Group of smartly dressed students working in a seminar room


Computing for Embedded Systems

Please note that new student recruitment to this course has been suspended for the September 2018 intake. Applications for 2019 should be made through UCAS from September 2018.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
Four years sandwich; three years full-time
Full-time; sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Martin Serpell
Key fact:
Boost your career prospects - both nationally and worldwide - with sought after skills in development, systems design, implementation and maintenance.

Page last updated 29 September 2017


Why study computing for embedded systems?

Computer systems are evolving rapidly. Most consumer technology like TVs, phones and wearables now use complex software running on embedded central processing units (CPUs).

With this technology becoming pervasive, companies have an urgent need for graduates skilled in this area.

Why UWE Bristol?

BEng(Hons) Computing for Embedded Systems gives you a strong understanding of computer systems with a focus on networks, CPU architecture and embedded systems development.

If you have technical curiosity and a strong interest in finding out how computer systems work, you will enjoy this course.

Learn about different aspects of digital electronics and programming, with options to focus on software or hardware.

Design and write the software that runs the computers that run the world. Not just laptops and desktop PCs, but all the 'hidden' computers in driverless cars, aircraft, spacecraft, medical equipment, industrial equipment, navigation systems, phones, gadgets, household appliances and wearables. In fact, all of the 'things' in the internet of things and more.

Apply for fee sponsorship and prizes, as well as student work placements and graduate jobs. Build your industry network and knowledge through employer fairs, conference trips and presentations from visiting professionals.

Connect with our online alumni network, providing links to the great and the good in the technology industry worldwide. Graduate with practical skills and hands-on experience that will help you get ahead in the workplace.

Where can it take me?

Most of our graduates are snapped up when they graduate, with the majority in employment within six months.

Hardware and software expertise is highly sought after by employers in areas such as telecommunications, automotive control, real-time programming, systems administration, embedded systems development and digital systems processing. 

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year zero (foundation year)

Compulsory modules:

  • Professional and Communication Skills
  • Maths for Computing
  • Computer Architecture
  • Information Systems Fundamentals
  • Internet Systems
  • Programme Design and Implementation

Programming Project.

You normally need to pass your foundation year before going into year one.

Year one

You will study:

  • Computer and Network Systems
  • Programming in C++.
  • Web Programming
  • Digital Principles.   

Year two

You will study:

  • Mobile and Embedded Devices
  • Secure Computer Networks
  • Operating Systems
  • Internet of Things.   

Plus one optional module from:

  • Data, Schema and Applications
  • Digital Design
  • Design and Analysis of Data Structures and Algorithms. 

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the five year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

  • Embedded Systems Development
  • Building and Porting Embedded Operating Systems
  • Digital Systems Project
  • Parallel Computing.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Professional Experience
  • Professional Development.

And one optional module from:

  • Designing and Developing Device Drivers
  • Group Design and Integration Project
  • Ethics and Professional Issues*
  • Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Cryptography.

*Compulsory for students who don't do a placement.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

Getting to grips with new subjects can be demanding, but by offering the correct level of assistance, we aim to support you throughout your studies. Our use of a practical approach during laboratory investigation and direct experiments enables theories and principles to be more easily assimilated. You will also frequently work in pairs or small teams, helping you to understand difficult concepts through discussion. This style of collaborative working also provides an excellent preparation for the most common career scenarios, where you will be contributing to the success of a team.

Programmes of lectures provide explanation and overall guidance for the course. Extra assistance and guidance is also available from a team of trained senior students (PALs) who are available to help small groups or individuals with particular subject problems. This is of special relevance when course work assignments are due!

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


You'll be assessed through a mix of practical coursework and yearly exams.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check



Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you highly employable on graduation.

If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Work placements, sponsorships and prizes are available from a range of partner organisations.

Our students have completed placements in aviation or oil and gas at General Electric. Others have worked for technology leaders like Hewlett Packard and IBM. Many work for regional employers in specialist areas such as software, sensors or technical services.


We arrange trips to open source software event FOSDEM and Open Source Conference so you can learn about industry, compete and network with developers and employers from all over the world.

Study facilities

Our industry standard facilities will help you develop practical skills and bring ideas to life.

Access over 500 workstations in UWE Bristol's 24-hour computing laboratories. Create and test software in Windows, Linux and Unix operating systems on our dedicated servers.

Design and develop embedded software on complex, real-world devices. Build and program electronic devices to do a variety of tasks.

Collaborate with classmates and develop strategies and presentations in our well-equipped studios.

A mix of traditional and creative learning environments will enable you to learn essential knowledge and real-world skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

As a graduate, your combination of hardware and software expertise will be sought after by employers.

Your skills are particularly valuable in telecommunications, automotive control, real-time programming, systems administration, embedded systems development and digital systems processing. 

Potential careers could include designing and implementing new systems as part of a development team or administrating high performance systems in a maintenance group.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12750
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1594
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year11156
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Supplementary fee information

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language and Mathematics, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards the overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit. Please list in your application the units that you are taking as part of your Diploma.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for BEng(Hons) Computing for Embedded Systems (with Foundation Year) or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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