Computer Systems Engineering

Electronic and Communications Engineering with a Foundation Year - BEng (Hons)

UCAS code H605

2018

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.

Overview

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. 

This programme gives those who do not have the qualifications for direct entry on to our three-year Electronic and Communications Engineering degree the opportunity to undertake a foundation year before moving on to the full degree programme. You are mainly taught by the University's academic staff via lectures, example classes and laboratory sessions and the knowledge you gain is, in most cases, equivalent to A-level standard. While in your foundation year, you can take part in all student activities.

Our teaching is research-led so you get to know about the latest cutting-edge technologies, and the courses 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. 

Student profiles

We are sure you will find your time at Kent enjoyable and rewarding.

See what our students have to say.

Independent rankings

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.

Course structure

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.

Foundation year

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 Electronic and Communications Engineering programmes mentioned above or Computer Systems Engineering.

Possible modules may include Credits

Lecture Syllabus

Differentiation

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

Integration

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.

Coursework.

Examples Class

Differentiation - 3 hours

Integration - 5 hours

Homework

Calculus x 4

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Lecture Syllabus

Electrostatics

Introduction – Charge

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

Electric field between parallel plates Breakdown field of insulators Equipotentials

Electric flux density

Capacitance of a parallel plate capacitor

Dielectrics

Magnetism

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.

Coursework

Laboratory Classes

There will be 3 x 3 hour laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are: Magnetic field around a long wire

Charging capacitors

Parallel plate capacitor

Example Classes

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.

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Lecture Syllabus

REPORT WRITING

Forms of reports

Structure of a report

Conclusions

DC CIRCUITS Introduction

– S.I. units Charge flow and current Electrical power and energy

Circuit elements: voltage sources, resistance

Ohm's Law

Kirchhoff's Laws

Simple electrical circuits involving resistors Circuits involving series and parallel elements Potential divider and current divider

Real voltage sources and current sources

Thevenin's theorem

Superposition Theorem

MEASUREMENTS

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

Coursework

LABORATORY CLASSES

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)

EXAMPLES CLASSES

DC Circuits - 5 hours

Measurements - 3 hours

Assessed by 1 two-hour test in conjunction with modules EL026 and EL027.

HOMEWORK

DC Circuits x 1

Measurements x 1

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Lecture Syllabus

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

AC CIRCUITS

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

Coursework

LABORATORY CLASSES

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)

EXAMPLES CLASSES

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.

HOMEWORK

Electronic Circuits and Systems x 2

AC Circuits x 1

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Lecture Syllabus

SEMICONDUCTOR 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

Zener diodes

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

Truth tables

Logic gates in electronics Networks of logic gates Simple Boolian algebra Real life applications Simple Memory elements Digital numbers

Coursework

LABORATORY CLASSES

There will be 4 x 3 hour laboratory classes. The titles of the laboratory experiments are: Logic gate experiment

Transistor switch

P-N junctions

Bipolar transistor amplifier

EXAMPLES CLASSES

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.

HOMEWORK

Digital Electronics x 1

Semiconductor Electronics x 1

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Lecture Syllabus

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

User-defined functions

Introduction to Plotting: Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, Multiple Plots and Animation

Additional data types: Cell arrays, Structures and Graphics handles.

Coursework

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.

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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.

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  • Arithmetic

    Calculations

    Significant figures

    Standard form

    Fractions

    Simplification of fractions

    Percentages and fractional changes

    Indices

    Logarithmic and exponential functions

  • Algebra

    Basic rules (operations and indices).

    Solving equations (substitution and order of operation).

    Changing subject of a formula

    Inverse operations

    Rules of indices

    Long division

    Expansion and Factorisation

    Quadratic equations

    Solving linear and simultaneous equations

    Partial fractions

    Binomial Theorem

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    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.

    Programme aims

    The programme aims to:

    • provide students with a firm foundation in electronics, mathematics and practical skills necessary for higher level courses
    • develop in students a range of transferable skills of general value
    • offer students an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning
    • provide academic guidance and welfare support for students
    • create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and an environment in which students can develop their potential.

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding

    You gain knowledge and understanding of:

    • mathematical principles relevant to electronic engineering
    • scientific principles and methodology relevant to electronic engineering
    • characteristics of materials, equipment, processes and products.

    Intellectual skills

    You gain the following intellectual abilities:

    • analysis and solution of problems in electronic engineering using appropriate mathematical methods
    • 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.

    Subject-specific skills

    You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

    • use of mathematical techniques to analyse and solve hardware and software problems
    • 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
    • analysing experimental and simulation results and determining their strength and validity
    • applying quantitative methods and computer software relevant to electronic engineering to solve engineering problems
    • preparing technical reports and presentations.

    Transferable skills

    You gain transferable skills in the following:

    • the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
    • the use of information and communications technology
    • personal and interpersonal skills and working as part of a team
    • communicating in various forms: written, verbal and visual
    • learning effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development
    • applying critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
    • managing time and resources within an individual project and a group project.

    Careers

    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
    • Nokia
    • the Royal Navy
    • Xilinx
    • British Energy
    • RDDS. 

    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 the ability to present complex material in an accessible way, the ability to work independently and in a team, and 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

    Entry requirements

    Home/EU students

    The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. 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.

    Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
    A level

    DDD. Contact Admissions Officer for details.

    GCSE

    Grade C in Mathematics and Physics/Science

    Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

    If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 12 points at HL

    International students

    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.

    Fees

    The 2018/19 entry tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

    UK/EU Overseas
    Full-time £9250 £16480

    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.* 

    Your fee status

    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

    Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

    Funding

    University funding

    Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

    Government funding

    You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

    Scholarships

    General scholarships

    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. 

    For 2018/19 entry, 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.

    Krisha Kanumuru

    There’s a lot of support. If you go to the lecturers they will definitely help you out. And it’s nice to sit and have a chat with them about engineering

    The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

    Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

    If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

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