MEng (Hons) Computer Systems and Networks EngineeringSouthwark Campus
Mode: Full-time; Part-time; Day release
This course offers a balanced programme of computer hardware, interface electronics, programming for real-time and embedded systems and telecommunications - all of which are supported by modules in analysis, software and database design.
5 reasons to study here
- Professional accreditation: Accredited by Institution of Engineering and Technology (formerly the IEE) under licence from the Engineering Council, and offers fast track progression to Chartered Engineer status.
- Sophisticated software: Gain a wealth of experience in using industry-standard equipment, computer programming and simulation packages.
- Career progression: Extends studies to Masters level and provides greater breadth and depth of study which is the quickest and easiest way to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
- European study: You can choose to spend your third year studying with our partner institution, Hochschule Bremen, in Germany.
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- Ranked 3rd for Assessment and Feedback amongst London Modern competitors in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (National Student Survey 2020).
- Work experience: Option to complete your third year in a paid professional work placement.
This degree course covers...
You'll gain experience in using industry-standard equipment and simulation packages. You'll also take apart, rebuild and configure a PC at sub-component level and carry out assignments in network configuration and management. This course covers:
- computer engineering
- engineering mathematics
- data networks
- communications systems
- software engineering
- network technologies
Methods of assessment for course overall: 44% coursework
- Engineering mathematics
This module consolidates the mathematical skills that underpin the BEng engineering degrees. It's specifically designed to cater for the wide differences in mathematical background of 1st year students, as well as to prepare you for the Advanced Engineering Mathematics and Modelling module that you'll take in the second year. Assessment methods: 50% coursework, 50% exam.
- Principles of computer engineering
This module consists of two separate parts. The first part covers the essential principles of analogue and digital electrical and electronic circuits. The module will also cover underlying magnetic and electrical properties, with a look at power supplies, power requirements and transformers. Much of the work will be workshop-based and illustrated throughout by typical applications in the industry. In this part you'll use standard digital integrated circuits to implement basic operations, and to build and test simple digital circuits using basic 'off the shelf' components, simple i/o devices, prototype boards and standard workstation instrumentation. The second part of this module deals with computer databases. It will cover database technology and modern networks, as well as their limitations and trends. It will also give an introductory overview of the current state of the technology. It will review database terminology, database design, design rules, and it will teach you to create a database, query a database and use forms. This module will make use of case studies. Assessment methods: 70% coursework, 30% exam.
- Introduction to data communication & networks
Technologies related to data communication and computer networking may be the fastest growing in engineering and in society. People use the Internet more and more every day for learning, research, online shopping, airline reservations, checking the latest news and weather, and so on. Today’s business world could not function without data communications and computer networks. This module will provide an introduction of the broad field of data communications and computer networks including principles, design approaches and standards. This module is designed to give you an initial foundation of computer systems and understanding of how computers are used in a networked environment. This will include data communication and computer networking technologies, as well as computer structure and the internetworked environment. It will help you understand the basics of data communications and networking in general and the protocols used. The approach will concentrate on the fundamental principles, from an engineering point of view, on which you can build more substantial computing studies throughout the course and afterwards. The module will lay the foundations of the computer networking engineering course. It will familiarise you with computers and computer systems, which form the basis of the internetworked computer infrastructure, as well as with the applications and terminology used in an internetworked environment. This module will also teach you to appreciate the role and importance of software and computers in the data communications and networking field, and more generically in engineering, and will so provide you with the impetus to quickly become competent in their use. In terms of programming languages, this modules assumes that, in parallel with this module, you study and experience programming with C, C++, Java, or Python. Computing with Python will be introduced to this module. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Engineering Principles
This module will help you develop your understanding of essential scientific principles for the study of engineering to degree level. It's designed to be accessible to students with a range of prior science specialisation. The module comprises two blocks of study. These will introduce the principles of measurement systems and units, thermal physics and mechanical and electrical principles. Assessment methods: 40% coursework, 60% exam.
- Engineering Computing
This is an introductory module that will address the engineering formation as well as programming knowledge and skills. It will enable you to appreciate the role and importance of software and computers in engineering, and so provide you with the impetus to quickly become competent in their use. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Design and practice
This module will cover material design activities, team work, creative problem-solving, project management, sustainable development principles, personal development planning, report writing communication, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), employability and transferable skills. It's also a work-based module for part-time students, utilising the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to provide supporting teaching material and assessments. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Operating systems and multimedia
Operating systems are at the heart of all computer applications and multimedia is fast becoming a major field in computer systems and networking applications. In order to inform you in these areas, this module is split into two parts. The first part is designed to teach you about the role that the operating system has in general computer systems. The second part will provide the basic engineering foundations of multimedia technology and its associated tools and components. It will thus consider the applications of computer systems in multimedia engineering and the role that the OS has in supporting the functioning of these. The operating system is the base level of software on which applications run. It is responsible for managing and allocating the system hardware, including CPU, physical memory and I/O devices. It also provides support for additional functions such as file systems and network protocols. There are several ways in which we can put pieces together to build an operating system. Last decade, the influence of the Internet and the www has encouraged the development of modern operating systems that include web browsers and networking and communication software as integral features. In this module you'll view the operating system from several vantage points. There are many instances in engineering when the content of an image or sound sample needs to be used to control other processes. There are consequently many different ways of digitally manipulating the data. This module introduces the main technologies used in multimedia applications. The work concentrates on graphical, audio and video data storage, processing and output. Many of the standards in this field will be defined and explored. You'll be given a chance to contrast and compare different software approaches to creating engineering solutions in multimedia form. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Introduction to communication systems and networks
This module is intended to give you an introduction on data communications and computer networking. The topics covered mainly focus on the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model for the basic communication and networks, especially the four bottom layers: i.e. Physical layer, Data-link layer, Network layer and Transport layer. You'll gain comprehensive understanding in terms of overall connection of these layers and the importance of each layer and their specific functions. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Engineering software C++
This module introduces the syntaxes and programming skills of computer language C++ and briefly OOP (Object Oriented Programming). The module is delivered in the way of 2 hours teaching, 2 hours computer workshops and 2 hours tutorials per week. Assessment methods: 50% coursework, 50% exam.
- Computer networks
This module concentrates on teaching you the material that a networking engineer should know before proceeding with network infrastructure design. It begins with seven-layer network reference model (OSI) and network architectural concept, which covers concepts for the rest of the module. Then it follows a systematic approach to explore networks from data link layer to application layer. General background to the technologies that are available for local and wide area networks are covered so that you can relate these during network specification and design. The most important parts of this module fall into the network layer and transportation layer, and TCP/IP is taught in a certain level of detail. The module also delivers knowledge like network performance and security, which are essential considerations in terms of network design. The module wraps up with a network design overview to apply the learning to the practice of design. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Team design project
This is a skills-based module developing your understanding of the design process within engineering, including factors that need to be taken into account in identifying and meeting requirements for new products (used to mean outcome of a process and can include specifications for a tangible product, or process, or system), such as working within Regulatory, professional and Standards requirements, developing practical skills, working as part of a team, handling information, project planning and management, and report-writing and presentation skills. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Objects-oriented software
- Optional placement year
- Innovation and enterprise
In the rapidly changing world around us, it's imperative that you're able to think dynamically to create advantage in your life. This module encourages you to question what you see and experience around you and in your prospective engineering field with an aim to enhance your creativity to discover new and better ways of doing things. It aims to equip you with methods and processes to recognise opportunities and to plan on harnessing commercially viable benefits that may exist from exploiting those opportunities in a sustainable fashion. This might be a product or service (such as consultancy or contract management). The application of project management principles will help to define the critical path of a proposed business and how the many processes involved (planning, market research, market placement, finance, operations, human resources etc.) are interlinked throughout the initial planning exercise and how they can change over time. You'll be expected to reflect on what you can contribute towards a group. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Systems and software engineering
This module provides formal study of software engineering and its application in the broader engineering fields, with a tendency towards electro-mechanical, electronic and building services engineering. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Network technologies and design
This module will provide you with a broad understanding of the enterprise network technologies, and will teach you how to design enterprise networks. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
- Advanced computer engineering
This module will begin by considering the predictive and empirical performance measures as well as the technological and architectural approaches to high performance computer architectures. The module will look at high performance and novel architectures such as pipelining and superscalar architectures. The associated memory support will also be considered, and memory techniques for high speed main memory, memory hierarchies and caching technology, as well as virtual memory management, will form a major part of the module. The memory hierarchy will be discussed with special emphasis on CPU cache design. Furthermore, the module will incorporate consideration of I/O techniques for improving latency and throughput. We'll cover concepts such as direct memory access (DMA), I/O processors, buses for system and I/O data transfer as well as bus standards. The very topical subject of parallel processing and concurrency will also be covered, as will be the concept of shared and distributed memory and interconnection networks. The relationship between computer components and the arithmetic logic unit (ALU) and the ALU implementation of number representations and operations will be covered from an engineering perspective. Assessment methods: 30% coursework, 70% exam.
The Individual Major Project requires you to plan, execute, review and report upon a major piece of technical work directly related to your degree discipline. In this regard, this module provides you with the opportunity to develop a high degree of subject-specific expertise. This module differentiates from others on the course taken due to the high degree of autonomous study expected. This flexibility should be seen as an opportunity to explore new areas of interest and to acquire new and often unexpected skills. The work undertaken within the project will require you to develop your own methodology in advance of presenting solutions to the studied problem. It's therefore expected that project will include evidence and demonstration of detailed research of the subject matter, practical demonstration of understanding of the material, testing and evaluation of the practical elements, detailed reporting, discussion and conclusions of the entire project, and a high level of written presentation and grammar skills. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
- Technical, research and professional skills
This module will provide you with a broad understanding of the principles of high speed computer networks and approaches of network design. It will provide a comprehensive overview of networking, from fundamental to advanced applications and services. The goal of this module is to help you develop the skills necessary to design small enterprise LANs and WANs. It will focus on a top-down approach for computer network design. This module will teach you how to collect customer requirements, translate those requirements into equipment and protocol needs and creating a network topology that address the needs of the customer. It will also familiarise you with how to create and implement a design proposal for a customer. Network performance will be investigated, and network construction skills will be developed in laboratory workshops. Software packages (OPNET, Packet Tracer) and Cisco routers/switches will be used in lab work. Assessment methods: 50% coursework, 50% exam.
- Computer network design
This module provides a broad understanding of the principles of computer networks and approaches of network design. It starts from standard layered protocol architecture and each layer of the TCP/IP model. Then it will focus on a top-down approach for designing computer networks for an enterprise.
- Group project
This module is designed to provide you with the experience of working in an asset team to solve a real world problem using industrial data for the development of a specific asset. You'll be grouped into teams of 3-4 members and you'll undertake a specific role in respect of the design calculations and analysis. You'll work full-time on this project under time constraint, using donated field data. The project results will be presented orally to an expert panel and the group will submit a report detailing their investigation and recommendations for development of the field. Assessment method: 100% coursework.
Plus two options from:
- Advanced instrumentation and control
This module develops advanced techniques in data acquisition and manipulation required for instrumentation and control applications. Further, it consolidates lectures with experimental computer-based assignments using industry standard hardware and software (NI DAQ and LabView). The module develops your knowledge and experience in data acquisition and virtual instrumentation used in Industry for control purposes.
- Digital signal processing and real-time systems
This module introduces the theory behind digital signal processing and how DSP can be implemented in real-time. You will gain an understanding of how to program hardware to perform fundamental DSP algorithms such as filtering and spectral analysis. You will gain a fundamental understanding of DSP algorithms and how to implement them in hardware for real-time applications.
- Advanced power electronics and renewable energy systems
The material in this module is divided into two parts. The first part covers the analysis and operation of power electronics and machines and their application in the areas of power conversion, power conditioners and electrical machine drives mostly, found on the 'load' side of the electrical power system but sometimes integrated into the supply network. This part will also include elements of computer control systems that are designed to produce non-sinusoidal waveforms and methods of dealing with undesirable harmonics and their effects on the power network. The second part of the module will focus on renewable energy and sustainability. This will include: solar cells, biomass, wind and wave power; intelligent environmental sensing and feedback (in areas of pollution, petroleum, energy consumption, etc.); and renewable design and effectiveness (solar, wind and wave).
- Wireless communication and satellite systems
This module provides understanding of main aspects of wireless communication technologies, various radio channel models, wireless communication networks and satellite communication systems. Particular emphasis will be given to current wireless technologies and architectures, design approaches and applications.
- Technology evaluation and commercialisation
In this module you'll follow a prescribed algorithm in order to evaluate the business opportunity that can be created from a technology's unique advantages. You will be guided towards identifying a technology project idea that you will evaluate for its business potential. To do this you'll conduct detailed research and analysis following a prescribed algorithmic model, in order to evaluate the business potential of this technology idea. The outcomes from this will serve as the basis for implementation of the selected technology in the business sense. Thus you'll develop the appropriate commercialisation strategy and write the business plan for your high-tech start-up company.
- Optical and microwave communications
This module provides a comprehensive approach to teach the system aspects of optical and microwave communications, with the emphasis on applications to Fibre-to-the Home (FTTH)/Fibre-to-the Business (FTTB) or Fibre-to-the Curb (FTTC), radio over fibre (RoF), optical-wireless integration, high-capacity photonic switching networks, wired and wireless broadband access systems, and high-speed solutions to last-mile access, respectively.
- Smart receivers and transmission techniques
This module provides a further in-depth study of some advanced transmission and receiver processing techniques in wireless communication systems. The module focuses on various current topics such as evolution and challenges in wireless and mobile technologies, smart transceivers, processing, coding and possible future evolutions in mobile communication systems. This module also aims to provide you with in-depth understanding and detailed learning objectives related the current mobile wireless industry trends and standards for key design considerations in related wireless products.
- Future internet technologies
You'll explore future enablers: open-based networking, cloud computing, and self-organised networks.
- Machine learning
This module introduces the basic theory, concepts, and techniques of machine learning, and its role in data science, pattern recognition, and cyber security.
- Data protection and confidentiality
You'll focus on the use of data protection and confidentiality through the use of encryption/cryptographic technologies.
- Systems and cyber threats: vulnerabilities and countermeasures
You'll develop an understanding of the functionalities of system security: integrity, availability and access on different systems and platforms (wireless networks, cloud, databases, filesystems, applications).
- Security risk assessment
You'll explore the reasons why information security is required and how can be defined as a company asset. the module introduces techniques and tools for managing security risk.
- Computer forensics
This module presents various methods of forensics and explores how they can be applied to different systems.
- Statistical analysis and modelling
This module develops your understanding of essential scientific principles for the study of statistics and modelling as applied to analytical computer science and software engineering.
- Business intelligence
This module will give you knowledge of the theory, practice and research of data science techniques used for the storage/analysis of big data using business intelligence. You'll use industry standard tools such as MS SQL Server.
- Data management
This module will give you a critical and evaluative knowledge of the technology and techniques used for data quality and Data Management amid today’s complex Big Data environments, including practical techniques for data cleansing, manipulation and reporting for a variety of contemporary and emerging data types. The module is supported using industry standard software e.g. MS SQL Server and Oracle.
- Data mining and analysis
This module teaches the techniques and technologies applicable to the field of data mining including association techniques, sequence or path analysis, classification, clustering and forecasting. The module is supported using industry standard software (e.g. SAS, Tableau) for building dashboards, applying algorithms and applying analytic techniques to structured and unstructured big data from social media, the cloud and other sources.
- Wireless and mobile networking
This module covers the more advanced topics in wireless mobile networking with a focus on providing the knowledge on emerging techniques and standards being used in 3GPP (3G and LTE), 4G, 5G networks.
- Media (VoIP/Video) technologies
You'll develop skills and knowledge that enables you to understand how media sources (VoIP, video) are compressed, encoded and transcoded and how multimedia is distributed over the Internet, wireless networks and content delivery networks.
With computers now an essential part of our lives, the demand and opportunities for those who can design, manage and service computer systems is only going to continue to grow.
This means Computer Systems Engineering graduates are equipped with the skills needed to work in a wide range of computer network engineering and commerce roles. These include computer network administration under Windows and Unix, as well as software engineering and design using Java and C++.
Graduates have a variety of skills that make them desirable to potential employers, including hands-on experience of industry-standard equipment and simulation packages, the ability to complete analytical investigative work and also the opportunity to take up a placement in a sandwich year in industry.
Graduate success stories
Recent graduates from this course have gone onto a range of high technically challenging posts including: Computer Networking Engineer, Embedded Systems Developer, Senior Computer Programmer, Computer Systems Administrator and Operations & Infrastructure Manager.
Progression to postgraduate studies
Graduates will be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level, including for a place on our full-time or part-time MSc Embedded and Distributed Systems or MSc Computer Systems and Networking.
What to expect from your career
Information Systems Manager
One option is to work in information systems – these are the overall information and communications technology infrastructures in an organisation. Information systems managers are responsible for ensuring that these infrastructures are well designed, tested, implemented and managed on an on-going basis.
This means that information systems managers carry lots of responsibilities, with tasks including managing a team of professionals, developing plans in great detail and being responsible for budgets. It is a role suited to people with exceptional technical expertise, but it also requires fantastic organisational skill, strong teamwork abilities and rigorous attention to detail. As I.T. is a constantly developing field, most jobs will likely require keeping up-to-date with the latest technological changes and learning new skills in order to be successful.
Computer Network Engineer
Another option is to work as a Computer Networking Engineer. These people are technical experts who set up computer networks and maintain them. They are also the people who help provide solutions when something goes wrong, with both hardware and software.
Starting salaries for those in information systems are around the £20,000-£25,000 mark. For those who progress to management level, salaries between £50,000 and £100,000 are not uncommon. (All About Careers)
Salaries for entry-level network engineers tend to be around £19,000-£26,000, while senior network engineers can earn up to £60,000 a year. (All About Careers)
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC).
This MEng degree is seeking accreditation by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (formerly the IEE) under licence from the Engineering Council, and to offer fast track progression to Chartered Engineer status. This course has a panel of advisers from industry, to help ensure our course coverage is up-to-date and relevant to employment needs.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is the professional society for the engineering and technology community, with more than 150,000 members in 127 countries.
For those students who choose to take the five year sandwich course, the third year is spent on an industrial placement in the UK and our industrial placement team will provide the necessary guidance, support and advice.
This option is a great opportunity to understand the way that the industry functions and to gain an appreciation of the priorities in the commercial environment.
European placement opportunity
The European Studies endorsement is available on all our BEng and Meng courses. If you choose to complete a sandwich year abroad you will study German at our partner institution, Hochschule Bremen, and then complete the year with an industrial placement in Germany.
Our students learn in an environment that is highly in tune with leading technologies. They gain the knowledge and training needed to meet future demands for products and services. You'll learn to use the latest computer interfacing technologies in our National Instruments Laboratory. Sponsored by National Instruments, the laboratory contains virtual instrument workstations using software including Multisim, Ultiboard and Labview.
Read more about our laboratories and industry-standard software.
Teaching and learning
The vocational approach to teaching taken at LSBU will have a positive impact on your employability. This is because our graduates understand the theory, but can also confidently apply that learning and adapt their skills to the workplace.
Our teaching staff have a great amount of experience. Whether they're teaching, carrying out research or involved in consultancy for industry they have the skills to make a difference to you. You'll learn in a modern, well-equipped environment complete with sophisticated technology.
Approach to learning
You'll learn through lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work. Taking on both group and individual projects, we assess your work through a mixture of coursework and exams, with project and laboratory work counting towards your final award. We also teach you the life skills of effective communication, problem solving, project planning and team working that will set you apart and give you the best chance of getting the job you want after you graduate.
The amount of project-based learning that you'll do on an engineering degree varies from university to university. At LSBU we offer 'design-make-test' projects throughout the degree course rather than concentrating them all into your final year. This means that you'll adapt theoretical principles to solve real-world engineering problems very early on in your university career.
This experience of delivering innovation makes you attractive to employers. Innovation is at the very heart of what an engineer does on a day-to-day basis. Engineers look for practical ways of making things better, more efficient, cheaper, safer, stronger, more resilient, quicker, more integrated and more effective. Our engineering courses will teach you first-hand how to develop these crucial skills and traits.
Prepared for modern engineering practice
In reality most engineers will find themselves working side-by-side in multi-disciplinary project teams. One of the greatest professional assets that you can have is the ability to function well in this team set-up. That's why some of our modules are shared across all our engineering courses. These modules are about understanding the commercial priorities that shape engineering practice and problem-solving.
As an undergraduate or MEng Engineering student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.
Your tutor should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your personal tutor at least twice a semester throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email or in person.
- A Level AAB or;
- BTEC National Diploma DDD or;
- Access to HE qualifications with 39 Distinctions and 6 Merits including 3 Distinctions in Maths and 3 Merits in Physics or;
- Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 138 UCAS points
- Level 3 qualifications must include Maths
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
- We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
You don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.
Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Fees and funding
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.