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MSc Embedded Systems and IC Design

Start date(s):
September, January
Study mode:
Course duration:
1 year FullTime, 2 years FullTime

Tuition fees

Home full-time per year
International full-time per year
International year 2
Sandwich year international
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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About this course

Study on this Masters programme in Embedded Systems and IC Design at Liverpool John Moores University.

  • Study at one the UK's leading Engineering Departments
  • Benefit from the internationally-acclaimed research of LJMU's Electrical and Electronic Engineering Research Centre
  • Postgraduates of this course highly sought after by major UK and international employers
  • This programme is available as a standard full-time Masters one-year programme (180 credits) or as an extended full-time Masters 20 month programme (240 credits)
  • On both versions in semesters one and two you will study full-time at LJMU completing the taught modules
  • If you are on the one-year programme, you will complete your Dissertation over the summer
  • If you are on the 20 month programme, you will undertake the Group Design Project and your Dissertation in the second year

Industrial organisations across all sectors have identified a gap in the market and the need for Engineers with good leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to their technical abilities.

This MSc degree programme provides excellent progression from electronic engineering undergraduate courses. You can also complete the course as part of your career development and to specialise in the Embedded Systems, Nano Electronics and IC Design fields.

Students who choose the 20 month MSc route will undertake a Group Design Project & Dissertation.

The Group Design Project aims to apply engineering, technology and scientific knowledge to a real-world design problem. Detailed ideas will be explored and developed through design, experimentation, computer modelling and/or manufacture.

Why should I choose the 20 month route?

The Group Design Project will encompass the wider aspects of social, economic, political, legislative, environmental, cultural, ethical and sustainability issues required in the modern environment.

  • This route is designed for international students who wish to apply their knowledge to professional practice in the UK
  • Industrial organisations across all sectors have identified a gap in the market for Engineers with good leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to their technical abilities
  • This route will equip you with the transferrable project management skills needed to excel in your chosen career
  • You will work in groups and meet regularly with an academic supervisor and any internal or external stakeholders in order to develop an effective team-working ethic
  • As an alternative to the group project on the two-year programme an industrial placement is a possibility in year two
  • You will need to apply directly to companies offering placements — the offer of a placement will be subject to a successful interview with the employer. Although the University will provide support and guidance to find an appropriate placement they are not guaranteed
  • Please note that you cannot apply for the sandwich route before coming to LJMU — further information about applying to placement opportunities will be given during semester two of year one
  • You will present your work through regular meetings with your supervisor as well as submitting progress reports and oral presentations. In this way you will have the chance to hone your communicative skills and leave University ready for the workplace


Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Digital Design & Test
10 credits

This module focuses on advancing skills in digital design, with an emphasis on digital circuit design at both transistor and gate levels. It aims to cultivate expertise in contemporary digital electronic circuit design and its associated testing procedures.

Advanced Signal Processing
20 credits

This module aims to cultivate an advanced understanding of techniques and practical experience in industry-oriented applications of digital signal processing (DSP). It is aligned with several United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including Good Health and Wellbeing, Affordable and Clean Energy, Industry, Innovation, Infrastructure, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Responsible Consumption and Production.

MSc Dissertation
60 credits

This project module provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to drive your own deep/thorough investigation, undertake high quality academic research and demonstrate critical evaluation of your results.

Research Skills
10 credits

The module will help prepare you to undertake your own research project and deliver the required skill set for successful completion of your investigations.

Modelling and Simulation
10 credits

This module will  introduce you to Matlab coding for scientific computation, system modelling, and system simulation using Simulink.

Professional and Leadership Skills
10 credits

This module will help you to develop an awareness of the legal and ethical framework surrounding the activities of a professional engineer. You will also gain an awareness of the Emotional Competence Framework for a professional engineer. This will help you to develop a specific set of personal and social competency skills appropriate for a professional engineer, such as adaptability, creativity diversification, leveraging diversity, political awareness, leadership and team capabilities.

Embedded Systems
20 credits

This module you to obtain both the theoretical and practical skills in the design and development of advanced embedded systems.

IC System Design
20 credits

This module will help you to gain knowledge and understanding of a range of advanced IC digital design and analysis methods and to develop the design and test techniques required for modern digital microelectronic IC systems.

Nano Devices, Fabrication and Testing
20 credits

This module will help you to develop an understanding of the latest development and challenges encountered by the microelectronic industry. Within the module, you will gain knowledge in the fabrication and testing of microelectronic devices. This will enhance your knowledge of the latest consumer electronic products.

Optional Modules

Group Design Project
60 credits

This module will enable you to apply engineering, technology and scientific knowledge to a real-world design problem.

Sandwich Year Placement
60 credits

Within this module you will have the chance to carry out an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement your programme of study at LJMU.

This will give you the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to your programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment.


An insight into teaching on your course

Teaching methods

You will be taught via lectures, tutorials, seminars, activity-based learning, group discussions, panel sessions, inverted classroom learning etc.

Applied learning

You will undertake an industrial placement during the second year of study. Interviews will take place with our industry partners to secure these placements.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

This programme serves the growing and demanding needs of this hi-tech and very specialised industry at home and abroad. Backed by the experience of an internationally recognised research group in integrated circuit design, it is so satisfying to know that postgraduates from this programme are supporting and developing industry worldwide, becoming future leaders in their respective organisations.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The Department of Electrical Engineering is in the Byrom Street complex of LJMU's City Campus. In addition to specialist engineering facilities, Byrom Street has high quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.


Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a minimum 2.2 honours degree in Electrical/Electronic/Communication Engineering or a related engineering discipline


  • an honours degree in Mathematics or a physical science, together with experience in a relevant field


  • a degree with industrial experience or relevant postgraduate experience


  • graduate or corporate membership of a professional body such as The Institution of Engineering and Technology, The Institute of Measurement and Control or The Institute of Physics

Alternative qualifications considered

  • Qualifications or experience deemed to be equivalent to the above will also be accepted
  • Mature students must provide evidence of adequate educational and/or industrial experience

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    • Non-standard applications may be subject to interview

International requirements


    • IELTS 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.