Electronic and Communications Engineering BEng
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.
This is a traditional and broad-based course, developed in response to the needs of industry, 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.
Our undergraduate electronics 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.
To view the Brunel engineering graduate showcase video please click here.
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.
On this course you’ll learn about state-of-the-art technology and develop advanced level knowledge and skills in the design of complex electronic and communication systems, equipping you to work at the forefront of all the major areas of electronic engineering.
We aim to produce graduates who are part of a high-tech elite: professionals with specialist understanding and communication skills who have a solid knowledge of electronic engineering as a whole.
You must have engineering potential and be someone who is analytical, creative, versatile and a logical problem solver – as well as being a forward thinking realist. 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.
- are seeking a broad-based engineering degree to explore your interests and strengths in a variety of exciting fields, all of which are of crucial importance in today’s world.
- aspire to a senior managerial role at the forefront of this dynamic, valued and rapidly expanding technological industry.
Whatever your ambitions, 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.
Our Undergraduate courses are featured by a number of activities that are summarised at Course Highlights.
A common compulsory 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 Compulsory
- Digital Systems and Microprocessors
- Devices and Circuits
- Level 1 Electronic Engineering Workshop
- Fundamental Mathematics for Engineers
- Problem Solving and Programming
- Further Engineering Mathematics
- Engineering Science, Systems and Society.
Level 2 Compulsory
- Computer Architecture and Interfacing
- Digital Systems Design and Reliability Engineering
- Electronic Systems
- Signals and Systems
- Engineering Group Design Project
Level 3 Compulsory
- Individual Project
- Advanced Electronics
- Digital Communications Systems.
Level 3 Options
Choose two of the following:
- Design of Intelligent Systems
- Control Systems
- Multimedia Digital Signal Processing
- Advanced Digital Systems.
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
- Our expertise in data communications and networks is almost unparallelled 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.
Women in Engineering and Computing Programme
Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.
All our BEng programmes are accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Facts and Figures
- Electronic and Computer Engineering is one of the largest disciplines in the University with over 40 full-time academic staff and extensive teaching and research portfolios. The discipline boasts an undergraduate population of 500 and a postgraduate population of over 300 students.
- ECE at Brunel 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.
Teaching and Assessment
At Brunel 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.
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.
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.
How many hours of study are involved?
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.
In addition to this, staff are normally happy to answer queries outside this time. We operate an open door policy so you can drop in and chat or email lecturers with your questions. Students are expected to carry out a total of 40 hours study a week, including contact hours.
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.
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 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.
- The University maintains close contact with you during your placement year. Our dedicated Professional Development Centre has over 30 staff, including specialist industry consultants, and has been named ‘Best University Placement Service’ several years in succession.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
The Government has proposed changes to allow tuition fees for UK and EU students to rise by inflation. These changes are currently subject to approval, but if approved, would result in tuition fees of £9,250 per year from 2017/18.
Entry Criteria 2017/18
- GCE A-level BBB, including a Maths and a Science or Engineering subject (General Studies not accepted).
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD (In Electrical/Electronic Engineering or Engineering) including Distinction in Further Maths for Technicians and Distinction in either Electrical or Electronic Principles.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in Electrical/Electronic Engineering or Engineering with an A-level in Maths at Grade B.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in Engineering with A-levels grade BB to include Maths.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 including 5 in Higher Level Maths, and 5 in Higher Level Science or an Engineering subject.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Engineering or Electronics and Computer Engineering 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.
- Foundations of Engineering courses For Brunel Foundations of Engineering progression requirements, see the course page.
5 GCSEs to include Maths at Grade C and English Language at Grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.