The University of Southampton

MSc MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) (1 year full-time)

Our MSc MicroElectromechanical Systems (MEMS) degree is a multi-disciplinary course covering electronics design, fabrication technologies, measurement systems and mechanics, as well as specialised options on Microsystems Technology. This one year course will equip you with highly sought after skills to undertake further research or work in industry.

Introducing your degree

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 and Software Systems groups). 

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

One year, 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.

To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. Visit our how to apply pages for more information

Please note we are part of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

Key Facts

We have pioneered many of the most important advances in electronics and microelectronics over the past 30 years

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 2018 shows the University of Southampton second in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering

We are number one in the UK for graduate prospects in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Southampton is ranked in the top 51-100 universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the 2017 QS World Rankings

We have outstanding experimental research facilities, including our world-class high-voltage laboratory and our £110m interdisciplinary clean room

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree:

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

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

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.


Career Opportunities

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

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

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.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Pre-course Reading List

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

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