Software and Electronic Systems Engineering is a dynamic and collaborative degree programme; combining academic thought with practical application. Software and Electronic Systems Engineers make the impossible possible. They challenge conventional processes and look beyond what exists towards what comes next.
From everyday systems, like games consoles and mobile phones to advanced systems for surveillance and medical devices, the modern world is made possible by the devices you will be taught to understand and develop during the Software and Electronic Systems Engineering undergraduate programme.
Additionally, Software and Electronic Systems Engineering is one of the few research-led degrees in Queen’s which includes the design of both electronic hardware and software. As an SESE graduate you can not only design the physical hardware of a mobile phone but also write the software to run it.
Through our diverse network of industry links you begin learning from prospective employers from day one. Industry placements, company sponsored hackathons and project challenges are a core part of the curriculum and vastly improve our graduate employability rates.
Software and Electronic Systems Engineering (with Year in Industry) Degree highlights
A truly integrated degree at the fast-moving interface between software and electronics disciplines.
- Our students are constantly given the opportunity to put theory into practice. We regularly consult a large number of employers including, for example, Civica and Sensata Technologies, who provide sponsorship for our students as well as NIE Networks who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
- Graduates in both software and electronics are in high demand, with many developing careers in software, electronics or roles that combine both. Additionally, there are excellent, well-paid career prospects across a wide spectrum of positions: design; research; development; production; marketing and sales in industries such as avionics and space; telecommunications and broadcasting; connected health and medical electronics; consumer electronics and gaming; computing and software; embedded systems, smart networks and electronic security.
World Class Facilities
- The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has a world-class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and Sonic Arts (SARC).
- Scholarships: students may be eligible for scholarships, eg the Sensata Technologies Scholarship, NIE Networks Scholarship and the Civica Scholarship. For further information, visit the School Website.
Attraction to QUB
I always knew I wanted to study at Queen’s not only because it’s in Northern Ireland but Queen’s University has such a great reputation - it’s facilities, teaching and research are world class and are highly ranked in the UK and globally. QUB is also part of the Russell Group and is one of only nine universities partners in the UK who offer the IET Power Academy Scholarship. This was another benefit of studying engineering at Queen’s.
Having been to the open days I was able to meet the lectures, see the facilities and talk to current students asking them questions about QUB and the course. Everyone was so friendly, approachable and informative and it really helped to confirm my decision that I wanted to study EEE at Queen’s.
Positive Experience during studies
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen's, having met some fantastic people and completing my degree. I would have to say my highlight has been obtaining a scholarship with NIE Networks. This has provided me a great platform to meet so many new people and develop a wide range of skills. It has given my the chance to
get involved in a variety of projects throughout my summer placements and year out.
In addition, I have also had the opportunity to get involved in outreach programs within both primary and secondary schools such as First Lego League, Sentinus R&D, Young Innovators and Bee Safe. The main aim of all of this is to promote STEM subjects, studying at QUB, and careers in engineering in the hope to create awareness of the great career opportunities available and inspire future engineers.
I completed my placement year with NIE Networks in the Asset Management department based in Fortwilliam House, Belfast. I absolutely loved my placement year and would definitely recommend doing a placement! The department I was in within NIE Networks was responsible for managing all of the Assets and equipment on the electricity network.
My role had a great balance of being in the office and out on site. I had the opportunity to work on a variety projects from carrying out equipment failure investigations, writing policy documents to data analysis and much more. This provided me the chance to develop skills such as communication, leadership and project management.
By completing my year out I found that I had a better awareness and appreciation of what an engineer actually does within a company.
I feel that my placement year was of great benefit when I returned to university as it really helped to put into perspective some of the theory that I had learnt in class. It also give me the ability to apply this knowledge to solve real life engineering problems. I was also able to use the skills that I developed on placement in my university studies such as time management, adaptability and teamwork.
Engaging in School’s extracurricular activities?
I was involved in a number of extracurricular activities throughout my time at Queen’s and would recommend getting involved in some type of extracurricular activity.
I got involved in the Peer Mentoring Scheme where I was a Lead Mentor. The scheme itself is ran by students and is aimed at helping students from first year right up to final year. It’s a great way to meet and get to know other people on the course over a cup of tea and some biscuits. It also provides the opportunity to get help or ask questions that you might feel more comfortable asking another student as we’ve all been through it ourselves.
I was part of the IET On Campus group where I was Chairperson. This was a Engineering society which organised a variety of events such as industrial tours, workshops and social networking activities.
Additionally, I was a Class Representative for the MEng EEE course. This involved representing the class at SSCC (Staff Student Consultative Committee) meeting which give me the opportunity to provide feedback to University Staff as well as raise any issues. It was a great forum to discuss the course itself and help make improvements for future students.
I was also involved in various EEECS and outreach events representing the university and school on many occasions including Open Days, Fairs and Talks just to name a few.
One piece of advice to potential EEECS applicants
My advice would be to do your research on courses available, go to open days, see the facilities, talk to lectures and students, and don’t be afraid to ask questions - it’s your future!
Going forward I hope to get a graduate job with NIE Networks. Through studying EEE at Queen’s I really enjoyed the power modules and I know that I want to work in the electrical power sector of engineering. Having worked with NIE Networks on various placements throughout my time at QUB I have gained a better understanding of the various parts of the business and, meet some wonderful people and so I would love to work in the company full time.
If you had a time machine, and could go back to your first day at Queen’s, what would you do differently? (If anything!)
If I had a time machine and could go back to my first day at Queen’s I don’t think that I would actually do anything differently or change anything. I would just go back and enjoy reliving the whole university experience again. It goes by far too quickly, so just make the most of it!
Margaret Taggart (Electrical and Electronic Engineering)
Introduction This degree requires three years of full-time study plus an optional year in industry, which is usually taken after Stage 2. Transfer from the BEng degree to the MEng is possible subject to satisfactory performance.
The programme contains the following themes which may change due to technology and industry needs:
Stage 1 Embedded Systems
Stage 2 Embedded Systems 2
Professional Engineering Practice 2
Stage 2 Optional Courses Signals & Communication System 2
Circuits and Control
Architecture and Networks
Stage 3 Placement Year Stage 4 Project 3
Software Engineering 3
Stage 4 Optional Courses Agile & Component Based Development using NET
Information System Security
Digital Systems Architecture and Design
Signal Processing and Communications
Networks & Communication Protocols
Control Systems Engineering
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 9 (hours maximum)
9 hours of lectures
Medium Group Teaching 6 (hours maximum)
6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week
Personal Study 24 (hours maximum)
22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc.
Learning and Teaching
The School has a world class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BEng in Software and Electronic Systems Engineering we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- E-Learning technologies
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Personal Tutor
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development.
Where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Supervised projects
In final year, you will be expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology that you have chosen. You will receive support from a supervisor who will guide you in terms of how to carry out your research and will provide feedback to you on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage.
- Work placements
Students taking Software and Electronic Systems Engineering undertake a work-placement after Stage 2. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references
- Online or emailed comment
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
- E-Learning technologies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Applications are dealt with centrally by the Admissions and Access Service rather than by the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Once your application has been processed by UCAS and forwarded to Queen's, an acknowledgement is normally sent within two weeks of its receipt at the University.
Selection is on the basis of the information provided on your UCAS form. Decisions are made on an ongoing basis and will be notified to you via UCAS.
For last year’s intake, applicants for the BEng Honours in Software and Electronic Systems Engineering offering A-level/BTEC Level 3 qualifications must have had, or been able to achieve, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C/4 or better, to include English Language and Mathematics. However, this profile may change from year to year depending on the demand for places. Selectors will also check that any specific entry requirements in terms of A-level subjects can be fulfilled.
Offers are normally made on the basis of three A-levels. Two subjects at A-level plus two at AS are also considered. Candidates are not normally asked to attend for interview. The offer for repeat candidates is set in terms of three A-levels and may be one grade higher than for first time applicants. Grades may be held from the previous year.
Applicants offering two A-levels and one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent qualification) will also be considered. Offers will be made in terms of performance in individual BTEC units rather than the overall BTEC grade(s) awarded. Please note that a maximum of one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/National Extended Certificate (or equivalent) will be counted as part of an applicant’s portfolio of qualifications. The normal GCSE profile will be expected.
Applicants offering other qualifications, such as BTEC Extended/National Extended Diplomas, Higher National Certificates, and Higher National Diplomas, will also be considered.
The same GCSE profile is usually expected of those candidates taking a BTEC Extended/National Extended Diploma and must include GCSE Mathematics at grade C/4 or better.
Applicants offering a Higher National Certificate (HNC) will require an appropriate GCSE profile, which must include grade C/4 or better in GCSE Mathematics. A relevant HNC in Engineering is required, including Analytical Methods. Where offers are made for Stage 1 entry, these are currently conditional on successful completion of this HNC with 2 Distinctions and remainder Merits, including Merits in three specified units, including Analytical Methods.
For those offering a Higher National Diploma (HND), some flexibility may be allowed in terms of GCSE profile, but this must include grade C/4 or better in GCSE Mathematics. To be eligible for an offer, the grades obtained in the first year of the HND must allow the overall offer to be achievable. A relevant HND in Engineering is required for admission to this degree and offers for Stage 1 entry are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 2 Distinctions, 10 Merits and 4 Passes overall, with Merits required in three specified units, including Analytical Methods. Applicants with sufficiently high grades in the first year of a relevant HND in Engineering may be considered for entry to Stage 2 and, where offers are made, these are currently conditional on successful completion of this HND with 3 Distinctions and 13 Merits overall, with Merits required in four specified units, including Analytical Methods and Further Analytical Methods.
The information provided in the personal statement section and the academic reference together with predicted grades are noted but these are not the final deciding factors in whether or not a conditional offer can be made. However, they may be reconsidered in a tie break situation in August.
A-level General Studies and A-level Critical Thinking are not normally considered as part of a three A-level offer and, although they may be excluded where an applicant is taking four A-level subjects, the grade achieved could be taken into account if necessary in August/September.
If you are made an offer then you may be invited to a Faculty/School Visit Day, which is usually held during the second semester. This will allow you the opportunity to visit the University and to find out more about the degree programme of your choice; the facilities on offer. It also gives you a flavour of the academic and social life at Queen's.
If you cannot find the information you need here, please contact the University Admissions and Access Service (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving full details of your qualifications and educational background.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
- International Year One
The INTO progression course suited to this programme is
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Highly skilled graduates with experience of both software and electronics are highly sought-after locally, nationally and internationally. There are excellent, well-paid career prospects across a wide spectrum: design, research, development, production, marketing and sales in employment areas such as avionics and space, telecommunications and broadcasting, connected health and medical electronics, consumer electronics and gaming, computing and software, embedded systems and electronic security.
Graduates from these courses will be well equipped to undertake research or further study in a wide range of Electronic Engineering or Computer Science fields
What employers say
We are highly committed to the renewal of engineering talent in Northern Ireland and through our engagement with QUB we have had the opportunity to engage with the highest calibre of students. Our talent pool is predominantly sourced from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme with recent graduates able to apply their university learning to practical, real-life projects from the outset, bringing a new level of skills to our workforce.
Northern Ireland Electricity
Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Prizes and Awards
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £4,530 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £4,530 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £21,400 International £21,400
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
For further information please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Software and Electronic Systems Engineering (with Year in Industry) costs
Students may wish to become a student member of BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT - at an annual cost of ��20, or £30 for four years (subject to change).
Students undertake a placement in year 3 and are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement. Students may receive payment from their placement provider during their placement year.
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/students.
When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.
Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.
Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.
Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at: www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/How-to-apply/
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students
- Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2021.
- Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
- Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding
- Applying through UCAS