Bristol and the surrounding area host a thriving and world-renowned semiconductor design industry. The groups involved in microelectronics research at the University of Bristol have collaborative links with multinational companies in the microelectronics industry. These organisations have identified a shortfall in graduates with the necessary qualifications and professional skills to work in the sector, so this programme has been designed to meet this need.

A range of taught subjects covers core topics, such as digital and analogue application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design, digital signal processor (DSP) and field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based computing, integrated sensors and actuators, radio-frequency and mixed-signal design. Changes are made periodically to reflect important emerging disciplines, such as electronics for the Internet of Things (IoT), biomedical applications and quantum photonics applications.

The programme offers you the opportunity to learn from microelectronics, nanoelectronics and computer science experts. You could move on to start working straight after your degree or continue your studies on a PhD. We aim to provide you with a range of contemporary design skills to supplement theoretical knowledge. Lectures are accompanied by lab exercises in state-of-the-art industrial electronic design automation (EDA) software to give you valuable experience in a professional environment.

Programme structure

The programme consists of 120 credits of taught units and an individual research project worth 60 credits. There are eight core units taken during the autumn and spring, and you will also be able to choose two optional units. In the spring term, you will study Engineering Research Skills, a 20-credit unit that introduces the fundamental skills necessary to carry out your MSc project.

After completing the taught units satisfactorily, you will undertake a final project that involves researching, planning and implementing a major piece of work relating to microelectronics systems design. The project must have a significant scientific or technical component and may involve on-site collaboration with an industrial partner. The thesis is normally submitted by the end of September.

The programme structure is under continual discussion with the National Microelectronics Institute and our industrial advisory board to ensure it remains at the cutting edge of the semiconductor industry. It is therefore subject to slight changes to recognise important emerging disciplines and generally improve the programme.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Advanced Microelectronic Systems Engineering.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, or a related discipline in engineering or the physical sciences. Your degree must include scores of 60% or international equivalent in each of the following four modules: Signals and Systems, Analogue Electronics, Digital Electronics, and Programming. If you have not studied any Signals and Systems or Programming modules, a module in Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Microprocessors and Embedded Systems, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), or Computer Architecture will be considered in place of this. Unfortunately, applicants with an engineering background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Materials Science will not be considered suitable for this programme.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£15,100 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£7,550 per year
Overseas: full-time
£34,200 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Graduates of this programme will be prepared for a career in a variety of disciplines - such as the semiconductor industry, consumer electronics, IT sector, and medical technology, to name a few - thanks to the core and specialist units that cover key foundational concepts and advanced topics related to hardware design, programming, and embedded systems and system-level integration.

Typical careers are in soft fabrication facilities and design houses in the semiconductor industry, electronic-design automation tool vendors, embedded systems specialists and software houses. The programme also covers concepts and technologies related to emerging paradigms such as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, as well as preparing you for a career in academic research.