Computer Engineering

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Course overview
(MSc) Master of Science
Computer Engineering
University of Essex
University of Essex
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full-time or part-time
MSC H61212

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements. None

Admission criteria

A 2.2 degree in Electronic Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Networks, Telecommunications, Engineering, Automation, Mechatronic Engineering, Mathematics or or Physics.

You must have studied at least one module in signals and systems and one module in mathematics.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Dr Rong Qu

Associate Professor

The University of Nottingham

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 CE901-7-SU MSc Project and Dissertation Core 60 Compulsory
02 CE902-7-FY Professional Practice and Research Methodology Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
03 CE865-7-AU Programming Embedded Systems Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
04 CE869-7-SP High Level Logic Design Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
05 CE709-7-SP Converged Networks and Services Compulsory 15 Compulsory Compulsory
06 Option(s) from list Optional 30 Optional Optional
07 Option(s) from list Optional 30 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

MSc Computer Engineering is a programme of study designed for graduates with a first degree in computer science, Engineering Sciences, Mathematical Sciences and Physical Sciences or related discipline.

Its main teaching aims are:

1. to prepare students for careers in advanced research and/or development in Computer Engineering by equipping them with relevant and up-to-date knowledge and skills

2. to develop the students' ability to make a critical evaluation of the theories, techniques, tools and systems used in this field and associated areas of Computer Engineering

3. to enable students to contribute to future developments in the field by providing them with an understanding of recent advances and current research activity

4. to enable students to develop particular expertise in a chosen area of Computer Engineering

5. to develop the students' ability to undertake research by providing appropriate resources and guidance in their use

6. to develop the students' ability to make an effective contribution to team-based activity

7. to encourage students to adopt an investigative approach and develop autonomous study skills in order to assist their continuing professional development.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 A comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of the specialisation.
A2 A critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights most of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the specialisation.
A3 Knowledge and understanding of computer based systems at an advanced level.
Learning Methods: Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in the majority of the learning outcomes.

Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic papers and material available on-line.

Understanding is reinforced by means of exercise classes, discussion groups, laboratories, assignments and project work.

Specialist knowledge is further developed during supervision of the individual dissertation.

Assessment Methods: Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked coursework.

An assessment of the understanding of underlying concepts and principles forms part of the overall assessment of the individual dissertation report and oral presentation.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Understanding of concepts relevant to the discipline, some from outside engineering, and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively, including in engineering projects.
B2 Ability both to apply appropriate engineering analysis methods for solving complex problems in engineering and to assess their limitations.
B3 Ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies.
B4 Knowledge, understanding and skills to work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies.
B5 Knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies and the ability to apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations.
B6 Apply engineering design principles to the design of computer based systems.
Learning Methods: The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and they are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and self directed study, assignments and project work.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of intellectual skills is assessed primarily through unseen closed-book examinations, and also through marked assignments and project work.

C: Practical skills

C1 Ability to collect and analyse research data and to use appropriate engineering analysis tools in tackling unfamiliar problems, such as those with uncertain or incomplete data or specifications, by the appropriate innovation, use or adaptation of engineering analytical methods.
C2 Advanced level knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components.
C3 A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments.
C4 Ability to apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints
C5 Ability to design, construct and analyse computer based systems.
Learning Methods: Practical skills are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments and project work.
Assessment Methods: Achievement of practical skills is assessed through marked coursework, project reports, oral presentations and demonstrations of completed systems.

D: Key skills

D1 Ability to generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs.
D2 Awareness of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering.
D3 Awareness that engineers need to take account of the commercial and social contexts in which they operate.
D4 Knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, their limitations, and how these may be applied in the context of the particular specialisation.
D5 Awareness that engineering activities should promote sustainable development and ability to apply quantitative techniques where appropriate.
D6 Awareness of relevant regulatory requirements governing engineering activities in the context of the particular specialisation.
D7 Awareness of and ability to make general evaluations of risk issues in the context of the particular specialisation, including health and safety, environmental and commercial risk.
D8 Understanding of different roles within an engineering team and the ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader.
D9 Communicate their work to technical and non-technical audiences.
Learning Methods: Students learn key skills in research, problem solving, communication and team project work in projects, the Professional Practice and Research Methodology module and the individual dissertation.
Assessment Methods: Assessment of the key skills is intrinsic to subject based assessment.
The assessment of project work includes specific allocations of credit for project management and the quality of presentations.
An individual's contribution to team projects is determined by means of a submission containing reflective and self-assessment components.
The assessment of the dissertation report includes specific allocation of credit for the quality, extent and relevance of a bibliography, including internet sources.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: