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.
An MSc-level transition programme for those with first degrees in numerate disciplines (e.g. Maths, Physics, others with some mathematics to pre-university level should enquire).
The programme targets producing engineers with knowledge and skills required for designing the integrated circuits which lie at the core of the vast array of consumer electronics of today’s world. The demand for people to fill such roles is extremely high, in companies (small and large) covering the range of electronics and ICT products, and integrated circuit design companies that supply them.
Integrated circuits have been powering the information revolution for over 50 years. Continuous innovation has resulted in greater processing power, memory and new devices. This, together with ever reducing manufacturing costs and reliability, has enabled the mass production of integrated circuits for consumer products that are more powerful han the supercomputers of the 1980s. While the fabrication technology advances, there is an increasing need for innovative design which can harness the power of these circuits, while taking into account constraints such as requirements for energy efficiency.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts successfully combines modern engineering and technology with the exciting field of digital media.
Established over 40 years ago, the School has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.
The School undertakes high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. There is a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.
We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Our Electronic Systems Design Centre and Digital Media Hub provide training and consultancy for a wide range of companies. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.
KU Leuven is already preparing the next generation of integrated systems - will you be involved? The Electrical Engineering Department (ESAT) is the largest department within the university and was the starting point of imec and many spin-off companies. With such an excellent reputation within an innovative industry, the programme exemplifies the link between education, research and valorisation. The Master in Electrical Engineering programme gives you in-depth training in the software and hardware design of electronic systems, with an emphasis either on circuit design or the design of applications. Your Master's thesis, carried out in close co-operation with the department's on-going research, will expose you to cutting-edge research.
The core education consists of courses which provide the common hardware and software basis for electronic platforms, analogue and digital circuits, signal processing and telecommunications. It also comprises the finalizing Master’s thesis.
The choice of an option gives you the opportunity to specialise in one of the two approaches to create electronic systems.
The remaining 24 credits are available for elective courses to allow you to personalise your programme. A student can make a programme ranging from much specialised (e.g. following courses from both options) over interdisciplinary (e.g. following courses from other engineering masters) to rather broad (e.g. including many non-engineering courses). It also allows for internships and international courses.
At the Faculty of Engineering Science, students are given the opportunity to complete one or two semesters of their degree within the Erasmus+ programme at a European university, or a university outside Europe.
Students are also encouraged to carry out industrial and research internships abroad under supervision of the departmental Internship Coordinator. These internships take place between the third Bachelor’s year and the first Master’s year, or between the two Master’s years.
Other study abroad opportunities are short summer courses organised by the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST)network or by universities all over the world.
The Faculty of Engineering Science is also member of the international networks CESAER, CLUSTER and ATHENS, offering international opportunities as well.
More information on the international opportunities at the faculty is available on the website.
The Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) is the university's largest department and was the starting point of imec (a world leader in nanotech research and products) and many spin-off companies. The faculty also has excellent professional connections with industry leaders. Thanks in part to the programme's strong link between education and research, employment perspectives for programme graduates are excellent - not only in Belgium, but also in Europe and the rest of the world. Our graduates are in great demand.
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.
If you want a career working with electronic devices and systems, our master’s will develop your expertise to prepare you for industry. We’ll give you the training to help you become a talented engineer who can adapt and innovate in a swiftly-changing sector.
Our course covers a range of electronics technology including integrated circuits and printed circuit boards. You'll develop in-depth understanding in the intricacies of embedded hardware and software structures. Using modern control, design automation, digital and mixed signal design and computer engineering techniques, you'll explore how to improve the performance of electronic equipment and devices. This gives you a starting point from which to research and develop your own electronic systems, sub-systems, technologies, processes and products.
You’ll learn from academics with expertise in electronic and electrical engineering. Their international collaborations and research activities feed into your teaching and learning experience.
Group and individual projects challenge you to apply your theoretical knowledge in practical design work. They also give you the chance to develop skills in planning, teamwork, leadership and communication. Your individual project could be closely aligned with one of our research groups. You could focus on a variety of electronics applications such as sensors, robotics, electric vehicles or autonomous systems.
You’ll get hands-on lab experience with the latest electronics hardware, tools and systems. Our facilities include:
Your technical design skills and expertise in managing electronics design processes will equip you for industry. You will graduate with the competency in electronic systems design to pursue a career in electronic companies worldwide.Our top performing MSc students may also choose to further their studies with us through our PhD programme.
As part of our course, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for a three-month industrial placement after semester 2. This gives you the chance to apply your knowledge in industry. You could go on placement with one of our partner companies or businesses such as Intel. Your individual project will follow on and could be carried out with the same industry partner.
We will do our best to help you find a placement and support and guide you through the process. Our placements team runs workshops in CV writing and interview techniques to prepare you for applying. However, we cannot guarantee you a position. If you are unable to secure a placement, you will transfer onto our 12-month alternative MSc course and carry out your individual project during the summer period instead.
Our MSc Euromasters programme is designed for electronic engineering students and professionals with an interest in gaining further qualifications in advanced, cutting-edge techniques and technologies in the selected pathway, with enhanced project, as well as training in transferable skills including business awareness and management.
We offer numerous Electronic Engineering MScs in more specialised fields of study, from space engineering to mobile communications systems, and if you wish to specialise in one of these pathways you can adjust your course accordingly.
The advanced taught technical content is in sub-disciplines of electronic engineering closely aligned with the internationally-leading research conducted in the four research centres of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
This programme is studied full time over 12 months or can be part-time over 48 months. It consists of eight taught modules and a standard project.
Please view the website for a module list
The taught postgraduate Degree Programmes of the Department are intended both to assist with professional career development within the relevant industry and, for a small number of students, to serve as a precursor to academic research.
Our philosophy is to integrate the acquisition of core engineering and scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills (where relevant). To fulfil these objectives, the programme aims to:
A graduate from this MSc Programme should:
Students on the Programme may study (in the first two semesters) any four modules from the pool available to MSc students in semester 1 and any four modules from the pool available to MSc students in semester 2.
This enables the student to freely choose the combination of modules that will best suit their desired personal development and career aspirations.
With the aid of advice from a tutor they will also choose a combination of modules, which will typically be closely related to a specific discipline area being one of space systems, communication systems, wireless technologies, signal processing, integrated circuits or nanotechnology.
Additionally the project dissertation which the student will complete will be one which relates suitably to the area of the taught modules chosen by the student and as such it will be supervised by an academic from an appropriate research centre within the department.
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.