Computer Systems Engineering BEng(Hons) 2017-18This course also available for 2018-19 entry
About the course
Computer systems are everywhere, from home entertainment systems and mobile phones through to communication networks and automotive control systems.
Computer systems engineers are required to have in-depth knowledge and skills in a wide range of areas including software programming techniques, computer systems architecture and electronics. This course has been designed to integrate these core aspects of computer science and electronic engineering to help equip you with the relevant skills for an exciting career in a variety of industrial and commercial organisations.
You'll be taught by professional engineers with many years' experience in industry, teaching and/or research. We also meet with our Industry Advisory Panel to ensure that the course content is contemporary and relevant to industry needs.
We aim to prepare you for professional life and so offer you chances to gain as much practical experience as possible. This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). You also have the chance to spend an optional year working in industry, gaining valuable skills and contacts. You'll be supported in this by our award winning Placement Unit.
You might like to hear what Jaimin has to say about studying Electronic Engineering and Computer Systems BEng(Hons) at the University of Huddersfield.
Throughout the course you'll be introduced to a range of computer systems, from those based on programmable logic controllers or microcontrollers through to intelligent systems. the core aspects of computer science and electronic engineering . You'll investigate the nature of computer systems engineering, whilst being supported in gaining in-depth knowledge and skills in software programming techniques, computer systems architectures and electronics.
In Year 3 you have the opportunity to spend a year working in industry, gaining valuable experience, skills and contacts.
This course is designed to equip you with the relevant skills and prepare you for professional life in this dynamic, evolving industry.
Hardware and Networks
This module explores how computers and networks function by introducing you to their components and structures, from the basic building blocks to fully functioning systems. The module covers how computers execute programs, how data is stored, recognised and manipulated, and which hardware and software components are used to achieve this. You’ll also get the opportunity to study how networks are constructed and what techniques (eg cryptography, routing and error detection and correction) are used to ensure that data is transmitted correctly and securely through them.
Software Design and Development
This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the design, development, and testing of large scale software systems. The material covered includes introductory programming (in a language such as Java), program testing (using JUnit testing techniques), systems modelling (using unified modelling language- UML), graphical user interface (GUI) development, and rapid prototyping techniques.
This module introduces you to the role played by professional engineers in terms of their responsibilities, ethical behaviour and contribution to the business team. Additionally, you'll be supported in improving your personal and practical skills including study techniques, communication skills (report writing and oral presentations), CV preparation and planning for your career. This is covered in lectures, tutorials, seminars, Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions and laboratory-based activities.
In this module you’ll explore the fundamentals of electronics, both digital and analogue. You'll be introduced to the basic digital functions AND, OR and NOT and the appropriate methods of representing digital information. Along with helping you to gain an understanding of technical datasheets parameters and memory devices, you’ll have the chance to gain skills in designing digital circuits from a given specification. Analogue design covers diode, transistor and operational amplifier circuit operation. You’ll also be supported in building circuits in the laboratory and testing them.
The module contains a range of basic engineering mathematics including numbers, functions, linear mathematics, calculus and numerical techniques to support the engineering modules.
Algorithms Processes and Data
In this module you’ll be supported in expanding your programming skills to cover a range of standard data structures (eg shared variables, semaphores, monitors and lists, trees and graphs) and algorithms (eg Dekker's algorithm, bounded buffer algorithms and searching, sorting and traversals) for both sequential and concurrent systems. You’ll also study how to analyse systems in order to determine their correctness and safety, and to calculate their efficiency.
Relational Databases and Web Integration
This module aims to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to design, implement and query a relational database. You’ll be supported in gaining an understanding of the functionality necessary to enable web pages to interact with a database. You’ll be given the opportunity to become familiar with web architectures and the design considerations necessary for implementing a database driven web application.
Operating Systems and Language Translators
In this module you’ll study two related areas. Firstly, the modules covers the architectures of computer operating systems, including how they deal with resource allocation, management and security, in both single processor systems and multiple distributed processor systems (networks). Secondly, the module covers language processing, a key operation in modern computer systems. You’ll explore the structure of computer languages and the tools and techniques to automatically analyse them.
This module covers the design and analysis of Analogue and Digital electronics circuits and systems. You'll be supported in building on the fundamental theory you studied in Electronics 1 and in using industrial computer-aided design (CAD) tools. You'll study analogue electronics topics including single transistor circuit operation (DC, AC and hybrid r modelling) as well as multistage transistor amplifier circuits (biasing and low/high frequency response compensation analysis). You'll investigate extensive operational amplifier (op-amp) circuit structures including, active filter design (single and multi-order) with defined characteristics, with consideration of device manufacturer data sheet information. The digital electronics introduces you to a hardware description language, namely VHDL (VHSIC Hardware Description Language), along with the design and analysis of combinational and sequential logic circuit structures (finite state machines). You'll also be supported in undertaking the design of analogue to digital and digital to analogue converters (ADCs and DACs) to enable interfacing of analogues and digital systems.
Embedded systems are used in everyday products such as mobile phones, cars, cameras, printers and toys. These embedded systems contain a small computer on a single integrated circuit called microcontroller. This module introduces the principle of embedded systems which can sense their surrounding environment by receiving signals from a variety of transducers and control attached actuators such as lights and motors according to a specified strategy. You’ll have the opportunity to design and develop efficient ‘C’ programs in practical sessions and download them onto development boards containing many sensors and actuators. This will allow you to see your programs in action.
Enterprise: Electronic Product Design and Manufacture
In this module you'll be supported in acquiring an understanding of the lifecycle process of electronic product design and develop the skills required by professional engineers to play an active role in the product design process. You'll study relevant aspects of business, finance, marketing, engineering management and design for manufacture (DFM). Your studies and research will centre on an electronic design and, as a team member, you will consider how a business could be set up to manufacture and sell the device for profit. In conclusion your team will be expected to produce and present a business plan including technical, marketing, environmental and financial aspects for the proposed enterprise. Learning is achieved through Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions supplemented by lectures, and seminars.
Year 3 – optional placement year
Digital System Integration
This module aims to build on the digital electronics knowledge you gained in your second year; covering system and circuit design, modeling, layout, fabrication and test of integrated circuits (ICs). You’ll be encouraged to investigate the various stages of design and techniques used to improve system performance and function: from top-level specification using hardware description languages, (typically VHDL) through to transistor level layout. Throughout this module the compromises required to achieve an optimum design solution will be considered.
Parallel Computer Architecture Clusters and Grids
In this module you will be introduced to Computer Cluster, Cloud and Grid technologies and applications. Term one focuses on the fundamental components of Cluster environments, such as Commodity Components for Clusters, Network Services/Communication software, Cluster Middleware, Resource management, and Programming Environments. In term two you will study the fundamental components of Grid environments, such as Authentication, Authorization, Resource access, and Resource discovery. The hands-on laboratory exercises will provide the necessary practical experience with Cluster and Grid middleware software required to construct Cluster and Grid applications.
Project Quality and Production Management
Engineers have a responsibility to ensure that they deliver projects on time and within budget. With this in mind this module covers the scheduling of project activity, with appropriate consideration of resource constraints and the costs required for undertaking successful projects. You’ll study financial analysis in the justification of projects and approaches to risk analysis. To support this you’ll be introduced to project management software used by industry. The module also includes total quality management, introducing tools and techniques such as statistical process control, improvement programmes and maintenance management.You’ll explore how to effectively manage the manufacture of products and the decision making processes required with regard to people, machines, materials and finance.
Option modules: Choose one from a list which may include -
The module combines the theory of signal processing and analysis of discrete time systems, with practical aspects of digital signal processing (DSP) applied to the design of digital filters. Term one focuses on signal processing operations and analysis in time and frequency domain and digital filter (FIR and IIR) design and simulation using MATLAB. In term two you’ll be supported in implementing your digital filter design using DSP software and hardware development system. A range of DSP design case studies (for example audio filters and two dimensional filters for image processing), will be used to illustrate typical DSP applications through practical laboratory work.
This module focuses on the way digital information can be organised to make the content more accessible and more easily understood by users. The module provides you with an introduction to the ways in which information can be organised and structured; for example using metadata, controlled vocabularies, ontologies and classification schemes primarily (but not exclusively) for the Web. Your studies focus on the way these technologies can support formal models of information seeking behaviour.
We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.
We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.
We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.
Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.
When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.
This course offers you the chance to undertake an optional placement in Year 3. This opportunity helps you to build on the knowledge and skills developed on the course. You will be employed by the company for 12 months, but the actual number of weeks worked will be dependent on the annual leave entitlement you are given in line with the placement company's policy.
The placement year is a valuable tool that can enhance your employability and help you to develop as an individual. It is acknowledged that graduates with industry experience are generally much more attractive to employers.
Our Placement Unit will be on hand to support you in applying for and finding suitable placement opportunities. They will assist you with preparing your CV and with interview techniques. They'll also be in contact with you during your placement so that you'll be fully supported while you gain the experience that employers value so highly.
The Placement Unit team are regularly in contact with local and national companies. Previous students from this subject area have spent their placement year at companies including Airbus, Sellafield Ltd and even as far reaching as Appcelerator in California.
Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University's Enterprise Team. You'll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.
92% of graduates from courses in this subject area go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE).
Previous Huddersfield Computer Engineering graduates have gone on to roles relating to engineering, IT, operations, research and education in organisations including Ericsson, Royal Bank of Scotland and Rockshore Limited.*
Additionally, you may gain skills that are transferable to other industries and may be able to pursue a career that requires a good honours degree. You could also go on to further study and the University has many options available for postgraduate study and research which may interest you.
Professional links and accreditations
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).
The IET is one of the world's leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community and IET accreditation is recognised around the world as an indicator of quality. Our relationship with the IET means that they feel our course content is relevant to the needs of industry, which could give you a potential advantage when looking for a job as employers may ask for graduates with accredited degrees.
Graduating from an accredited course means that you will avoid some, or all, of the detailed assessment of the educational requirements necessary for either Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration, making the registration process more straightforward for you. You can find further details around accreditation and registration for IEng status on the IET's website.
Teaching and assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratories and practical sessions and 24% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.
Assessment of your progress is made through a variety of methods including assignments, exams and individual project work, with a strong focus on practical work. Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.
Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.
Huddersfield is the only university where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*
*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.
We have excellent teaching facilities, including an impressive range of professionally equipped laboratories for teaching, projects and research. Also, to support your practical work, every new student will receive a free laboratory toolkit.
There are dedicated laboratories for:
• Embedded Systems: hardware and software facilities for advanced Digital Signal Processing and PIC microcontroller development.
• Electronics and Communications: modern digital oscilloscopes, function generators, power supplies and spectrum analysers etc. for over 30 students.
• There are many additional computing laboratories equipped with PCs/workstations running industry standard software for a large range of areas such as: measurement and control, computer aided engineering and power system analysis - all with high speed internet access.
• High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster facility: will enable students to speed up simulation and modelling of tasks.
All our laboratories are regularly updated to keep abreast of equipment and software being used in associated industries. So you have the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge that may make you ideally placed to gain employment in your chosen specialism.
How much will it cost me?
The full-time undergraduate tuition fee for 17/18 entry is £9250.
Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).
If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.
Please email the Student Finance or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.
'Ambition' scholarships and grants
Students doing IET accredited courses can apply for these scholarships and grants. There are five scholarships available to pre-university students, and two types of undergraduate grants.
For further information please visit the IET's website.
Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies. There may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.
The School of Computing and Engineering currently offers MSc Embedded Systems. You may be interested in pursuing this course once you have completed your undergraduate studies. Please check the course details for the entry requirements.
Upon successful completion of your undergraduate studies, you may also be interested in training to become a secondary school teacher by taking a PGCE. Look at further details and entry requirements for Mathematics or Information Communication Technology and Computer Science.
If you are an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University's International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.
If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree programme. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.
How to apply
We hope you are interested in what you have seen and want to apply to join us.
Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.