MSc Embedded Systems Design (with Internship)

The MSc Embedded Systems Design concentrates on the commercially important and rapidly expanding area of embedded digital systems. It is the ideal choice if you plan a career in embedded systems engineering, or for professional development if you already work in the engineering industry. Embedded systems are at the heart of many engineering devices and you will investigate how they are designed and implemented in hardware and software. You will learn how to critically understand and apply circuit and system simulation techniques, with an emphasis on products that incorporate embedded technology. You will also understand the design of embedded systems, including microcontroller architectures and real-time embedded hardware operating systems.

The MSc Embedded Systems Design course has significant input from industry and as part of the course you will be given the chance to undertake a six-month unpaid internship. Whilst not compulsory, internships provide the opportunity to put the theory you’ve learned in the classroom into practice in the real world.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 18 Months September Treforest A
Part-time 3 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Years February Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months September Treforest A
Part-time 3 Years September Treforest A


  • Applied Digital Signal Processing
  • Digital Design using VHDL
  • Optoelectronics Devices for Life Science and Measurement
  • Embedded System Design
  • Product Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Designing with RTOS
  • Masters Major Individual Project
  • Supervised Internship



MSc Embedded Systems Design is delivered in three major blocks that offer an intensive but flexible learning pattern, with two entry opportunities for applicants each year in February and September. You will learn to use the latest computer-aided engineering tools and techniques for the design, manufacture and testing of electronic products. There are six taught modules and an 18-week major project. If you study part-time, you will study three modules per year.

The course is available to study via two main routes, you can opt to add further value to your studies by undertaking an internship or simply focus on building your academic knowledge through a on-campus study as detailed below:

MSc Embedded Systems Design (with internship)

Delivery: Full-time only | Start dates: September and February

If you choose to undertake an internship, your course will be delivered in four major blocks that offer an intensive but flexible learning pattern. Six taught modules are completed during two teaching blocks featuring 12 contact hours per week. This is followed by 6 month period of internship, after which the student returns to undertake a 16-week major research project. Course length may vary dependent on your chosen start date.

MSc Embedded Systems Design (without internship)

Delivery: Full-time and Part-time | Start dates: September and February

The study pathway available without internship is available full-time and part-time. The full-time route is delivered in three major blocks. Six taught modules are completed during two teaching blocks featuring 12 contact hours per week followed by a 16-week major research project. The full-time course duration is about 12 months, if you study part-time then you will complete the course in three years. Part-time study involves completing three modules in each of the first two years and a major research project in the final year. The use of block-mode delivery in this way allows flexible entry and exit, and also enables practising engineers to attend a single module as a short course.


Typically, each module will be assessed through coursework.


Internships are available to students studying full-time. Following successful completion of six taught modules, you will be competitively selected to join participating UK companies or University Research Centres on a six-month period of unpaid work placement before returning to undertake your major research project. All students who have an offer for the MSc Embedded Systems Design (with internship) are guaranteed an internship either in industry or in a University Research Centre.

There are 10 internship places available. Students who wish to undertake an internship must apply for the MSc Embedded Systems Design (with internship). It is anticipated that there will be significant demand for this programme and applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis and the numbers of students offered a place on the programme with internship will be capped.

If the course is already full and we are unable to offer you a place on the Masters course with internship, we may be able to consider you for the standard MSc Embedded Systems Design (without internship) which is a shorter programme.



A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in an appropriate discipline, or an HNC plus five years in industry, or an HND plus three years in industry. If you do not have these qualifications, we will consider your case individually. The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £6000 
  • Full-time International:  £12600 
  • Part-time UK and EU:  £670  per 20 credits.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £13000 
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

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Admissions statement 

Many industries need specialists in embedded systems design, and by the time you graduate, your skills and knowledge will be highly desired by employers. Careers are available in industrial and technology sectors such as embedded systems hardware or software development, telecommunication implementations, instrumentation, general real-time device applications, and signal processing development.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.