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Electronics with Embedded Systems (MSc)

Course Description

The MSc in Electronics with Embedded Systems aims to produce postgraduates with an advanced level of understanding in the design of real-time embedded systems for time-critical, power sensitive applications. Practical skillset development is emphasized throughout the course. Students will be taught the theory, protocol and the efficient use of both analogue and digital interfaces and sensor devices together with the principles of and use of Real-Time-Operating-Systems (RTOS). A key focus of the course will be in the implementation of power aware sustainable solutions, the course will provide an in-depth discussion of the underlying power management hardware sub-systems within modern MCUs and will show and use software techniques that will exploit these to reduce power consumption.

Broader consideration of embedded system design will be examined. In particular, the design process, risk assessment, product life-cycle, software life-cycle, safety and regulation will be investigated and used. It is intended that the course will re-focus existing knowledge held by the student in software engineering and hardware engineering and deliver a set of enhanced practical skills that will enable the student to fully participate in this multi-disciplined, fast expanding and dominating engineering sector of embedded systems.

Course Structure

Each MSc course consists of three learning modules (40 credits each) plus an individual project (60 credits). Each learning module consists of a short course of lectures and initial hands-on experience. This is followed by a period of independent study supported by a series of tutorials. During this time you complete an Independent Learning Package (ILP). The ILP is matched to the learning outcomes of the module. It can be either a large project or a series of small tasks depending on the needs of each module. Credits for each module are awarded following the submission of a completed ILP and its successful defence in a viva voce examination. This form of assessment develops your communication and personal skills and is highly relevant to the workplace. Overall, each learning module comprises approximately 400 hours of study.

The project counts for one third of the course and involves undertaking a substantial research or product development project. For part-time students, this can be linked to their employment. It is undertaken in two phases. In the first part, the project subject area is researched and a workplan developed. The second part involves the main research and development activity. In all, the project requires approximately 600 hours of work.

Further flexibility is provided within the structure of the courses in that you can study related topic areas by taking modules from other courses as options (pre-requisite knowledge and skills permitting).

Prior to starting your course, you are sent a Course Information and Preparation Pack which provides information to give you a flying start.

MSc Electronics Suite of Courses

The MSc in Electronics has four distinct pathways:
- Robotic and Control Systems
- Embedded Systems
- System-on-Chip Technologies
- Medical Instrumentation

The subject areas covered within the four pathways of the electronic suite of MSc courses offer students an excellent launch pad which will enable the successful graduate to enter into these ever expanding, fast growing and dominant areas. With ever increasing demands from consumers such as portability, increased battery life and greater functionality combined with reductions in cost and shrinking scales of technologies, modern electronic systems are finding ever more application areas.

A vastly expanding application base for electronic systems has led to an explosion in the use of embedded system technologies. Part of this expansion has been led by the introduction of new medical devices and robotic devices entering the main stream consumer market. Industry has also fed the increase in demand particularly within the medical electronics area with the need of more sophisticated user interfaces, demands to reduce equipment costs, demands for greater accessibility of equipment and a demand for ever greater portability of equipment.

There are plenty of opportunities for employment in the electronic systems subject area, in particular, there is a demand for engineers that can solve problems requiring a multi-disciplined approach covering skills from software engineering, control engineering, digital electronic systems engineering, analogue electronic engineering, medical physics, and mechanics amongst others. The MSc in Electronics and its specialist pathways will provide the foundations required to re-focus existing knowledge and enter this exciting world of multi-disciplined jobs.

The technical tasks undertaken in ILPs, along with the required major project, thoroughly exercise the concepts covered in the course modules and give scope for originality and industry-relevant study. Team-working activities encouraged within modules, along with the all-oral individual examination regimen employed in this Electronics MSc Suite, have proven solidly beneficial in refining the communication and employability-enhancing skills that are strongly valued by industry.

Visit the Electronics with Embedded Systems (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You are expected to have a good Honours degree (at least a Lower Second) from a UK university (or overseas equivalent) in electronic engineering or a good Honours degree in computer systems engineering, computer science, mathematics or other technological subject with a knowledge of programing, mathematics and/or digital systems. Relevant work experience will be taken into account. An IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent will normally be required from applicants whose first language is not English, or who have not studied their secondary and bachelor's degree education in English.

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