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Foundation Degree in Electronics and Communications

Level 4-5
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Two years, full-time; three years, part-time.

The reasons for the programme's existence stems from a long dialogue with local and national employers in this industry to provide high quality, highly skilled prospective employees for management roles within local industries, or to work nationally or internationally in this fast-paced industry; an industry at the heart of social change and improvement in living conditions the world over.

This course offers high-level transferable skills to enable students to embrace the wider challenges of electronics within today's global society.


Year One:
1. Analytical Methods:
- develop an appreciation of the need for accurate analysis of engineering problems
- improve confidence and competence in the use of numerical and analytical techniques
- use mathematics software packages for engineering solutions

2. Electrical & Electronic Principles:
- develop a good fundamental understanding of electrical and electronic principles
- gain an understanding of simple and complex waveforms
- analyse complex quantities and design methods

3. Electronics:
- develop a good fundamental understanding of analogue and digital electronic principles
- build on this knowledge by carrying out analysis of electronic circuits and devices
- mathematically model electronic circuits and investigate their performance

4. Developing Graduate Skills: This module is designed to enable you to demonstrate that you have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and employment.

5. Organisational Behaviour: This module considers how organisational behaviour and attitude influences the behaviour of individuals and groups at work.

6. Advanced CAD Techniques:
- evaluate the differences between 2D drawing, wire-frame, surface and solid modelling techniques and their relationship to the manufacturing process
- develop the skills necessary to produce models in the development of a design brief
- develop the skills necessary to produce visualisations
- investigate the use of simulation software

Year Two:
1. Engineering Project V:
- understand the inter-relationships in a range of engineering disciplines
- develop an ability to integrate engineering topics within the context of a range of project tasks
- develop a sense of responsibility and self-reliance in project development

2. Control Principles:
- develop an understanding of modern control systems
- provide a sound base for analysis and design
- apply understanding to practical control systems
- modify existing systems to meet specifications

3. Electronic System Design :
- develop a fundamental understanding of a range of electronic systems and their building blocks
- provide a sound base for the analysis and design of electronic systems
- develop an understanding of the implications of noisy environments
- develop an understanding of the role of programmable devices

4. Communication Engineering:
- introduce the fundamentals of communications
- develop knowledge of modulation and propagation principles
- analyse and evaluate modern electronic communication systems
- investigate the developments in current communication developments

5. Micro-programmable Systems:
- develop a good appreciation of the capabilities of micro-programmable devices in systems
- understand and implement the range of integrated development environments for microprogramming
- develop a system and run software to meet a technical specification

6. Instrumentation & Control:
- an introduction to instrumentation technology and the application of sensors
- an introduction to linear feedback control systems
- apply sensors to given specification
- apply engineered solutions to linear feedback control systems
Assessment is through a combination of assignments, in course assessments and end of module examinations.
Four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

You will be required to have 64 UCAS points, this equates to MM at National Diploma, or MMP at Extended Diploma in a related subject or A-level equivalents. You will need Maths and English GCSEs at grade 5/4 or above, or equivalent.

Interview will take place for mature learner entry, where experience will be taken into consideration.
Upon successful completion, you may be able to progress to Plymouth University onto the BSc (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Nationally, there is a demand for graduates working towards Incorporated Engineer level. Incorporated Engineers often work alongside Chartered Engineers on technological innovation and with a combination of higher qualifications and work experience; this can lead learners to chartered engineer status.
This course is delivered mainly at North Devon Campus where classes take place in the Engineering Centre of Excellence where specialised electronic laboratories are designed to provide maximum opportunity for students to gain practical learning relating to design, build and test methodology.

Students are also encouraged to spend some time in their week at the University Centre, a 15 minute walk from the main site. This is a specialised centre where Higher Education students can socialise with other students from different university courses in the social areas, attend concerts at the music and concert venue, 'The Factory', and become members of the Student Union.

Local employers have a strong relationship with the college, and as well as being part of the Employer Advisory Group, also facilitate local visits to the industrial sites, and visit college to share industrial experience and discuss issues with students. They also provide work placements and apprenticeship opportunities. These local links with industry lead to inspiring and challenging learning opportunities to develop the knowledge base needed for a career in a range of Electronics and Communications areas. Some of the part-time teaching staff have current industrial experience from the local area and so can develop students' abilities to apply the up-to-date skills.
Normal student stationary, A4 notebook, ruler, pen and pencil. You will also need a memory stick for storing your work.
It is suggested that you purchase a 'Casio 991ES plus' calculator and check reading lists provided.
Please contact the HE Team on 01271 852335 for more information.
Q: How much will this course cost?
A: For more information about course fees, please visit

Q: Are there companies that will employ me and give me day release?
A: Yes, local employers are constantly looking to improve the status of the company by having more employees with higher qualifications and support them by giving employees day release. You will need to discuss this with your employer.

Q: Can I do this course if I have not been in education for a while?
A: Yes. You should book an interview and we will give you some support before you start on the programme. You need to bear in mind that this programme is essentially an analytical course and over the programme you will also develop your technical writing.