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Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering MSc

Course Description

Bristol, and the surrounding area, hosts a thriving and world-leading semiconductor design industry. The Microelectronics group at the University of Bristol has many collaborative links with multinational companies in the microelectronics industry that have identified a shortfall in graduates with the necessary qualifications and professional skills to work in the sector. This programme has been designed to meet this need.

A range of taught subjects cover core topics such as advanced architectures and system design using FPGA and DSP platforms, before progressing into more specialised areas such as digital and analogue ASIC design, integrated sensors and actuators and mixed-signal design. Changes are made periodically to reflect important emerging disciplines, such as electronics for internet of things, bio-medical applications and neuromorphic computing.

The programme offers you the opportunity to learn from experts in micro- and nanoelectronics and computer science, to allow you to start working straight after your degree or continue your studies via a PhD. Special emphasis is put on providing you with a range of contemporary design skills to supplement theoretical knowledge. Lectures are accompanied by lab exercises in state-of-the-art industrial EDA software to give you experience of a professional environment.

Programme structure

The course consists of 120 credits of taught units and an individual research project worth 60 credits. The following core subjects, each worth 10 credit points (100 learning hours), are taken over autumn and spring:
-Design Verification
-Analogue Integrated Circuit Design
-Integrated Circuit Electronics
-Digital Filters and Spectral Analysis (M)
-Advanced DSP & FPGA Implementation
-VLSI Design M
-Embedded and Real-Time Systems
-Wireless Networking and Sensing in e-Healthcare

Additionally students are able to choose any two out of the following four 10-credit units (some combinations may not be possible due to timetabling constraints).

-Device Interconnect - Principles and Practice
-Advanced Computer Architecture
-Sustainability, Technology and Business
-Computational Neuroscience
-Bio Sensors

In the spring term, students also take Engineering Research Skills, a 20-credit unit designed to introduce the fundamental skills necessary to carry out the MSc project.

After completing the taught units satisfactorily, all students undertake a final project which involves researching, planning and implementing a major piece of work relating to microelectronics systems design. The project must have a significant scientific or technical component and may involve on-site collaboration with an industrial partner. The thesis is normally submitted by the end of September.

The programme structure is under continual discussion with the National Microelectronics Institute and our industrial advisory board in order that it remains at the cutting edge of the semiconductor industry. It is therefore subject to small changes on an ongoing basis to generally improve the programme and recognise important emerging disciplines.


This course gives graduating students the background to go on to a career in a variety of disciplines in the IT sector, due to the core and specialist units that cover key foundational concepts as well as advanced topics related to hardware design, programming and embedded systems and system-level integration.

Typical careers are in soft fabrication facilities and design houses in the semiconductor industry, electronic-design automation tool vendors, embedded systems specialists and software houses. The course also covers concepts and technologies related to emerging paradigms such as neuromorphic computing and the Internet of Things and prepares you for a career in academic research.

Visit the Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering MSc page on the University of Bristol website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Felipe Galindo Sanchez

5276.jpg When I was researching in order to select the best University and program accordingly to my interests, I selected the University of Bristol because of three main factors. Its high reputation education quality mainly in my area of interest (Electronics and Computer Science), the right program accordingly to my interests and the life quality for students living in Bristol. I have funding from my government's country (CONACYT).

The University of Bristol is not only a highly-rated place to study and learn content from staff with high teaching quality, but it also a community where you can live, make friends, learn about different cultures but mostly enrich oneself of the people who come here with same aims and ideals

One of the things that I like most, is the fact that Bristol is a student city, so it is really easy to find people with similar interests from all over the world and because it is not a big city, you can find and do many things easily. I like the easy availability of housing and services against trying to get accommodation by our own.

The University is not only buildings with rooms and staff, but it is a "city" within the Bristol city when you can share experiences with people you met all over the world.

I'm most grateful for the fact that when we arrived in the first weeks, we were surrounded with many International welcome events, where we were able to meet people; people that today are my friends and we have shared many experiences during this time.


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, or a related discipline in Engineering or the physical sciences, with foundational knowledge in digital logic, computer architecture, digital and analogue transistor-level circuits, programming, and signals and systems.

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