Microsystems Engineering is one of the most dynamic and interdisciplinary engineering fields. The Master of Science program in Microsystems Engineering (MSE) provides the educational basis for your success in this field. The MSE program is designed for highly qualified graduate students holding a Bachelor degree in engineering or science.
In the first year 12 mandatory courses provide the fundamental theoretical framework for a future career in Microsystems. These courses are designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base in the most important aspects of the field:
• MSE technologies and processes
• MSE design laboratory I
• Optical Microsystems
• Probability and statistics
• Assembly and packaging technology
• Dynamics of MEMS
• Biomedical Microsystems
• MSE design laboratory II
• Signal processing
As part of the mandatory courses, the Microsystems design laboratory is a two-semester course in which small teams of students undertake a comprehensive, hands-on design project in Microsystems engineering. Requiring students to address all aspects of the generation of a microsystem, from conceptualization, through project planning to fabrication and testing, this course provides an essential glimpse into the workings of engineering projects.
In the second year, MSE students can specialise in two of the following seven concentration areas (elective courses), allowing each student to realize individual interests and to obtain an in-depth look at two sub-disciplines of this very broad, interdisciplinary field:
• Circuits and systems
• Design and simulation
• Life sciences: Biomedical engineering
• Life sciences: Lab-on-a-chip
• Process engineering
• Sensors and actuators
Below are some examples of subjects offered in the concentration areas. These subjects do not only include theoretical lectures, but also hands-on courses such as labs, projects and seminars.
Circuits and Systems
• Analog CMOS Circuit Design
• Mixed-Signal CMOS Circuit Design
• VLSI – System Design
• RF- und Microwave Devices and Circuits
• Radio sensor systems
• Optoelectronic devices
• Reliability Engineering
• Advanced topics in Macro-, Micro- and Nano-optics
Design and Simulation
• Topology optimization
• Compact Modelling of large Scale Systems
• Lattice Gas Methods
• Particle Simulation Methods
• VLSI – System Design
• Hardware Development using the finite element method
• Computer-Aided Design
Life Sciences: Biomedical Engineering
• Signal processing and analysis of brain signals
• Neurophysiology I: Measurement and Analysis of Neuronal Activity
• Neurophysiology II: Electrophysiology in Living Brain
• DNA Analytics
• Basics of Electrostimulation
• Implant Manufacturing Techologies
• Biomedical Instrumentation I
• Biomedical Instrumentation II
Life Sciences: Lab-on-a-chip
• DNA Analytics
• Biochip Technologies
• Bio fuel cell
• Micro-fluidics 2: Platforms for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications
• Microstructured polymer components
• Test structures and methods for integrated circuits and microsystems
• Quantum mechanics for Micro- and Macrosystems Engineering
• Microsystems Analytics
• From Microsystems to the nano world
• Techniques for surface modification
• Semiconductor Technology and Devices
• Advanced silicon technologies
• Piezoelectric and dielectric transducers
Sensors and Actuators
• Nonlinear optic materials
• CMOS Microsystems
• Quantum mechanics for Micro- and Macrosystems Engineering
• Bionic Sensors
• Energy harvesting
• Electronic signal processing for sensors and actuators
Essential for the successful completion of the Master’s degree is submission of a Master’s thesis, which is based on a project performed during the third and fourth semesters of the program. Each student works as a member of one of the 18 research groups of the department, with full access to laboratory and cleanroom infrastructure.
The 30 credit MS program in applied physics offers graduate courses in physics in collaboration with the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The program is designed to meet the demands of modern industry for young researchers with a basic knowledge of quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics and electrodynamics that they can apply it to problems in laser spectroscopy, photonics, magnetic resonance and surface physics.
Learning Goal 1 for Students: Master the fundamental knowledge of the field.
Assessment of student achievement of Goal 1:
Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:
Learning Goal 2 for Students: Engage in and conduct original research (for Master’s degrees with thesis)
Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 2:
Role of graduate program in helping students achieve Goal 2:
Learning Goal 3 for Students: Prepare professionals working in applied physics
Assessment of graduate student achievement of Goal 3:
Role of the program in helping students achieve Goal 3:
The leadership of the Graduate Program of the Department of Applied Physics will regularly review the structure and content of the program and feedback received from assessments, surveys and students. These reviews are used to improve the program to achieve the goal of providing the best possible education for students.
Students in the graduate program in applied physics have access to many resources, including far-infrared free electron laser, laser spectroscopy laboratory, surface science laboratory, biosensor laboratory, and a Microelectronics Research Center with class 10 clean room facility for CMOS technology and micromachining research. Other available technology includes molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) for III-V optoelectronic materials and device research, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and physical vapor deposition (PVD) materials synthesis, ultrafast optical and optoelectronic phenomena, ultrathin film and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), Electronic Imaging Center, rapid thermal annealing, infrared optoelectronic device laboratory, and various materials- and device-characterization facilities.
Interdisciplinary applied physics research is carried out in collaboration with electrical engineering, chemistry, biological sciences, and geological sciences faculty members, as well as with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). There also is extensive cooperative research with the National Solar Observatory, Bell Laboratories, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and other industrial and federal research laboratories.
This Masters in Electronics & Electrical Engineering is designed for both new graduates and more established engineers. It covers a broad spectrum of specialist topics with immediate application to industrial problems, from electrical supply through systems control to high-speed electronics.
*For suitably qualified candidates.
Modes of delivery of the MSc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work.
You will undertake a project where you will apply your newly learned skills and show to future employers that you have been working on cutting-edge projects relevant to the industry.
Career opportunities include chip design, embedded system design, telecommunications, video systems, automation and control, aerospace, software development, development of PC peripherals and FPGA programming, defence, services for the heavy industries, for example electricity generation equipment and renewables plant, etc.
The Master’s programme in Electronics Engineering focuses on the design of integrated circuits and System-on-Chip in advanced semiconductor technologies. This requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills across many fields within engineering and science.
The programme provides a competitive education in digital, analogue and radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits (IC) and System-on-Chip (SoC) design, combined with in-depth knowledge in signal processing, application specific processors, embedded systems design, modern communications systems, and radio transceiver design.
Modern society depends on reliable and efficient electronics. Mobile phones, the Internet, computers and TVs are just a few examples that constantly improve in terms of functionality, performance and cost. In addition, a growing number of concepts and technologies significantly improve areas such as mobile and broadband communication, healthcare, automotive technology, robotics, energy systems management, entertainment, consumer electronics, public safety and security, industrial applications, and much more. This suggests that there will be vast industrial opportunities in the future, and a high demand for skilled engineers with the knowledge and skills required to lead the design of such complex integrated circuits and systems.
The programme is organised by several strong divisions at the Department of Electrical Engineering and the Department of Computer and Information Science. These divisions, which include more than 60 researchers and 10 internationally recognised professors, have excellent teaching experience, world-class research activities that cover nearly the entire field of integrated electronic design, state-of-the-art laboratories and design environments, and close research collaboration with many companies worldwide.
The programme starts with courses in digital communication, digital integrated circuits, digital system design, analogue integrated circuits, and an introduction to radio electronics, providing a solid base for the continuation of the studies.
Later on, a large selection of courses enables students to choose between two major tracks:
The programme offers several large design-project courses, giving excellent opportunities for students to improve their design skills by using the state-of-the-art circuit and system design environments and the CAD tools used in industry today. For instance, students who take the course VLSI Design will design real chips using standard CMOS technology that will be sent for fabrication, measured and evaluated in a follow-up course. Only a few universities in the world have the know-how and capability to provide such courses.
The Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems MRes, taught at the University of Cambridge and at the UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, aims to train students to PhD level in the skills needed to produce new integrated photonic systems for applications ranging from information display to ultra-fast communications and industrial materials processing.
The programme offers a wide range of specialised modules, including electronics and biotechnology. Students gain a foundation training in the scientific basis of photonics and systems, and develop a good understanding of the industry. They are able to design an individual bespoke programme to reflect their prior experience and future interests.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
Students take two compulsory research projects (90 credits), one transferable skills module (15 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and two elective modules (30 credits).
Students choose three optional modules from the following:
Students choose a further two elective modules from the list below:
All students undertake two research projects. An independent research project (45 credits) and an industry-focused project (45 credits).
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, projects, seminars, and laboratory work. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination and coursework (written assignments and design work).
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems MRes
Dramatic progress has been made in the past few years in the field of photonic technologies. These advances have set the scene for a major change in commercialisation activity where photonics and electronics will converge in a wide range of information, sensing, display, and personal healthcare systems. Importantly, photonics will become a fundamental underpinning technology for a much greater range of companies outside the conventional photonics arena, who will in turn require those skilled in photonic systems to have a much greater degree of interdisciplinary training, and indeed be expert in certain fields outside photonics.
Our students are highly employable and have the opportunity to gain industry experience during their MRes year in large aerospace companies like Qioptiq, medical equipment companies such as Hitachi; and technology and communications companies such as Toshiba through industry placements. Several smaller spin-out companies from both UCL and Cambridge also offer projects. The CDT organises industry day events which provide an excellent opportunity to network with senior technologists and managers interested in recruiting photonics engineers. One recent graduate is now working as a fiber laser development engineer; another is a patent attorney.
The University of Cambridge and UCL have recently established an exciting Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems, leveraging their current strong collaborations in research and innovation.
The CDT provides doctoral training using expertise drawn from a range of disciplines, and collaborates closely with a wide range of UK industries, using innovative teaching and learning techniques.
The centre aims to create graduates with the skills and confidence able to drive future technology research, development and exploitation, as photonics becomes fully embedded in electronics-based systems applications ranging from communications to sensing, industrial manufacture and biomedicine.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Electronic & Electrical Engineering
97% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
The Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) brings together researchers from integrated-circuit design, system-on-chip design, image-sensor design, bioelectronics, micro/nano-fabrication, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micromachining, neural computation and reconfigurable and adaptive computing.
Research interests include low-level analogue, low-power, adaptive and bio-inspired approaches, system-on-chip computing and applications from telecommunications to finance and astronomy. There is also a research focus on integrating CMOS microelectronic technology with sensors and microsystems/MEMS to create smart sensor systems. We also have a strong and growing interest in applications relating to life sciences and medicine, with particular focus on bioelectronics, biophotonics and bio-MEMS.
IMNS has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including an advanced silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources. The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.
The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.
Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.
Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.
Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes
Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.
The Institute has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including a comprehensive silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources.
The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.