Our Integrated Foundation Year will take you through a carefully-designed programme to help you to progress confidently onto your undergraduate degree.
Engineering, Physical, Computational and Mathematical sciences underpin modern technological society and can help us provide answers to fundamental questions. Graduates with these degrees are highly sought after by employers. The Electronic Engineering Foundation Year provides progressive structures in which you are able to gain knowledge and understanding of approaches to scientific study and your chosen degree subject.
All Foundation Year students take ‘Global Perspectives’, then four subject-based courses provide familiarity with Mathematics and computation – the language of modern science and technology, and key for success in science, technology and engineering.
Once you have completed your Foundation year, you will normally progress onto the full degree programme, BEng Electronic Engineering. There may also be flexibility to move onto a degree in another department (see end of section, below).
All of our lives are touched by the products of Electronic Engineering. The breakthroughs made by today's electronic engineers help to create the mobile devices, personal media, computers, smart transportation and domestic appliances we use every day, but also have a more profound impact on issues such as environmental sustainability, healthcare and information security.
We're in the midst of a major technological revolution, and as such there has never been a more exciting time to study Electronic Engineering. Study at Royal Holloway's Department of Electronic Engineering and you';ll have access to a brand new, purpose-designed building, with £20 million invested in state-of-the-art equipment and facilities including labs, collaboration and research spaces.
You'll benefit from research-led teaching from expert academics building international reputations in diverse fields including renewable energy and music technology. Electronic Engineering students will enjoy a rewarding blend of practical and theoretical study, working in pairs, groups and individually with one-on-one support from your own Personal Advisor.
Opportunities for student placements, internships and industry relevant projects will be available, and our connection with industry advisors ensures that students are taught the most relevant knowledge and skills and market awareness.
Join us at our beautiful, well-established Surrey campus within easy reach of London. You'll become a part of a vibrant, international student community as you prepare for a rewarding career in your chosen field. Follow your passion for the creative, innovative world of Electronic Engineering and develop the ingenuity, invention and product development skills you need to thrive in this rapidly expanding industry.
On successful completion of your Foundation Year, you may be able to choose an alternative pathway which could include a degree from one of the other departments offering a Foundation Year within the School of Engineering, Physical and Mathematical Sciences. If you'd like to do this, you may take your Foundation Year Individual Project in one of these other departments. The degree programme you choose to take after progression is likely to depend on the individual project you select during the foundation year. Please note, however, that you must take 'Foundation Skills (Mathematics)' and your individual project in the Department of Mathematics if you wish to join a full degree programme in Mathematics.
Core ModulesFoundation Year
Provides a broad, interdisciplinary yet academically authentic introduction to global history and globalisation.
Introduces you to the core mathematical concepts in Engineering, Mathematical and Physical science, and how you might apply these techniques to solve applied problems.
An overview of the world of computational techniques and employs a hands-on approach to programming.
Builds on study in term 1.
Builds on the mathematical techniques developed in term 1 and provides you with the foundational skills in calculus, differentiation, integration and statistics required for entry onto a degree within the School of Engineering, Physics and Mathematical Sciences.
The aim of this course unit is to provide some key concepts in physical sciences that underpin all Physics and Engineering disciplines. The course is divided into four areas: matter, interactions, energy and dynamics.
A course within the School of Engineering, Physical and Mathematical Sciences focusing on developing basic experimental, programming, mathematical or practical techniques required for your degree.
An opportunity to engage with a theoretical or practical project on an agreed subject area relevant to Electronic Engineering.
The year will culminate with a joint Poster Presentation with all students on the Foundation Year
Working in groups, you will carry out a project using methods and techniques that parallel industrial practice. You will develop prototypes which solve one or more elements of a given issue. You will look at digital logic in the context of combinational and sequential logic with discrete logic gate circuits (AND, NOT, OR, NAND, XOR, XNOR) and consider how their responses can be modelled in practice using Boolean algebra, truth tables, De Morgan's theorem and Karnaugh maps. You will also become familiar with the professional team working attitudes and skills required to take projects from inception to the fabrication of a final product prototype.
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction theoretical and practical knowledge of communications engineering. In terms of indicative content, this module will include the description of a signal and its characterisation in the time and frequency domains, considerations, introduction to analogue and digital signals; linear time invariance, random variables, Gaussian random processes, probability, thermal noise; introduction to modulation techniques including RF modulation, spectral and power considerations, pre-emphasis and de-emphasis, baseband recovery, error detection and correction, PLLs, multiplexing; introduction to digital signal transmission including sampling theorem, a2d and d2a conversion and quantisation, numbers of bits, error bit probabilities, introduction to digital signal processing.
The aim of this module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge of electronic components and their use in circuits. This module covers the electrical properties of both passive (including resistors, capacitors, inductors) and active electronic components (including diodes, photo diodes, LEDs, transistors, ICs, opto-isolators, opto-couplers) and how they are typically used in practical circuits during laboratory sessions. The design and analysis of analogue circuit behaviour is covered in the context of the use of phasors to represent voltage-current phase differences, transient and steady-state design and analysis of passive and active filters, time and frequency domain representations of the small signal responses of amplifier circuits.
The aim of this module is to introduce the full and holistic life cycle analysis in relation to electronic products and components, which considers environmental impact and sustainability. The production of items should minimise resource use, especially resources which are scarce or hazardous. This module considers how electronic products affect the environment during their operation, for example in terms of energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions and consideration of how to minimise the environmental impact (e.g. pollutants, bio-degradability) of a product at the end of its life cycle through recycling etc. Renewable generation will be introduced and explored practically and the advantages of demand-side management can be used to shave off and control peak demand.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how to solve problems involving one variable (either real or complex) and differentiate and integrate simple functions. You will learn how to use vector algebra and geometry and how to use the common probability distributions.
In this module you will develop an understanding of how to solve problems involving more than one variable. You will learn how to use matrices and solves eigenvalue problems, and how to manipulate vector differential operators, including gradient, divergence and curl. You will also consider their physical significance and the theorems of Gauss and Stokes.
In this module you will move from prototype design to product creation. Working in groups, you will take on a specific management function within the context of industrial practice. You will use the results of analysis and apply technology by implementing engineering processes to solve engineering problems. You will demonstrate the ability to use relevant materials, equipment, tools, processes or products and use creativity and innovation in a practical context to establish an innovative solution.
The aim of this module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge of software engineering for electronics. This module introduces software engineering processes including the software lifecycle and the techniques used to produce and manage complex, fit-for-purpose, safe, large, cost-effective software systems in practice from both a technical and non-technical point of view. The concepts of software design, analysis and creation will be explored in the context of real-world examples and software architectures.
The aim in this module is to understand the mathematical interactions that the combination of various system types impose upon signals and their conveyance in communication applications, quantifying the interplay of deterministic cost factors such as bandwidth, energy, power and interference.
The aim of this module is to cover the entire process of using a primary source of energy, converting it to electricity and delivering the generated electricity to where it is required. You will look at the physical principles of energy generation and conversion, both conventional and renewable. You will explore generation methods used in current power systems across the world, including coal, oil, gas, and nuclear, as well as renewable technologies. You will also examine wind generation and photovoltaic generation, both of which have reached significant generation levels in various countries, as well as pumped water storage and its role in fast-response.
The aim of this module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge in control engineering. This module will make extensive use of MATLAB and the control toolbox in the context of solving control engineering problems and its indicative content includes the step response of first and second order systems and the effect of varying the time constant on overshoot and settling times, the use of bode plots, root locus, Nyquist plots, error estimation. Practical control systems will be explored theoretically and practically.
The aim of this module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge of digital coding and the networking of data. The indicative content for this module builds on the Communications Engineering modules and includes lossy and lossless digital coding in the contexts of audio (e.g. MP3, AAC), video (e.g. VP8, MPEG, H.264) and combined (e.g. AVI, MP4, FLV) transmission and storage, as well as the concept of a data network, its geography and the principles behind its operation including: speed considerations, data packets, packet switching, bandwidth, data integrity, error detection, network links, wired and wireless connection, network topologies, communications protocols, routers, switches, firewalls, intranet, extranet, internet, quality of service, resilience and security.
The aim of this module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge on the materials that underpin electronic devices. The indicative content for this module encompasses the solid-state physical macro- and nano-scale properties of solid conductor, insulator, semiconductor and optoelectronic materials that make them useful in electronic devices, their structures, the behaviour of electrons, electrical conduction, lattice vibration, thermal conduction, how dopants are used, and their interaction with light where appropriate. Existing electronic materials as well as future deveopments will be explored.
In this module you will engage in theoretical and practical work on an agreed specific area relevant to electronic engineering. This will usually be a prototype that demonstrates the feasibility of a product or a fully functioning prototype depending on the nature of the topic itself. You will be allocated a supervisor and progress will be monitored against the specification in terms of implementation and testing as appropriate.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the scientific principles underpinning practical signal processing. You will look at the mathematics behind signal processing and consider new and emerging technologies within the field. You carry out practical work in digital filter design involving the use of MATLAB.
This course module will help you develop your knowledge and understanding of advanced digital systems design. You will learn the principles of designing digital logic circuits, hardware description languages and control unit design, acquire the skills to design controllers from written specifications, and evaluate and make decisions about specific digital system designs.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.Year 1
- All modules are core
- All modules are core
In this module you will develop an understanding of a range of renewable energy generation concepts. You will look at technologies such as wind generators, solar generation, hydro and marine generation concepts, geothermal dynamics and biofuels. You will consider the different sources of primary energy as well as the energy conversion and electricity generation principals that are exploited. Using your engineering skills, you will build your own renewable micro-generators.
In this module you will develop an understanding of modern techniques used in company management to tackle the challenges of the business sector. You will look at company management structures, company finance, statuary requirements, human resource management, project management techniques, managing risks, health and safety requirements, and how to deal with problems that arise during the project lifecycle. You will consider the role of codes of practice and industry standards, and examine relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities.
In this module you will develop an understanding of electronic systems for smart living. You will look at the scientific principles underpinning smart transportation, including sensors, their accuracy and limitations, electric motor design and control systems, batteries and their charge/discharge cycles, RFID technologies, cloud computing, and communication protocols. You will investigate and develop engineering solutions for smart transportation using a systems approach and examine the developing technologies related to future means of transportation.
In this module you will develop an understanding of voice synthesis, recognition and processing in the context of present-day and future engineering systems that make use of a voice input or output. You will look at the synthesis of human speech and singing in terms of the sound source and sound modifiers in practice to create electronic voice signals. You will consider standard voice processing techniques, used, for example, to enhance speech quality and to remove background noise and improve perceived voice quality. You will also examine techniques used for automatic speech recognition, such as Apple's 'Siri' system.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the human factors in healthcare engineering. You will look at critical safety issues in healthcare engineering and material compatibility in the context of implantable devices. You will consider the operation of systems such as eye trackers, hearing aids, cochlear implants, pacemakers, wearable health monitors and examine the role of assistive technologies, electronic enhancement for condition diagnosis, medical robots and drug delivery control.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the fundamentals behind cryptography and how it is deployed in real systems. You will look at a range of security services that can be provided by cryptography and the mechanisms behind them, such as symmetric and public-key encryption, hash functions, MACs, digital signatures and authentication protocols. You will consider the architecture of security systems using cryptography, including key management, implementation issues, cryptographic standards and crypto politics, and examine real-world applications such as 3G, EMV, and SSL/TLS.
Teaching & assessment
In your Foundation Year, teaching methods include a mixture of lectures, practical classes and workshops, laboratory classes, individual tutorials, and supervisory sessions. Outside of the classroom you’ll undertake guided and independent practice. You will be assigned a Personal Tutor in the Department of Electronic Engineering and will have regular scheduled sessions. In the Foundation Year, you’ll also be assigned a Personal Tutor in the Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS). Assessments are varied; practical exercises, weekly problem sheets, set exercises, written examinations, laboratory reports, scientific poster preparation and presentation. In addition the Foundation Year offers a full range of skills-based training and also the opportunity to take a micro-placement to enhance your employability.
Once you progress onto your full degree programme, in many modules you will carry out practical project work, involving problem-solving using theory developed within the module and electronic circuit building and/or software skills as appropriate. Teaching activities will include lectures, workshops and seminars, and practical project work will be carried out in groups and individually in purpose-built thinking and fabrication laboratories.
Various assessment methods will be used including examinations for theoretical subjects, formal presentations, reports and practical demonstrations for project work with an additional viva voce examination for final year individual projects. You will be expected to review material after lectures to support your learning and to preview scripts before coming to laboratory sessions.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills are highly valued and sought after in the industrial workplace and are essential for effective group working. You will develop these as part of project-based work and will be assessed formally on them.
You’ll continue to work with your Personal Tutor, with whom any issues can be discussed to enable appropriate advice and help to be given as appropriate.
A Levels: CCC
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK Qualifications
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. No subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. No subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For international students, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
Study at Royal Holloway, University of London Department of Electronic Engineering and lay the foundations for a rewarding career in your chosen field.
Graduates of Electronic Engineering have excellent employment prospects, with an abundance of well-paid job opportunities in an expanding industry struggling to cope with a significant skills shortage.
You’ll develop a strong transferrable skillset including verbal and written communication skills, team work and commercial awareness, preparing you for a career in a range of areas within Electronic Engineering and beyond.
Royal Holloway is located within the South East regional hub of electronics businesses, meaning you’ll benefit from links to some of the top UK-based electronics companies.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9250
Foundation year essential costs**: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students who started a degree in the academic year 2018/19, it was £9,250 for that year, shown here for reference purposes only. The tuition fee for UK undergraduates starting their degree in 2019/20 has not yet been confirmed. The Government has also confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2019/20 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course.
**These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.