MSc Embedded Systems and IC Design

Study mode

Year 1 - Study

Year 2 - Industry Placement*

Start date(s)

September 2020

Tuition fees 20/21
Home (full-time, per year): £9,000
International (full-time, per year): £16,100
Home (placement year): £2,000
International (placement year): £3,650

Faculty of Engineering and Technology:

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
  • Look forward to a placement* in your second year of study. The 30 plus week industrial placement and writing of the MSc Dissertation will run in tandem during 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.


Year 1 will be spent studying at LJMU. Year 2 is a paid industrial placement*.

The University will provide support and guidance to find an appropriate placement although they are not guaranteed and are subject to interviews with employers.

*Industrial placements are subject to interviews with employers. They are not guaranteed. Please contact for more information.

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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 use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • 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.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) 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.

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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.

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Core Modules

Embedded Systems
20 credits

This module aims to provide theoretical and practical skills in the design and development of advanced embedded systems.

Advanced Signal Processing
20 credits

This module aims to develop an advanced understanding of techniques and practical experience in industry-oriented applications of digital signal processing.

Research Skills
10 credits

This module prepares you to undertake your own research project and deliver the required skillset for the successful completion of your investigations. It provides the skills required to formulate a project plan, design experiments, mitigate against uncertainties and deliver a comprehensive description of results.

Modelling and Simulation
10 credits

This module introduces Matlab coding for scientific computation, and system simulation using Simulink. It enables those with a background in using a traditional high-level programming language, but no experience using National Instruments (NI) LabVIEW, to create virtual Instruments (VI's) and interface them with compatible hardware for data acquisition (DAQ) and control applications.

MSc Dissertation
60 credits

The main aims of the project module are to demonstrate your ability to drive your own deep/thorough investigation, undertake high quality academic research and demonstrate critical evaluation of your results. This is a very important module representing 600 hours of self-driven scholarly activity. When considering a project, it would be appropriate to choose a subject area strongly associated with one of the taught modules. For most students, this means using the project to develop a particular subject specialism which is aligned to future career objectives.

Professional and Leadership Skills
10 credits

This module provides a valuable opportunity for engineering graduates to acquire the necessary skills and training to work at postgraduate level, and to develop the important emotional competency skills needed to excel in their professional activities. The module aims to develop:

  • awareness of the legal and ethical framework surrounding the activities of a professional engineer, including: personnel, health, safety, and risk (including environmental risk) issues
  • awareness of the Emotional Competence Framework for a professional engineer
  • a specific set of personal and social competency skills appropriate for a professional engineer, including adaptability, creativity and innovation, creativity diversification, leveraging diversity, political awareness, communication, conflict management, leadership, collaboration and cooperation, team capabilities

IC System Design
20 credits

This module gives students an advanced knowledge of the design and test techniques required for modern digital IC systems. Extensive practical designs are carried out with the help of modern ECAD software and hardware development boards.

Digital Design and Test
10 credits

This module gives the student an advanced knowledge of the design and test techniques required for modern digital electronic integrated circuits at the transistor, register and silicon level. Practical design is carried out with the help of modern ECAD software.


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.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Course tutors

Michael Shaw

Michael Shaw

Programme Leader

Dr Mike Shaw is the Subject Head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and is the postgraduate Programme Leader. He has over 30 years’ experience in electrical and electronic engineering and related disciplines, together with research interests in the field of optical, non-contact measurement and inspection.

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, open 24/7 during semesters, is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 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

Additional information

  • 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 
  • IELTS 6.0
  • Non-standard applications may be subject to interview
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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the 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.

Important info about this course