Embedded Systems Engineering MSc

Study level: Postgraduate
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Embedded systems are computing devices that perform dedicated functions or are designed for use with specific embedded software applications.

Year of entry



Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode



1 year full-time
2-3 years part-time
2 years sandwich

Course code


Start date

September 2024

Course overview

This course will provide you with the opportunity to develop practical skills and theoretical knowledge in embedded systems engineering, including embedded systems programming, embedded operating systems, and embedded hardware engineering as well as advanced electronics including Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) based on digital system design, image and signal processing, digital communications, wireless intelligent systems, and robotics

  • Embedded systems engineering is a discipline that designs and implements hardware and software of embedded systems. To name a few, they are crucial to mobile communications, Internet of Things (IoT), household robots and video game consoles.
  • The course is designed for graduates with an electronics and computing background. It can provide a leading-edge MSc degree education in embedded systems engineering.
  • The technical focus of the course concentrates on a combination of advanced electronics including FPGA based on digital system design, image and signal processing, digital communications, wireless intelligent systems, and robotics as well as the subject-specific knowledge in embedded systems including embedded systems programming, embedded operating systems, and embedded hardware engineering.
  • An emphasis on applied technical work can strengthen the engineering development skills of students from an academic background. Such work can provide the demonstrable expertise necessary to help secure professional-level employment in related industries.
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional work placement’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.
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Why you should study this course

At Coventry University, we believe that studying engineering should be so much more than just learning theory and passing examinations. Our activity-led learning approach should enable you to develop your skills and knowledge by working on real-life problems and projects, some commissioned by our industry collaborators.

  • Designed to follow the Engineering Council UK-SPEC standard, the course encompasses theoretical and practical subjects within the broad area of embedded systems engineering as used by industries as diverse as mobile communications, IoT, household robots and video game consoles.
  • We aim to regularly update course content to reflect emerging trends and knowledge fields to enrich your technical and transferrable skills. For example, embedded hardware engineering provides knowledge and experience of the engineering techniques and processes required for the realisation of embedded hardware systems. Robotics is another key area, so we will examine the sub-systems that a robot needs, such as sensors to perceive its environment, cognition to make informed decisions, image processing to ‘see’ and detect objects in the real world and the mechanics to enable movement through 3D space.
  • You’ll study in our modern Engineering and Computing buildings, with access to extensive facilities4 and modern technologies in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering, such as a new machines and microprocessors laboratory.
  • You’ll be taught by experts in their field, some of whom are currently active researchers in areas that include but are not limited to wireless sensors and pervasive computing, and embedded micro-electronics. This not only helps to inform your teaching, keeping you abreast of new developments and issues, but also provides opportunities to partner staff on research projects (subject to availability, staff are subject to change).

Accreditation and professional recognition

Chartered Management Institute

Chartered Management Institute

As part of this course you will undertake a professional development module which is currently accredited1 by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) for the 2024-25 intake. Upon successful completion of the module, you will gain the CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice at no additional cost. Further details can be found under the modules and on the Professional Development module homepage.

Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules and is regularly reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems. Please visit the CMI website for full details on the CMI accreditation.

What you'll study

One half of the course concentrates on areas such as embedded hardware engineering, wireless intelligent systems, signal processing and robotics. The other half examines areas such as embedded operating systems, embedded system programming, digital system design, communications systems, and consultancy.

Ultimately, you will be required to perform a detailed research or design study with the help of an experienced supervisor into a technical aspect from the course. With the agreement of your tutor, you can choose a topic to suit your interests, research to assist your career aspirations or a practical project. As an example, one former student worked on a project commissioned by RTF Europe to develop a recoiler unit for mobile phone display security in shops.


  • This module aims to provide you with practical design and implementation skills in devising wireless intelligent embedded systems. The module focuses on the nature of computation, communications and hardware/software support needed to design large-scale distributed and wirelessly connected embedded systems.


  • This module will first revise/introduce the fundamentals of the analysis of digital signals and systems. This will then lead to the development of higher-level signal processing techniques and filter design before applying them to some problems to demonstrate their applications. Additionally, the concepts of digital image processing and image enhancement techniques will be introduced.


  • This module aims to introduce the science and engineering of mechanical manipulation, an introduction to mobile robotics, some common sensors used in the field, drive mechanisms and their differing configurations and some of their applications. It covers the major relevant fields of mechanics, control theory, locomotion and computer science.


  • This module aims to provide knowledge and experience of the engineering techniques and processes required for the realisation of embedded hardware systems. It involves a detailed study of advanced contemporary devices and their applications together with an opportunity to develop practical skills in the laboratory.


  • This module aims to provide you with practical experience in the programming of real-time embedded systems including analysis, design and implementation of appropriate computer programs.


  • This module aims to provide a deep understanding of the principles of digital communications applicable to both wired and wireless systems to include data transmission, source coding, channel coding, channels and security.


  • This module introduces you to embedded operating systems. The main topics covered will include basic embedded OS concepts such as processes, memory management, drivers and file systems. Embedded storage and an actual embedded OS will be studied.


  • The module aims to provide a capability to apply the VHSIC Hardware Description Language (VHDL) for the simulation and synthesis of digital systems on FPGAs. It covers the essential syntax of VHDL and its coding styles for different digital functions and their simulation and implementation. A practical approach is adopted involving the use of contemporary VHDL design tools.


  • This module aims to provide you with a framework of knowledge and understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people in a strategic and entrepreneurial way. Ultimately, you will be given the opportunity to develop strategic priorities for entrepreneurial leadership.


  • The project is intended to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your competence in applying the concepts and skills acquired during the taught part of the course. The project may be a solution to a practical problem or focus on a research topic. The project serves the dual purpose of providing a means of integrating previous learning and facilitating the acquisition of valuable professional experience.


With work placement pathway

The ‘With Work Placement’ opportunity2 enables you to apply in semester 1 for an optional work placement of up to 12 months, extending the duration of your master’s to 24 months. The placement provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability upon graduation. The placement would take place in semesters 3, 4 and 5.

Please note that the optional placement modules will incur an additional tuition fee of £4,000. Placement opportunities may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Work placements are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of the Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the work placement option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

Your course will be taught using traditional teaching methods such as lectures, with associated seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory classes. We also incorporate a range of innovative teaching methods, including flipped classroom, activity led learning and peer-based learning which you will undertake both individually and in groups.

Throughout your studies, you will have access to our modern facilities4; computers are installed with all the relevant computing software, ranging from the basics such as Matlab and Xlinix ISE to more subject-specific, like VREP (Virtual Robotic Environment Platform), Flux Electromagnetic and Thermal Finite Element Analysis software.

You may be provided with opportunities to sit in on guest lectures and take part in optional field trips2 which have previously included industry visits to BT, GE, Electric Mountain, National Grid and UNIPART to view current industrial practices. Some of our past students have also taken part in local IET competitions, such as ‘Present Around the World’ where they must present a topic that interests them for 10 minutes and be able to answer questions on it.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, there is around 30 hours of contact time associated with each module.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 35 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules. 

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include individual and group work, presentations, laboratory work, formal examinations, technical reports, in-class tests, online quizzes, posters and computer simulation employing Simulink, Matlab, Multisim and PSCAD.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

An applicant for the course will normally be expected to possess at least one of the following:

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject such as electronic engineering or physics.
  • A lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant experience at a professional level.
  • Satisfactory independent evidence of working for several years in a position that would normally be occupied by an honours graduate in a relevant area (such as the engineering sector), which would lead to gaining benefit from the course.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Typical entry requirements

An applicant for the course will normally be expected to possess at least one of the following:

  • A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject such as electronic engineering or physics.
  • A lower qualification plus appropriate and relevant experience at a professional level.
  • Satisfactory independent evidence of working for several years in a position that would normally be occupied by an honours graduate in a relevant area (such as the engineering sector), which would lead to gaining benefit from the course.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international pre-master's. Upon successful completion our International Pre-Master's - Engineering will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this postgraduate degree.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall with at least 5.5 in each component area

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £4,000 (Work placement option additional fee)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities4.

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The Library

You will benefit from our support designed to help you succeed and our industry-relevant teaching and resources. These include our modern library and computing facilities, dedicated careers advice and Your Students’ Union.

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Jaguar Centre

The Jaguar Centre has been specifically designed to provide facilities and services to support our postgraduate students including social spaces, computer suites and separate areas for small group study.

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The Hub

The Hub is the centre of student campus life. It's also home to the Health and Wellbeing Centre, the Spirituality and Faith Centre, the Tank Studio, Student Success Coaches and the Enterprise Hub.

Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have knowledge of:

  • Principles of embedded systems engineering and their relationships to leading-edge, real-world applications.
  • Advanced analysis and design tools and processes relevant to embedded microelectronics and communications.
  • The implementation and critical evaluation of design solutions through simulation and practical applications.
  • The main approaches to research design, sampling and analysis appropriate to construct research questions or hypotheses.

You will be able to:

  • Conceptualise complex technical aspects of embedded systems engineering.
  • Conduct detailed and systematic technical analyses of aspects of embedded systems engineering.
  • Devise technical solutions to problems in the design and implementation of embedded systems engineering.
  • Critically evaluate literature and solutions relating to problems arising in the design and implementation aspects of embedded systems engineering.
  • Select, apply and critically appraise tools and techniques of advanced analysis and design.
  • Implement appropriate software and hardware solutions and simulations and critically evaluate the outcomes.

Embedded systems are now ever-present in all aspects of technological life – in industries as diverse as automotive, biotechnology, fixed and mobile communications, information technology, industrial electronics process control, security and computer technology.

There is a high demand for highly trained professionals to develop such systems or work in the vast number of industries that employ these technologies.

Where our graduates work

The specialist topics studied on the programme will help to prepare you for a wider range of roles in related industries that rely on the technology. To name a few, you can begin a career in the areas of consumer electronics industry, household robots, IoT, mobile communication devices and video game consoles. Other possible destinations include digital system design, robotics and associated activities and microelectronic applications.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.