Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Degree Programme Specification 2019/2020

BEng Honours in Electronics and Electrical Engineering

To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. This information is created when new programmes are established and is only updated periodically as programmes are formally reviewed. It is therefore only accurate on the date of last revision.
Awarding institution: The University of Edinburgh
Teaching institution: The University of Edinburgh
Programme accredited by: The Institution of Engineering and Technology
Final award: BEng (Hons)
Programme title: Electronics and Electrical Engineering
UCAS code: H600
Relevant QAA subject benchmarking group(s): Engineering
Postholder with overall responsibility for QA: Dr B Flynn
Date of production/revision: July 2012

External summary

Electronics and Electrical Engineering as a discipline and its practitioners, the graduate chartered engineers, are indispensible in the modern world. Every place of work and leisure, the ability to move from place to place and the ability to communicate with colleagues, friends and family depend on the fruits of electronics and electrical engineering. The subject is also very broad with a number of specialisms ranging from the very small (microelectronics) to the very large (power generation and transmission) that often seem like subjects in their own right.

The BEng programme at Edinburgh is aimed squarely at educating students to be at the forefront of industry and research, fostering a firm understanding of principles, providing excellent practical experience through our project laboratories and individual projects. We expect our graduates to have well-developed academic and professional skills who will be able to contribute to Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry and research due to their familiarity with research and the design process.

Educational aims of programme

  • To produce graduates who, having high academic and professional skills, will enter and contribute to the Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry, and through appropriate professional development achieve at least incorporated membership of the Professional Institution.
  • To produce students who can apply their skills to research, design, develop and implement new or existing devices, equipment, systems and practices within the Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry.
  • To provide a thorough appreciation of the relationship between engineering theory and practice.
  • To provide a thorough understanding of the design process and the need to generate innovative solutions.
  • To provide experience of an individual project in Electronics and Electrical Engineering appropriate to the student’s aspirations and interests.
  • To develop proficiency in reporting, communication and team working skills.
  • To provide an awareness of the wider commercial management and legal aspects of Electronics and Electrical Engineering.
  • To ensure that students recognise the need to operate within the code of conduct defined by the relevant professional bodies.
  • To encourage those students who wish to broaden their curriculum by including optional first or second year courses outwith the engineering and information technology fields.

Programme outcomes: Knowledge and understanding

Students must:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories and principles of their engineering discipline, and its underpinning science and mathematics.
  • Have an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary engineering context and its underlying principles.
  • Understand scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, to enable appreciation of its scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of historical, current, and future developments and technologies.
  • Understand mathematical principles necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline and to enable them to apply mathematical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of engineering problems.
  • Be able to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of their own engineering discipline.
  • Understand engineering principles and the ability to apply them to analyse key engineering processes.
  • Be able to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques.
  • Be able to apply quantitative methods and computer software relevant to their engineering discipline, in order to solve engineering problems.
  • Understand and be able to apply a systems approach to engineering problems.
  • Appreciate the social, environmental, ethical, economic and commercial considerations affecting the exercise of their engineering judgement.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in research and enquiry

Students must be able to:

  • Understand engineering principles and apply them to analyse key engineering processes.
  • Identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques.
  • Apply quantitative methods and computer software relevant to their engineering discipline, in order to solve engineering problems.
  • Understand and apply a systems approach to engineering problems.
  • Investigate and define a problem and identify constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations, health and safety and risk assessment issues.
  • Understand customer and user needs and the importance of considerations such as aesthetics.
  • Identify and manage cost drivers.
  • Use creativity to establish innovative solutions.
  • Ensure fitness for purpose for all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal.
  • Manage the design process and evaluate outcomes.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal and intellectual autonomy

Students must demonstrate skills in:

  • Problem solving.
  • Communication, and working with others.
  • Effective use of general IT facilities and information retrieval skills.
  • Planning.
  • Self-learning and improving performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD [continuing professional development].
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic context of engineering processes.
  • Knowledge of management techniques which may be used to achieve engineering objectives within that context.
  • Understanding of the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development.
  • Awareness of the framework of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety, and risk (including environmental risk) issues.
  • Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in communication

Students must be able to:

  • Work effectively as part of a development team, assuming team member or team leader role as appropriate.
  • Communicate effectively through a variety of media including oral, visual, written, diagrammatic and on-line.

Programme outcomes: Graduate attributes - Skills and abilities in personal effectiveness

Students must be able to:

  • Effectively Manage time and resources.
  • Apply appropriate quantitative scientific and engineering tools to the analysis of problems.
  • Demonstrate creative and innovative ability in the synthesis of solutions and in formulating designs.
  • omprehend the broad picture and thus work with an appropriate level of detail.

Programme outcomes: Technical/practical skills

  • Students must possess:
  • Workshop and laboratory skills.
  • Knowledge of characteristics of particular materials, equipment, processes, or products.
  • Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (e.g. operations and management, technology development, etc).
  • Understanding use of technical literature and other information sources.
  • Awareness of nature of intellectual property and contractual issues.
  • Understanding of appropriate codes of practice and industry standards.
  • Awareness of quality issues.
  • Ability to work with technical uncertainty.

Programme structure and features

The programme is offered only as a full-time course. Its normal duration is four years and leads to the Scottish BEng (Hons) degree at the end of year 4. Direct entry to year 2 or 3 is possible for suitably qualified applicants. Alternative exit points are available at the end of each year of the 4-year programme, but it is primarily designed for the full 4-year structure and not all its aims are met even partially by earlier exit.

The programme is arranged into 4 x 2 semesters. Each semester contains 60 credit points. Students in years 1 and 2, with the consent of both Schools and the advice of their personal tutor, can transfer to other programmes in the College of Science and Engineering. The personal tutor will advise on the best choice of courses to keep open the option of transfer to any particular Science programme. Students who complete year 3 may graduate with a BSc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering; or if an average across of at least 55% is attained across all Level 9 subjects, may transfer to MEng (Hons) Electronics and Electrical Engineering. Students failing to attain an average of 55% may remain on the BEng (Hons) Electronics and Electrical Engineering programme provided they satisfy the BEng Year 3-4 progression requirements.

For full information on the programme structure, including details of compulsory and optional course choices, consult the

Degree Programme Table, and similarly consult the

list of courses for full information on each course.

Year 1-2 Progression Requirements In order to proceed to Year 2 of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 120 credit points and (ii) a pass in Electrical Engineering 1.

Year 2-3 Progression Requirements In order to proceed to Year 3 of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 240 credit points and (ii) passes in Analogue Circuits 2, Digital System Design 2, Microelectronics 2, Power Engineering 2, Signals and Communications Systems 2 and Mathematics for Science & Engineering 2a & 2b.

Year 3-4 Progression Requirements In order to proceed to Year 4 of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (BEng), a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 360 credit points total for the programme, (ii) full passes (>40%) in at least 100 credit points worth of year 3 courses and (iii) an average of at least 40% across all 120 credit points of Year 3 courses. A student attaining at least 80 but less than 100 credit points from the year of study will be eligible for a “Resit for Professional Accreditation” and will be permitted to resit failed courses to achieve an assessment equivalent to a pass in at least 100 credit points. These resit attempts allow the student to satisfy the IET implementation of permitted compensation for accreditation. Students attaining the equivalent of 100 credit points or more following the “Resit for Professional Accreditation” will be permitted to proceed to year 4, but the mark attained in the first attempt will be used in the calculation of the overall degree classification. The number of resit attempts permitted under “Resit for Professional Accreditation” will be the same as that in the normal University resit policy for non-honours examinations. Where a student has attained less than 80 credit points from the year of study, resit examinations are not allowed to improve marks or gain credit points to achieve progression to year 4, except where there are documented permissible special circumstances such as illness.

Award of BSc Electronics and Electrical Engineering after Year 3 In order to graduate with BSc Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 360 credit points total for the programme, (ii) full passes (>40%) in at least 100 credit points worth of year 3 courses and (iii) an average of at least 40% across all 120 credit points of Year 3 courses. Resit examinations are permitted to gain sufficient credit points, but no compensation is applied where resits are taken and the full 120 points of year 3 courses must be passed, each with a mark greater than 40%.

Award of Honours (BEng) In order to graduate with BEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 480 credit points total for the programme, (ii) full passes (>40%) in at least 100 credit points worth of year 4 courses and (iii) an average of at least 40% across all 120 credit points of fourth year courses. A student attaining at least 80 but less than 100 credit points from the year of study will be eligible for a “Resit for Professional Accreditation” and will be permitted to resit failed courses to achieve an assessment equivalent to a pass in at least 100 credit points. These resit attempts allow the student to satisfy the IET implementation of permitted compensation for accreditation. Students attaining the equivalent of 100 credit points or more following the “Resit for Professional Accreditation” will be permitted to graduate with BEng (honours), but the mark attained in the first attempt will be used in the calculation of the overall degree classification. The number of resit attempts permitted under “Resit for Professional Accreditation” will be the same as that in the normal University resit policy for non-honours examinations. Where a student has attained less than 80 credit points from the year of study, resit examinations are not allowed to improve marks or gain credit points to graduate with BEng (honours), except where there are documented permissible special circumstances such as illness.

For the award of Honours a minimum mark of 40% must be attained in the BEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering Project 4.

Degree classifications are based on the University common marking scale. The final classification is based on a weighted mean mark, 50% of which is the mark carried forward from third year and 50% obtained from fourth year.

Teaching and learning methods and strategies

The programme provides materials and support to enable students to reach a level of knowledge, understanding, analytical and practical skills defined within the UKSPEC Benchmarks and set by the Engineering Council.

Lecture material and problem solving is supported by weekly or fortnightly tutorial classes accompanying each lecture module throughout both non-honours and honours years. These typically consist of small or medium size groups of students who will discuss issues arising from pre-attempted problems relating to the lecture material. The most valuable experience of problem solving is gained during the individual BEng project, where the student has the opportunity to contribute to genuine industrial or research projects. The results of student projects may be published in peer reviewed journals by academic staff.

Laboratory classes naturally form an important component of the programme. All laboratories from 1st year onwards are project based, directing students toward a goal and requiring them to learn the appropriate test, measurement and assessment techniques along the way. In 1st year the greatest level of direction is provided, but as the student progresses through the years they will find that the laboratories shift toward providing system and circuit specifications, and requiring students to identify and review the necessary background knowledge themselves. Ultimately, in the individual project the student is required to drive most aspects of the project themselves. Laboratory work is assessed by means of submitted laboratory reports and day books used by students to record their practical work. They are marked by academic staff, assisted in pre-honours classes by trained postgraduate demonstrators. Credit is given for the accurate recording and reporting of work, correctness of the engineering context, correct structure of the report, interpretation, student’s contribution and quality of conclusions.

Teaching and Learning Activities In Year 1 Lectures Laboratories Tutorials Problem based learning activities Examples Classes One to one meetings with personal tutors/supervisors

In Year 2 Lectures Laboratories Tutorials Problem based learning activities Examples Classes One to one meetings with personal tutors/supervisors

In Year 3 Lectures Laboratories Tutorials Problem based learning activities Group working Peer group learning Examples Classes One to one meetings with personal tutors/supervisors

In Year 4 Individual Project work Lectures Laboratories Tutorials Examples Classes One to one meetings with personal tutors/supervisors

Teaching and learning workload

You will learn through a mixture of scheduled teaching and independent study. Some programmes also offer work placements.

At Edinburgh we use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, tutorials, practical laboratory sessions, technical workshops and studio critiques.

The typical workload for a student on this programme is outlined in the table below, however the actual time you spend on each type of activity will depend on what courses you choose to study.

The typical workload for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearTime in scheduled teaching (%)Time in independant study (%)Time on placement (%)
Year 132680
Year 239610
Year 333670
Year 429710

Assessment methods and strategies

Courses can be assessed by a diverse range of methods and often takes the form of formative work which provides the student with on-going feedback as well as summative assessment which is submitted for credit.

In Year 1 Laboratory Reports Written Examinations (unseen)

In Year 2 Class Tests Laboratory Reports Written Examinations (unseen)

In Year 3 Class Tests Laboratory Reports Daybooks Poster Presentations Written Examinations (unseen)

In Year 4 Project Thesis Laboratory Reports Daybooks Oral Presentations Poster Presentations Essays Written Examinations (unseen)

Assessment method balance

You will be assessed through a variety of methods. These might include written or practical exams or coursework such as essays, projects, group work or presentations.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme are outlined below, however the balance between written exams, practical exams and coursework will vary depending on what courses you choose to study.

The typical assessment methods for a student on this programme for each year of study
Start yearAssessment by written exams (%)Assessment by practical exams (%)Assessment by coursework (%)
Year 172622
Year 267033
Year 365035
Year 458042

Career opportunities

Engineering graduates have a number of excellent career options available to them. Studying Engineering at the University of Edinburgh prepares graduates for a career as a professional engineer in the UK or abroad and all courses meet the requirements of the UK professional engineering bodies.

The skills and experience gained through the degree programme will also equip graduates for a career outside engineering and many of our graduates have gone on to work in other areas, including the Civil Service, education, the armed forces and the financial sector. Engineers enjoy some of the highest starting salaries of any graduate group.

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