and directives
- characteristics of materials, equipment, processes and products
- appropriate codes of practice, industry standards and quality issues
- contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied.
You develop the following intellectual abilities:
- the ability to analyse and offer solutions to hardware and software engineering problems using appropriate mathematical methods
- the ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of computer systems engineering
- use of engineering principles to analyse key computer systems engineering processes
- the ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques
- the ability to apply and understand a systems approach to computer systems engineering problems
- the ability to investigate and define a problem and identify constraints including cost drivers, economic, environmental, health and safety and risk assessment issues
- the ability to use creativity to establish innovative, aesthetic solutions while understanding customer and user needs, ensuring you address all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal
- the ability to demonstrate the economic and environmental context of the engineering solution.
You develop subject-specific skills including:
- the use of mathematical techniques to analyse and solve hardware and software problems
- the ability to work in an engineering laboratory environment and to use electronic and workshop equipment, and CAD tools to create electronic circuits
- the ability to work with technical uncertainty
- the ability to apply quantitative methods and computer software relevant to computer systems engineering in order to solve engineering problems
- the ability to implement software solutions using a range of structural and object- oriented languages
- the ability to design hardware or software systems to fulfil a product specification and devise tests to appraise performance
- awareness of the nature of intellectual property and contractual issues and an understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards
- the ability to use technical literature and other information sources and apply it to a design
- the ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a design project and evaluate outcomes
- the ability to prepare technical reports and presentations
You gain transferable skills including:
- the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- the use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills and working as a member of a team
- effective communication (in writing, verbally and through drawings)
- effective learning for the purpose of continuing professional development
- critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- how to manage time and resources within an individual project and a group project.
Recently, our graduates have gone into the design of electronic and computer systems, software engineering, real-time industrial control systems and computer communications networks, in companies including BAE Systems, RAF, CISCO and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (MOD). Others have opted for further postgraduate study; for example, the MSc in Information Security and Biometrics or Embedded Systems and Instrumentation.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:
UK/EU fee paying students
The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.
In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support for the duration of their course.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.