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Undergraduate Courses 2017
Applying through clearing?
Clearing applicants and others planning to start in 2016 should view Electronic and Computer Systems for 2016 entry.

Electronic and Computer Systems - BEng (Hons)

Canterbury

Overview

The Electronic and Computer Systems BEng is designed to allow suitably qualified students, such as successful Engineering Foundation Degree graduates, to take a one-year Stage 3 course. This leads to the same level of qualification as for students taking a traditional three-year course.

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 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, and you have the opportunity to spend a year working in industry, which improves your skills and career prospects.

Independent rankings

In the National Student Survey 2015, the School of Engineering and Digital Arts was ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction.

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.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

EL600 - Project (45 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



INTRODUCTION TO THE 3RD YEAR PROJECT

RESEARCH TECHNIQUES

POSTER DESIGN

REPORT WRITING



Coursework



LITERATURE REVIEW

ORAL PRESENTATION

INTERIM REPORT

POSTER DESIGN AND PRESENTATION



LABORATORIES

Students are expected to work two full days a week designing, building and testing their hardware and/or software.



SUPERVISIONS

Weekly meetings are held with the project supervisor throughout the year.



LITERATURE REVIEW

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.



ORAL PRESENTATION

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).



INTERIM REPORT

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.

Credits: 45 credits (22.5 ECTS credits).

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EL665 - Communication Systems (15 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



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.



Coursework



EXAMPLES CLASSES



ANTENNAS AND PROPOAGATION FOR MODERN WIRELESS SYSTEMS



MOBILE TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS



POINT TO POINT AND SATELLITE COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL667 - Embedded Computer Systems (15 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



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.



Coursework



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.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL671 - Product Development (15 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



PRODUCT DESIGN and PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY

A series of 10 x 1 hour 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



ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY

A series of 8 x 1 hour 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

Two x 2 hour 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.



FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Two x 2 hour 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 discuss entrepreneurship and introduce the financial liabilities of companies and directors, the treatment of assets and the evaluation of net present value.



Coursework



ASSIGNMENT – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

One assessed assignment

.

ASSIGNMENT - PROJECT MANAGEMENT and SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

One assessed assignment.



ASSIGNMENT - PRODUCT DESIGN and PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY

Two assessed assignments.



EXAMPLES CLASS - ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY

Two classes, one of which is an assessed test.



ASSIGNMENT - EMC: TESTING AND PREVENTION

One assessed assignment.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL676 - Digital Signal Processing and Control (15 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



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



FEEDBACK CONTROL

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





Coursework



EXAMPLES CLASS

Digital Control Design



WORKSHOP

Two assessed directed study MATLAB DSP examples.



WORKSHOP

Directed study MATLAB CONTROL examples.



LABORATORY

DSP Experiment.



LABORATORY

Control Experiment using MATLAB.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL677 - Digital Communication Systems (15 credits)

Lecture Syllabus



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.



COMMUNICATION NETWORKS

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.





Coursework



INFORMATION THEORY AND CODING

2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.



COMMUNICATION NETWORKS

2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.



OPTICAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

2 one-hour examples classes. Assessed.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & 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 3 modules, with the exception of the Stage 3 project, are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination. The programme includes project work to replicate industrial practice and develop skills to maximise employability.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • enable students who have gained 240 credits on equivalent modules to those on our Stage 1 and 2 Electronic and Communications Engineering programme to obtain a top-up to a full BEng Honours degree
  • educate students to become engineers, well equipped for professional careers in development, research and production in industry and universities, who are well adapted to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing subject
  • produce professional engineers with specialist skills in hardware and software
  • provide academic guidance and welfare support for students
  • create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and provide an environment where students can develop their potential.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the mathematical principles relevant to electronic and communications engineering
  • scientific principles and methodology required in 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 Compatiility (EMC) standards and directives
  • characteristics of materials, equipment, processes and products
  • codes of practice, industry standards and quality issues
  • contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • analysis and solution of problems in electronic engineering using relevant mathematical methods
  • apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support the study of electronic engineering
  • deploy engineering principles and 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
  • apply and understand 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 an engineering solution.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • use of mathematical techniques to analyse problems in electronic engineering
  • the ability to work in an engineering laboratory environment and 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 to solve engineering problems
  • design electronic circuits or systems to fulfil a product specification and devise tests to appraise performance
  • awareness of the nature of intellectual property and contractual issues and an understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards
  • the ability to use technical literature and other information sources and apply it to a design
  • apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a design project and evaluate outcomes
  • prepare technical reports and presentations.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
  • use of Information and Communications Technology
  • personal and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work as part of a team
  • communication by various means: written, verbal and visual
  • to learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development
  • critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
  • the ability to manage time and resources within an individual project and a group project.

Careers

Our graduates go into careers such as: electronic engineering and computing; telecommunications industries including radio, television and satellite communications; medical electronics, instrumentation and industrial process control, in companies including BAE Systems, Nokia, the Royal Navy, Xilinx, British Energy and RDDS. They also frequently go on to postgraduate study, for example, MSc in Broadband and Mobile Communication Networks, Embedded Systems and Instrumentation or Information Security and Biometrics.

Entry requirements

This programme is an intensive one year top-up programme for applicants who will  have completed one of the following:

  • A HNC/HND in an appropriate subject (such as Electrical/Electronic Engineering).
  • Foundation Degree in an appropriate subject (such as Electrical/Electronic Engineering).
  • Successfully completed two years of an appropriate honours degree programme.

The applicants will need to be individually considered by the Admissions Officer as the suitability of the programme will depend on the syllabus of HNC/HND/FD/Honours Degree and the grades obtained in individual modules.

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 the Admissions Office 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
Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required 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 via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
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 through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our funding opportunities for 2017 entry have not been finalised. However, details of our proposed funding opportunities for 2016 entry can be found on our funding page.  

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. Details of the scholarship for 2017 entry have not yet been finalised. However, for 2016 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our scholarships pages. Please review the eligibility criteria on that page. 

Enquire or order a prospectus

Resources

Read our student profiles

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Fees

The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £16480

The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.

The University of Kent intends to increase its regulated full-time tuition fees for all Home and EU undergraduates starting in September 2017 from £9,000 to £9,250. This is subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise by 2.8%.

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.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

Key Information Sets


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.

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000