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Computer Hardware and Software Engineering

Entry requirements

A level


include Mathematics AND one from Electronics, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computing or Design Technology. Excludes General Studies.

The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits at Merit in Mathematics or Physical Science units. Plus GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.

GCSE/National 4/National 5

5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English and Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme


to include Mathematics AND one from Physics, Chemistry or Design Technology at Higher level.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016)


in an engineering subject to include Merits in the 'Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems' and 'Further Engineering Mathematics' units.

UCAS Tariff


We've calculated how many Ucas points you'll need for this course.

About this course

This course has alternative study modes. Contact the university to find out how the information below might vary.

Course option


Full-time | 2021

Other options

4.0 years | Sandwich | 2021


Computer systems engineering

Coventry has a long tradition of teaching computing and electronics with a strong emphasis on its applications in practical situations. We have extensive industry links, collaborating with a broad range of commercial partners, many of whom may offer competitive placement opportunities to our students, as well as site visits and guest lectures. Please note that placement opportunities and site visits may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa requirements.

Meeting the educational requirements of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC), the technical focus of the programme is intended to develop the practical skills expected of a professional computer system engineer or system administrator. As such, we concentrate on a number of core themes with an aim to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and expertise in: engineering mathematics; analogue and digital electronics; computer engineering, operating systems; computer networking and security and software engineering.

We adopt an innovative Activity-Led learning (ALL) approach to learning, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage in both individual and team work on practical engineering projects. In the first stage ‘systems project’ module, for example, we have previously implemented an electronic design, providing specific design, simulation, building and testing challenges.

You’ll be taught by staff with current teaching experience in the Higher Education sector and/or industry experience, many of whom are active researchers with expertise in electronics and computing. This can help to keep teaching up-to-date, keeping you abreast of new developments and issues, as well as providing opportunities for collaborative research projects. For example, past students have worked on industry inspired research projects, such as the development of an Android application, VeriMaster Mobile, for producing ABB flow meter calibration and verification reports and development of a robotic operating system (ROS).

**Key Course Benefits**

* Meets the full academic requirements for Incorporated Engineer (IEng) registration upon successful completion of the course. Further details can be found on the IET website.

* 94% of computer hardware and software engineering students stated that staff were good at explaining things in the National Student Survey (NSS) 2019.

* Well-equipped dedicated electronics laboratory and CISCO laboratory, featuring electronic development and testing equipment, networking devices, associated tools and software.

* Regular free to attend expert guest lectures, which have previously covered topics such as 3D printer PCB design by RS Component, embedded development with ARM processors by ST Microelectronics and system security by IET members (subject to availability).


Your main study themes are:

* **Analogue and digital electronics**: Aims to develop your capability to produce useful practical designs in the technology area of analogue and digital electronics. You will be required to conceive and simulate your own practical computer circuit designs. Topics covered include semiconductor diodes and their application in power supplies, bipolar junction transistors in single-stage amplifiers, and field effect transistors. Digital topics include the realisation of logic gates, design of small and medium scale combinational functions and the use of flip-flops in sequential logic. Embedded system design modules combine both electronic and programming knowledge for practical solutions for real life problems.

* **Embedded System and hardware design**: Embedded system design modules combine both electronic and programming knowledge for practical solutions for real life problems. Advanced hardware design modules are taught in third year covering the topic of FPGA based system design and System on Chip design.

* **Software engineering**: Aims to develop problem solving skills for task-oriented problems consistent with the conventions of the Unified Modelling Language (UML). Programs will be implemented using a block structured programming compatible language within an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). You should develop the skills required to design, develop, test and implement object-oriented (OO) computer programs pertaining to engineering problems. Students will be exposed to Mobile app development, machine learning and security modules in third.

* **Operating systems, security and networks**: We look at computer communications, mainly in the context of local and wide area networks, together with and systems architecture from the user’s point of view. You should analyse the issues and constraints involved in modern computer operating systems (OS), network communications, services, performance level and associated security, covering concepts such as processes, memory management, drivers and file systems. We examine the interactions between the OS and system hardware and devices, alongside those security issues of relevance to the Operating System. There will be particular focus on Linux and Unix, but you will explore the main features of Windows and Mac OSX as well. Network configuration and management will include LAN and WAN design, with network monitoring within the context of ethical and legal issues.

For more information about what you will study, please visit our website.

Tuition fees

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The Uni

Course location:

Coventry University


School of Computing, Electronics and Maths

TEF rating:
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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Computer systems engineering

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Electrical and electronic engineering

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Electrical and electronic engineering

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Engineering professionals
Information technology and telecommunications professionals
Science, engineering and production technicians

This is one of the more popular areas to study engineering and there is not quite such a serious shortage of electrical engineers as there is of other engineering subjects - but there's still plenty of demand. The most common jobs are in telecommunications, electrical and electronic engineering, but there is some crossover with the computing industry, so many graduates start work in IT and computing jobs. At the moment, there's a particular demand for electrical engineers in the electronics, and the car and aerospace industries, and also in defence, and salaries can vary across the country depending on the industry you start in. Bear in mind that a lot of courses are four years long, and lead to an MEng qualification — this is necessary if you want to become a Chartered Engineer.

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.


The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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This information comes from the National Student Survey, an annual student survey of final-year students. You can use this to see how satisfied students studying this subject area at this university, are (not the individual course).

This is the percentage of final-year students at this university who were "definitely" or "mostly" satisfied with their course. We've analysed this figure against other universities so you can see whether this is high, medium or low.

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This information is from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

You can use this to get an idea of who you might share a lecture with and how they progressed in this subject, here. It's also worth comparing typical A-level subjects and grades students achieved with the current course entry requirements; similarities or differences here could indicate how flexible (or not) a university might be.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

This is from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, based on responses from graduates who studied the same subject area here.

It offers a snapshot of what grads went on to do six months later, what they were earning on average, and whether they felt their degree helped them obtain a 'graduate role'. We calculate a mean rating to indicate if this is high, medium or low compared to other universities.

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Graduate field commentary:

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit have provided some further context for all graduates in this subject area, including details that numbers alone might not show

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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