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Course Syllabi

UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering course syllabi and descriptions

Year One Modules


All modules are compulsory.

  • Integrated Engineering

The module aims to provide students with an engaging and interdisciplinary view of engineering that is consistent with a rigorous core of fundamental mathematics, modelling and analytical skills, but is firmly embedded in the professional practice of engineering and the context of design. It provides students with an awareness of an engineer’s influential role in the 21st century and an understanding of the impact associated with engineering decisions.

  • Design and Professional Skills

To be successful engineers, our students need to be able to identify and analyse problems, conceive and design potential solutions, liaise with and present to clients, and work with and direct colleagues. They need to do these things efficiently, ethically, professionally, and competently, and, often, they need to do them quickly. Although it is possible to learn these skills ‘by osmosis’, this can take years—even decades—of trial and error. Our goal is to provide the students with tools at the start of their degrees that will make them more effective during their university career and, crucially, enable them to work as competent professionals not just when they graduate, but when they do projects and internships.

  • Mathematical Modelling and Analysis

Traditional Engineering programmes often teach Engineering Mathematics theory in isolation from engineering practice. Whilst students taught through such programmes often exhibit detailed understanding of mathematical concepts, they are often incapable of applying their newly acquired mathematical knowledge to solving engineering problems. In contrast to this, the Mathematical Modelling and Analysis I (MMA I) module utilises mathematical modelling and simulation techniques as a pedagogic tool to integrate the acquisition and practice of mathematical concepts. This approach is underpinned by a suite of online mathematical support resources as well as a walk-in student-led Engineering Mathematics Support team.

  • Introduction to Electronic Engineering

This module aims to provide an introduction to a range of fundamental topics in electronic engineering, including energy sources, analogue and digital circuits, semiconductor physics and communications systems, along with the associated practical skills including the use of test tools/instruments and the design, construction and troubleshooting of electronic circuits.

  • Analog and Power Electronics

This module aims to deliver a basic understanding of the principles of analogue electronics, circuit analysis and power electronics. To understand the means by which the response of systems can be analysed and modelled in both the time and frequency domain, and the small signal response of amplifier circuits.

  • Digital Systems

This module aims to introduce the tools and techniques required to analyse, design and implement digital circuits, ranging from combinational and sequential logic to the basics of microprocessor systems and FPGAs.

  • Physics of Electronics

This module gives an introduction to the analysis of electromagnetic fields, in the context of electronic engineering. The module enables students to formalise, in vector notation, the description of electric and magnetic fields, including Gauss's Law and Faraday's Law. It aims to provide a quite rigorous analysis of physical phenomena in semiconductors and to introduce modern electronic circuit devices such as the bipolar junction transistor and the field effect transistor.

  • Signals and Systems

This module aims to deliver a basic understanding of the principles of communications and control systems and means by which signals can be analysed, modelled and manipulated. This will include standard techniques and technologies to produce, modulate, code, demodulate and decode communications signals.

  • Programming I

This module aims to provide basic computer programming skills based on the C programming language, to introduce the concept of low-level programming of hardware and to familiarise students with object orientation.


Year Two Modules


All the modules listed below are compulsory.

  • Analogue Electronics

This module provides students with a good introduction to the analysis of standard circuit configurations including feedback circuits and the design of advanced circuits such as operational-amplifiers and oscillators.

  • Design and Professional Practice II

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the engineering process and practice in carrying it out.  The module will provide the engineering skills our students need to succeed in engineering careers in research and/or industry.

  • Digital Design

This module introduces students to the design process for hardware based digital solutions such as FPGAs and ASICs and software based microprocessor solutions.

  • Mathematical Modelling and Analysis II

This module covers series and transforms, partial differential equations for engineers and vector calculus, matrices and Eigenvectors/values.

  • Semiconductor Devices

This module extends the insight into the solid state and devices established in First Year and considers the principles of state-of-the-art silicon diode and transistor operation. A range of devices are studied including current industry standards for fabrication, including economic consideration and the impact of nanotechnology on current and future devices.

  • Communications Systems

The aim of this module is to introduce engineering students to the principles of digital communications systems. The course covers both the theory and practice of communications systems and schemes.

  • Control Systems

This module provides a fundamental understanding of feedback control systems in terms of transient and steady state response and stability; it enables the study of feedback control systems with Laplace, Nyquist and Bode plots.

  • Electromagnetic Theory

This module provides a fundamental understanding of electromagnetic waves and their properties in free space and waveguides in order to enable the analysis and design of high frequency electronic systems and components.

  • Photonics

This module provides an introduction to the interaction of optical signals with materials, and to the design of optoelectronic devices and systems.

  • Programming II

This module extends the students' programming skills and introduces them to Java-based object-oriented design and programming, providing the foundations for design and programming in any other object-oriented environment.

Optional courses

All second-year courses are compulsory, but you will take one minor chosen from a wide range across the Engineering Faculty, in areas such as Aerospace Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Management and languages. A minor consists of three related modules on the same topic; one is taken in the second year (Minor I) and two are taken in the third year (Minor II and III). We currently offer our own minors in Nanotechnology, Sustainable Energy and Networking Technologies.

Year Three Modules


All students undertake an individual project as well as Minor II and III (see above). Beyond this, they choose four further modules from the options below. Modules in other departments can also be taken with the permission of the module leader and the Undergraduate Tutor.

  • Control Systems

This module aims to provide a fundamental understanding of feedback control systems in terms of transient and steady state response and stability; to enable the analysis and design of feedback control systems with Laplace, Nyquist and Bode plots; to study industrial control systems, such as PID controllers and introduce linearisation of non-linear systems around the operational point.

  • Digital Signal Processing

This module aims to enable students to understand and apply mathematical and engineering principles and tools to the analysis, performance assessment and evaluation of digital signal processing systems.

  • Optoelectronics II

This module aims to enable students to analyse key components of opto-electronic systems, to analyse complete opto-electronic systems and to prepare students for design work in opto-electronics and optical communications.

  • Advanced Digital Design

This module aims to introduce students to the basics of logic design, hardware description languages (HDL) and logic synthesis tools, and help them develop technical skills to design, simulate, analyse and verify complex digital circuits.

  • Electronic Devices and Nanotechnology

This module aims to provide greater depth and further insights into the fabrication, operational characteristics and underlying physics of electronic devices already introduced in first and second year courses.

  • Numerical Methods

This module aims to enable students to gain knowledge on numerical and computational techniques used in solving common engineering problems; to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods and to be able to choose adequate methods for different classes of problems; to be able to formulate a solution strategy for manual or computer implementation.

  • Renewable Energy

This module aims to give an introduction to and overview of the existing energy sources and means of generation and, in particular, to consider the emerging new energy technologies and how they may be used to make an increasing contribution in the future.

Examples of modules offered by other departments are:

  • Computer Music (Computer Science Department)
  • Networked Systems (Computer Science Department)
  • Image Processing (Computer Science Department)
  • Marketing Communications (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Corporate Financial Strategy (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Accounting for Business (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Managerial Accounting for Decision Making (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Physiological Monitoring (Medical Physics Department)
  • Medical Electronics (Medical Physics Department)
  • Quantum Physics (Physics and Astronomy Department)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics (Physics and Astronomy Department)


Year Four Modules


All students undertake a group project and choose five further modules from the options below. Modules in other departments can also be taken with the permission of the module leader and the Undergraduate Tutor. Students can also take any of the year 3 modules on a higher level, i.e. the pass mark is 50% rather than 40%.

  • Analogue CMOS IC Design and Applications

This module aims to provide a current, informative treatment of the principles, concepts and techniques required to design analogue integrated circuits (ICs) using CMOS technology; to expose students to the different methodologies used to develop such circuits, including electrical modelling and transistor-level circuit design, and analysis tools; to present some case studies of analogue ICs for biomedical, sensor and signal conditioning systems.

  • Antennas and Propagation

This module aims to give a good grounding in a range of antenna and array designs, methods used for their measurement and the principles of radiowave propagation. The material is developed from fundamental principles and illustrated with numerous practical examples of working antenna and array systems.

  • Radar Systems

The emphasis in this module is on physical principles and on modern radar systems and signal processing techniques, for both civilian and defence applications.

  • Optical Transmission and Networks

This module provides students with an advanced understanding of the physical layer of optical transmission systems and networks on different time - and length-scales. Optical networks include the description of optical networks as a set of optical links, including the principle of wavelength routing on different time-scales (static and dynamic). This part of the course also includes optical interconnects. On optical transmission the focus is on the elements of analysis and design of point-to-point optically-amplified transmission systems as well as access applications. This covers in-depth understanding of optical transmission system design, optical amplifiers and amplified systems and the operation of wavelength division multiplexed systems. Both linear and nonlinear sources of transmission impairments and their accumulation with distance and interaction with dispersion are analysed. The choice of modulation formats, fibre dispersion and electronic processing techniques are discussed with the aim of maximising the spectral efficiency, channel capacity and operating system margins.

  • RF Circuits and Subsystems

This module aims to give students a good grounding in a range of RF devices including the fundamentals of device physics, RF circuits, system architectures and noise measurement techniques. The knowledge of impedance matching, stability and noise figure for amplifier circuit design learnt by the students will be consolidated with a full-day computer simulation exercise where students will perform RF amplifier design tasks using the industry standard software package Agilent ADS.

  • Photonic Subsystems

This module teaches to the state of the art in design, fabrication and performance of photonic circuits. Applications are discussed in communications and high precision measurement. It covers digital coding, advanced modulation formats, digital and analogue optical modulation, modulator and optical amplifier photonic device design, laser transmitter design, laser direct detection and coherent detection receiver design including electronic and optical feedback, signal to noise ratio and bit error rate, planar photonic circuit technology, wireless over fibre systems, systems for measurement of distance, time and material composition and optical systems for generation and detection of terahertz and microwave radiation.

  • Advanced Photonics Devices

This module aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the design, operation and performance of advanced photonic devices including light emitting diodes, LEDs, a range of semiconductor lasers, photodetectors, liquid crystal devices, photovoltaic solar cells for a variety of applications including optical communications and solar power generation.

  • Nanotechnology in Healthcare
  • Nanoelectronic Devices
  • Nanoscale Processing and Characterisation
  • Distributed Systems and Security (Computer Science Department)
  • Complex Networks and Web (Computer Science Department)
  • Machine Vision (Computer Science Department)
  • Project Management (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Operations and Technology Management (Management Science and Innovation Department)
  • Molecular Physics (Physics and Astronomy Department)