- Sensata Technologies (formerly Schrader International)
- Seagate Technology
- Digital designer
- Embedded systems engineer
- Systems analyst
- Software developer
- Test engineer
- Microprocessor systems developer
Develop the skills of electronic systems design and computer programming to be able to build future computer systems, small in size and low in power.
This course is offered at the Magee campus by the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. This course aims to prepare students for a career in professional computer engineering. It seeks to produce students with a high level of proficiency and a sound understanding of the integration of software and electronic hardware systems design. If you are interested in developing a combined proficiency in computing and electronic engineering, this is the course for you.
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About this course
In this section
The BEng Hons Computer Engineering course combines the theory and practice of both electronic design and software development through formal lectures and tutorials, supported by hands-on laboratory experiments. The practical laboratory sessions are used to underpin the theory on hardware-software interfacing, performance, and design-for-reliability which occur when developing electronic hardware systems and software programs. In particular, the course develops the necessary knowledge and skills in how the electronic hardware can be interfaced with software programs, whereby the software controls the operation of the electronic hardware. Case studies are also presented during the course to highlight both intuitive design techniques and deficiencies. Throughout the course, students will get the opportunity to work with industry standard design tools and use electronic instrumentation (e.g. oscilloscope, function generators) to debug and diagnose circuits.
Staff on the course have significant experience in teaching the design of electronic hardware systems and programming at both high levels (Windows) and low-level (embedded systems like automotive, manufacturing). Staff have links with local industries which keep them informed of the latest electronic and software design tools/platforms being used to development products and processes.
Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities
This course is part-time. Part-time students are taught alongside full-time students, and modules are scheduled to accommodate day-release from employment.
Each student must complete between 40 and 80 credits (usually two to four modules) in each academic year. Modules are taught on campus on a single day per module basis and are web-supplemented.
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
This course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories. In a combined theory and practical based degree such as Computer Engineering, it is important to evaluate case studies and expose both clever techniques and design deficiencies. As a result, practical lab sessions are used to illustrate these points when designing electronic hardware systems and software programs. In particular, how the electronic hardware can be interfaced with the software program, whereby the software controls the operation of the electronic hardware. During the course students will get the opportunity to work hands-on with industry standard design tools and also electronic instrumentation for debugging and diagnosis. Students will also be directed to read sections of recommended texts and will be expected to undertake directed reading in preparation for all scheduled classes, and consolidate the material covered in class by private study.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Computer Hardware and Operating Systems
Differences in the internal structure and organisation of a computer lead to significant differences in performance and functionality, giving rise to an extraordinary range of computing devices, from hand-held computers to large-scale, high-performance machines. This module addresses the various options involved in designing a computer system, the range of design considerations, and the trade-offs involved in the design process.
Mathematics for Engineering I
This module provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamental topics in engineering mathematics. The material develops the student's competencies in the essential mathematics that forms an integral part of an undergraduate honours degree in engineering related disciplines.
Field and Devices
This module will introduce the fundamental concepts of electrostatic and electromagnetic, related rules, electric and magnetic materials and their characteristics, and their applications in physical systems.
Circuit Analysis I
This module provides an introduction to the key electronic components, the basic concepts of electronic circuit design and the basic principles of electronic circuit testing and measurement taking. This module introduces the student to analogue electronics principles presented using a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories and are assessed using continuous assessment in the form of a class test and lab practical assessments.
Programming for Engineering
This module provides students with a solid foundation in developing software programs using a procedural programming language. It utilises a middle-level language to enable the engineering student to understand the relationship between software programs and the underlying hardware on which the program operates, whilst learning the key concepts and skills relevant to many modern high-level languages.
Digital Electronics I
This module introduces the fundamentals of digital electronic devices and simple logic circuits as well as basic logic design techniques. The module introduces the student to basic digital electronics principles presented using a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories and are assessed using continuous assessment in the form of a written class test and lab practical assessments.
This module introduces embedded C programming. The focus is on embedded programming concepts targeting the design of embedded programs for dedicated micro-processor/controllers hardware used in a wide array of modern applications such as automobiles, domestic appliances and mobile technology including IoT systems.
Mathematics for Engineering II
This module introduces students to the essential mathematics with appropriate numerical computing and programming required for embarking on further study in engineering, computing or a related discipline. It develops the students mathematical skills required to solve problems that arise in the context of their undergraduate study. The module content is introduced in a pragmatic way and then related to real world problems, which enhances understanding and makes the concepts more meaningful and relevant for the student. The module also aims to generate in the student a spirit of mathematical investigation and discovery leading to the development of mathematical confidence. An introduction is given to MatLab, the multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language; assessment in also partially completed in MatLab.
This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and transferable skills needed to secure employment within the Computing and Engineering domain.
The module prepares students for professional work by developing knowledge of the responsibilities and obligations of employees, employers and clients as determined by codes of professional conduct. Students will have the opportunity to practise the presentation of themselves in, for example, application forms, curriculum vitae, interview, elevator pitches and aptitude tests.
The module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. The students employ research skills developed during the module to gather research from a variety of sources and critically review this literature. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to employability.
Circuit Analysis II
This module introduces the principles of design of analogue and digital building blocks which can be integrated to form electronic systems of moderate complexity. The module also discusses issues related to the interfacing of analogue and digital signals. Both elements of the module are presented through lectures, tutorials and practicals and are assessed using both continuous assessment and formal written examination methods.
This module introduces micro-processor/controllers and the principles of modern interfacing to sensors and actuators. The module also discusses performance issues related to the interrupt and non-interrupt based software programming. Both elements of the module are presented through lectures, tutorials, and practical sessions and are assessed using continuous assessment methods.
Engineering of Control Systems and Signals
This level 5 module will endow engineering students with the knowledge and skills to analyse and design signal processing systems and control systems.
Digital Electronics II
This module introduces digital building blocks and the principles of modern digital systems design. The module also discusses performance issues related to the realisation of digital systems. Both elements of the module are presented through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions and are assessed using both continuous assessment and formal written examination methods.
This level 6 module will present some of the sensing, perception, planning, learning, control, and movement generation principles necessary to design and program intelligent robots.
Programmable Logic Systems
This module is designed to reinforce and further develop a student's digital design and implementation skills. It is presented via lectures, tutorials, seminars and practicals and is assessed using continuous assessment methods.
This module provides students with a graduate level understanding of semiconductor materials and microelectronics circuit performance. Additionally students will be analytically proficient in microelectronic circuit analysis techniques and be able to produce design equations for temperature stability of these circuits. The module will teach the concept of interconnect delay and noise using models of delay lines circuit noise. All teaching material will be supported with lab simulations.
Internet of Things
This module advances the understanding of micro-controller based embedded systems. Its focuses on the fundamentals in embedded software design with an RTOS to meet real-time performance constraints, and introduces the strategies to facilitate hardware reliability. The elements of the module are presented through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions and are assessed using continuous assessment methods.
Final Year Project
Students are required to undertake a major project during the final year of the course. The module offers students an opportunity to develop a realistic and meaningful piece of work during their final year. This module allows a chosen subject area to be researched in depth and a solution developed as a consequence. Students will have the opportunity to integrate and apply the learning achieved from other modules in the course. The module runs during both semesters and allows students to develop a comprehensive approach to all aspects of working on a large project. The project encourages innovation and creative thinking in the development of the solution. It also develops the entrepreneurial mindset, which can influence the challenges undertaken and final decisions made.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
The GCE A Level requirements for this course are grades CCC, one of which must be in a science based subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing (not IT/ICT), Software Systems Development, Technology and Design or Engineering).
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment does not accept students with Essential Skills in Application of Number as the only mathematics qualification. You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). If you have other qualifications than those listed, you may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Courses’ Coordinator following an interview.
Applied General Qualifications
The requirement for this course is successful completion of BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing (not ICT/IT), Electronics or an Engineering discipline, with overall award profile of MMM to include at least 15 unit merits.
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept combinations of A Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Diploma one of which must be in the subjects listed above for A Levels or BTEC Extended award. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact Admissions staff by telephone on +44 (0)28 7167 5678 or email email@example.com
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence
Irish Leaving Certificate
Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is H3,H4,H4,H4,H4 (typical grade profile) to include at least one science-based subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing, Technology or Engineering).
Plus Irish Leaving Certificate English and Mathematics at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level is also required.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades CCCCD to include minimum of grade C in a science subject.
Scottish Advanced Highers
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades DDD one of which must be a science subject.
Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 24 points to include 12 at Higher Level. Grade 4 in HL Mathematics and Grade 4 in another HL Science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
The entry requirement for this course is successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route in Science/Technology with an overall mark of 60% and 60% in NICATS Mathematics (level 2). Equivalent Mathematics qualifications considered for the Mathematics requirement.
GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Exemptions and transferability
Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment may be possible on the basis of academic performance.
Exemption from parts of the course may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).
The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:
- Sensata Technologies (formerly Schrader International)
- Seagate Technology
Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:
- Digital designer
- Embedded systems engineer
- Systems analyst
- Software developer
- Test engineer
- Microprocessor systems developer
Graduates with this mix of electronics and computer science skills have many career opportunities available to them. For example, careers in electronics circuit design, in the electronics or computing manufacturing industry, in software engineering, in project management or in planning and technical management. There is also the opportunity to work in research and development. Opportunities for postgraduate study in electronics, computer science or a related area are broad.
Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.
Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Central Admissions Magee
Course Director: Mrs Mairin Nicell
For more information visit
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