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Microelectronic Systems with a Year in Industry

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What you'll need

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  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

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  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Science Engineering

A Master of Science in Engineering (MSc (Eng)) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in engineering. If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree, or have an MEng and want to specialise, this could be the route for you.

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Course overview

On this well-established MSc programme, you will develop advanced knowledge and skills in key aspects of telecommunications and wireless systems. The course content is updated every year to maintain industry relevance and to reflect the latest developments in the industry.


Teh first year of this MSc follows the same structure as the one year MSc programme. You will study core (compulsory) topics during the MSc: embedded computer systems, digital system design, IC design, microprocessor systems, research skills and project management.

The course content also covers digital design techniques, you will be introduced to materials used in microelectronics, and develop an understanding of designing advanced embedded computer systems – along with a module that will help you to develop the practical skills to develop your final project in semester three.

You’ll be able to develop your specialism through optional modules, where you can learn the fundamentals of image processing, the principles of communications networks, the theoretical and practical aspects of parallel programming for multi-core architectures, and an introduction to electrical plasma and how it can be used in microelectronics.

In Year two you will undertake an industrial project and placement (either in the UK or overseas), typically 30 weeks from September to next June. During the placement year you will spend time working in a relevant company suitable for the MSc. This is an excellent opportunity to gain practical engineering experience which will boost your CV, build networks and develop confidence in a working environment. Many placement students continue their relationship with the placement provider by undertaking relevant projects and may ultimately return to work for the company when they graduate.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at graduates who already have a good general level of knowledge and understanding in electronics or closely related subjects with advanced knowledge (at level M) and capabilities in the specific areas of microelectronic systems.

What you'll learn

  • Develop an understanding of the issues in designing complex digital and analogue systems
  • Understanding the capabilities of tools used for the design and simulation of these complex systems
  • Build your understanding of signal processing using digital systems
  • Get an awareness of the techniques used for the networking of digital systems
  • Knowledge and skills in software engineering, design and management
  • Transferable skills such as analysis, problem-solving, communication and team-working.


Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Accreditations in detail


Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.


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Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Semester one

In your first semester, you will develop your practical programming and coding skills by creating software for engineering applications, and an introduction to the “Internet of Things”.

Modules that will cover Semesters one and two will cover digital design techniques, introduce you to materials used in microelectronics, and give you an understanding of designing advanced embedded computer systems – along with a module that will help you to develop the practical skills to develop your final project in semester three.

Semester two

Your second semester will introduce you to ARM Cortex M Microprocessors. You’ll learn about the general functionality, learn to interface a peripheral to the AHB-Lite bus using microprocessors, and use RTX to implement a multi-threaded application.

You will continue to develop your knowledge of materials, and digital design skills while building the knowledge you’ll need for your research project – moving into project planning and literature searching.

You’ll also have the choice to learn about the principles of communications networks, their components and protocols; develop an in-depth understanding of EMC, the scope of EMC, standards, typical EMC problems and solutions; and get an extensive overview of information theory and coding.

Compulsory modules

Advanced Low Power Computer Architecture (ELEC470)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module covers material for understanding and designing advanced embedded computer systems.

Key topics include computer architecture, low-power design, hardware/software co-design and synthesis techniques.

The module prepares students for research and employment in the leading research groups and embedded system companies in the world.

Digital System Design (ELEC473)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module introduces students to the digital design techniques used in industry and research. The methods for describing digital systems using the Verilog Hardware Description Language (HDL) are introduced. Students will examine the operation of the MIPS Processor and will also be introduced to Altera’s NIOS-II Processor. The module is assessed via four assignments and two class tests. Altera’s Quartus package is used for sythesising the digital systems.

Integrated Circuits - Concepts and Design (ELEC472)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

To understand the reasons for the predominance and importance of silicon-based microelectronics to the semiconductor industry. To understand how materials, devices and circuit issues are inter-related and exploited to make the microchips that underpin the information age. To gain experience in using a simulation tool (Multisim) in the design, simulation and analysis of digital and analogue circuit designs. To prepare students for entering the Silicon semiconductor industry.

Research Skills & Project Management (ELEC483)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module is concerned with introducing and developing the key skills necessary undertake research and to effectively disseminate the results of that work.

On the whole it is geared to providing training in these skills through observations of real-life examples and best practise and importantly hands-on training.

In particular, the module addresses the mechanics of research, gathering information, managing and planning the work, report writing and giving oral presentations.

The assessment of skill development throughout the study comes through the completion of five assignments.

Engineering Programming (ELEC431)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

​This module gives a comprehensive coverage of two most popular programming languages, C++ and MATLAB. It aims to help students to gain an understanding of the Functional Decomposition method for program design, and practical skills of designing and coding software for engineering applications based on a problem specification.

The Internet of Things: Architecture and Applications (ELEC423)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module covers two areas. An introduction to the "Internet of Things" which introduces the topic from the basics describing its evolution, its architecture and its application to real-life scenarios. Students will then develop a real IoT application which builds on the basic knowledge of embedded systems and programming, obtained in a EEE or related B.Eng degree which includes knowledge of digital electronics and microprocessor systems and the ability to programme in C.

Microprocessor Systems (ELEC422)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module will cover three aspects of ARM Cortex M Microprocessors.

The general functionality of the Cortex M series will be introduced along with the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) Assignment one will be based on Assembly Language Programming.

The internal bus operation of the AHB-Lite interface will be introduced. For Assignment two students will be expected to interface a peripheral to the AHB-Lite bus using a Cortex-M0 soft core. The peripheral and the interface will be coded using Verilog. They will then be required to write a program to verify the operation of their peripheral3. The final aspect will be on using Real-Time operating systems. This will include how synchronisation, communication and resource sharing is implemented using the RTX real-time operating system.

The third and final assignment will be on using RTX to implement a multi-threaded papplication.

Optional modules

Advanced Systems Modelling & Control (ELEC476)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will provide advanced modeling, simulation and control techniques and to develop student’s skill of considering engineering problem in a system point of view.

Image Processing (ELEC319)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

This module covers the fundamentals of how images are generated, represented, compressed and processed to extract features of interest.

Mobile Communications and Security (ELEC463)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces the principles of communications networks, protocols and security mechanisms.

The major mobile and wireless communications are covered, including cellular communications and popular wireless networks including wireless local area networks (WiFi), wireless personal area networks (ZigBee), and low power wide area networks (LoRa/LoRaWAN).

Students are provided with basic concepts about network architectures, the implementation of different protocol stack layers, the major techniques used at each communications layer, the security mechanisms adopted to protect wireless transmissions.

Multi-Core and Multi-Processor Programming (COMP528)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This is a module to cover theoretical and practical aspects of parallel programming for multi-core architectures with the main focus on hand-on programming experience with latest multi-core and multi-processor platforms.

Optimisation (COMP557)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is an in-depth tour over optimisation methods applied for various optimisation models. These methods are extensively used in both academic and industrial practices.

Plasma System Engineering (ELEC391)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 1

The module introduces to the students the basic concepts of electrical plasmas and how they are used in industry. It concentrates on the engineering principles behind plasma technology rather than the physics of the discharge, however some mathematical approaches are explored so that quantification of the action of plasmas upon material surfaces can be made. The module explains how a gas can turn into a plasma and how high energy ions in the plasma can be generated to process a substrate, such as silicon wafer in micro-electronics fabrication. The module is taught by a mixture of power points notes and chalk and talk. There are a number of question sheets given out to help the students understand the basis plasma-material processes. On completion, students will understand how plasmas are used in industry, they will have an appreciation of some aspects of simple design and how plasmas can be configured for the next generation of fusion power stations.

Communications Networks (ELEC461)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces the principles of communications networks, thier components and protocols.

Students are provided with basic concepts about network architectures, the reference models used to describe them, the major protocols used at each communications layer, and the tools to analyse the performance of link layer, median access control, Network and Transport layer protocols.

The main protocols for routing packets over the Internet are also introduced, along with an overview of the packet switching architectures used in the core of today’s routers.

Electromagnetic Compatibility (ELEC382)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 2

This module is aimed at developing an in-depth understanding of EMC, the scope of EMC, standards, typical EMC problems and solutions.

Based on the theory, the students are expected to be able to analyse and solve EMC problems, and also use relevant equipment for conducting EMC measurements. 

Information Theory and Coding (ELEC415)

Credits: 7.5 / Semester: semester 2

This module is aimed to provide an extensive overview of the information theory and coding. Different source codes and channel codes are discussed. Cryptography is also covered.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Year in industry

If you are interested in studying this programme without the year in industry placement, it is available as a standard MSc (Eng). Completing this programme without the year in industry usually takes one year when completing full-time.

View Microelectronic Systems MSc (Eng)

To spend a year in industry, you'll need to secure a placement with an organisation. If you're unable to find a placement, you'll continue with the standard version of the course without a year in industry.

Your experience

The Department of Electrical Engineering & Electronics has world-class specialist facilities including top industry standard laboratories, which puts us at the forefront of research in this fast-moving discipline and our postgraduate body is one of the largest in the University, encompassing world-class fundamental and applied research. We offer an exciting, theoretical and practical range of degree programmes which address all of the major subject areas underpinning the new IT-based modern economy.

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

This MSc degree programme is the basis for a career in a profession that offers an extremely wide choice of employment opportunities in Engineering, R&D, Project Management, Finance and many more.

Undertaking the placement year will strengthen your career options by, undertaking the project work in an industrial setting, applying theory learnt in the classroom to real-world practice, developing communications and interpersonal skills, and building networks and knowledge which will be invaluable throughout your career.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

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We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

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You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Graduates of this programme will be qualified across a broad range of subjects related to the electrical engineering and electronic engineering profession. They take up postgraduate training positions in design, development, research, manufacturing and consultancy with leading engineering companies, in order to pursue professional qualifications. Others join smaller engineering companies to pursue professional qualifications while establishing themselves in engineering positions. Some graduates move into non-engineering positions where their analytical, communications and IT skills as well as technical background are much sought-after.

The main career opportunities for graduates from this programme are:

  • Companies related to electronics and microelectronics systems
  • Companies utilising the latest technology to deal with problems requiring microelectronics solutions at relatively high technical levels
  • Companies and government agencies using managing  microelectronics systems aspects
  • Yniversities for further education, such as studying for PhD degree.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £12,400
Year in industry fee £2,500
International fees
Full-time place, per year £28,000
Year in industry fee £5,600
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.


  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.


  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit:

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Women in STEM
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in a relevant subject, for example mathematics, engineering or physical sciences.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Standard Level 5

TOEFL iBT 88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 17, Reading 17, Speaking 19.
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
Hong Kong use of English AS level C

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Microelectronic Systems with a Year in Industry MSc (Eng)

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.