Microelectronic System Design

Microelectronic System Design MSc

Course fees (2017/18 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home full time annual tuition fee: £6,700
Home cost per credit: £37.20
International full time annual tuition fee: £12,660

More about course fees »

Course type



Electronics and Electrical Engineering

Study mode

Full Time (1 year)

About your course

Explore the latest electrical engineering and process control techniques through this Masters in Microelectronic Systems Design. This postgraduate course is accredited by IET and meets Chartered Engineer status.

  • Complete this masters degree in one year (full time)
  • Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the course meets Chartered Engineer status requirements
  • Study at one the UK’s leading Engineering Schools
  • Programme informed by internationally-acclaimed research
  • Close industry links
  • Excellent career opportunities in roles such as system designers, analysts, and senior engineers in the fields of electrical engineering, process control, and related industries

Gain IET accreditation and Chartered Engineer status.

Study the fundamental principles driving future developments in microelectronics and develop critical, analytical and experimental skills.

Introduction to the School

The Department of Maritime and Mechanical Engineering has a long and distinguished history of teaching and research and an established reputation for producing excellent engineers and maritime professionals.

All of our postgraduate courses are taught by academics active in industrially-oriented research and scholarship. Our teaching and research is supported by long-term partnerships with universities and employers in the UK and overseas. Such links help ensure that our courses are kept up-to-date and that you have opportunities to develop skills and experience in solving realistic problems during your studies. 

It’s also why we attract so many applicants from around the world and why our graduates are highly sought after by UK and international employers.

Research excellence

Around 95% of our research submitted to the REF 2014 is considered world-leading or internationally important.

Research in the Department covers the following areas:

  • Microelectronic Systems
  • Electric Machines and Drives
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Mechanical Engineering and Materials, and Process Control
  • Logistics Offshore and Marine Research

Why study this course at LJMU?

Microelectrical system design is a specialised field with many opportunities internationally and professionally. A career in this area will create opportunities to travel and work in an exciting and dynamic industry worldwide.

This course includes the IET accreditation that you need to gain a professional role in the industry. You can study this programme part-time and develop your expertise and knowledge to increase your career prospects.

Industry-based research is a key element of this programme, which will keep you up-to-date with the latest innovation for industry. You will also be well-prepared for further research and PhD study if you want to progress your academic career.

Programme outline and structure

This Masters course will equip you with the technical and management skills you need to progress to senior professional positions, specialising in the design, fabrication and testing of microelectronic devices.

You will study the fundamental principles that drive future developments in microelectronics. We offer the opportunity to develop the critical, analytical and experimental skills to solve practical problems and work at the cutting edge of this rapidly developing field.

You’ll learn how to critically analyse designs, their functionality and expected reliability and it will also be important for you to gain a strong understanding of the capabilities and limitations of modelling and simulation tools.

The programme design provides opportunities to practice communication skills at Chartered Engineer level. You’ll gain sought after professional behavioural traits to prepare you for technical and management roles in microelectrical system design.

You will also undertake an individual project giving the opportunity to focus on your area of interest, working with our world-leading researchers.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 7
  • Dynamic systems simulation
  • Microelectronic systems design
  • VLSI devices, fabrication and testing
  • Embedded systems
  • VLSI design
  • Research skills
  • Modelling with Matlab and Simulink
  • MSc project
  • Advanced single processing
  • Operations research
  • Safety and reliability
  • Project management
  • Programming for engineering
  • LabVIEW
  • Professional and leadership skills

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email courses@ljmu.ac.uk if you require further guidance or clarification.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will gain knowledge and skills on this course through lectures and directed student-centred learning, such as case studies.

    You will also need to complete open-ended reports and project work to demonstrate your understanding of topics.
    Assessment is through a combination of coursework including case study reports and assignment submissions and short class tests. Some modules include problem solving skill tests through unseen written examinations.

    Staff research interests

    The programme is underpinned by research in the Microelectronics Research Group led by Professor J Zhang.

    Research focuses on investigating potential ‘show-stoppers’ to the development of mainstream technologies such as CMOS and Flash memories, including:

    • New materials and devices for the future microelectronic industry, such as charge trapping flash memories
    • Quality assessment and device lifetime prediction, for example assessing which layer of the dielectric stack controls lifetime
    • New characterisation techniques, including discharge-based multi-pulse techniques and single pulse charge pumping techniques

    The above are implemented at R&D centres and will be built into commercial primary test equipment.

    LJMU’s Electrical Electronic Engineering Research Centre, again under the leadership of Professor J Zhang, alongside Professor E. Levi also conducts world-leading research in:

    • Microelectronic devices and reliability
    • Electric machines and drives
    • Control systems

    Entry requirements (Home)

    An honours degree in a relevant engineering subject with a minimum 2.2 classification or a professional qualification of equivalent standing together with such relevant professional experience as deemed appropriate by the School.

    Non-UK applicants will be expected to have demonstrated competence in English language equivalent to a minimum of IELTS 6.0. Applicants who have studied and successfully achieved a UK degree within 24 months of the start of the MSc are exempt from this requirement.

    Entry requirements (International)

    LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

    For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

    Will I be interviewed?



    6.0 (Min 5.5 in each component)

    Is RPL accepted on this programme?


    Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

    Financial support

    Tuition fees

    All full and part-time students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or pay by instalments. If you need advice about how you will pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team as soon as possible.

    Sources of funding


    Postgraduate loans

    Postgraduate Masters loans are available for the 2017/18 academic year. The new loans, of up to £10,000, are available for students attending eligible full and part-time Masters courses, in line with the existing qualification framework for England. Administered by the Student Loan Company, the loans will be available to those under 60 at the start of their course.

    Loan repayments will begin the April after course completion, with the first cohort of borrowers commencing repayments in April 2019. Repayments will be made at a rate of 6% of income above an earning threshold of £21,000. This threshold will be frozen until 2021. For details of loan terms, conditions and eligibility, go to: ljmu.ac.uk/postgraduate-funding 

    LJMU Alumni Award

    Final year undergraduates and alumni of the University are eligible to apply for a 20% reduction in their postgraduate tuition fees if they choose to progress onto a higher degree programme at LJMU. Both Home and international LJMU students and alumni can apply for this award (subject to eligibility criteria*). 

    Postgraduate International Scholarships

    LJMU offers scholarships for international applicants accepted onto taught masters programmes (excluding distance learning programmes) and research degrees. Current LJMU international students and alumni interested in pursuing postgraduate study and research at the University are eligible to apply for these scholarships along with new applicants. 

    English for Postgraduate Studies Bursary

    A Bursary is also available for international students who need to improve their IELTS score prior to enrolling on their postgraduate course or research programme at the University. This course is run by LJMU’s International Study Centre.




    Earn While You Learn

    Working while you study means you may be able to pay for your course without taking out any further loans or at least reducing the amount you need to borrow. Working while you study also gives you the skills valued by employers, such as managing your workload and prioritising your time.

    LJMU’s Vacancy website can help you find graduate vacancies, sandwich/industrial placements, internships / summer work, part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities and work-based learning placements. Over 1,000 local and regional employers regularly list opportunities on the website.

    Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDL)

    Many students fund their postgraduate studies via Professional and Career Development Loans. This is a bank loan which you will have to pay back once you’ve completed the course. However, while you are studying any interest on the loan will be paid for you by the Skills Funding Agency. PCDLs worth between £300 and £10,000 are available for eligible postgraduates to fund up to two years of study (three if the course includes work experience). The loan is split into course fees and living costs. 

    Employer sponsorship

    Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn’t always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.

    Support for disabled students

    Disabled Students’ Allowances or DSAs are designed to help meet the extra course costs students can face as a direct result of a disability, on-going health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. DSAs don’t have to be paid back and the type of support you receive will be determined by your specific needs not your household income. Please contact LJMU’s Disability team for further advice: 0151 231 3164/3165.

    Council tax exemption

    All full-time postgraduate students studying courses lasting one year or more are eligible for a council tax exemption certificate.

    Graduate employment

    Our postgraduates are highly sought after by employers and many occupy senior positions within major UK and international companies. We want to help you reach your potential and develop both your technical and managerial skills.

    Graduates from this programme have secured managerial and/or design engineer employment within organisations involved in VLSI design, industrial electronics, consumer electronics and IT organisations.

    An example of a previous graduate job role is software developer at Blackhawk Software solutions.

    International Study

    International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

    Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

    Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

    Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.


    LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

    These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

    You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international

    Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

    • new international applicants
    • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
    • LJMU international alumni

    English for Postgraduate courses bursary

    A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

    This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

    The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where 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.
    Further guidance on programme changes

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