Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), University of Southampton

Electronics and Computer Science (ECS)

MSc Microelectronics Systems Design

The field of microelectronics systems design embodies many of the key skills relating to integrated circuit design and electronic systems engineering.


This cutting-edge MSc programme offers a wide choice of modules based on digital integrated circuit design and analogue integrated circuit design. It examines aspects of system integration and discrete device properties. It is an excellent platform for further 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.

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, 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 www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_language.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website. Please note we are part of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

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.



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.

Related programmes

Career opportunities

This programme produces highly regarded graduates who are sought after by commercial enterprises and universities worldwide. We do have very close links with all the major UK Design companies who recruit  many of our graduates.

This programme provides an excellent platform for further research in either industry or academia.

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.

Pre-course reading lists

The following is a list of subjects with which you are expected to be familiar at the start of the course. Some of these subjects are covered explicitly in lectures; other subjects are considered pre-requisites for units on the course. In all cases, you should be familiar with the material in the chapters specified. If you are unable to obtain the recommended books, similar books may be used instead, but most of the books listed below will be used as course texts.

C Programming
Programming is not explicitly taught as part of the MSc. You will be expected to be able to program in C for some units and for the project. There are many suitable books available (for example Buchanan, W., C for Electronic Engineering, Prentice Hall, 1995). You should be familiar with:

  • Functions (arguments, return, scope, recursion).
  • Dynamic memory allocation.
  • Structures (declaration, definition, pointers, arrays).
  • Header files and modular programming.

Digital Design
Zwolinski, M., Digital Design with VHDL, Addison Wesley Longman, 2000, ISBN 0-201-36063-2 [Shops]
You should read and understand the material in chapters 1 to 7.

Circuit Theory
Sedra, A.S. and Smith K.C., Microelectronic Circuits 3rd Edition,
Read: Chapters 1, 2, 10.9-11 and 11.

Signal Processing
Proakis J. G. and Manolakis D., Digital Signal Processing: Principles, Algorithms and Applications, 3rd ed., Prentice Hall, 1996

Digital Communications
Sklar, B., Digital Communications: Fundamentals and Applications (2nd Ed.), Prentice Hall PTR, 2001.
Read: Chapters 1-4, 6, 7, 12.

Wireless Communications
Rappaport, T. S., Wireless Communications: Principles and Practice (2nd Ed.), Prentice Hall PTR, 2002.
Read: Chapters 1-5.