Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), University of Southampton

Electronics and Computer Science (ECS)

MSc MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS)

Electronic technologies have evolved to the extent that modern device features are now measured in nanometers and new device concepts, fabrication methods and characterisation techniques have emerged. Take your place to set the agenda for tomorrow’s electronics world.


MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) exploits techniques developed by the microelectronics industry to produce micron-scale mechanical devices, such as accelerometers and micro-pumps on silicon wafers.

Several types of MEMS device are already very well established in the market place, but we expect massive growth in this field. Among the most exciting developments are in the bioMEMS areas where medical diagnostics and the concept of ‘lab-on-a-chip’ are important new markets.

MEMS is a very multidisciplinary field that requires knowledge of electronics design, fabrication technologies, measurement systems and mechanics. To reflect these requirements this programme of study includes microelectronics device fabrication and design modules as well as specialised options on Microsystems Technology.

The degree provides an excellent platform for further research in either industry or academia (such as PhD research in the Nano or Electronic Systems and Devices group 

To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, see How to Apply. Please note that we belong to the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

Programme Structure

Twelve months, full-time.

The programme has been designed to maximise student choice by allowing you to tailor the structure to suit your own interests. You can choose areas that reflect your personal interests and work on an individual project. You will however, also take a number of compulsory modules to ensure you are exposed to key topics in all areas.

Key Facts

  • We lead the UK for the volume and quality of Electrical and Electronic Engineering research (REF 2014)
  • 97% of our Electrical and Electronic Engineering research outputs are rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)
  • The Guardian University Guide 2016 shows the University of Southampton first in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering
  • The 2016 Times / Sunday Times Good University Guide and Complete University Guide league tables show our Electrical and Electronic Engineering ranked third in the UK
  • Southampton is ranked in the top 51-100 universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the 2015 QS World Rankings

Entry requirements

Honours Degree:

Our normal entry requirement is an upper second-class honours degree or higher (or equivalent) in an appropriate subject discipline such as mathematics, physics or engineering.

English Language Requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each competency. For information on other accepted English language tests, please visit www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_language.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website.

Selection Process:

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (eg hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.


Year 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Modules

Modules not in Semesters

Compulsory Modules


To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, see How to Apply. Please note that we belong to the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

Related programmes

Career opportunities

This programme provides an excellent base for students considering a career in the electrical power industry.

Graduates from our MSc programme are employed worldwide in leading companies at the forefront of technology.  ECS runs a dedicated careers hub which is affiliated with over 100 renowned companies like IBM, ARM, Microsoft Research, Imagination Technologies, Nvidia, Samsung and Google to name a few.  Visit our careers hub for more information.

  • Academia
  • Electronics/semiconductor industry
  • Materials science, including textiles, polymers and packaging
  • Biotechnology in the medical industry and pharmaceutical industry
  • Optoelectronics


Pre-course reading lists

We expect you to have a scientific background which ideally includes some knowledge on Semiconductor Device fabrication and operation, Materials Science, Solid State Physics, and Circuit Design. We appreciate that you are unlike to have knowledge of all these subject but you might read up a bit on the subject in which you expect to be weakest. The two books by Sze will give you a solid understanding of semiconductors. Most undergraduate text on the other subjects would provide enough background. The book by Waser will give you a very good idea of the content of the MSc Nano-electronics as we will teach many of the subjects mentioned in this book.

  • Nano-electronics and Information Technology. Ed. R. Waser , publisher Wiley, ISBN 978-3-527-40542-8 or 3-527-40542-9
  • Fundamentals of Semiconductor Fabrication. G.S. May and S.M. Sze, publisher Wiliey, ISBN 0-471-23279-3
  • Semiconductor Devices: Physics and Technology. S.M. Sze, publisher Wiley, ISBN 0-471-33372-7

Specifically related, the MEMS MSc course will provide a detailed introduction to the subject area but advanced reading of web related resources (e.g. What is MEMS Technology? and About MEMS) will give you good background. The course material closely follows the content in the books by Beeby et al and Kovacs.

  • MEMS Mechanical Sensors. Steve P. Beeby, Graham Ensell, Michael Kraft and Neil White, publisher Artech House, ISBN-10: 1580535364 or ISBN-13: 978-1580535366
  • Micromachined Transducers Sourcebook. Kovacs, publisher McGraw-Hill, ISBN-10: 0072907223 ISBN-13: 978-0072907223
  • Microsensors, MEMS and Smart Devices: Technology, Applications and Devices, Julian W. Gardner (Author), Vijay K. Varadan (Author), Osama O. Awadelkarim , ISBN-10: 047186109X or ISBN-13: 978-0471861096
  • Practical MEMS: Analysis and Design of Microsystems, MEMS Sensors (accelerometers, Pressure Sensors, Gyroscopes), Sensor Electronics, Actuators, RF MEMS, Optical MEMS, and Microfluidic Systems, Ville Kaajakari, ISBN-10: 9780982299104, ISBN-13: 978-0982299104
  • An Introduction to Microelectromechanical Systems Engineering, Nadim Maluf (Author), Kirt Williams, ISBN-10: 1580535909, ISBN-13: 978-1580535908