Embedded Systems Masters/MSc

Postgraduate degree programme Embedded Systems Masters/MSc:

Embedded systems are central to the technological world in which we live. On this programme you will learn about the theory and techniques that provide ever more sophisticated services; especially where aspects of digital electronics, communications engineering, computing and power systems meet. You will be equipped to work in the electronics industry developing novel solutions to provide new services, reduce costs and ensure reliability. In addition to the standard MSc programme, we offer a with Industrial Studies option that includes an industrial placement module.

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Sukhjit Pooni

MSc Embedded Systems, 2013

“The best point of the course is the practical labs where you can put what you learn into practice. Also the large weighting of the coursework in the examinable component is good, as the course is really testing your practical knowledge. In addition the support staff in Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering are brilliant.”

Embedded systems are central to the technological world in which we live and can be found in traction controllers, power generation and personal audio systems. These systems require high performance embedded electronics to support their operation and their design involves specialised hardware and software and system level integration.

You will learn about the theory and techniques that provide ever more sophisticated services; especially where aspects of digital electronics, communications engineering, computing and power systems meet. Graduates from this programme can expect to find employment in the electronics industry developing novel solutions to provide new services, reduce costs and ensure reliability.

You will be helped to understand how to interpret requirements and component specifications, to produce functionally effective and cost effective design solutions. You will be shown how to make decisions on the basis of incomplete information and to understand strategies for evaluating designs through a combination of group and individual exercises.

There is a wide range of topics from embedded systems, communications engineering, spoken language processing, image analysis and interpretation and advanced Interactive 3D environments for virtual realty and serious games, from which you may choose. The topics available will enable you to understand how to design and build sophisticated electronic control systems, such as those found in mp3 players, computer peripherals, light rail systems, energy generation systems and digital networks.

An Embedded Systems MSc with Industrial Studies programme is also available.

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Compulsory modules Semester
Introductory Module for Computing 1
Advanced Digital Design 1
Small Embedded Systems 2
Embedded Digital Signal Processing 2
Individual Project 3
Cross Programme Options
(Take one of the following)
Computer and Communications Networks 
Advanced Interactive 3D Environments for Virtual Reality and Serious Games 
Automatic Spoken Language Processing 2
Image Analysis and Interpretation 2

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to keep them up-to-date, which may require changes to module content. Also, key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for Home/EU students 2016/17

MSc FT - £7,200

Tuition fees for international students 2016/17

MSc FT - £18,900

Part-time programmes

Most part-time programmes run for two years and their fees are one half of the standard full-time programme fees. A small number of part-time programmes run for three years and in these cases the annual fees are one third of the total full-time cost. Contact us for further information.

UK student visa regulations mean that students classed as overseas for fees purposes may normally only register on a full-time basis.

Also see the fees for international students page.

Further funding information

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Entry requirements

At least a lower second-class Honours degree in Computing, Electrical Engineering or Electronic Engineering from a university of high international standing.

Learn more about entry requirements   

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.

English language requirements
Standard English language requirements apply

How to apply

Learn more about applying

Apply now

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Patterns of study

The majority of students study our taught Masters programmes full time. Our programmes are also suitable for practising engineers who wish to study part-time or take a single module to earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points. Many modules are completed in three-day sessions allowing you to focus one topic at a time. Following each session of lectures there is an opportunity for you to deepen your understanding through private study and in most cases there is also an assessed assignment.

Overview module

There is a shared introduction to topics from communications engineering, requirements analysis and object-oriented design, and an introduction to and recap of C programming. For the communications engineering programmes there is an introduction to key issues in the design of antennas, radio frequency circuits and link budgets. For the computing programmes there is an introduction to object-oriented programming.

Core modules

These modules cover the advanced specialist topics required for your specific degree programme, such as statistical signal processing and coding and advanced digital design. These technologies are at the heart of many current developments in modern electronic systems. 

Cross-programme option modules

These options specialize in topics relevant to each degree programme and give you the opportunity to adapt the programme that you have chosen to study. The prior knowledge needed for each module is specified in the student handbook to help you make the most appropriate choice. This allows you the greatest possible freedom to customise your study package appropriately.

Individual project

This is an opportunity for you to develop specialist knowledge. Some projects are undertaken in collaboration with companies and, in some cases, you may work on company premises investigating issues of direct concern to future product development. Typical projects include the development of hardware for automotive radar signal processing and the detection of leaks in landfill sites, wireless access systems, 3G mobile radio for light aircraft, the creation of 3D worlds for surgery simulation and wearable computing.

Assessment and awards

Assessment is by a combination of written examination and course work. There is a strong emphasis on course work to deepen understanding. The pass mark is 50%. A merit is awarded to students with an average of 60% or more and a distinction is awarded to students with an average of 70% or more, in both taught and project modules. There are prizes for students who perform especially well overall and for those who complete exceptionally good individual projects.

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.