Computer Systems Engineering

Electronic and Computer Systems (top-up, non-accredited) - BEng (Hons)

UCAS code H691

2020

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.

2020

Overview

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 degree programme

You study the principles and methodology of electronic and communications engineering and gain specialist skills in hardware and software. Subjects covered include electronic circuit and system design, embedded systems design and control engineering.

Our teaching is research-led so you get to know about the latest cutting-edge technologies, and this one-year programme combines theory with vitally important practical and project work – the chance to turn ideas into real systems.

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
  • 3D body scanner
  • motion-capture studio
  • 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 courses.

Independent rankings

Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 11th for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

For graduate prospects, Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 13th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

Of Electronic and Electrical Engineering students who graduated from Kent in 2017 and completed a national survey, over 94% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE).

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.

TEF Gold logo

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 ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

Introduction to the project, research techniques, poster design, report structure and writing.

View full module details
45

This module presents the main principles of modern communication systems and how these are applied in real communications systems. The module provides specialist knowledge of examples of current systems, including antennas and propagation, mobile and satellite communication systems. In addition, you gain an awareness of some of the available products, systems, technologies and techniques in the field of communication systems.

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15

This module introduces the theory and practice of employing computers as the control and organisational centre of an electronic or mechanical system, and examines issues related to time critical systems. It also provides exposure to practical embedded systems design through practical work, with one assignment exploring the ideas of real-time operating systems introduced in the lectures and a second using a microcomputer programmed in 'C' to control the ignition timing of a simulated petrol engine.

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15

This module introduces the issues relating to the development of commercial electronic products. Topics include design, production techniques, the commercial background of a company, quality, safety and electromagnetic compatibility standards, electromagnetic compatibility issues and product reliability, ethical and environmental issues.

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15

This module continues the study of classical control and signal processing and further takes the classical control and signal processing developed in module EL569 into the digital domain. Tools are developed for analysis in the digital environment and there is a strong emphasis on design and evaluation.

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15

Information theory and Shannon capacity, information measure and mutual information, source coding and channel coding/decoding, multiuser communications.

Network architecture, topology. Access networks, voice and data. Transport networks and multiplexing. Local are networks, Ethernet, WiFi. TCP/IP networks and the Internet.

Optical communication systems. Propagation in optical fibres. Sources (LEDs, laser), modulation. Photodiodes, receivers. Optical components. System power budgets, noise and dispersion.

View full module details
15

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 3 modules, with the exception of the final year 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.

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:

  • 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 and who are well prepared 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 the analysis of 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

Graduate destinations

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. 

Some graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study, for example:

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

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.

Entry requirements

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

  • 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 need to be individually considered by the Admissions Officer as the suitability of the programme will depend on the syllabus of 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 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.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
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 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. 

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £19800

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

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for UK undergraduate courses have not yet been set by the UK Government and are displayed as TBC. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry are £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.* 

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. 

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.