Software and Electronic Systems Engineering is a dynamic and collaborative degree programme; combining academic thought with practical application. Software and Electronic Systems Engineers make the impossible possible. They challenge conventional processes and look beyond what exists towards what comes next.
From everyday systems, like games consoles and mobile phones to advanced systems for surveillance and medical devices, the modern world is made possible by the devices you will be taught to understand and develop during the Software and Electronic Systems Engineering undergraduate programme.
Additionally, Software and Electronic Systems Engineering is one of the few research-led degrees in Queen’s which includes the design of both electronic hardware and software. As an SESE graduate, you can not only design the physical hardware of a mobile phone but also write the software to run it.
Through our diverse network of industry links, you begin learning from prospective employers from day one. Industry placements, company-sponsored hackathons and project challenges are a core part of the curriculum and vastly improve our graduate employability rates.
A truly integrated degree at the fast-moving interface between software and electronics disciplines.
Our students are constantly given the opportunity to put theory into practice. We regularly consult a large number of employers including, for example, Civica and Sensata Technologies, who provide sponsorship for our students as well as NIE Networks who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
Graduates in both software and electronics are in high demand, with many developing careers in software, electronics or roles that combine both. Additionally, there are excellent, well-paid career prospects across a wide spectrum of positions: design; research; development; production; marketing and sales in industries such as avionics and space; telecommunications and broadcasting; connected health and medical electronics; consumer electronics and gaming; computing and software; embedded systems, smart networks and electronic security.
The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has a world-class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and Sonic Arts (SARC).
Scholarships: students may be eligible for scholarships, eg the Sensata Technologies Scholarship, NIE Networks Scholarship and the Civica Scholarship.
This degree requires three years of full-time study plus an optional year in industry, which is usually taken after Stage 2. Transfer from the BEng degree to the MEng is possible subject to satisfactory performance.
The programme contains the following themes which may change due to technology and industry needs.
Embedded Systems 2
Professional Engineering Practice 2
Signals & Communication System 2
Circuits and Control
Architecture and Networks
Software Engineering 3
Agile & Component-Based Development using NET
Information System Security
Digital Systems Architecture and Design
Signal Processing and Communications
Networks & Communication Protocols
Control Systems Engineering
Contact Teaching Hours
Large Group Teaching
9 (hours maximum)9 hours of lectures
24 (hours maximum)22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc.
6 (hours maximum)6 hours of practical classes, workshops or tutorials each week
Highly skilled graduates with experience of both software and electronics are highly sought-after locally, nationally and internationally. There are excellent, well-paid career prospects across a wide spectrum: design, research, development, production, marketing and sales in employment areas such as avionics and space, telecommunications and broadcasting, connected health and medical electronics, consumer electronics and gaming, computing and software, embedded systems and electronic security.
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's, you can have the opportunity to gain a wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world-leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Learning and Teaching
The School has a world-class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high-quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable students to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BEng in Software and Electronic Systems Engineering, we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world-class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
E-Learning technologiesInformation associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example, interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project-based work etc.
LecturesIntroduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
Personal TutorUndergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
PracticalsWhere you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.
Self-directed studyThis is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Seminars/tutorialsSignificant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
Supervised projectsIn the final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write-up stage.
Work placementsStudents taking Software and Electronic Systems Engineering undertake a work-placement after Stage 2. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
Placement employer comments or references.
Online or emailed comment.
General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
A level requirements
ABB including Mathematics and at least one from Biology, Chemistry, Computing, Digital Technology, Electronics, Further Mathematics, Geography, ICT [not Applied ICT], Physics, Software Systems Development, Technology and Design or Double Award Life & Health Sciences.
Irish leaving certificate requirements
H3H3H3H3H3H3/H2H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H3 in Mathematics and a Science subject (see list under A-level requirements)
Successful completion of Access Course with 80% in each module.
Must be a relevant Access Course including two modules in Mathematics (Level 3) and two modules in Physics (Level 3).
International Baccalaureate Diploma
33 points overall, including 6,5,5 at Higher Level, including Mathematics and a relevant Science.
BTEC Level 3 Extended/National Extended Diploma
QCF Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma (180 credits), with 120 credits at Distinction grade and 60 credits at Merit grade, with Distinctions required in four specified units (40 credits), including Mathematics for Technicians and Further Mathematics for Technicians.
RQF Level 3 BTEC National Extended Diploma (1080 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)), with at least 780 GLH at Distinction grade (including all externally assessed units) and 300 GLH at Merit grade, with Distinctions required in four specified units, including Engineering Principles and Further Engineering Mathematics.
Extended Diploma/National Extended Diploma must be relevant.
A minimum of a 2:2 Honours Degree provided any subject requirement is also met.
Option to transfer
Transfers between BEng and MEng may be possible at the end of Stage 2.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for the English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering Academic English and Pre-sessional courses online only from June to September 2020.
Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
Northern Ireland (NI)
England, Scotland or Wales (GB)
Other (non-UK) EU
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2020-21. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Software and Electronic Systems Engineering (with Year in Industry) costs
Students may wish to become a student member of BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT - at an annual cost of £20, or £30 for four years (subject to change).
Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students.