Electronics-based products play a vital role in our daily lives, from the sophisticated diagnostic equipment used in modern hospitals to leading-edge fibre optic communications. Computer technology, telecommunications and consumer electronics are advancing at an ever-increasing pace.
At Kent, we offer degree programmes teaching state-of-the-art technology, which means our graduates can work at the forefront of all the major areas of electronic engineering.
Our teaching is research-led so you get to know about the latest cutting-edge technologies, and the programmes combine theory with vitally important practical and project work – the chance to turn ideas into real systems. Our student work has been awarded international prizes.
The School has strong links with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). We have several visiting industrial professors who contribute to the strong industrial relevance of our courses.
Our staff meet regularly with a team of senior industrialists to ensure that our courses keep up-to-date with industry.
You can also take this programme with a year in industry, which can improve your skills and your career prospects. For details, see Electronic and Communications Engineering with a Year in Industry.
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.
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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
EL303 - Electronic Circuits
(i) SINUSOIDAL STEADY-STATE ANALYSIS
The phasor concept. Phasor relationships for R, L and C elements. Circuit laws using phasors. Thevenin & Norton equivalents and source transformations. Node voltage and mesh current analysis using phasors; supernodes and supermeshes. Superposition in AC analysis.
(ii) AC STEADY STATE POWER
Electric power. Instantaneous power. Average power. Effective value of a sinusoidal waveform. Maximum power transfer and conjugate matching. The transformer. The ideal transformer. Using transformers in circuit matching.
(iii) TWO-PORT NETWORKS
Definition and calculation of Z, Y, H and AB parameters. Relations between various parameters. Symmetric, reciprocal and unilateral two-ports. Input and output impedances and transfer functions of terminated two-ports. Two-port interconnections. Analysis and design of simple feedback amplifiers using two-port approach.
ELECTRONIC DEVICES AND CIRCUITS
(i) INTRODUCTION TO SEMICONDUCTORS
Atomic structure. Semiconductors, conductors and insulators. Conduction in semiconductors. N-type and P-type semiconductors. The PN junction, formation of the depletion region. Biasing the PN junction, current voltage
The pn diode, ideal and practical models. Diode applications: half-wave rectifier, full-wave rectifier, power supplies. Diode limiters.
Zener diode, operation and characteristics. Using Zener diodes for voltage regulation. Zener limiting.
Optical diodes, operation and applications: light-emitting, photodiode.
(iii) BIPOLAR JUNCTION TRANSISTOR (BJT).
Basic operation, characteristics, parameters and biasing. Transistor as an amplifier. Transistor as a switch. Transistor packages. BJT bias circuits, base bias, emitter bias, voltage-divider bias. DC load line. Small-signal BJT amplifiers. Hybrid parameters and r-parameters. AC equivalent circuit and AC load line. Common-emitter amplifier, equivalent circuit and voltage gain. Emitter-follower, equivalent circuit and voltage gain.
(iv) FIELD-EFFECT TRANSISTOR (FET)
Junction field-effect transistor (JFET), n- and p-channel, operation, characteristics. Self-bias and voltage divider bias. Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET (MOSFET), depletion and enhancement mode devices, characteristics, biasing. FET amplifier circuits.
LABORATORIES - ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS AND DEVICES
6 assessed laboratory assignments - 2 hours each.
ASSIGNMENT - PRACTICAL AMPLIFIER DESIGN
2 non-assessed tutorials - 1 hour each.
1 assessed practical laboratory mini project - 3 hours.
ASSIGNMENT - ELECTRIC CIRCUITS
3 assessed laboratory assignments - 2 hours each.
EXAMPLES CLASS - ELECTRIC CIRCUITS
1 non-assessed examples class.
EXAMPLES CLASS - ELECTRONIC CIRCUITS AND DEVICES
1 non-assessed examples class.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
EL313 - Introduction to Programming
INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING IN C
An introduction to the use computers and the process of programming them.
Variable declaration. Executable statements.
Data Types, Expressions.
Operators, precedence and associativity.
Logical Expressions and the if statement.
Decision steps in algorithms.
Repetition and loops in Programs. Conditional loops. Nested control structures.
Top-down design with functions.
Arrays. Multi-dimensional arrays. Strings.
Using indexed for loops to process arrays.
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING WITH C
Programming in the large. Program life-cycle.
File input and output.
Case studiesRead 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
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EL560 - Microcomputer Engineering
variables, operators and control structures.
Good programming practice: layout, naming, software documentation. Scope.
Pointers and Arrays.
Data structures. Memory handling.
The structure of a typical micro computer. The PIC: an overview. The programmer's model, instruction set and addressing mode. The control unit, stack and stack pointers and program counter. The operation of a microcomputer: fetch and execute activities. Translating C into assembler. How to run a C program on the PIC. The efficiency of C programs: memory requirements and operational speed. An introduction to input/output. Accessing interface registers in C. Simple input/output using the switches and lights. Bit testing and bit manipulation. Generating waveforms. Time delays using program loops and timers. Controlling peripherals. Determining peripheral status. Serial ports. The interaction of hardware and software during polled input/output. The principles of input/output using interrupts. Interrupt service routines: how they are instigated and typical activities. The implementation of interrupts in C. Handling several interrupt sources. A Keyboard interface. Polling vs Interrupts. Flow of data and control in a memory reference instruction. The structure of memory
- conceptual, addressing, decoding
- memory components
- multiple memory chips
- chip enable, implementation strategies
Software Engineering Process: lifecycle models. Software requirements engineering: basic concepts and principles, requirements engineering process, requirements elicitation, requirements analysis, requirements validation, requirements management. Software design: basic concepts and principles, software architecture, design notations, design strategies and methods (object-oriented, function-oriented, real-time systems). Software testing: basic concepts and principles, testing process, test planning, testing strategies and techniques.
4 two-hour assessed workshops support the C Programming language component.
Workshop 1: Control structures and program flow.
Workshop 2: Pointers and arrays.
Workshop 3: Use of structures for data representation.
Workshop 4: Mini project involving the development of a software solution for a problem according to given specifications.
ASSIGNMENT - INTRODUCTION TO MICROCOMPUTERS
One assessed and five non-assessed lectures.
LABORATORY - MICROCOMPUTER ENGINEERING
This one-day laboratory uses the PCs with PIC microcomputers. Assessed.
EXAMPLES CLASS - SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
One assessed examples class.Read more
EL562 - Computer Interfacing
INTRODUCTION TO LABVIEW
Support in the use of LabView for interfacing LabView between a PC and external hardware.
LABVIEW DAQ DEMONSTRATION
Demonstration a DAQ device in the Project Lab.
LABVIEW DAQ INTERFACE BOARD
Introduction a DAQ interface device and its use for A/D and D/A conversion and digital I/O.
Support in the use of the project PC-based hardware and software, including sensors, transducers, analogue I/O, digital I/O, event handling, data manipulation, data visualisation and the design of user interfaces.
Project planning, project proposal, information search, risk assessment, documentation, use of logbooks, group management.
Writing project reports for the second and third year projects.
Presentation skills for the second and third year projects.
This is a group project with a large element of practical work including both hardware and software. It is based around an engineering application of a PC. It has the following features:-
(1) Each group is supervised by a member of academic staff who provides a brief description of the engineering application.
(2) The group responds to the original brief by producing a written specification for the work required.
(3) Project support is provided by weekly meetings with the supervisor and by the lectures.Read more
EL565 - Electronic Instrumentation and Measurement Systems
GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MEASUREMENT AND INSTRUMENTATION
Purpose, structure and classification of measurement systems. Systematic characteristics (range and span, errors and accuracy, linearity, sensitivity and hysteresis). Statistical characteristics (repeatability and reproducibility). Calibration, traceability and standards.
Introduction of a range of sensors and transducers. Resistive sensors. Capacitive sensors. Ultrasonic sensors. Electromagnetic sensors. Optical sensors. Radiological sensors. Semiconductor sensing elements. Measurement of temperature, pressure, displacement, force and flow. Thermocouples and thermistors. Strain gauges.
SIGNAL CONDITIONING AND DATA PRESENTATION
Design of bridges, amplifiers and filters. Panel meters, LED and LCD displays, moving coil meters, chart recorders and printers. Data acquisition with microcomputers. Smart sensors and intelligent instrumentation systems.
Physical construction and functional uses of power supplies. Linear regulators. Switched-mode power supplies. DC-DC converters. Batteries.
Sources of noise in electronic circuits. Thermal, shot and l/f noise. The Friis equation and low noise amplifiers. Noise reduction techniques.
EXAMPLES CLASS - GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MEASUREMENT AND INSTRUMENTATION
EXAMPLES CLASSES - SENSORS, SIGNAL CONDITIONING AND DATA PRESENTATION
EXAMPLES CLASS - NOISE
LABORATORY - TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM
Students will design, construct and test a temperature measurement system using a precision integrated-circuit temperature sensor.
LABORATORY - FORCE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM
Students will design, construct and test a force measurement system using load cells.
LABORATORY - LIGHT MEASUREMENT SYSTEM
Students will study, evaluate and test an optical sensor based light intensity measurement system.
LABORATORY POWER SUPPLIES
Students will design, construct and test a linear regulator circuit and compare its performance with a switching regulator.Read more
EL566 - Microwave Circuits and Electromagnetic Waves
TRANSMISSION LINES AND NETWORKS
Commonly used transmission lines. The equivalent circuit of a loss-less transmission line. The Wave equation and its solution. The phase velocity, the characteristic impedance, the reflection and transmission coefficients linked to the inductance and capacitance of the line. The relationship between L and C. Examples of step and pulses on a transmission line. Reflections and transmission from R, L & C and different lines.
Examples of sine waves on transmission lines. The phase constant and voltage standing wave ratio. Power in a wave. Examples transmission and reflection involving resistors and different lines.The propagation constant and attenuation constant. Scattering parameters as logarithmic reflection and transmission coefficients. Transmission line design and microwave network parameters. The Smith Chart and its application to transmission line network design.
Free space waves. TEM structure, and polarisation. Material properties: Conductivity, permeability and permittivity. Normal and oblique reflection from boundaries and transmission into materials, including those with loss. Snell's law, critical and Brewster angles.
Wave propagation down guiding structures metallic and dielectric waveguides and dielectric fibre. Waveguide components, modal field structures and cut-off frequency.
Overview of RF and microwave passive circuit components. Review of transmission lines and Scattering parameters. The Smith chart and it usage. Simple distributed circuit components: stubs, directional couplers, Wilkinson dividers.
Matching networks: two-component matching, practical design examples.
RF amplifiers: general performance criteria and design considerations. Amplifier stability. Practical design of narrow-band RF transistor amplifier.Read more
EL567 - Electronic and RF Circuit Design
COMPUTER AIDED CIRCUIT DESIGN
Circuit simulation methods: DC, transient and AC analysis. Component models. Statistical and temperature analysis.
Tutorials using circuit simulator software to explain the operation of and to analyse and design practical common electronic circuits.
Methods of filter design, the use of tables and transformations. Butterworth and Chebyshev filters and their design. Active filters, second order responses, multiple feedback filters, practical design examples.
Switched capacitor filters and their design.
Transients: revision of Laplace transform. Impulse and step responses. Time domain and complex frequency domain representations of circuit elements. Transient analysis of switching circuits with any input and initial conditions. Practical examples.
Practical work associated with this course is performed in a 2 day laboratory experiment, E7.
The exercises complement the lecture material and provide students with the necessary skills to enable them to design and characterise passive and active filters.
Basic RF communication systems. Diode and transistor detectors, mixer circuits. AM and FM modulator and demodulator circuits. Sinusoidal oscillator types and design principles.
Crystal oscillators. Introduction to phase locked loops and frequency synthesis.
Experiment E7 PASSIVE AND ACTIVE FILTER DESIGN
An experiment on the design, construction and testing of passive, active and switched capacitor filters.
WORKSHOPS COMPUTER AIDED CIRCUIT DESIGN
10, 2 hour assessed classes.
EXAMPLES CLASS FILTER DESIGN
One non assessed class.
EXAMPLES CLASS RF CIRCUITS
Two non-assessed classes.Read more
EL568 - Digital Implementation
AN INTRODUCTION TO VHDL
This course introduces the hardware description language, VHDL. A subset of the VHDL language is introduced, which enables moderately complex behavioural and structural models of digital components to be developed. Practical work associated with this course is performed using a Windows-based VHDL compiler and simulator. The Workshops complement the lecture material and provide students with the necessary skills to enable them to use VHDL in their third year projects.
DIGITAL SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
Real Logic Gates: voltage and current characteristics, noise immunity and fanout. The MOS
Transistor - detailed operation. Introduction to Stick diagrams.
CMOS Logic Gates. Clocked Logic. Registers, Shift registers.
Structure of Read/Write and Read Only memory cells. Storage mechanisms in Read Only Memories,
Static and Dynamic RAMs. DRAM Cell Design - 3 transistor and 1 transistor, row & column decoders. Memory Read and Write Cycles. Memory Addressing. Multiplexed Addressing. Address decoding, Memory system implementation, Processor-Memory Interfacing. Structure and operation of a small memory system based on RAM devices.
(CAD1 Introduction to VHDL Design). 2 days. Assessed.
WORKSHOPS: INTRODUCTION TO VHDL
Six, 2-hour workshops on VHDL/Xilinx, Two of these workshops are assessed.
EXAMPLES CLASS: DIGITAL SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION
A one-hour examples class. Assessed.
EXAMPLES CLASS: MEMORY INTERFACING
A one-hour examples class. Assessed.Read more
EL569 - Signals and Systems
INTRODUCTION TO SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS
Introduction to MATLAB functions for signals and systems. Introduction to signals and systems. Time-domain models. Frequency-domain models. Periodic signals and the Fourier Series. Non-Periodic Signals and the Fourier Transform.
Simple Continuous Time systems. Convolution. Impulse Response. Filtering of Continuous Time Signals. Sampling and Discrete-Time signals. The Sampling Theorem. Aliasing.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE LAPLACE TRANSFORM
The Laplace Transform and its application to signals and systems.
INTRODUCTION TO CONTROL SYSTEMS
Why control? Feedback. Review and revision of the Laplace Transform. The Transfer Function. Introducing Feedback into a system. Root Locus analysis. Proportional control systems, Integral control systems Derivative control systems. Introduction to the PID controller.
EXAMPLES CLASS - INTRODUCTION TO SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS
One assessed Examples Class.
WORKSHOPS - MATLAB FOR SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS
Directed study, including one marked assignment.
EXAMPLES CLASS - INTRODUCTION TO CONTROL SYSTEMS
One assessed Examples Class.
WORKSHOPS - MATLAB FOR CONTROL
Directed study examples, including one marked assignment.Read more
EL570 - Communications Principles
COMMUNICATION SYSTEM PRINCIPLES
Signals and spectra: the Fourier transform. Modulation/demodulation; AM. SSB/DSB. Angle modulation; narrow- and wide-band FM. Baseband signalling. Sampling and pulse modulation. PCM, PAM, PPM. Synchronous and asynchronous transmission. Line codes. Bit and word synchronisation. Band-limited channels, pulse shaping and ISI. Noisy channels and matched filters. Dispersive channels and equalisation. ASK, FSK, PSK and QPSK. Bandwidth and noise immunity of modulation formats. Spread spectrum communications. Pseudo random sequences. Direct sequence and frequency hopped systems.
COMMUNICATION NETWORKS PRINCIPLES
Network architecture, protocol stacks. Network topologies. Link layer and local area network protocols. Internet protocols.
EXPERIMENT COMMUNICATION NETWORKS PRINCIPLES
EXPERIMENT COMMUNICATION SYSTEM PRINCIPLES
EXAMPLES CLASSES COMMUNICATION SYSTEM PRINCIPLES
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EL600 - Project
INTRODUCTION TO THE 3RD YEAR PROJECT
POSTER DESIGN AND PRESENTATION
Students are expected to work two full days a week designing, building and testing their hardware and/or software.
Weekly meetings are held with the project supervisor throughout the year.
A literature review report is submitted in the beginning of the Autumn Term giving an introduction to the chosen project and the definition of the state-of-the-art in the field.
An oral presentation is required in the middle of the Autumn Term outlining the project and how it will be implemented (i.e., project plan- Gantt Chart).
The interim report is submitted at the end of the Autumn Term reporting the progress against the Gantt Chart of the project during the term.
POSTER DESIGN AND PRESENTATION
The poster is required at the end of the Lent Term giving an outline of the project. The poster presentation is required in the beginning of the Summer Term.
FINAL PROJECT REPORT, VIVA AND DEMONSTRATION
The final project report is submitted at the end of the Lent Term and is subject to a viva voce examination and demonstration. The final report is a formal documentary description of the project, including the introduction in the field, definition, aim and objectives of the project, detailed technical approaches, design, implementation and experimental results of the work completed.Read more
EL665 - Communication Systems
ANTENNAS AND PROPAGATION FOR MODERN WIRELESS SYSTEMS
Hertzian dipole, small loop, resonant dipoles and balanced/unbalanced transitions, patch and slot antennas, antenna matching, mutually coupled and phased arrays, reflector antennas, antenna measurement and CAD modelling. Wireless propagation, direct and 2-ray reflection, diffraction, scattering, Doppler spread, large and small scale Rayleigh fading. Outline of Radar, Stealth & RFID operation.
MOBILE TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS
Cellular concept: frequency reuse, channel assignment, handoff, system capacity, cell sectorization. 2G, 3G and 4G systems. Propagation in macrocells, microcells and picocells (indoor). Empirical models for signal strength. Narrow-band and wideband channels. MIMO transmission.
POINT TO POINT AND SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Review of methods of long distance communication. Microwave point to point links; capacity, atmospheric conditions, spatial and frequency diversity. Receivers, noise figure, BER, amplifier compression, frequency converters, antenna branching feed networks. Transmitter systems. analogue and digital systems. Satellite link architecture and link budgets. orbits, control, multiple access.
ANTENNAS AND PROPOAGATION FOR MODERN WIRELESS SYSTEMS
MOBILE TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS
POINT TO POINT AND SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMSRead more
EL677 - Digital Communication Systems
INFORMATION THEORY AND CODING
Information theory. Shannon channel capacity. Source coding. Single and matrix parity codes, Hamming distance and error protection properties. Code classification; Block, convolutional, linear, nonlinear, cyclic codes: definition, generator polynomial, encoding and decoding. Convolutional codes; Encoder trees and trellis diagrams, free distance, Viterbi algorithm.
Network types, applications: architectures and topologies. General characteristics of traffic. Characteristics of circuit and packet switching. The access network: telephony and ISDN. Wireless access and mobile communications. The transport network: PDH and SDH. Traffic theory. Modern telecoms networks:WDM, intelligent networks. Data networks: multiple access techniques. LAN access protocols: Ethernet, Wireless LANs, network interconnection. Wide-area packet switched networks, Internet Protocol (IP), TCP; TCP/IP protocols.
OPTICAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
Fundamentals. Propagation in fibres. General system considerations. Optical sources: LEDs and lasers; types, modulation effects, performance. Optical detectors: PIN and avalanche photodiodes. Optical amplifiers, modulators and filters. Receiver performance. System power budget; noise and dispersion. Modulation formats, coherent systems, multiplexing including WDM. Future systems.
INFORMATION THEORY AND CODING
2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.
2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.
OPTICAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.Read more
EL671 - Product Development
PRODUCT DESIGN and PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY
Eight hours of lectures covering specification and design considerations for electronic products including the use of design and manufacturing standards, product safety considerations, sustainable manufacture and product qualification. PCB design, fabrication and assembly techniques are discussed, including electrostatic damage in the field and the production environment, assembly techniques (surface mount and conventional) and inspection, test and reworking during the manufacturing procedure, plus design verification.
Eight hours of lectures introducing techniques for managing electromagnetic compatibility of products in design, manufacture and use. This includes electromagnetic interference (EMI) in the near and far field-regions, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and EMC testing, conducted EMI and filtering, signal conductors and grounding schemes. Students are introduced to the European EMC directive.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT and SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Four hours of lectures providing an introduction to the principles of good project management and systems engineering, including project planning and review, governance, risk management and product safety management. The lectures will also introduce the use of management Standards such as ISO 9000, commercial and contractual considerations, ethical considerations, and managing intellectual property.
Four hours of lectures will aim to introduce the importance of financial management for engineering covering the principles and importance of corporate finance and financial management within the business and project. The lectures will also provide an introduction to accountancy and financial statements; discuss entrepreneurship and introduce the financial liabilities of companies and directors; the treatment of assets and the evaluation of net present value will also be considered.Read more
EL673 - Digital Systems Design
DIGITAL SYSTEM REALISATION
These lectures will: Develop techniques for reliable system design using strictly synchronous design methods. Introduce synthesis tools which map VHDL architecture to FPGAs and consider how to get the best performance from these tools. Review alternative technologies available for implementing digital systems. A practical lab-based assignment will be carried out to gain experience of VHDL design and hardware implementation.
DATA PATH DESIGN
CMOS VLSI revision,
Data Path Component building blocks, e.g. Function Blocks, Manchester Carry Chain, ALU, Register Files, Shifters, Structure of Programmable Logic Arrays and their use in the control of the Data Path.
Testing chips, boards and systems. Single stuck fault models, fault dictionary, test pattern generation.
Formal approaches to testability improvement. Scan path techniques.
Boundary scan approach to chip/board testing. IEEE1149.1 Boundary scan - Structure and operation.
ASSIGNMENT - DIGITAL SYSTEM REALISATION
EXAMPLES CLASS - DATA PATH DESIGN
EXAMPLES CLASS - FORMAL TESTABILITYRead more
EL676 - Digital Signal Processing and Control
AN INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL SIGNALS AND SYSTEMS
ADC and DAC, The sampling Theorem, The Discrete Fourier Transform, The Fast Fourier Transform, The z-Transform, pole-zero diagrams, Transfer Functions, Stability
DIGITAL FILTERS AND DIGITAL FILTER DESIGN
An introduction to digital filters. FIR Filters: design, implementation and applications, Windowing Functions, IIR Filters: design implementation and applications. Matlab Tools for Filter Design and implementation. Applications of DSP. Hardware architectures for DSP
Implications of digital implementation of feedback control systems. Analogue design using Root Locus analysis and Bode Plots. Controller Emulation Methods. Direct digital design of feedback control systems.
APPLICATIONS OF FEEDBACK CONTROL
Case Studies: Motor Speed Control; Position Control; Aircraft Pitch Control; Robot Control - for example
Digital Control Design
Two assessed directed study MATLAB DSP examples.
Directed study MATLAB CONTROL examples.
Control Experiment using MATLAB.Read more
EL667 - Embedded Computer Systems
INTRODUCTION TO MBED
Introduction to the mbed microcontroller system. Structure of the mbed, data input/output, serial communications, interrupts and timers. Compiling and downloading code to the mbed.
EMBEDDED AND REAL TIME SYSTEMS
An introduction to operating systems. Real time operating system features. Concurrent processes and priority. Synchronising processes. Hardware and operating system constraints. Deadlines and real time scheduling. Inter-task communication, message passing and threads. Multi-processor systems and redundancy. Hardware for real time. Safety critical systems. Case studies.
MICROCOMPUTER ARCHITECTURE APPLICATIONS AND PERFORMANCE
A series of case studies illustrating design and performance issues for real-time embedded systems leading to an introduction for the assignment to control a petrol engine.
ASSIGNMENT - RTOS DEMONSTRATOR
This laboratory uses a hardware platform to develop an RTOS application and to monitor its performance.
ASSIGNMENT - MICROCOMPUTER ARCHITECTURE APPLICATIONS AND PEFORMANCE
This laboratory assignment is concerned with the control of the ignition timing of a simulated petrol engine. A microcomputer is programmed in 'C' to generate the spark at the appropriate time.Read more
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL750 - Systems Group Project
PROJECT PLANNING AND THE PROPOSAL
An introduction to the use of tools such as MS Project. An introduction to group working and managing group projects. An explanation of the requirements for the project proposal.
FINAL REPORT WRITING AND PRESENTATION
An explanation of the requirements for the final report, presentation and demonstration, and poster.
This is a significant group project. Team members have their own individual contributions as well as shared c ontributions. For the individual contributions it is essential that good management and control practices are followed to ensure the interfacing of the contributions. The project has the following features:-
(1) Each group is supervised by a team of academic staff who provide a brief description of what is required for the project. These initial project descriptions are moderated by the module team to ensure the engineering challenge is sufficient and that module learning outcomes can be attained.
(2) The group responds to the brief by producing a written proposal for the work required, which is also presented. The proposal will clearly indicate the component parts of the system required in the project and attribute responsibilities to the group members.
(3) Project support is provided by weekly meetings with academic members of staff (the staff members present depending on t he progress of the work); interaction with external industrial/professional advisers will also occur on a regular timetabled basis.
(4) Project assessment includes the following components:
- a written proposal for the project combining an explanation of technical approach with that of project management (Term 1)
- a group presentation of the above (Term 1)
- an interim presentation of the project progress (Term 1/Term 2)
- a final report on the project (end of Term 2)
- a poster on the project results, made in the style of the School (Term 2)
- a presentation and demonstration of the project results (Term 3)
- logbooks and performance in supervisions are assessed by the project supervisor when assessing the project final report
- personal development planning: individual self-assessment (end of Term 2)
- peer assessment: students are asked to meet, agree and report on the performance of each term member.
Type: 25 weekly project group supervisions in Terms 1, 2 and 3 with academic supervisors.
There will also be ad-hoc supervisions with visiting staff acting as advisors, also in Terms 1 and 2.
The supervisions with academic supervisors will provide the main technical direction for the work. The supervisions with visiting staff will provide guidance on the project organisation and management, and the interfacing between the component parts of the project; technical guidance on particular aspects of the project work may also be provided in consultation with the academic supervisor.
Three workshops with Visiting Staff on Systems Project Management:
1. Introduction to Systems Engineering: Engineering Systems in the Real (Messy) World.
2. Project Management and "Level 2" Systems Engineering.
3. User Centred Design and "Level 3" Systems Engineering.
One 2-hour laboratory session introducing and practising the use of MS project.Read more
EL876 - Advanced Control Systems
This course is concerned with the design of practical feedback controllers. Feedback is used in a control system to change the dynamics of the plant or process, and to reduce the sensitivity of the system to uncertainty from external signals (for example, disturbances and noise) and model uncertainty. If the performance specifications are achieved in the presence of the expected uncertainties, then the control is said to be robust.
CONTROL FUNDEMENTALS AND MODELLING
Methods for modelling engineering processes, state space representation, controllability and observability. The feedback control paradigm.
DIGITAL FEEDBACK CONTROL
Implications of digital implementation of feedback control systems. Controller Emulation Methods. Direct digital design of feedback control systems. Case study examples.
NONLINEAR CONTROL SYSTEMS
Characteristics of nonlinear system behaviour, Phase-plane methods, Variable-structure systems and sliding-mode control. Case study examples.
Digital control design, modelling and control fundamentals, nonlinear control techniques.
Advanced Control Systems
INDUSTRIAL CASE STUDY
A real-life, open-ended control problem will be assigned to each student for suitable solutionRead more
EL893 - Reconfigurable Architectures
An Introduction to reconfigurable systems. PLDs, PLAs, FPGAs. Fine grain architectures, Coarse grain architectures, Heterogeneous device Architectures. Case studies. Configuration of FPGA's. Run-time configuration, partial configuration, dynamic reconfiguration. Partitioning systems onto a reconfigurable fabric. Synthesis tools. Timing issues. Verification and Test strategies.
An introduction to Hardware Description Languages. VHDL will be used to illustrate a typical HDL (but this may change to or include Verilog in future). The lectures will define the architectural aspects of a VHDL : entity, architecture, process, package, types, operators, libraries, hierarchy, test benches and synthesisable VHDL. Workshops and laboratories will be used to illustrate how VHDL code is synthesised on to physical hardware devices and a number of challenging practical design examples will be used to illustrate the process.
Basic computer arithmetic and its implementation on reconfigurable logic architectures. Fixed-point and Floating point number representations. The IEEE-754 FP standard. Redundant Number Systems. Residue Number Systems. Methods for Addition and Subtraction. Fast adder architectures. Multi-operand addition. Multiplication: Multiplier architectures; Constant coefficient multipliers; Distributed arithmetic; LUT methods. Special methods: division, square root, the CORDIC algorithm. High-throughput arithmetic. Low-power arithmetic.Read more
Teaching and assessment
Teaching includes practical work in conventional laboratory experiments or projects, lecture modules and examples classes, which develop your problem-solving skills, and staff hold regular ‘surgeries’ where you can discuss any questions you have. 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 Stage 3 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 who are well-equipped for professional careers in development, research and production in industry and universities, and who are well-adapted to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing subject
- produce professional electronic engineers with a well-balanced knowledge of electronic engineering
- enable students to satisfy the professional requirements of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
- provide academic guidance and welfare support for students
- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students in an environment where students can develop their potential
- produce high-calibre professional engineers with advanced knowledge of modern electronic communication systems
- enable students to fully satisfy all of the educational requirements for Membership of the IET and Chartered Engineer status.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- mathematical principles relevant to electronic and communications engineering
- scientific principles and methodology relevant to electronic and communications engineering
- advanced concepts of analogue and digital circuits and systems, telecommunications and instrumentation
- the value of intellectual property and contractual issues
- business and management techniques that may be used to achieve engineering objectives
- the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in electronic engineering
- current manufacturing practice with particular emphasis on product safety and Electromagnetic Compatibililty (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
- electronic digital communication systems and developing technologies
- mathematical and computer models for analysis of digital communication systems
- design processes relevant to communication systems
- the characteristics of materials, equipment, processes and products.
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- analyse and solve problems in electronic engineering using appropriate mathematical methods
- other engineering disciplines to support study of electronic engineering
- use of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to analyse key electronic engineering processes
- identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques
- a systems approach to electronic engineering problems
- investigate and define a problem and identify constraints including cost drivers, economic, environmental, health and safety and risk assessment issues
- use creativity to establish innovative, aesthetic solutions while understanding customer and user needs, ensuring fitness for purpose of all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal
- demonstrate the economic and environmental context of the engineering solution
- the fundamental knowledge to explore new and emerging technologies
- the limitations of mathematical and computer-based problem solving and assess the impact in particular cases
- extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem and apply it in the solution
- evaluate commercial risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks
- apply engineering techniques, taking account of commercial and industrial constraints.
You gain subject-specific knowledge in the following:
- mathematical techniques to analyse problems in electronic engineering
- the ability to work in an engineering laboratory environment and to use a wide range of electronic equipment, workshop equipment and computer-aided design (CAD) tools for the practical realisation of electronic circuits
- the ability to work with technical uncertainty
- apply quantitative methods and computer software relevant to electronic engineering in order to solve engineering problems
- the ability to design electronic circuits or systems to fulfil a product specification and devise tests to appraise performance
- an 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 and apply it to a design
- applying management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a design project and evaluating outcomes
- preparing technical reports and presentations
- applying business, management and professional issues to engineering projects
- applying knowledge of design processes in unfamiliar situations and generate innovative designs to fulfil new requirements.
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- generating, analysing, presenting and interpreting data
- using information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills and to work as part of a team
- communicating in various forms: written, verbal and visual
- learning effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development
- critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- managing time and resources within an individual project and a group project.
Our graduates go into careers in areas such as:
- electronic engineering and computing
- telecommunications industries including radio, television and satellite communications;
- medical electronics, instrumentation and industrial process control.
They have gone on to work in companies including:
- BAE Systems
- the Royal Navy
- British Energy
Some graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study, for example, MSc in Broadband and Mobile Communication Networks, Embedded Systems and Instrumentation or Information Security and Biometrics.
In addition to the technical skills you acquire on this programme, you also gain key transferable skills including:
- presenting complex material in an accessible way
- working independently and in a team
- the confidence to develop your own ideas.
The course didn’t just teach me the technical knowledge needed to be an engineer, it taught me how to solve problems and how to approach engineering challenges.Scott Broadley Electronic and Communications Engineering MEng
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.