Computer Systems Engineering (BEng) - Course full
Do you have a desire to understand the technologies that enable our connected world? Our integrated Computer Systems Engineering (BEng) course combines the study of computer science and electronic engineering, focusing on the design of computer systems and their real-time applications.
Our accredited Computer Systems Engineering degree is designed for students who want to integrate the study of computer science and electronic engineering, developing a sought-after set of skills at the interface of these closely related disciplines. The course is taught jointly by the Department of Computer Science and the School of Engineering.
With teaching from research-leaders in the Department of Computer Science and the School of Engineering, you’ll explore digital electronics, low-power systems, communications, control and real-time operation. The curriculum places particular emphasis on pervasive technologies, including wireless networks, mobile devices and sensors, robotics and wearable technology. You’ll learn to apply state-of-the-art computer science methods for validation and design, and code optimisation; and to use high-performance computing techniques to design efficient and robust embedded systems. You’ll develop skills in communication, documentation, reporting, teamwork, and the ability to effectively articulate technical concepts.
In each year of the course, students are expected to study a core group of modules and to make up the required normal load for the year by choosing a set of optional modules. There is a choice of optional modules available and there may be requirements to be satisfied by the choices: that a minimum number be chosen from a specific list.
Our courses offer a balance of core material delivered through lectures, small-group seminars and hands-on laboratory sessions. Approximately a quarter of your time is spent in timetabled classes, with the remainder being used for private study, completing assignments and projects, and practical work in the dedicated computing laboratories, which are open 24/7.
Your performance on most modules will be assessed by a combination of coursework and written examination. The coursework may be individual or group work involving programming, research, writing and presentation. The final-year project work is fully assessed by a presentation and project reports. Each year contributes to the final degree classification, typically in the ratio of 10:30:60 for a BSc degree.
You can spend a year at one of our partner institutions overseas. We have an established exchange programme with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which provides opportunities for our students to experience teaching and learning at another world leading institution. In addition to benefitting from a rich cultural experience, students returning from studying overseas exhibit an international profile that is attractive to potential employers.
We provide support for students wanting to spend a year in industry by promoting opportunities, hosting departmental careers fairs and offering one-to-one sessions with our departmental careers advisor. Intercalated year students are supported by their personal tutor and our Industrial Liaison Team during their year in industry. Students working in the UK are visited by academic representatives to review their development during the year.
IB: 38 including 6 in Higher Level Mathematics
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
In addition to Mathematics, many of our applicants are also taking one of the following subjects at A level or equivalent: Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics. However, all applications will be considered on their individual merits.
Contextual data and differential offers
Warwick may make differential offers to students in a number of circumstances. These include students participating in the Realising Opportunities programme, or who meet two of the contextual data criteria. Differential offers will be one or two grades below Warwick’s standard offer (to a minimum of BBB).
- Warwick International Foundation Programme (IFP)
All students who successfully complete the Warwick IFP and apply to Warwick through UCAS will receive a guaranteed conditional offer for a related undergraduate programme (selected courses only). For full details of standard offers and conditions visit the IFP website.
We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications. For more information please visit the international entry requirements page.
Taking a gap year
Applications for deferred entry welcomed.
We do not typically interview applicants. Offers are made based on your UCAS form which includes predicted and actual grades, your personal statement and school reference.
Programming for Computer Scientists
On this module, whatever your starting point, you will begin your professional understanding of computer programming through problem-solving, and fundamental structured and object-oriented programming. You will learn the Java programming language, through practical work centred on the Warwick Robot Maze environment, which will take you from specification to implementation and testing. Through practical work in object-oriented concepts such as classes, encapsulation, arrays and inheritance, you will end the course knowing how to write programs in Java, and, through your ability to analyse errors and testing procedures, be able to produce well-designed and well-encapsulated and abstracted code.
Design of Information Structures
Following on from Programming for Computer Scientists, on the fundamentals of programming, this module will teach you all about data structures and how to program them. We will look at how we can represent data structures efficiently and how we can apply formal reasoning to them. You will also study algorithms that use data structures. Successful completion will see you able to understand the structures and concepts underpinning object-oriented programming, and able to write programs that use large data sets.
Computer Organisation and Architecture
You will gain a fundamental understanding of the functional components of a computer system, and how they are organised. You will focus on hardware and how it performs during the execution of software operations. You will also develop practical skills in the use and construction of computer components, and their interface with microprocessors. By the end of the module, you will be expected to understand the operation and organisation of electronic logic elements, the architecture of simple microprocessors, input/output mechanisms, memory systems and hierarchies, and digital circuits and their interface with microprocessors.
In your first term, you will gain a basic understanding of operating systems, together with a working knowledge of the computing systems and their associated tools and applications that will be used within the Department of Computer Science. With these foundations in place, you will then develop your communication skills, both in writing and orally, with due attention paid to appropriate academic and technical language. You will complete the course studying ethics and behaviour, looking at the place of computers in society and the legal aspects of computing.
Electrical and Electronic Circuits
You will gain a secure foundation in the fundamental concepts of circuits, devices and systems that underpin all branches of engineering. This will include study of the mathematical operations of AC quantities, including phasors, vectors and complex numbers. You will study the electronic components that comprise complex electrical and electronic circuitry, and control systems theory. You will be encouraged to develop your problem-solving and modelling skills to prepare you for more advanced material in later years.
Through the practical problem-solving tasks provided in this module, you will gain the skills needed to apply the fundamental mathematical concepts that underpin all engineering disciplines, and prepare yourself for more advanced study. You will apply mathematical, probabilistic and statistical tools and techniques to real-life engineering problems, make appropriate, informed assumptions and examine models using analytical, statistical and numerical techniques.
Systems Modelling, Simulation and Computation
Systems modelling allows you to gather the information necessary to make decisions concerning the design and development of engineering solutions, or to investigate systems that are too costly, difficult or unethical to investigate physically. Vast numbers of bespoke software solutions are available, so you will focus on designing and programming models from first principles, learning how to apply mathematical techniques and avoid modelling errors. You will consider design principles that ensure robust development, covering verification and validation techniques. You will practice representing multi-domain systems graphically, derive models from data, and construct a simulation model to predict system responses.
Operating Systems and Computer Networks
On this module, you will spend equal time studying the fundamental concepts of modern-day operating systems and computer networks respectively. With a practical bent, this will mean analysing the generic requirements, structure, operation and administration of a modern operating system. Whilst analysing, designing and writing programs in the light of network requirements and protocols; such as system interfaces, concurrency, deadlock detection and recovery, and security threats. Turning to networks, you will learn the relevant factors relating to LANs and WANs and wireless networks, client-server systems, routing algorithms, socket programming, and network management relating to performance, security and monitoring.
Centred on teamwork, you will concentrate on applying software engineering principles to develop a significant software system with your peers from feasibility studies through modelling, design, implementation, evaluation, maintenance and evolution. You’ll focus on design quality, human–computer interaction, technical evaluation, teamwork and project management. With a deeper appreciation of the stages of the software life-cycle, you’ll gain skills to design object-oriented software using formal modelling and notation. You will be taught the principles of graphical user interface and user-centred design, and be able to evaluate projects in the light of factors ranging from technical accomplishment and project management, to communication and successful teamwork.
Advanced Computer Architecture
Focusing on growing your knowledge of hardware, with an emphasis on system design and performance, you will be studying the principles underpinning system organisations, issues in design, and the contrasting implementations of modern systems. Successful completion will see you equipped to discuss the organisation of computer-based systems, different processor architectures and system-level design processes. You’ll gain a grounding in the components and operations of memory hierarchies, and the operation of parallel computer systems, including multiprocessor and multicore systems. There are opportunities to increase your systems programming skills, and study advanced topics in memory, processor architecture and parallel computer organisation.
Engineering Mathematics and Technical Computing
Building on the fundamental material introduced on ES183 Engineering Mathematics and Systems Modelling, you will learn to apply advanced mathematical techniques to solve engineering-based problems, thereby equipping you with the analytical and computational tools needed to tackle advanced material. You will develop your skills in modelling and analysis, in particular through the use of MATLAB, alongside an introduction to computer programming.
Analogue Electronic Design
You will learn to analyse and design analogue electronics. By the end, you should be able to apply different circuit topologies to implement a variety of analogue functions, understand the practical issues associated with the selection of components, and use models of components to analyse the nominal or idealised behaviour of circuits. You will use software simulation tools to determine worst-case scenarios and learn how to optimise circuit performance against a variety of criteria.
Digital Systems Design
There have been great advances in semi-conductor technology during the last decade, leading to chips with increased area and gate density. You will receive a theoretical and practical grounding in modern approaches to the design of digital electronic circuits, with a focus on field programmable gate array implementation, including tool flow, architecture, testing and design for performance. Practical skills you will develop include use of the hardware description language Verilog and strategies for evaluating the functional correctness of a circuit.
On this project-based module you will gain experience in designing, developing and implementing a significant project, under supervision. From submission of the outline and detailed specification, you will produce regular progress reports throughout, before presenting your final results. This is an excellent opportunity to develop important employability skills, including independent learning, self-discipline, organisation and time management.
High Performance Embedded Systems Design
By the end of the module you will know about the more advanced features of FPGA architectures in high performance embedded systems design. You will learn how to design a hardware accelerator for a complex algorithm by evaluating its parallelism and arithmetic requirements; how to integrate a hardware accelerator with a processor and design the necessary software and hardware communication infrastructure; and apply practical knowledge of hardware design at the register transfer level and use high level synthesis.
Selection of optional modules that current students are studying
Mathematics for Computer Scientists 1; Functional Programming; Visualisation; Computer Security; Digital Communications and Signal Processing; Artificial
Intelligence; Cyber Security; Starting a Business; Mobile Robotics; Computer Graphics; Machine Learning; Digital Forensics
See the Computer Science Teaching pages for a full range of modules.
Graduates from these courses have gone on to work for employers including: Google, Apple, Amazon Prime, IBM, Accenture, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, BP, Deloitte, ARM, Ernst and Young, CERN, Sega, GCHQ, Tesco, BA, D.E.Shaw, Goldman Sachs, M&S, Unilever, JPMorgan, Bloomberg, Ford Motor Company, KMPG and Mintel.
They have pursued roles such as: software engineer; systems analyst; investment analyst; web designer/developer; business analyst; actuary, economist and statistician; computer science researcher; university academic; teacher; entrepreneur and start-up owner.
Helping you find the right career
Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:
- Computing Your Career
- Technology in Professional Services
- Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
- Working in the Computer Games industry
- Computer Science Alumni Event
Find out more about our Careers & Skills Services here.
A level: AAA to include A in Mathematics
IB: 38 including 6 in Higher Level Mathematics
Additional requirements: You will also need to meet our English Language requirements.
Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
Students on the UG CSE course have the option to be awarded a BEng or a BSc
3 years full-time
28 September 2020
Location of study
University of Warwick, Coventry
Find out more about fees and funding
Additional course costs
There may be costs associated with other items or services such as academic texts, course notes, and trips associated with your course. Students who choose to complete a work placement will pay reduced tuition fees for their third year.
This information is applicable for 2020 entry.
Given the interval between the publication of courses and enrolment, some of the information may change. It is important to check our website before you apply. Please read our terms and conditions to find out more.
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