MSc Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering

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Faculty Faculty of Engineering
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time students must be available to attend teaching activities during the normal core hours, Monday to Friday.
Open to international students Yes
Number of places Not fixed
Start date September 2016

Programme overview

The Bristol region is host to a thriving and world-leading semiconductor design industry. The Microelectronics Group at the University of Bristol has many collaborative links with multinational companies in the microelectronics industry, who have identified a shortfall in graduates with the necessary qualifications and professional skills to work in the sector. The MSc in Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering (AMSE) has been designed to meet these requirements.

The programme spans topics from diverse disciplines required for rapid professional advancement in the Microelectronics industry. A range of taught subjects cover core topics such as advanced architectures and system design using FPGA and DSP platforms, before progressing into more specialised areas such as digital and analogue ASIC design, integrated sensors and actuators and mixed-signal design. Changes are made periodically to reflect important emerging disciplines, such as electronics for biological applications and neuromorphic computing.

The AMSE programme offers you a great opportunity to learn from experts in Micro and Nanoelectronics and Computer Science, to allow you to start working straight after your degree or continue your studies via a PhD. Special emphasis is put on providing you with a range of contemporary design skills to supplement theoretical knowledge. Lectures are accompanied by lab exercises in state-of-the-art industrial EDA software to give you experience of a professional environment.

The AMSE MSc is aimed at graduates with at least an upper-second-class bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) in an engineering discipline, who have foundational knowledge in digital logic, computer architecture, digital and analogue transistor-level circuits and programming.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The course consists of 120 credits worth of taught Units and a major individual project worth 60 credits. The following core taught Units, each worth 10 credit points (100 learning hours), are taken over autumn and spring:

  • Design Verification
  • Analogue Integrated Circuit Design
  • Integrated Circuit Electronics
  • Digital Filters and Spectral Analysis (M)
  • Advanced DSP & FPGA Implementation
  • VLSI Design M
  • Embedded and Real-Time Systems
  • Bio Sensors

Additionally students are able to choose any two out of the following four 10-credit Units (some combinations may not be possible due to timetabling constraints).

  • Device Interconnect - Principles and Practice
  • Advanced Computer Architecture
  • Sustainability, Technology and Business
  • Computational Neuroscience

In the spring term, students also take Engineering Research Skills, a 20-credit-point Unit designed to introduce the fundamental skills necessary to carry out the MSc project.

Following the satisfactory completion of the taught phase, all students complete a final project which comprises researching, planning and implementing a major piece of work relating to microelectronics systems design. The project must have a significant scientific or technical component and may involve on-site collaboration with an industrial partner. The thesis is normally submitted by the end of September.

The programme structure is under continual discussion with the National Microelectronics Institute and our industrial advisory board in order that it remains at the cutting edge of the semiconductor industry. It is therefore subject to small changes on an ongoing basis to generally improve the programme and recognise important emerging disciplines.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, or a related discipline in Engineering or the physical sciences, with foundational knowledge in digital logic, computer architecture, digital and analogue transistor-level circuits, programming, and signals and systems.

For information on international equivalent qualifications, please see our International Office website.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


This course gives graduating students the background to go onto a career in a variety of disciplines in the IT sector, due to the core and specialist units that cover key foundational concepts as well as advanced topics related to hardware design, programming and embedded systems and system-level integration. Typical examples are soft fabrication facilities and design houses in the semiconductor industry, electronic-design automation (EDA) tool vendors, embedded systems specialists and software houses. The course also prepares you for a career in academic research.

How to apply
Application deadline:

21 August 2016
Early application recommended; the programme will close once full.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

Categories 11 and 15 apply. Please see full REF 2014 results for the University of Bristol.

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 5130 Email:

MSc in Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Faculty of Engineering
University of Bristol
Queen's Building
University Walk


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