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Computer Science and Electronics

The Computer Science and Electronics (CSE) degree programme is a programme run jointly between the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The CSE programme has the code GH46 for the normal MEng programme and GH4P for the MEng programme with study abroad. The degree programme was formerly called Computer Systems Engineering, and a few existing students may graduate with the old programme title.

Computer Science and Electronics are two disciplines that affect the design of many products that occur in everyday life. The aims of our CSE programme are that you get a sound understanding of the fundamentals of both Computer Science and Electronics, that you have the opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of certain topics which are of particular interest to you, and that you gain considerable practical experience of developing computer systems. Additionally, the programme has been designed so that you also develop your transferable skills, such as personal and communication skills.

Upon finishing this programme you should be able to, for example, understand how to design and build a DVD player, the electronics of a car, a digital radio, a mobile telephone system, the hardware underpinning the Google search engine, or a GPS receiver.

Themes

From the third year onwards, the Computer Science and Electronics programme is divided into Themes, which provide a more coherent degree programme between the units offered by the two departments involved. These themes allow you to choose a coordinated series of units which support each other. The themes are:

For example, students with an interest in hardware design are better suited to the Microelectronics theme, whilst those with an interest in protocols and signals are better suited to the Communications theme.

It is not compulsory that you follow a theme. The themes simply provide guidance to help you choose from the wide range of options available.

If the total number of credit points offered by the units within a theme does not add up to the required number then you are free to choose other units to make up your total. A wide range of options that have not been included into a theme are available to CSE students. A full list of CS units can be found in this handbook, whilst the full list of Electronics units can be found in the EE Department Undergraduate Handbook and on their department web pages.

First Year

Either the Procedural Programming unit or the Programming Project must be taken in the first semester. The Procedural Programming unit is designed to give a thorough introduction to computer science if you do not have A-level computer science or a similar qualification.

The Computer Science units build a general awareness of computers and of the subject of Computer Science, introducing you to the basic principles of Software Engineering. The Electrical Engineering units discuss the principles of Electronics and Computer Architecture, and enable you to understand the link between high-level programming languages and the hardware on which programs are executed.

You will learn about analogue systems, digital systems, assembly programming and three high level programming languages: a procedural, an object oriented and a declarative language. These languages cover all major programming paradigms, and learning them will enable you to learn other languages with relatively little effort.

Additionally, Engineering Mathematics units provide you with the mathematics underpinning the design of analogue and digital circuits, and the basic mathematics needed for signal processing. You will be required to do either the unit on Engineering Mathematics or the unit on Mathematics with Maple. You will be informed in week 0 which unit you are going to take. If you do not receive a letter, for example because you switched course, assume you follow Engineering Mathematics 1.

Second Year

The objective of this year is to lay a solid foundation in Computer Science and Electronics, a foundation that enables you to take the rich set of options available in years three and four. Particular emphasis is placed on digital systems, computer architecture and communications.

You must score an average of at least 50% for you to continue on the GH46 or GH4P programmes. If you score less than 50% you will have to transfer to the BEng programme GH45.

Third Year

If you are taking GH4P then your third year is spent abroad. On one of the other programmes the third year themes are listed below. It is recommended that you choose a theme, and then select a total of 120 credits from the relevant column, plus, if this does not provide enough credits, from other Computer Science or Electronics options.

If you prefer not to follow a theme, you may take any available Computer Science or Electronics options, provided that their timetables don't clash and provided that you meet the following requirements.

For GH46, you must take the 40 credit point Group Project (COMS34400) and the 10 credit point Professional Studies B (EFAC30002). In addition, you must take 30 credit points of Computer Science options and 40 credit points of Electronics options. At most 20 credit points can be at level 2, the rest must be at level 3 or above.

For GH45, you must take the 40 credit point Individual Project (COMS34110) and the 10 credit point Professional Studies B (EFAC30002). In addition you must take 30 credit points of Computer Science options and 40 credit points of Electronics options. At most 20 credit points can be at level 2, the rest must be at level 3 or above.

Fourth Year

The fourth year themes are listed below. It is recommended that you stick to the theme you chose in year three, and then select a total of 120 credits from the relevant column, plus, if this does not provide enough credits, from other Computer Science or Electronics options.

If you prefer not to follow a theme, you may take any available Computer Science or Electronics options, provided that their timetables don't clash and provided that you meet the following requirements.

For GH46, you must take the 40 credit point individual Project (COMSM4110). In addition, you must take 40 credit points of Computer Science options and 40 credit points of Electronics options. At most 20 credit points can be at level 3, the rest must be at level M or above.

For GH4P, as well as the 40 credit point Individual Project (COMSM4110), you must also take the 10 credit point Professional Studies B (EFAC30002). In addition, you must take 30 credit points of Computer Science options and 40 credit points of Electronics options. At most 20 credit points can be at level 3, the rest must be at level M or above.