Computer Hardware and Software Engineering BEng (Hons)
UCAS Code: GG56
International Code: EECU052
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
Study level: Undergraduate
This professionally accredited course focuses on the engineering and integration of hardware and software systems. The course encourages you to think creatively and independently, and aims to prepare you to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing technological environment.
This course is specially designed to bridge the gap between electronics/hardware engineering and computer science/software engineering. The course covers most aspects of software while focusing on the advanced hardware design based on FPGA and system design based on microcontroller.
This course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle challenges involved in the development of future technologies such as IoT, smart cities, autonomous car and green technologies.
The course covers most aspects of software while focusing on the advanced hardware design based on FPGA and system design based on microcontroller.
Successful graduates of the course should be able to solve both electronics and software-related problems in areas such as electronic engineering, embedded systems, computer architecture and security, programming, mobile app development, machine learning, FPGA based design and system on chip design.
Global ReadyAn international outlook, with global opportunities
Teaching excellenceTaught by lecturers who are experts in their field
EmployabilityCareer ready graduates, with the skills to succeed
Why you should study this course
- Meets the full academic requirements for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration upon successful completion of the course (subject to additional costs). Further details can be found on the IET website.
- Well-equipped dedicated electronics laboratory and CISCO laboratory, featuring electronic development and testing equipment, networking devices, associated tools and software.
- Regular free to attend expert guest lectures, which have previously covered topics such as 3D printer PCB design by RS Component, embedded development with ARM processors by ST Microelectronics and system security by IET members (subject to availability).
of Computer Hardware and Software Engineering BEng (Hons) students agreed the course is intellectually stimulating
Accreditations and Professional Recognition
This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for the 2022-23 intakes on behalf of the Engineering Council, for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.
Watch your career take off with a placement
Placements provide you with the opportunity to learn technical skills in a ‘live’ work environment. They can also lead to permanent positions with your placement company upon graduation, as Surbhi reveals.Read Surbhi's story
What you'll study
The first year is designed to allow students from a diverse range of backgrounds to make a solid start on the course. Computer engineering looks at the building blocks of computers and essential programming skills required for the following year, while electrical engineering covers essential electrical circuits. In electronics, you will explore the digital logic and electronic circuits which are the foundation of computer hardware engineering.
Introduction to Computer Engineering – 20 credits
This module aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of computer hardware and software engineering. The main topics covered include data representation, main components of a computer and their functions. It also includes the fundamentals of operating systems and computer networking, designing, testing and implementing computer software.
Introduction to Programming and Algorithms – 20 credits
This module introduces the fundamentals of computer programming and algorithm construction that will underpin the technical and theoretical content of undergraduate degree courses based within the discipline of Computing.
Analogue Circuits and Embedded Systems – 20 credits
Adopting a very practical approach, this module aims to provide general and key technology skills associated with technical project implementation. To facilitate learning students will be mentored by academic staff and supported by technical staff.
Analogue and Digital Electronics 1 – 20 credits
This module introduces students to the application of elementary analogue and digital electronic techniques. Learning is enhanced through an active approach involving computer circuit simulation and the design of practical circuits.
Electrical Science – 10 credits
The module aims to provide a broad basic introduction to electrical science for non-specialists. It places an emphasis on d.c. circuit theory, electrical supply and rotating machinery.
Engineering Mathematics 1 – 20 credits
This module aims to further develop the students' competence in mathematical methods relevant to engineering whilst at the same time emphasising fundamental concepts which the engineer needs to understand in order to produce a mathematical formulation of a problem.
Add+vantage Module – 10 credits
In your second year, more advanced electronics and embedded system design topics will be covered in the electronic modules. Operating system and advanced programming will be taught along with a communication technologies module.
Operating Systems and Security – 20 credits
This module introduces students to modern Operating Systems (OS) with a focus on security. The main topics covered will include basic OS concepts such as processes, memory management, drivers and file systems.
Analogue and Digital Electronics 2 – 20 credits
Object Oriented Programming – 20 credits
Embedded System Design and Development – 20 credits
This module allows the students via group activities to apply appropriate theoretical and practical project management methods to aid the design, develop, manufacture, construct, commission, operate, maintain, decommission and re-cycle embedded products.
Communication and Networking Systems – 20 credits
This module aims to provide a fundamental knowledge of computer communications (mainly in the context of local and wide area networks) and network architecture from the user’s point of view. It aims to give an overall understanding of the issues and constraints involved in wired and wireless communication systems.
Manufacture of Electronic Systems for Regulatory Complicate – 10 credits
This module aims to develop an understanding failure analysis of electronic systems linked to manufacture and environment and regulatory aspects involved in the design development and manufacture of electronic systems, to be able to assimilate testing for compliance and other matters associated.
Add+vantage Module – 10 credits
Following your second year, you will have an option to apply for a one-year professional work placement or study abroad in a partner institution. Past students have undertaken placements working as a trainee system test engineer at Halliburton, trainee operational analyst at IBM and trainee network operations engineer at BlackBerry in the UK.
If you wish to undertake the optional study abroad/placement year, you will take either the Placement Year module or the Study Abroad Year module which both typically run for a full academic year between years 2 and 3 of your course. You are normally able to progress onto the relevant module if you have successfully completed the first two years of the course (i.e. having accumulated 240 credits) and have a confirmed opportunity two weeks prior to the start of the academic year. However, we encourage international students to confirm their placements earlier to ensure they are able to meet any applicable visa requirements.
Students opting for either the work placement or study abroad module will be registered on a non-credit bearing module. Whilst the modules do not bear credits, they do require completion of marked activities reflecting on your placement/study abroad or work placement experience. Following successful completion of the activities, the module selected will appear on your final academic transcript. Students will thus graduate with 360 credits in total, assuming successful completion of their final year.
In the final year, you will continue your studies in advanced hardware and software design, but with a focus on individual projects in which you will perform a detailed research or design study into a technical aspect from the course with the help of an experienced supervisor.
You can choose a topic to suit your interests or to assist your career aspirations, with past students having worked on train diagnostics interface system for Spherea GmbH, designing and building a brand new MCC (Motor Control Centre) for Coalport STW and flat panel implementation of a Lava Lamp for Morph Designs.
Final year Projects – 30 credits
Mobile Application Development – 20 credits
This module will enable students to use development kits to build applications for mobile platforms. The practical issues of programming for such devices will be taught alongside software design for portable devices, investigation of the interface components and user interaction possibilities of smartphones.
Hardware Realisation of a Computer System – 20 credits
The aim is to enable the student to design a computer system using a hardware description language. Specific focus would be on field programmable gate array implementation, which includes synthesis, testing and verification. An additional aim for the student is to learn complex system design techniques including architecting for speed and area.
System on Chip Design – 20 credits
Optional Modules (one of two)
Machine Learning and Related Application – 20 credits
This module represents an introduction to the wide field of machine learning. It will present fundamental concepts related to supervised and unsupervised learning methods, for example linear regression, support vector machines, radial basis function, decision trees and random forests, clustering techniques and naïve Bayes classification models.
Security – 20 credits
This module introduces students to the concepts and practical considerations of creating and evaluating secure computer systems. Systems will be analysed at both the application level and at the level of interconnected devices in architectures suck as client-server and cloud-based, with attention given to security-by-design, security legislation and regulation and the associated products and services.
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
Actual teaching contact hours will vary depending on the level of study and the requirements of a particular semester. In a typical week your contact hours will be divided amongst:
- Personal tutorials and small group teaching
- Medium group teaching (e.g. seminars, tutorial sessions, lab sessions and workshops)
- Large group teaching (lectures).
In addition, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study each week depending on the demands of individual modules. The number of contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 18 contact hours per week in the first and second years dropping to around 16 contact hours per week in the final year as you become a more independent learner.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending on the module. Assessment methods include formal examinations, coursework, tests, portfolios, practical or project work, group work, demonstrations, presentations and posters.
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.
On successful completion, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: communications, computer systems and computer networking; digital electronics, microcomputers, computer systems hardware; operating systems, network security and software; mathematical principles necessary to underpin the discipline; management of engineering including social, environmental, economic, legal and ethical topics.
- Solve engineering problems employing a system approach.
- Design software and hardware for application specific purpose.
- Design computer systems and networks.
- Search and evaluate information sources.
- Adopt a holistic approach to using computer hardware and software technology in a commercial context.
- Use electrical and electronic test equipment in experimental work.
- Implement and test software solution.
- Simulate computer systems and protocols.
- Apply computer technology, software tools and quantitative methods.
- Configure and connect electronic and computer systems.
International experience opportunities
Computer technology is an international business, so we encourage a global perspective throughout our teaching.
If you opt for a sandwich year, you have the opportunity to spend a period of time abroad* for part of your studies; we have current student exchange links with universities in approximately 20 countries around the world and we will support you in trying to find a work placement abroad. We have had past students secure international placements in, for example, Austria and France.
We have previously organised a number of international field trips* for our students. For example, three groups of our past students and a team of staff members have attended the annual European Embedded Digital Signal Processing (eDSP) group project events three years running and worked with local staff and students in Lithuania, France and Germany. We have also previously undertaken three separate visits to China; we visited the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST) in Shanghai, Jiang Su SAS-Tech Auto Industrial Company in Taicang City and worked with Chinese staff and students on an embedded system development project, experiencing Chinese culture throughout the visits.
Typical offer for 2022 entry
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A level||BBC to include Mathematics and one from Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing or Design Tech. Excludes General Studies.|
|GCSE||Minimum 5 GCSEs at grade 9-4 including English and Mathematics, or specified equivalents.|
|BTEC||DMM in an Engineering subject, to include Merits in 'Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems' and 'Further Engineering Mathematics' units.|
|IB Diploma||29 points to include Mathematics and one from Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology and IT at a higher level.|
|Access grades||The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits in Mathematics or Physical Science units. Plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 or above.|
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
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.
If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Engineering will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate 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: 6.0 overall
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.
Fees and funding
2022/23 Tuition fees
|Student||Full time||Part time|
|UK||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|International||£18,050 per year||Not available|
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate 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. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
The faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing boasts modern, multifunctional teaching and research buildings that support hands-on learning. Laboratories and workshops are equipped to commercial and industrial standards and are available to students both in and out of class time (subject to availability).
The Cisco lab is used for working with general networking and towards accreditation by Cisco. Optional modules allow students to work in the lab to develop skills in preparation for the Cisco certification exam.
Our virtual labs provide a cutting-edge environment to create entire virtual networks, complete with services, users and even attackers. Students can access this environment from anywhere on or off campus.
Games Technology lab
This lab contains high-end gaming PCs with the capacity to run industry standard games engines and programming environments. It also supports Virtual Reality (VR) game development.
Careers and opportunities
Engineering remains one of the most in-demand jobs in the UK, with a particular shortage of Power System Engineers, Control Engineers and Protection Engineers. However, opportunities exist throughout the world for highly trained professionals who combine computing and engineering skills.
The course focuses on computer hardware-software design and integration, giving you the opportunity to gain substantial practical experience which aims to support you in demonstrating your capabilities to potential future employers upon successful completion.
Course content is regularly reviewed to reflect what is relevant and in demand in the industry. We seek external feedback from the External Examiner and a current group of professionals and subject experts from industry, universities and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) through the IET accreditation process. Please see the Accreditation and Professional recognition section for further information.
Where our graduates work
Previous graduates from the course have gone into predominately industry roles in diverse range of industries, for example, JLR, GE and National Grid, Jaguar Land Rover, Blackberry, IBM, DSTL – Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Advanced Electronics Company, Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems, PX Group and more. Some choose to progress to further study of an MSc or PhD.
You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Electrical and Electronic Engineering MSc. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS. Part-time students should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International Guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
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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 2021/22 Contract can be found here. 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.
The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.
For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.
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.
Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
Placements and study abroad opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.
This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).