Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

Degree Programme Specification 2019/2020

MEng 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: MEng (Hons)
Programme title: Electronics and Electrical Engineering
UCAS code: H601
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 MEng programme at Edinburgh is aimed squarely at educating students to be leaders of industry and research, fostering a firm understanding of principles, providing excellent practical experience through our project laboratories and individual projects. MEng students are able to undertake their final individual projects on industrial placement, further developing their engineering skills before graduation. We expect our graduates to have enhanced academic and professional skills who will be able to contribute to Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry and research due to their wide and comprehensive understanding of the design process and ability to generate innovative solutions.

Educational aims of programme

  • To produce graduates who, having enhanced academic and professional skills, will enter and contribute to the Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry, and through appropriate professional development achieve corporate membership of the Professional Institution and Chartered Engineer status.
  • To produce students who can apply their skills to lead research, design, development and implementation of new or existing devices, equipment, systems and practices within the Electronics and Electrical Engineering industry.
  • To provide a very thorough appreciation of the relationship between engineering theory and practice appropriate to an engineer with leadership potential.
  • To provide a wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the design process and the ability to generate innovative solutions.
  • To provide experience of a substantial individual project in Electronics and Electrical Engineering appropriate to the student’s aspirations and interests, and incorporating industrial or original research experience.
  • To develop a high level of proficiency in reporting, communication and team working skills appropriate to an engineer with leadership potential.
  • To provide an enhanced awareness of the wider commercial management and legal aspects of Electronics and Electrical Engineering appropriate to an engineer with leadership potential.
  • 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.
  • To provide leading-edge specialist skills and in depth knowledge of key selected areas in Electronics and Electrical Engineering.
  • To provide the ability to adapt and apply innovative design to unfamiliar situations.
  • To provide students with personal experience of professional engineering within an active research, design or manufacturing environment.
  • To broaden the students’ understanding of Electronics and Electrical Engineering in the global context.
  • To develop in students a disciplined and deep approach to independent learning and continuing professional development appropriate to an engineer with leadership potential.

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.
  • Comprehensively understand the scientific principles of own specialisation and related disciplines.
  • Have an awareness of developing technologies related to own specialisation.
  • Have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computer models relevant to the engineering discipline, and an appreciation of their limitations.
  • Have an understanding of concepts from a range of areas including some outside engineering, and the ability to apply them effectively in engineering projects.
  • 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.
  • Use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies.
  • Apply mathematical and computer-based models for solving problems in engineering, and the ability to assess the limitations of particular cases.
  • Extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and apply in its solution using computer based engineering tools when appropriate.
  • 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.
  • Comprehensively understand design processes and methodologies and apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations.
  • Generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs.

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].
  • The ability to develop, monitor and update a plan, to reflect a changing operating environment.
  • The ability to monitor and adjust a personal programme of work on an on-going basis, and to learn independently.
  • An understanding of different roles within a team, and the ability to exercise leadership.
  • The ability to learn new theories, concepts, methods etc in unfamiliar situations.
  • 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.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, and their limitations, and how these may be applied appropriately.
  • The ability to make general evaluations of commercial risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks.

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.
  • A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components.
  • Ability to apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints.

Programme structure and features

The programme is offered only as a full-time course. Its normal duration is five years and leads to the Scottish MEng (Hons) degree at the end of year 5. 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 5-year programme, but it is primarily designed for the full 5-year structure and not all its aims are met even partially by earlier exit.

The programme is arranged into 5 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 of at least 55% is attained across all Level 9 subjects, may proceed to MEng (Hons) Electronics and Electrical Engineering. Students failing to attain an average of 55% may transfer to BEng (Hons) Electronics and Electrical Engineering programme.

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 (MEng), 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 courses from year 3 courses and (iii) an average of at least 55% 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. Students who fail to meet the above progression criteria are permitted to progress to Year 4 of an appropriate BEng programme if they have attained at least 100 credit points (including “Resit for Professional Accreditation”) in the current year of study and attained an average of 40% across all 120 credit points of Year 3 courses.

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 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%.

Year 4-5 Progression Requirements In order to proceed to Year 5 of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of a total of 480 credit points 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 Year 4 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 5, 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 5, except where there are documented permissible special circumstances such as illness.

Award of Honours (MEng) In order to graduate with MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering, a student must achieve: (i) the University requirement of 600 credit points total for the programme, (ii) full passes (>40%) in at least 100 credit points worth of year 5 courses and (iii) an average of at least 40% across all 120 credit points of fifth 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 MEng (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 MEng (honours), except where there are documented permissible special circumstances such as illness.

Degree classifications are based on the University common marking scale. The final classification is based on a weighted mean mark, 20% of which is the mark carried forward from third year, 40% from fourth year and 40% obtained from fifth 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. Problem solving is encountered in a realistic scenario during the Multidisciplinary Group Project in 4th year where groups of students with different engineering backgrounds are required to organise themselves and work together to solve a realistic engineering problem. Guidance and support is provided by industrialists as well as University staff. The most valuable experience of problem solving is gained during the individual Meng project, where the student has the opportunity to contribute to genuine industrial or research projects. The results of student projects often find their way into company products or procedures or, in the case of more research based 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 indentify 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 Problem based learning activities Group working Multidisciplinary Design project Peer group learning Examples Classes One to one meetings with personal tutors/supervisors

In Year 5 Individual Project work Lectures Laboratories Tutorials Problem based learning activities Peer group learning 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 134660
Year 239610
Year 333670
Year 433670
Year 520800

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)

In Year 5 Project Thesis Laboratory Reports Daybooks Oral Presentations Poster Presentations 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 161633
Year 267033
Year 365035
Year 436064
Year 517083

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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