BEng Computer Systems Engineering


The School of Computing Sciences is one of the largest and most experienced computing schools in the UK, expertly blending excellent teaching, research, facilities and exciting course modules to offer a dynamic programme targeted at the job market.

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Key facts

(2014 Research Excellence Framework)

Key facts

This course fully meets the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.

Accredited by the Charted Institute for IT, this specialist degree offers 25% more time in the lab than a computer science degree to ensure you learn through direct experience. You will also benefit from our research-led approach to teaching and our fantastic facilities, giving you the opportunity to learn in the most up-to-date environment and graduate with great career prospects.

The course emphasises programming logic devices and embedded systems, combining the study of hardware design and computer architecture with traditional computing science subjects like high-level programming and software engineering.

We are one of the most experienced schools of Computing Sciences in the UK, with 100% of our research categorised as internationally recognised (REF 2014).


The Computer Systems Engineering degree is a practical hands-on course that allows you to combine the study of computing science with a specialist focus on electronics.  Its flexibility allows you to either develop your knowledge of computing systems through specialisation or explore wider subject areas such as computer graphics or artificial intelligence.

You will learn how computer hardware and software interact to form more complex systems, and how computer aided design (CAD) tools are used to manage this complexity. Throughout your studies you will encounter a wide variety of subjects, from computer architectures used to program simple devices, to engaging with electronics, digital circuits, and programmable hardware. Your final year research project will give you the opportunity to put all that you have learnt into practice and showcase the engineering skills you have acquired.

The academics leading the programme hold first degrees in Electronics and many of them have spent part of their careers working in industry. Their expertise help us to shape the degree content and ensure that it remains relevant and reflects any contemporary advances within the field.

Course Structure

This three year course programme is made up of compulsory and optional modules, with increasing opportunity to specialise over the three years. You will also undertake a significant independent computing project in your final year of study.

Year 1

During the first year of the programme you will study a range of compulsory modules providing you with a thorough introduction to computing programming, systems architecture, mathematics and logic. You will also begin your study of computer architectures, learning how to program simple devices such as Lego robots using C, alongside beginning your study of object-oriented high level languages with Java.

Year 2

In the second year you will engage with processing tools, techniques and practises alongside studying electronics. You will learn how to design, build and test a range of digital and analogue circuits, from simple digital timing circuits to video and speech encoders. You will also be able to select modules from a range of computing and business related subjects that match your own interests.

Year 3

In the final year you will gain experience working with the embedded computing devices that are at the heart of many everyday products, alongside the computer networks that enable their processing power to be harnessed. You will also carry out a year-long supervised research project, providing you with first-hand experience of independent project work from a technical and an organisational perspective.


A variety of assessment methods are used across the modules. Your coursework will be assessed in a variety of ways, including programming assignments, essays, written discussions, class tests, problem sheets, laboratory reports, and seminar presentations.

In many modules, assessment is weighted 60% examination and 40% coursework, whilst some practical based modules are assessed entirely by coursework. In the final year, you will be assessed particularly on your understanding and how you integrate knowledge from different areas of the discipline.

Course Modules 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits


The module introduces key concepts in discrete mathematics, logic and Formal Language Theory essential for any degree in computing. Topics covered include the representation of number, the basis of regular expressions, and the applications of sets, relations and functions.




This module introduces most aspects of databases, database manipulation and database management systems. The module is based on the relational model. The students will explore the tools and methods for database design and manipulation as well as the programming of database applications. Part of the practical experience gained will be acquired using a modern relational database management system. Students will also gain programming experience using SQL, and using a high level programming language to write applications that access the database.




The purpose of this module is to give the student a solid grounding in the essential features of object-orientated programming using the Java programming language. The module is designed to meet the needs of the student who has not previously studied programming, although it is recognised that many will have done so in some measure.




The complexity of Computer Based Systems, appropriate development approaches, and their inherent activities will be discussed using case studies and guest speakers where appropriate. Emphasis will be placed on the processes involved with systems requirements, creative designs, and careful development, in a professional manner, ensuring that issues such as project management, safety, security and data protection are taken into account. The module will include a number of modelling techniques to support the systems development process. These will be put into practise during the group exercise that will run throughout the semester. There are also opportunities for students to hone their transferable skills through literature searching, report writing, seminar discussions and presentations.




This module introduces some of the tools used for web development. Students will then build a substantial dynamic web site using HTML, CSS, Javascript and Python. An understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the technologies used in the Internet and World Wide Web is essential for any computing science student. The latter part of the module explains these technologies and takes a practical approach to exploring them. Issues of information systems security are considered at all stages but also in dedicated sessions. The final element of the module considers multi-media issues in web based systems.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students will be advised as to which of CMP-4004Y and CMP-4005Y is most appropriate for their course of study.

Name Code Credits


The module is designed to provide students who have not studied A level Mathematics with sufficient understanding of basic algebra to give them confidence to embark on the study of computing fundamentals. Various topics in discrete and continuous mathematics which are fundamental to Computer Science will be introduced.




This module is designed for students with an A level (or equivalent) in Mathematics. For these students it provides an introduction to the mathematics of counting and arrangements, a further development of the theory and practice of calculus, an introduction to linear algebra and its computing applications and a further development of the principles and computing applications of probability theory. In addition 3D Vectors are introduced and complex numbers are studied.



Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module provides a practical introduction to electronics. Topics include a review of basic components and fundamental laws; introduction to semiconductors; operational amplifiers; combinational logic; sequential logic; and state machines. Much of the time is spent on practical work. Students learn how to build prototypes, make measurements and produce PCBs.




This module studies the organization of both the system software and the underlying hardware architecture in modern computer systems. The role of concurrent operation of both hardware and software components is emphasized throughout, and the central concepts of the module are reinforced by practical work in the laboratory.




The purpose of this module is to give the student a solid grounding in the design, analysis and implementation of algorithms, and in the efficient implementation of a wide range of important data structures.




This module examines networks and how they are designed and implemented to provide reliable data transmission. A layered approach is taken in the study of networks with emphasis given to the functionality of the OSI 7 layer reference model and the TCP/IP model. The module examines the functionality provided by each layer and how this contributes to overall reliable data transmission that the network provides. An emphasis is placed on practical issues associated with networking such as real-time delivery of multimedia information (e.g. VoIP) and network security. Labs and coursework are highly practical and underpin theory learnt in lectures.




This is a compulsory module for all computing students and is a continuation of CMP-4008Y. It contains greater breadth and depth and provides students with the range of skills needed for many of their subsequent modules. We recap Java and deepen your understanding of the language by teaching topics such as nested classes, enumeration, generics, reflection, collections and threaded programming. We then introduce C in order to improve your low level understanding of how programming works, before moving on to C++ in semester 2. We conclude by introducing C# to highlight the similarities and differences between languages.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This is a module designed to give students the opportunity to apply statistical methods in realistic situations. While no advanced knowledge of probability and statistics is required, we expect students to have some background in probability and statistics before taking this module. The aim is to teach the R statistical language and to cover 3 topics: Linear regression, and Survival Analysis.




Graphics 1 provides an introduction to the fundamentals of computer graphics for all computing students. It aims to provide a strong foundation for students wishing to study graphics, focusing on 2D graphics, algorithms and interaction. The module requires a good background in programming. OpenGL is utilised as the graphics API with examples provided in the lectures and supported in the laboratory classes. Other topics covered include 2D transformations, texture mapping, collision detection, graphics hardware, fonts, algorithms for line drawing, polygon filling, line and polygon clipping and colour in graphics.




Software Engineering is one of the most essential skills for work in the software development industry. Students will gain an understanding of the issues involved in designing and creating software systems from an industry perspective. They will be taught state of the art in phased software development methodology, with a special focus on the activities required to go from initial class model design to actual running software systems. These activities are complemented with an introduction into software project management and development facilitation.



Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module will give you experience of independent project work through the development of research and application involving a significant amount of computing science knowledge and skills, for example, in design/implementation of algorithms, software, or hardware systems. It will also provide, via the lecture programme, a primer on the law, ethical and professional behaviour, project management, reporting and other aspects of being a computer scientist. You will be allocated a supervisor and will be expected to work closely with him or her on a mutually agreed project.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


This module explores how computers process audio and video signals. In the audio component, the focus is on understanding how humans produce speech and how this can be processed by computer for speech recognition and enhancement. Similarly, the visual component considers the human eye and camera, and how video is processed by computer. The theoretical material covered in the lectures is reinforced with practical laboratory sessions. The module is coursework only and requires speech recognisers to be built that are capable of recognising the names of the students on the module and use both audio and visual speech information.




This module introduces the fundamentals of 3D geometric transformations and viewing using OpenGL. It teaches the theory and implementation of fundamental visibility determination algorithms and techniques for lighting, shading and anti-aliasing. Issues involved with modern high performance graphics processor are also considered. It also studies 3D curves and fundamental geometric data structures.



Students will select 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Computer Vision is about "teaching machines how to see". It includes methods for acquiring, analysing and understanding images. The unit comprises lectures and laboratories. Practical exercises and projects, undertaken in the laboratory support the underpinning theory and enable students to implement contemporary computer vision algorithms.




This module studies how electricity is generated and how it is distributed to users. The first part studies DC and AC electricity and looks at how RLC circuits behave through complex phasor analysis. The second part moves on to electricity generators, beginning with magnetism and Faraday's Law. Synchronous and asynchronous generators are studied along with application to conventional power stations and to renewable generation (e.g. wind). Transformers and transmission lines are studied with a view to distrubution of electricity. Voltage conversion methods such as the rectifier, buck and boost converters are examined and finally electricity generation through solar is covered.




Embedded processors are at the core of a huge range of products e.g. mobile telephones, cameras, passenger cars, washing machines, DVD players, medical equipment, etc. The embedded market is currently estimated to be worth around 100x the 'desktop' market and is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade. This module builds on the material delivered in CMP-5013A to consider the design and development of real-time embedded system applications for commercial off the shelf (COTS) processors running real-time operating systems (RTOS) such as eLinux.




Graphics 1 provides an introduction to the fundamentals of computer graphics for all computing students. It aims to provide a strong foundation for students wishing to study graphics, focusing on 2D graphics, algorithms and interaction. The module requires a good background in programming. OpenGL is utilised as the graphics API with examples provided in the lectures and supported in the laboratory classes. Other topics covered include 2D transformations, texture mapping, collision detection, graphics hardware, fonts, algorithms for line drawing, polygon filling, line and polygon clipping and colour in graphics.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • A Level ABB including one from Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Electronics or Economics. All science A levels must include a pass in the practical element
  • International Baccalaureate 32 points including one HL 5 from Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Electronics and Economics and one other HL subject at 5. If no GCSE equivalent is held, offer will include Mathematics and English requirements.
  • Scottish Highers Only acceptable in combination with Advanced Highers
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BCC including one from Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Electronics or Economics. A combination of Advanced Highers and Highers might be acceptable
  • Irish Leaving Certificate AABBBB or two subjects at H1 and four subjects at H2, including one from Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Electronics and Economics
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 30 credits at level 3 and Merit in 15 credits at level 3, including 12 level 3 credits in either Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Electronics or Economics
  • BTEC DDM in an IT, Engineering or science related subject. Public Services not accepted. BTEC and A level combinations are considered - please contact us
  • European Baccalaureate Overall 75% with 70% in one from Mathematics, Physics, Computing, Economics or Electronics

Entry Requirement

GCSE Requirements: GCSE English Language grade 4 and GCSE Mathematics grade 5. GCSE Mathematics grade 4 will be accepted if Mathematics is being taken to A2 Level.

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted 

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Please click here for further information.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a foundation programme. Depending on your interests and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:



The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview. However, for some students an interview will be requested. These are normally quite informal and generally cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year, believing that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and may wish to contact the appropriate Admissions Office directly to discuss this further.


The School's annual intake is in September of each year

Alternative Qualifications

We encourage you to apply if you have alternative qualifications equivalent to our stated entry requirement. Please contact us for further information.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

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    Next Steps

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