LM331 Programme of Study

The Graduate Diploma in Computer Engineering is a one-year, full-time programme, and the mode of operation is based on the modular system. It consists of a taught component extending over two semesters, and comprises eight modules in total. Topics covered include computer programming, software engineering, real-time and distributed systems, computer networks, digital electronics and microprocessor engineering. 

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Diploma programme and achieve the University's required academic standard, may normally proceed to the Master's programme for a second year. The second year of the programme involves two taught modules (Electives) per semester, and a research-based project work. The project is a major component of the Master's programme and spans the entire academic year, i.e. the Autumn and Spring semesters. It represents a piece of significant original work with high analytical content and, as such, it is expected that the results will be disseminated through publication in the research literature.

Year 1 - Graduate Diploma

Autumn Semester

Spring Semester

Digital Electronics 1

Digital Systems 4

C++ Programming

Real-Time Systems

Software Engineering

Distributed Systems

Computer Networks 1

Computer Networks 2

The Engineer as a Professional

Engineering Management

Year 2 - Masters Continuation

 

Autumn Semester

Spring Semester

 

Project 1

Project 2

Elective 1

Elective 3

 

Elective 2

Elective 4

 

Elective Modules

Digital Signal Processing

Processor Architecture

Information Theory & Coding

Digital Control

Advanced Digital System Design

Digital Communications

 

Advanced Topic Seminars

 

Electives: Note that not all of the elective modules shown above will necessarily be offered every year.

Module Summary Descriptions

Digital Electronics 1

Digital and analogue signals, Binary numbers, Number systems and codes, Simple ADC and DAC concepts, Gates, Parallel/serial data representation, Buses and addressing, Memory devices, LED displays, Modem Basics, Sequential circuits, Mass Storage Devices.

C++ Programming

Syntax and semantics of the C++ procedural subset. Objects and Classes; Function and Operator Overloading: function polymorphism. Inheritance and Polymorphism, Input and Output, Memory Management, The Standard Template Library.

Software Engineering

Object Oriented Analysis/Design, Use Cases. Design Patterns. Software Reuse. Overview of Object Oriented Programming Languages. Individual Project/Case Study. Team Project in the area of Software Design for Advanced Communication System

Computer Networks 1

Overview of a data communication network.  Distributed network architecture and protocols. The ISO reference model. Coding and physical layer interfaces. Reliable communication using an unreliable channel. Flow control.  Switching and routing protocols. Interconnecting networks. Application-oriented protocols. Client-Server model, OSI's remote procedures operations.

The Engineer as a Professional

Communication: Presenting, Writing. Adapting to the Workplace. Effective Meetings, Time Management, Creativity, Stress & Fun, Feedback, Planning, Teamwork, Leadership. The Engineering Profession, Professional Bodies, Life Long Learning & CPD. Engineering Ethics, Engineers in Society, Responsibility in Engineering, Analysing the Problem, Utilitarian & Respect for Persons Philosophies.

Digital Systems 4

Microprocessor hardware systems. DRAMs. I/O interfacing. Serial and parallel interfaces. Interrupts. Bus standards.

Real-Time systems

Real Time Systems: Definitions and application examples. Programming language features for real-time support for concurrency, synchronisation, hard-scheduling etc. Features to define a real-time operating system. Design Approaches. Design and Modelling using Petri Nets. State Machines and Real-time temporal logic. Real-Time Program Study of formal techniques for real-time systems. Case Study.

Computer Networks 2

Local area versus wide-area networks.  Topology and standards. ISDN and B-ISDN, narrowband and broadband, services, interfaces, and  protocols. System Communication Design Considerations. Design and validation of communication protocols.  Data security in networks, network security threats and encryption fundamentals.

Distributed Systems

Process and communication models. Naming, identification and location of resources, services and objects. Concurrency and synchronization in distributed environments. Remote Procedure Calls.  Integrity and Security. Distributed object-oriented middleware.

Engineering Management

Introduction to economic, managerial, behavioural and social responsibility theories of organisational objectives.  Present market trends. General external/Industry/Internal analysis. Specific Functional Activities: Marketing, Accounting, Finance, HRM, IT, Operations Management. Planning, Controlling, Motivation, Organising, Coordinating.  Job Design, Decision Making, Leadership Theories.

Digital Signal Processing

Discrete signals and systems; railings as theoretical samplers; analogue and digital convolution; linearphase, all-pass filters, and minimum-phase filters; windowing techniques; frequency-sampling filters; IIR filters; up-sampling and down-sampling; finite word-length effects; noise topics; correlation principles; adaptive filtering; power spectra and spectral estimation.

Information Theory & Coding

Baseband Digital Communications. Digital Modulation Systems. Multiple Access, TDMA, FDMA and CDMA. Adaptive Equalisation. Fundamentals of Information Theory. Channel Coding.

Advanced Digital System Design

High-speed digital system design. Digital signals and transmission lines: echo, ringing, signal termination & balancing, crosstalk, board layout considerations. Clock distribution and buffering. Fault-tolerance and redundancy. Fault simulation and test generation for digital systems. Self-checking and fail-safe circuits. Architecture of fault-tolerant computers.

Processor Architecture

Computer performance measurement. Instruction set design and architecture. Algorithms for fixed and floating point arithmetic. Memory hierarchy design, caching and memory organisation. Processor implementation strategies: pipelining and superscalar design.

Digital Control

Review of classical control; classical design techniques; digital control systems; direct design; multivariable designing; implementation of digital controllers; system identification, robust and optimal control.

Digital Communications

Communication theory; digital signal processing; signal formatting for baseband systems;  modulation and demodulation techniques; multiple access as opposed to multiplexing techniques; transmission medium; synchronization for digital systems; adaptive equalization.

Advanced Topic Seminars

A selection of appropriate seminars on advanced aspects of communications technology.

Master of Engineering Project

The course project enables students gain experience in undertaking a significant engineering task, which will involve research into a selected topic in the area of Computer Engineering, along with advanced design and implementation.