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

Overview

Spectacular advances in electronics, computing and communications have made a huge impact on modern life. Studying Electronic and Communications Engineering at Kent you become a part of this revolution, and gain the knowledge and skills to make your own mark in this exciting field.

Electronics-based products play a vital role in our daily lives.  Examples include diagnostic equipment used in modern hospitals, broadband, satellite, and wireless communication technologies, and consumer electronics in the home.  At Kent, our research led degrees mean our graduates can work at the forefront of the major areas of electronic engineering and you will combine theory with practical and project work, turning ideas into real systems.  

We have strong links with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and our student work has won international prizes.  Also, our visiting industrial professors contribute a strong industrial relevance of our courses. 

Our degree programme

The Foundation Year aims to extend access to university education to students from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and age groups and prepares these students for our three-year Engineering degrees. 

In your Foundation Year, 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. On successful completion of your Foundation Year, you move on to the first year of our BEng programme.

Our BEng programme covers all aspects of electronic engineering, which means on graduation you can enter any branch of electronics.

Your first year lays the foundation for the rest of your studies and includes modules on computer systems, electronic circuits, engineering analysis and mathematics. You also complete a robotics project which gives you the chance to construct a robot.

In your second year, you further develop your understanding of the field, gaining further practical experience. As your knowledge grows you discover which areas particularly interest you, so that in your final year you can begin to specialise in preparation for your final-year project.

Study resources

We provide first-class facilities to support your studies, including:

  • 120-seat multi-purpose engineering laboratory
  • four air-conditioned computer suites housing around 150 high-end computers
  • CAD and development software
  • PCB and surface-mount facilities
  • an anechoic chamber
  • mechanical workshop staffed with skilled mechanical engineers.

Kent School of Engineering and Digital Arts is undergoing a £3 million redevelopment and modernisation which is due for completion in July 2020. You gain state-of-the-art engineering and design facilities which include:

  • a virtual reality suite
  • a production studio (including photography, video and green screen facilities)
  • a large teaching and design studio
  • engineering workshop and fabrication facilities
  • a dedicated makerspace. 

Extra activities

There are many ways to get involved in School life. You could become a student representative, giving students a voice on School committees or become a student ambassador and work with us in secondary schools to promote engineering and technology.

We also host events where you can meet industry experts and former students.

In addition, you can take part in student-led societies including:

  • TinkerSoc – a society that embraces all forms of technology, where you build, hack and make things.

Professional networks

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 programmes.

Student profiles

Krisha Kanumuru
There’s a lot of support. If you go to the lecturers they will definitely help you out.

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. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made. Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    DDD. Contact Admissions Officer for details.

  • Certificate

    GCSE

    Mathematics and Physics/Science grade C

  • Certificate

    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.

  • Certificate

    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. A typical offer would be Merit, Merit, Pass.

  • Certificate

    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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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 advice 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. 

Form

Stay connected

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent.  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required

You're almost there...

Just a little more information and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the University of Kent.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

Modules

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 ‘elective’ 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.

Compulsory modules currently include

This module introduces students to the mathematics of calculus and its applications in engineering. Examples classes are provided to support the student learning.

Find out more about EL021

This module introduces students to the basic principles of electro-magnetism and electrostatics that are necessary in order to understand modern electronic and communications systems. Practical work and examples classes are included to assist the student learning.

Find out more about EL024

Electrical Circuits

Electrical quantities, circuit concepts, circuit calculations.

Engineering Mechanics

Mechanical quantities, static and dynamic laws and examples of their application in electronic and mechanical engineering

Practical work and examples classes are included to assist the student learning

Find out more about EL025

This module introduces students to basic electronic components and circuits. By the end of this module students should be able to understand the operation of some important electronic circuits.

It also extends the work on mechanics to include rotary and oscillatory motion, basic mechanical properties of materials and fluid statics.

Find out more about EL026

This module consists of a series of lectures, laboratory sessions and example classes. Topics covered include logic gates and their associated arithmetic with applications. It also introduces materials used in electronic and mechanical engineering and their practical applications. Elementary alternating current circuit theory is also introduced.

Find out more about EL027

In order to support laboratory experiments to be performed in other modules a short series of lectures on report writing and experimental error analysis is included.

A series of lectures will introduce a microcontroller and its programming language in an informal way. The aim is to enable the student to input and output signals to a microcontroller to control simple actuators. The programming skills will be developed in a series of non-assessed and assessed laboratory based assignments where students will be presented with a pre-written programme and they will be asked to make changes to achieve a change in its operation.

Also included in this module is an assigned mini project that can either be electronic or mechanical in nature depending on the preference of the student. Students are expected to build, test and report on the operation of the project and make suggestions for its improvement.

A short series of lectures which introduce students to University study.

Find out more about EL033

This module introduces fundamental methods needed for the study of mathematical subjects at degree level.

a) Functions and graphs: plotting, roots, intercepts, turning points, area (graphical methods), co-ordinate geometry of straight lines, parallel and perpendicular lines, applications to plots of experimental data, quadratics, introduction to the trigonometric functions

b) Trigonometry: radians, properties of sine and cosine functions, other trigonometric functions, compound angle formulae and subsequent results, solving trigonometric equations

c) Geometry: circles and ellipses, right-angled triangles, SOHCAHTOA, trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions, sine and cosine rule, opposite and alternate angle theorems, applications to geometry problems

d) Vectors: notion of a vector, representation of vectors, addition, subtraction and scaling, magnitude, scalar product, basis vectors in 2 and 3 dimensions

Find out more about MA022

  • 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

    Find out more about PH020

  • Stage 1

    Compulsory modules currently include

    The module provides techniques to design electronic circuits containing active and passive components and to appreciate the power issues and frequency response of circuits containing reactive elements. An introduction will be given to Electromagnetism for engineering purposes. An understanding of the fundamentals of Electronic Engineering is assumed and the module proceeds via a sequence of lectures supported by simple exercises designed to give practical experience of the concepts introduced in the lectures.

    Find out more about EL303

    The module provides an introduction to the basic knowledge required to understand, design and work with basic electronic circuits and the basic principles underlying the process of Electronic Engineering. No previous electronics experience is assumed and the module proceeds via a sequence of lectures supported by simple exercises designed to give practical experience of the concepts introduced in the lectures.

    Find out more about EL305

    The module provides a first attempt to translate a problem into a technical solution. An understanding of the relevant software and electronic hardware options to create a functional solution centred around a microcontroller will be developed. Design skills will be applied to define and fabricate the physical solution informed by the original requirement. An understanding of the fundamentals of Electronic Engineering is assumed and the module proceeds via lectures supported by supervision and technical advice. It is designed to give practical experience of the concepts introduced in the lectures of the prerequisite module.

    Find out more about EL311

    The module provides an introduction to the basic knowledge required to understand, design and write computer programs and the basic principles underlying the process of Software Engineering. No previous programming experience is assumed and the module proceeds via a sequence of lectures supported by simple exercises designed to give practical experience of the concepts introduced in the lectures.

    Find out more about EL313

    This module provides an introduction to contemporary digital systems design. Starting with the fundamental building blocks of digital systems the module outlines both theoretical and practical issues for implementation. Practical work includes the use of digital simulation and analysis software for implementing real-world problems.

    Find out more about EL315

    Mathematics is the fundamental language of engineering, allowing complex ideas to be formulated and developed. This course provides the sound basis of mathematical techniques and methods required by almost all other modules in the department's engineering courses. Topics covered include functions, set theory, complex numbers, calculus, linear algebra, statistics and probability. The lectures are supported by assessed examples classes, taken in small groups.

    Find out more about EL318

    This module expands the introductory mathematics covered in EL318 and provides students with the appropriate mathematical tools necessary for the further study of electronic, mechanical and computer systems. The main emphasis of the course is in applied calculus, which isused to solve real-world engineering problems.. The lectures are supported by assessed examples classes, taken in small groups.

    Find out more about EL319

    Mechanics:

    Forces, moments and Equilibrium of rigid bodies

    Dynamics of linear and rotary motion

    Angular momentum, work and energy

    Elementary stress-strain analysis

    Engineering Design:

    Transformation of a client requirement into an engineering design statement

    Decomposition and evaluation of design requirements

    Consideration of the human and ergonomic factors in the design process

    CAD based drawings and models via CAD tools

    Realisation of CAD models using computer numerical control manufacturing machines

    Find out more about EL323

    Fees

    The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates for 2020/21 entry are £9,250:

    • Home full-time £9250
    • International full-time £20500

    For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

    Full-time tuition fees for Home undergraduates in 2020 were £9,250.

    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.* 

    EU students

    Kent is supporting its EU students as the UK leaves the EU with a special EU fee offered for students joining in 2021 for the duration of their programmes. EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for courses starting in academic year 2021/22. It will not affect students starting courses in academic year 2020/21, nor those EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

    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.

    Additional costs

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    Contact Hours

    For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

    Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

    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.

    Teaching Excellence Framework

    All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

    Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

    Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

    Independent rankings

    Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent scored 90% overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

    Over 94% of Electronic and Electrical Engineering graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

    Careers

    Graduate destinations

    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 Advanced Communication Engineering (RF Technology and Communications), Advanced Electronic Systems Engineering and Information Security and Biometrics.

    Professional recognition

    For over 30 years, our BEng and MEng courses in Electronic and Communications Engineering have been accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which enables fast-track career progression as a professional engineer.

    Help finding a job

    The School of Engineering and Digital Arts holds an annual Employability and Careers Day where you can meet local and national employers and discuss career opportunities. Ongoing support is provided by the School’s dedicated Employability Officer.

    The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:

    • apply for jobs
    • write a good CV
    • perform well in interviews.

    Career-enhancing skills

    In addition to the technical skills you acquire on this programme, you also gain key transferable skills including:

    • planning and organisation
    • leadership
    • effective communication. 

    You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

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

    Full-time applicants

    Full-time applicants (including international applicants) should apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system. If you need help or advice on your application, you should speak with your careers adviser or contact UCAS Customer Contact Centre. 

    The institution code number for the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

    Application deadlines

    See the UCAS website for an outline of the UCAS process and application deadlines. 

    If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

    Apply through UCAS

    Contact us

    bubble-text

    United Kingdom/EU enquiries

    Enquire online for full-time study

    T: +44 (0)1227 768896

    earth

    International student enquiries

    Enquire online

    T: +44 (0)1227 823254
    E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

    Discover Uni information

    DiscoverUni logo

    Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

    Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

    It includes:

    • Information and guidance about higher education
    • Information about courses
    • Information about providers

    Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.