Electronic and Communications Engineering BEng
Placement Offered This course has a Professional Development option.
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
Electronics equipment and products are becoming a vital part of our daily lives, from simple MP3 players, mobile phones and computers to highly sophisticated diagnostic equipment used in hospitals and state-of the-art fibre optic communications systems. Computers, telecommunication systems and consumer electronics are advancing at a fast pace.
This is a traditional and broad-based course which aims to produce well-rounded engineers with a high level of analytical and engineering design skills.
From calculators to supercomputers, from telephones to global satellite communications, from dynamos to the national grid, you will gain key knowledge and understanding. As well as an invaluable overview of this field, you will also have the opportunity to specialise in Communications Systems in your final year.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
About the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department at Brunel
At Brunel, our degree programmes will teach you about state-of-the-art technology, which means our graduates can work at the forefront of all the major areas of electronic engineering. We adopt a teaching style that is research-led, so the latest cutting-edge technologies will be taught as part of the course. Our courses combine theory with practical and project work – an approach which can help you to turn ideas into real systems – and our students are regularly awarded national and international prizes.
Our undergradute electornics degrees have a common first year during which you will study all of the main specialisms. Based on your own personal learning experiences of these subjects, you will be able to re-evaluate your original degree choice at this level and switch to a related course if you want.
Our Undergraduate courses are featured by a number of activities that are summarised at Course Highlights.
Read more about our Electronic and Computer Engineering courses.
Is this degree right for me?
You must have engineering potential and be someone who is analytical, creative, logical, a problem solver, a realist, versatile and forward thinking. You should be interested in understanding about the big picture as well as becoming a specialist in your chosen area. Intellectual challenge is important to you, as is hands-on experience, and you want to work alongside other high achievers.
Maybe you know what engineering area you want to specialise in already and realise that a broad degree can provide you with an invaluable springboard to any number of careers. You don’t want to limit your options. Maybe you are seeking a broad-based engineering degree to explore your interests and strengths in variety of exciting fields, all of which are of crucial importance in today’s world.
Developed in response to the needs of industry, this degree will give you advanced level knowledge and skills in the design of complex electronic and communication systems. We aim to produce graduates who are part of a high-tech elite - greatly sought after professionals with specialist understanding and skills in communication, but who also have a solid knowledge of electronic engineering as a whole.
The world of electronics is evolving so rapidly that the devices and techniques that are new today will be tools you are expected to understand and use by the time you graduate. Because of the relentless drive of technological evolution, you need to understand the fundamental principles underlying the technologies in order to be skilled in their application and to be able to adapt rapidly to technological changes throughout your career.
Dr David Smith
School of Engineering and Design
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265814
- Our expertise in data communications and networks is almost unparalleled in the UK.
- You may have the opportunity to work abroad as part of your study or as a professional work placement – we have well-established links with France, Germany and Italy. We also offer free foreign language classes.
- We have good links with business. For our students this means courses designed to meet the needs of industry and the market place, and greater choice and quality of work placements.
- Labs are very well-equipped, with extensive gifts of software and hardware from prestigious industrial collaborators.
- We benefit from being located near much of the country’s information engineering industry.
- Our courses and research are aimed squarely at developing the expertise, knowledge and new ideas needed for the information age, and cover the full breadth of electronic, computer and multimedia engineering.
All our BEng programmes are accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Facts and Figures
- Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) is part of the School of Engineering and Design, one of the largest Schools in the University. The School was established in 2004 from the three former departments of Design, Electronic and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. We have now expanded and developed new areas in Engineering Management and in Civil Engineering. We have over 110 full-time academic staff, 1700 undergraduate students, 500 postgraduate students on taught master courses and 300 research students.
- The ECE subject area is one of the largest disciplines in the University with almost 50 full-time academic staff and extensive teaching and research portfolios. The subject area boasts an undergraduate population of 600 and a postgraduate population of over 300 students.
- The ECE subject area has an extensive research portfolio totalling £7.5m worth of ongoing research grants and contracts. ECE represented a major part of Brunel’s General Engineering submission to the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), which was ranked fifth in the UK.
- Our NSS (National Student Survey) results have shown a consistent year on year increase in student satisfaction. This is a result that reflects the positive learning experience of our students, and their increasing level of satisfaction with our academic provision.
A common core at Level 1 will give you a broad understanding together with a high level of analytical and engineering design skills. At level 2 you begin to specialise and you then have the opportunity for further specialisation in the final year in communications systems, and will select your major individual project in your chosen area.
If you choose the MEng programme you can study for an additional fourth year (Level 5), which will take your degree to Master’s standard.
Level 1 Core
- Digital Systems and Microprocessors
- Devices and Circuits
- Level 1 Electronic Engineering Workshop
- Systems and Programming
- Electronic Engineering Mathematics
- Engineering Science, Systems and Society
- Computer Architecture and Interfacing
- Digital Systems Design and Reliability Engineering
- Electronic Systems
- Signals and Systems
- Engineering Group Design Project
- Major Individual Project
- Advanced Electronics
- Digital Communications Systems
- Design of Intelligent Systems
- Control Systems
- Multimedia Digital Signal Processing
- Advanced Digital Systems
We take pains to maintain our high level of teaching. Lecturers are at the leading edge of their fields and many are internationally and nationally recognised for their work. They act as consultants for major companies, are often widely published and have good links with industry, so they know exactly what is going on in the commercial world.
In Level 1 you will have about 18 taught hours a week. This will fall to around eight hours of lectures and seminars in Level 3, with one whole day of project work.
How will I be taught?
Lectures – These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and give you a framework from which to carry out in-depth study.
Laboratories – These are normally stand alone three hour sessions where students can develop, understand and practice using industry standard equipment. They provide an informal environment in which to explore new ideas and apply what you have learnt in lectures, with the help of a tutor. The staff/student ratio is 1:10 (one supervisor and a demonstrator).
Workshops – In a workshop you will work on more complex problems with guidance from a member of staff. This might involve producing an artefact or a design solution. Workshops allow you to develop new intellectual and practical skills and also serve to reinforce material learnt in lectures.
Tutorials – These involve up to six students. At Level 1 they will provide an opportunity to look at your academic knowledge and to develop personal skills, such as communication ability and study skills.
One-to-one – You will get one-to-one supervision for all project work, throughout all levels. If you go on a placement you will also be allocated an academic visiting tutor who will help you to set objectives, monitor your progress, and provide further support if you need it. You will also have a personal tutor who is available to discuss both academic and personal problems.
Other – This may include guest speakers from prominent organisations, research seminars and external site visits.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you have to pass this year in order to progress to level 2. Level 2 is worth a third of your final degree classification. Level 3 is worth the rest.
In the final year you will carry out a major individual project worth a third of your final year marks. This is in addition to other project work at level 2. The percentage of coursework to exam varies from module to module across the course.
Assessment is by a variety of methods and varies depending on your degree programme. In general, the following techniques are used:
- Traditional exam
- Pre-seen exam - a case study to prepare in advance
- Written assignments
- Practical and creative design assignments
- Laboratory work
- Individual and group presentations.
Equal emphasis is put on teamwork and individual contribution in assessed group projects and presentations.
Despite our size, there is a relaxed and friendly relationship between students and staff and we take a genuine interest and pride in the success of our students and graduates.
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) surveyElectronic and Computer Engineering graduates have a range of employment options open to them. The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) which provides a platform to build on for those who wish to achieve Chartered Engineering status.
In 2010/11, six months after graduating:
- 70.0% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
- 13.3% were in full-time further study
Whichever Electronic Engineering course you follow, you will have a wide choice of careers in mainstream electrical/electronic/microelectronic industries and in other engineering and ‘high-tech’ fields.
The majority of our graduates move into research, development or manufacturing companies – a choice many make when accepting sponsorship from a company – but opportunities do exist in most other professional spheres such as computing, medicine, finance, management and the media.
Recent graduates have gone on to work for companies including the BBC, Virgin Airways, Siemens and a variety of design companies.
You have the opportunity to undertake high quality work placements within prestigious organisations such as Intel, 3M, Group 4 Technology, BP and Ultra Electronics. Increasingly, students are selecting smaller companies to obtain a more flexible placement opportunity.
The University maintains close contact with you during your placement year. The industrial placement year is assessed and contributes to your degree – students who successfully complete the placement year graduate with ‘Professional Development’ as part of their degree title in recognition of their time spent in industry. You will be required to keep a record of your training and of work undertaken throughout the year and to submit coursework to demonstrate the placement learning you have undertaken.
Some of the benefits of a work placement to students include: experience in a relevant business area; the chance to develop the work-related skills demanded by the majority of graduate employers, and which will dramatically enhance your overall employability; personal development including building self-confidence, self-discipline and responsibility attributes; and financial rewards since placements are paid.
Brunel has a dedicated Placement and Careers Centre with over 30 staff, including specialist industry consultants. Each course has a dedicated placement officer who supports students through the placement process. The service includes CV writing, one-to-one guidance and mock interviews. Brunel was named ‘Best University Placement Service’ at the Rate My Placement Awards 2010.
UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
International students: £15,000 full-time
We are introducing over 700 scholarships for 2013, meaning that one in five applicants who join Brunel next year will receive financial support from the University. See our fees and funding page for full details
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Requirements for 2013 Entry
- GCE A-level BBB, including a Maths, Science or Engineering subject (General Studies and Critical Thinking not accepted).
- Irish Leaving Certificate ABBBB, including a Maths, Science or Engineering subject.
- Scottish Advanced Highers BBB, including a Maths, Science or Engineering subject.
- Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma Grade B in Engineering, plus the Specialist Unit in Maths for Engineers at grade C Along with 1 AS-level at Grade B for Additional and Specialist Learning.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD including Distinction in a Maths module and Merit in either Electrical or Electronic Principles.
- IBDP 32 points, including 5 in Higher Level Maths, Science or an Engineering subject.
- Foundations of Engineering see the course page; for external foundation courses, please contact the Admissions Tutor.
- Access Complete and pass Access to Engineering, Computing or Science course with 45 credits at Level 3 and with Merit or higher in all units. All Maths and Physics units must be Distinctions at level 3.
All applicants are required to attend an interview before a formal offer is made.
For all of the above, 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above are also required, to include English and Maths (please note that these must have been gained by the time you submit your UCAS application).
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 550 (TWE 4)
- TOEFL Internet test: 79 (R18, L17, S20, W17)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 60% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.