C Programming and Embedded Systems

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Autumn Special
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
30 April 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BENGH610DA Electronic Engineering

Module description

The aims of this module are to solve engineering problems in C, programme embedded systems, control I/O and design embedded systems for real-world problems.

Module aims

This module aims to provide the practical and theoretical skills needed to use C language to program embedded microprocessors and systems.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to:

1. Write programs in C to solve engineering problems
2. Program embedded microprocessors or microcontrollers in C
3. Define input and output modules for an embedded system
4. Design embedded systems as solutions to real-world problems

Module information

Outline Syllabus

*Introduction to the course: review of basic features of C programming language and embedded computer architectures.

*Embedded system characteristics: slow processing speed; small memory; A/D and D/A converters; digital input-output devices and communication links.

*Application domain characteristics: the complex, unpredictable and dynamic natures of engineering problems; sensor noise, timeliness, and error recovery.

*Implementation issues: modular development of embedded software and hardware; flexible configuration; multi/distributed processing; a variety of I/O devices.

Learning and teaching methods

A combination of lectures and practical labs


  • Blum, Jeremy. (2013) Exploring Arduino: tools and techniques for engineering wizardry, Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.
  • Kernighan, Brian W.; Ritchie, Dennis M. (c1988) The C programming language, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.
  • Dan Gookin. (2019-07-10) C Essential Training.
  • Hanly, Jeri R.; Koffman, Elliot B. (2016) Problem solving and program design in C., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Assignment 1 C Programming 05/11/2019 50.00%
Coursework Assignment 2 Embedded System Programming 10/12/2019 50.00%
Exam 120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main)

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
40% 60%


Coursework Exam
40% 60%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Xiaojun Zhai
School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

Dr Robert John Watson
University of Bath
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 62 hours, 22 (35.5%) hours available to students:
40 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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