Computer Systems Engineering with an Industrial Placement Year BEng

2024-25 entry
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

You will study in Sheffield for the first two years of your course learning about the fields that are essential to computer systems, including mathematics, control systems, embedded systems and programming. In your third year you will have the opportunity to put into practice what you’ve learnt by working for a year in an engineering placement before returning to Sheffield for your final year studying modules in specialist areas such as system design and security and intelligent systems.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Circuit board showing chips

    Launch your career as an engineer with this four-year BEng in Computer Systems Engineering that brings together design, robotics and programming with a year-long industrial placement.

    Informed by our world-leading research and designed in collaboration with our industry partners, this course gives you the best start as a systems engineer.

    You’ll complement new skills in computer software and hardware with a deep understanding of systems design. You’ll also use industry-standard equipment to learn about state-of-the-art applications in infrastructure, medicine and aviation.

    The first year gives you solid grounding in the theory of complex electro-mechanical systems and a fundamental understanding of mathematics and computing.

    The second year focuses on core modules such as programming (including C++, Python and Java) and data modelling alongside a practical project – designing a system using 3D CAD tools, and building your designs in our iForge Makerspace.

    Year three puts your academic study into context, as you gain work experience and improve your employability prospects with one of our industry partners.

    Your final year will see you combining specialist modules like intelligent systems and cybersecurity with a massive range of optional modules – chosen according to your personal passion and career aspirations.

    This all builds to an advanced project, where you’ll work one-on-one with an academic, deepening your technical knowledge and developing your expertise in a range of engineering techniques.

    Why study this course?

    • Go on to great things - 92% of graduates from the department are in work or further education 15 months after completing their course. Sheffield-trained engineers are now working for companies including Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Airbus.
    • Integrated and holistic content - from foundations in programming, robotics and automation to advanced topics such as deep learning and multi-agent systems.
    • Expert academic staff - learn from people with research experience in the robotics industry and who specialise in programming, intelligent systems and cybersecurity.
    • Advanced, hands-on experience - practical experience of computer software and hardware during your industrial placement with companies such as ARM, Siemens and Boeing, along with access to industry-standard facilities including 3D CAD tools, 3D printers and advanced manufacturing technologies.
    • Get noticed by future employers - study modules designed with our industry partners – spanning topics such as embedded systems and artificial intelligence, industrial control and advanced manufacturing.

    This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institute of Measurement and Control and the Engineering Council UK.

    Dr Roderich Gross explains how the knowledge and skills you gain at ACSE have real world applications

    Modules

    A selection of modules are available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:

    Title: Computer Systems Engineering with an Industrial Placement Year BEng course structure
    UCAS code: 2A47
    Years: 2023, 2024
    First year

    Core modules:

    Digital and Embedded Systems

    This module is intended to equip students with the core knowledge of ‘how hardware works’ in digital systems and introduce the concept of embedded systems using examples/case studies. The module covers introduction to embedded systems, number systems, boolean algebra, logic gates, logic expressions, combinational logic, A/D and D/A converters, computer systems and architectures. The content is delivered as a combination of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions that provide students with a fundamental understanding of embedded systems and their applications.

    10 credits
    Group Control Project and Professional Skills

    This module is intended to bring together core content from various Y1 modules in a substantial group design project. The group project involves controlling a mobile robot to navigate to a destination safely and smoothly. This robot is provided as a take-home kit for students to work on this project in their own time. This module also covers important skills needed in the workplace, such as project management and teamwork, as well as other crucial employability skills.

    10 credits
    Introduction to Systems Engineering & Software

    Engineering applications are typically complex, so students also need to acquire proficiency in analytical problem solving and the ability to apply a systems engineering approach, as a systematic methodology to design and implementation. A group project will develop an understanding of the type of problem solving and systems engineering needed for the design and build of a computer-controlled system. Students will improve skills in communication, team working and reflective practices as a result of the group project. Engineering applications in manufacturing, aerospace, robotics, energy, finance, healthcare and a host of other areas are predominately computer based or computer controlled. In order to be able to create computer based and computer controlled applications, students need to acquire proficiency in relevant software and programming languages. In this module, labs and several individual assignments will build proficiency in creating C programs as solutions to engineering problems.

    20 credits
    Systems Engineering Mathematics I

    This module contains the core mathematical competencies required by students for a systems engineering programme. This covers basic algebra and functions, elementary calculus (differentiation and integration), solution of low order differential equations, Taylor series and iterative methods, matrix algebra and simultaneous equations, vectors and complex numbers. The content is delivered within a systems engineering context. Student learning is encouraged by regular formative assessment and supportive resources. 

    20 credits
    Modelling, Analysis and Control

    This module will introduce principles of modelling of simple continuous dynamical systems. This module also introduces analysis of linear models. It includes a detailed analysis of the dynamical behaviour of 1st and 2nd order systems linking behaviour to physical parameters, e.g. Rise time, settling time, overshoot, steady-state. Damping and damping ratio and resonance. Frequency response is also discussed. We will introduce control and feedback as a topic by providing examples of open-loop and closedloop control, and undertake detailed analysis of linear models with a focus on 1st and 2nd order systems. Students are introduced to simple practical feedback mechanisms, including PID controllers and performance criteria such as offset, stability, poles and zeros. You will learn about the principles of how to use Laplace Transforms to solve linear differential equations, and for system representation, using transfer functions and block diagram algebra. You will also develop an appreciation of frequency-domain implications of system analysis through the use of Fourier series. MATLAB is used to reinforce the simulation and analysis of all module contents and coursework assignments.

    20 credits
    Physical Systems

    This module will introduce students to the modelling and analysis of dynamic systems. Students will learn about the different types of physical systems based on real-world case-studies. This 20-credit year-long module is to be delivered over two semesters. In the autumn semester mechanical and electrical-mechanical systems will be introduced. In the second semester the mechanical theme will continue with rotational systems, and then introduce thermodynamic systems as well as flow systems. Students will gain an appreciation of the physics laws governing a variety of physical systems, the impact and interaction of various system components, as well as systematic methods for modelling and analysing such systems. 

    20 credits
    Introduction to Electric and Electronic Circuits

    This module introduces the concepts and analytical tools for predicting the behaviour of combinations of passive circuit elements, resistance, capacitance and inductance driven by ideal voltage and/or current sources which may be ac or dc sources. The ideas involved are important not only from the point of view of modelling real electronic circuits but also because many complicated processes in biology, medicine and mechanical engineering are themselves modelled by electric circuits. The passive ideas are extended to active electronic components; diodes, transistors and operational amplifiers and the circuits in which these devices are used. Transformers, magnetics and dc motors are also covered.

    20 credits
    Global Engineering Challenge Week

    The Faculty-wide Global Engineering Challenge Week is a compulsory part of the first-year programme. The project has been designed to develop student academic, transferable and employability skills as well as widen their horizons as global citizens. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of 5-6, for a full week, all students in the Faculty choose from a number of projects arranged under a range of themes including Water, Waste Management, Energy and Digital with scenarios set in an overseas location facing economic challenge. Some projects are based on the Engineers Without Borders Engineering for people design challenge*.

    *The EWB challenge provides students with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural development projects identified by EWB with its community-based partner organisations.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    You'll learn through a combination of lectures, practical labs and tutorials and independent study. By the end of your first year you'll have learnt the full range of core foundations for control and systems engineering, as well as broader engineering skills. Our teaching is based on a systematic and structured approach to support your learning.

    Laboratory and professional skills are strongly integrated within the taught modules, and you'll undertake your laboratory work in our award-winning Diamond building, using the latest equipment and technologies.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Our academic and research staff are world leaders in the study of robotics, signal processing and intelligent systems. The teaching you will receive is based on the latest thinking and we regularly introduce new modules in response to current developments in research and demands in the careers market.

    Assessment

    You will be assessed by a combination of exams and tests, coursework and practical work. The proportions for each will vary depending on the modules you choose.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB
    including Maths and a science

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB, including Maths and a science + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including Maths and a science + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    34, with 6,5 in Higher Level Maths and a science
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering or Applied Science + A in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering or Applied Science + A in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in a relevant T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AABBB + AB in Maths and a science
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA in Maths and a science
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction (to include Maths and Science/Engineering), and 9 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Engineering, Further Maths, Physics, or Technology

    • Relevant T Level subjects include: Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing; Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing & Control; Digital Production, Design & Development; or Design & Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    ABB
    including Maths and a science

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    ABB, including Maths and a science + B in a relevant EPQ; ABB, including Maths and a science + A in AS or B in A Level Further Maths
    International Baccalaureate
    33, with 5 in Higher Level Maths and a science
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering or Applied Science + B in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering or Applied Science + B in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in a relevant T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    ABBBB + AB in Maths and a science
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AB in Maths and a science
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 30 at Distinction (to include Maths and Science/Engineering), and 15 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Science subjects include: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electronics, Engineering, Further Maths, Physics, or Technology

    • Relevant T Level subjects include: Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing; Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing & Control; Digital Production, Design & Development; or Design & Development for Engineering and Manufacturing

    English language requirements

    You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

    Graduate careers

    Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

    Our courses prepare you for a career where you'll apply your creative problem-solving skills and your understanding of engineering principles to the real world, while working in multidisciplinary teams. These transferable skills can be applied in many sectors across the breadth of engineering and beyond.

    During your degree you'll have plenty of opportunities to enhance your employability. You can choose to go on a placement in industry, either during the summer or as a year in industry. Or you could consider studying abroad, either for a full year, or as part of a summer school.

    We also have extracurricular projects where you can work with other engineering and science students to design and build rockets, submersible robots, autonomous payloads for satellites, rovers and more. You could also take part in a scheme for undergraduates where you work on research projects with academics over the summer period.

    Graduates from all of our courses are highly employable and work all over the world for companies such as Arup, Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Jaguar Land Rover, Thales and IBM. They go on to become professional engineers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, power generation and sustainable energy.

    Photo of Ronak Sharma who graduated in 2020

    I design new products and features and solve issues and bugs raised by customers

    Ronak Sharma Computer Systems Engineering with an Industrial Placement Year MEng

    Ronak is a graduate Software Engineer with the credit card company Capital One.

    Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

    The Amy Johnson Building

    We are the only department in the UK dedicated to Control and Systems Engineering.

    We are home to the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre and have research contracts with major institutions like the European Space Agency, as well as our many academic and industrial partners. These connections mean our teaching is based on the latest thinking.

    Facilities

    Our facilities include a robotics and automation lab and a control and power systems laboratory, as well as a state-of-the-art electronics and control lab in the Diamond.

    Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

    Why choose Sheffield?

    The University of Sheffield

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report


    Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

    83% for overall student satisfaction

    The National Student Survey 2021

    92% of our graduates are in employment or further education

    Graduate Outcomes 2020

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    Funding your study

    Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.

    Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.

    Additional funding

    Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering scholarships

    Visit

    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.

    Campus tours

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    You will study in Sheffield for the first two years of your course learning about the fields that are essential to computer systems, including mathematics, control systems, embedded systems and programming. In your third year you will have the opportunity to put into practice what you’ve learnt by working for a year in an engineering placement before returning to Sheffield for your final year studying modules in specialist areas such as system design and security and intelligent systems.