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MSc Embedded Systems & Instrumentation

Course Description

An understanding of Embedded System Engineering is vital to the design of most modern electronic devices and systems. The Embedded Systems and Instrumentation MSc enables you to develop advanced skills in the major aspects of modern embedded systems design at hardware, software and firmware levels.

Recent advances in chip fabrication technologies now mean that it is possible to use embedded system technology in an increasing number of technically demanding applications and engineers with skills in embedded system design are in high demand. In the EU it has been estimated that over 600,000 new jobs in embedded systems will be created over the next 10 years.

Embedded Systems has a central role in computer systems, mobile and wireless communications, consumer electronics and automotive engineering and is important in the design of modern instrumentation and measurement systems used for industrial automation and manufacturing processes.

The MSc programme uses practical examples in instrumentation, monitoring, control, computing and communication to illustrate the evolving technology. Graduates are able to develop embedded systems using a variety of technology platforms in a wide range of applications including communications, consumer electronics, automotive electronics, industrial control, instrumentation and measurement.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/252/embedded-systems-instrumentation

About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts

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.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

EL822 - Communication Networks (15 credits)
EL829 - Embedded Real-Time Operating Systems (15 credits)
EL849 - Research Methods & Project Design (30 credits)
EL871 - Digital Signal Processing (DSP) (15 credits)
EL874 - Computer & Reconfigurable Architectures (15 credits)
EL875 - Advanced Sensors & Instrumentation Systems (15 credits)
EL876 - Advanced Control Systems (15 credits)
EL890 - MSc Project (60 credits)


The project module is examined by a presentation and dissertation. The Research Methods and Project Design module is examined by several components of continuous assessment. The other modules are assessed by examinations and smaller components of continuous assessment. MSc students must gain credit from all the modules. For the PDip, you must gain at least 120 credits in total, and pass certain modules to meet the learning outcomes of the PDip programme.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- educate graduate engineers and equip them with advanced knowledge of embedded systems and electronic instrumentation for careers in research and development in industry or academia

- produce high-calibre engineers with experience in specialist and complex problem-solving skills and techniques needed for embedded and advanced instrumentation systems in a number of application areas including (but not exclusive to) communications, real-time embedded computer systems, image processing, instrumentation and control

- provide you with proper academic guidance and welfare support

- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential

- strengthen and expand opportunities for industrial collaboration with the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

Research areas

Instrumentation, Control and Embedded Systems
The Instrumentation, Control and Embedded Systems Research Group comprises a mixture of highly experienced, young and vibrant academics working in three complementary research themes – embedded systems, instrumentation and control. The Group has established a major reputation in recent years for solving challenging scientific and technical problems across a range of industrial sectors, and has strong links with many European countries through EU-funded research programmes. The Group also has a history of industrial collaboration in the UK through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

The Group’s main expertise lies primarily in image processing, signal processing, embedded systems, optical sensors, neural networks, and systems on chip and advanced control. It is currently working in the following areas:

- monitoring and characterisation of combustion flames
- flow measurement of particulate solids
- medical instrumentation
- control of autonomous vehicles
- control of time-delay systems
- high-speed architectures for real-time image processing
- novel signal processing architectures based on logarithmic arithmetic.


Kent has an excellent record of postgraduate employment: over 94% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2013 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

We have developed the programme with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students will be in a strong position to build long-term careers in this important discipline.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts (http://www.eda.kent.ac.uk/) has an excellent record of student employability (http://www.eda.kent.ac.uk/school/employability.aspx). We are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, to equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive, fast-moving, knowledge-based economy.

Graduates who can show that they have developed transferable skills and valuable experience are better prepared to start their careers and are more attractive to potential employers. Within the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you can develop the skills and capabilities that employers seek. These include problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MSc Embedded Systems & Instrumentation page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Mark Esdale

2179.jpg In 1983, I graduated with a BSc in Computer Science and Electronics from the University of London and subsequently spent 14 years of my working career designing commercial aircraft trainers and programming simulations of aircraft systems and flight management systems.

So, why - 28 years later - have I become an older (if not necessarily mature) student ... attending lectures, working late at night on coursework assignments and sitting exams?

The answer is, to satisfy a thirst for knowledge. It is very easy when working in industry to get stuck in a technological rut, with one's expertise restricted to that needed to get the job done. Electronics, especially in the fields of digital processing, instrumentation, control, communications and - in order to run them - embedded systems, are advancing at an exponential rate. What better way to learn about these new technologies - at a level to be able to make use of them, not just reading about them - than doing a Master’s degree?

It wasn't easy switching back into an educational environment, especially with some of the maths needed, but after a couple of weeks the old brain kicked in and started absorbing knowledge from the lecturers. Interaction with lecturers, staff and fellow students was pleasant and rewarding. Being older and bolder allowed me to ask questions, to ensure complete understanding, when as an undergrad, I might have been inclined to hold back for fear of appearing stupid.

It is a most satisfying experience, one I'd recommend to anyone wanting to expand their knowledge and give their brain a good work-out.

(Student Profile)

Shaun Rodrigues

I said to myself: Fantastic course, amazing location with so much history, the garden of England, friendly people who are interested in helping; not forgetting the conversations on the phone with Helen Winder, who was so quick in helping, guiding and just before accepting this offer, I received an offer from Oxford in some image analysis and processing research course, temptation was now against a brand name, but I said to myself, I will do something, I enjoy doing and so the reply for the offer, went to Kent.

I then crossed the seas to be welcomed at a beautiful international dinner and later free visits to the Canterbury cathedral, Leeds castle to name a few.......,, then it was all fun at study and an amazing experience in such a fascinating international student ambience at Woolf college where I lived. The course was a blend of practical justification to the studied theory, something that made me feel, I can excel and so I did, by securing an amazing 90% + in my exams and topping the overall MSc engineering. My course conveyor Peter Lee is a gentleman that made the course so much fun and was in close contact to his students for any issues. Having been taught by some of the top names like Prof. Sarah Spurgeon is a proud feeling and gives me so much confidence as an engineer. It was then the finale, the time when I graduated in the historic Canterbury cathedral, a setup that’s unique to the University of Kent and a memory I shall cherish and treasure for life. I was then awarded a prize for developing a new sensing technique.

Having seen my talents and capabilities in engineering and research, I was offered a scholarship that would cover all my tuition fees and maintenance grant to continue for a PhD in electronic engineering, which I accepted with gratitude and humility that helps me pursue my studies without the stress of huge financial commitments, I am also given an opportunity to teach undergraduate students that helps my career grow with academic experience. Not forgetting the number of extra-curricular activities for everyone’s tastes and likings. The journey has been amazing and I am so looking forward for a long lasting relationship with my School of engineering and digital arts at University of Kent, that I proudly belong to.


Entry Requirements

A 2.2 or higher honours degree in electronics, computing, computer science, physics or a related electronics subject. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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