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Foundation Degree in Electronics and Communications

Level 4-5
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Full-time: Two years; Part-time: Three years

If you’re looking for a rewarding career in a fast-paced and varied industry - that’s at the heart of social change and improvement in living conditions the world over - then our Foundation Degree in Electronics and Communications could be your ticket to a bright new future. Comprising a broad range of industry-specific learning modules; this course has been designed to meet the exacting requirements of the electronics sector of today. You’ll get a chance to explore everything from analytical methods, electronic system design, and electronic principles; right through to advanced CAD techniques, and electronic system design. This advanced technical programme leads to a nationally-recognised FdSc qualification - highly respected in its own right – but can also open the door to Honours Degree-level study; or provide you with the precise skills and technical knowledge needed to progress directly to a fascinating and rewarding career. Available as both a full-time and part-time programme, our Foundation Degree in Electronics and Communications can be fitted around your existing work, study, or homelife commitments.

Successful completion of this course could enable you to progress to the University of Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree programme.


Analytical Methods: Focussing on the mathematical strategies and processes involved in solving a wide range of engineering problems, to enable you to:
- Develop an appreciation of the need for accurate analysis of engineering problems
- Improve your confidence and competence in the use of numerical and analytical techniques
- Be motivated to use mathematics software packages for engineering solutions

Electrical and Electronic Principles: An introduction to electrical and electronic theory, to enable you to:
- Develop a good fundamental understanding of electrical and electronic principles
- Gain an understanding of simple and complex waveforms
- Analyse complex quantities and design methods

Electronics: An introduction to electronic theory, to enable you to:
- Develop a good fundamental understanding of analogue and digital electronic principles
- Build on your knowledge by carrying out analysis of electronic circuits and devices
- Mathematically model electronic circuits and investigate their performance

Developing Graduate Skills: Designed to enable you to demonstrate that you have all the qualities and transferable skills necessary for appropriate academic work and employment.

Organisational Behaviour: Considers how organisational behaviour and attitude influences the behaviour of individuals and groups at work.

Advanced CAD Techniques: Exploring both 2D and 3D modelling skills, and the use of computer simulation in support of engineering tasks, to enable you to:
- 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

Engineering Project V: An individual investigation of a routine problem in any of the engineering disciplines encountered in the programme, to ensure that you’ve developed:
- An understanding of the inter-relationships in a range of engineering disciplines
- An ability to integrate engineering topics within the context of a range of project tasks
- A sense of responsibility and self-reliance in project development

Control Principles: The key aims of this module are to enable you to:
- Develop an understanding of modern control systems
- Build a sound knowledge base for analysis and design
- Apply understanding to practical control systems
- Modify existing systems to meet specifications

Electronic System Design: Designed to achieve the following learning outcomes:
- Develop a fundamental understanding of a range of electronic systems and their building blocks
- Provide a sound knowledge 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

Communication Engineering: This module will allow you to:
- Understand 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

Micro-programmable Systems: On this module, you’ll:
- Develop an 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

Instrumentation and Control: The instrumentation and control module will enable you to:
- Gain an understanding of instrumentation technology and the application of sensors
- Gain an understanding of linear feedback control systems
- Apply sensors to given specification
- Apply engineered solutions to linear feedback control systems
You’ll be assessed via a combination of assignments, in-course assessments, coursework, project work, and end-of-module formal examinations.
Four GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

You’ll need four GCSEs (or equivalent qualifications) at grade C/4 or above, including Maths and English at a minimum of grade C/4.
You’ll also require 64 UCAS points for admission on to this course, this equates to the following:
Merit/Merit at National Diploma level
Merit/Merit/Pass at Extended Diploma level
A-Level equivalents in a related subject

Mature learners will be subject to an interview prior to entry; where any related experience will be taken into consideration.
Successfully completing this course could lead directly to a career in the Electronics and Communications sector; or could even allow you to progress to the University of Plymouth’s BSc (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree programme.

By advancing to a degree-level qualification, and with the relevant work experience, this course can provide you with the perfect platform to eventually achieve Chartered Engineer status.
You will be based at Petroc’s state-of-the-art Institute of Technology; providing industry-standard facilities and equipment, for the study of both Digital Science and Engineering.

Our newly-developed South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT) has been created as part of the Department for Education’s (DfE) £170 million investment, to establish a network of technology institutes across the country.

In addition to our purpose-built facilities, our industrial partners have given us the benefit of their expertise, so that the specialist equipment we have installed is of the highest professional quality, and is at the cutting edge of current industry-standard specifications.

The Engineering facility will house clean room fabrication capabilities; electronics design, manufacture and testing laboratories; additive technologies (3D); and production robotics.

The Digital Science suite contains a bespoke area for developing virtual environments; a large space for drone experimentation; and the latest specification networking, software, and data engineering facilities.

Petroc’s dedicated SWIoT building also has a large, welcoming social space, in which you can work and relax, while enjoying excellent connectivity.

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.

Course Fees

Annual Fee: £7400