About this course
Our MSc Microelectronics System Design degree is a cutting-edge course, allowing you to choose from a wide range of modules based on digital integrated circuit design and analogue integrated circuit design.
Our Microelectronics System Design degree examines aspects of system integration and discrete device properties. It is also an excellent platform for further research in the Nano or Electronic and Software Systems groups.
We’ve led many of the most important advances in electronics and microelectronics over the past 30 years. This course will give you the highly sought-after skills for research or work in the industry.
You’ll gain key skills relating to digital and analogue integrated circuit design and electronic systems engineering. There will also be opportunities to engage in specialised activities around the production of system on chip design on both integrated circuit and advanced FPGA (field-programmable gate array) platforms.
Through this course you’ll learn how to:
- specify and design complex and highly integrated microelectronic systems
- model and simulate the behaviour of parts of microelectronics systems elements and complete circuits
- evaluate a device design using advanced simulation and modelling tools
- find, understand and explain literature related to specialised areas of microelectronics systems
- formulate a research project involving an advanced microelectronics system using appropriate the latest techniques, technologies and tools
Employability is a strong focus throughout this course:
- you'll have close links with all the major UK Design companies who recruit many of our graduates
- we have an ECS dedicated careers hub affiliated with over 100 renowned companies such as; IBM, Arm, Microsoft Research, Imagination Technologies, Nvidia, Samsung and Google
- we are second for graduate prospects in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Complete University Guide 2019.
Your course leader for this Microelectronics MSc is Professor Koushik Maharatna. Their recent research interests have a focus in biomedical and health informatics, biomedical circuits and systems, and engineering in medicine and biology.
This course is accredited by:
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering.
You must also have an upper 2:1 score in the following:
- 1 maths module
- 1 physics module
- 1 circuit module (e.g. circuit design or circuit analysis)
- 2 relevant electronics modules (e.g. electronics design, embedded system design, digital electronics, semiconductor devices)
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
This is a full-time master’s course. You’ll study for 12 months, usually from September to the following September.
In semesters 1 and 2 you'll study the taught part of your course. This also includes the first part of the ELEC3221, including its formative assessment.
This part of the course is made up of some modules that everyone on the course takes, and modules we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options. You’ll also begin preparing for your research project.
You'll also have exams which usually take place in January and May/June.
Over the summer, you’ll work independently on a research project lasting 14 weeks, which will include a 15,000-word dissertation you'll be assessed on. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
The learning activities for this course include:
- classes and tutorials
- individual and group projects
- independent learning (studying on your own)
What to read before you start
This course requires some pre-reading before you start. If you’re unable to find the recommended books, you can use similar books instead. Most of the books listed below will be used as course texts.
Programming is not explicitly taught as part of this MSc. You'll be expected to be able to program in C for some units and for the project. There are many suitable books available, for example, Buchanan, W., C for Electronic Engineering, Prentice Hall, 1995.
You should be familiar with:
- functions (arguments, return, scope, recursion).
- dynamic memory allocation.
- structures (declaration, definition, pointers, arrays).
- header files and modular programming.
- Digital Design - Zwolinski, M., Digital Design with VHDL, Addison Wesley Longman, 2000, ISBN 0-201-36063-2 [Shops]. You should read and understand chapters 1 to 7.
- Circuit Theory - Sedra, A.S. and Smith K.C., Microelectronic Circuits 3rd Edition. Read: Chapters 1, 2, 10.9-11 and 11.
- Signal Processing - Proakis J. G. and Manolakis D., Digital Signal Processing: Principles, Algorithms and Applications, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1996.
- Digital Communications - Sklar, B., Digital Communications: Fundamentals and Applications (2nd Ed.), Prentice Hall PTR, 2001. Read: Chapters 1-4, 6, 7, 12.
- Wireless Communications - Rappaport, T. S., Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice (2nd Ed.), Prentice Hall PTR, 2002. Read: Chapters 1-5.
We’ll assess you through:
- coursework, laboratory reports and essays
- a dissertation
- group essays
- individual and group projects
- written exams
You will be required to carry out an individual final project which will be assessed by a 15,000-word written dissertation.
We’ll assign you a personal tutor, and you’ll have access to a senior tutor.
Graduates from our microelectronics master’s are sought after by commercial enterprises and universities worldwide.
We have close links with all the major UK Design companies who recruit many of our graduates. This degree also has a dedicated careers hub which is affiliated with over 100 renowned companies such as:
- Microsoft Research
- Imagination Technologies
Visit our careers hub for more information.
Through a mix of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus startup incubator, we also support you to build entrepreneurship and professional enterprise skills. Discover more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £25,400.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000