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Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Systems BEng

   
   
  

Fact file - 2015 entry

UCAS code:HH6F
Qualification:BEng Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Systems
A level offer: AAA-ABB 
Required subjects: maths and a science or electronics subject plus a third subject (excluding general studies). A foundation year is available for those with BBB grades but not in the required subjects
IB score: 32-36 (5 in maths and science at Higher Level) 
Available part time: no 
Course places: 120 for all of the Department's courses 
Campus: University Park Campus 

Course overview

The recent increase in the use of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources has highlighted the challenges facing future electrical engineers - interfacing renewable sources to the electricity distribution system, maintaining stability in the presence of many small energy sources and guaranteeing an electrical supply in the presence of intermittent sources such as solar power.

Concentrating on electrical energy, this three-year course provides the knowledge and skills required for future power engineers. You will study electrical subjects covering power generation and distribution, electrical machines, power electronics and power conversion, and power quality as well as renewable sources, alternative fuel systems and future energy infrastructures. A major final-year project focuses on developing new technologies for renewable energy systems.

Year one 

The first year provides you with an understanding of the principles and practices on which all specialisms within electrical and electronic engineering are founded. This is achieved through the study of analogue and digital electronics, circuits and systems, computing, communications and the application of electrical energy. Practical and fault-finding skills are developed through laboratory and project work. Your appreciation of the aspects of science and mathematics, which underpin the subject, will also be enhanced.

Year two

You will continue to improve your understanding of electrical and electronic engineering, and your design skills will be developed through a variety of laboratory-based subjects. This will prepare you to study, in the final years of your course, emerging and advanced technologies usually taught by internationally recognised researchers. Group projects, presentations and seminars enable you to gain the skills and understanding essential for the workplace.

Year three

In year three, you will be able to choose from a range of specialist topics, with flexibility to maintain a broad base or focus on specific technologies. Your individual project forms a major part of the final year. Working in an area of your choosing, you will develop design, analysis, construction and fault-finding skills. Many of these projects support research or development carried out with industry. This is where you truly learn to be an engineer!

Entry requirements

A levels: AAA-ABB, including maths and a science or electronics subject plus a third subject (excluding general studies)

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

TOEFL iBT 79 (minimum 17 in Writing and Listening, 18 in Reading and 20 in Speaking)

Alternative qualifications

For details please see the alternative qualifications page

Foundation year - a foundation year is available for this course is available for this course

Flexible admissions policy

We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.

Notes for applicants 

MEng degrees - the MEng degrees are four-year courses where students study advanced engineering technologies and also develop additional knowledge in aspects of management and commercial practice within industry.

Students graduating with an MEng degree are seen as highly employable in a diverse range of areas, and have a 'fast track' route to achieving chartered engineer status with the Insitution of Engineering and Technology.

Modules

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff. They’re also shaped by new developments in industry and as a consequence, may change from year to year. The following list is therefore subject to change but should give you a flavour of the modules on offer.


Typical Year One Modules

Compulsory

Engineering Mathematics 1
This module introduces the algebra of complex numbers to provide a key mathematical tool for analysis of linear mathematical and engineering problems. The complexity of solving general systems of equations is introduced and their study using matrix techniques. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.

 
Engineering Mathematics 2
You’ll be introduced to techniques for solving selected first-order and second-order differential equations relevant to the analysis of generic engineering problems. The module also provides mathematical tools in terms of advanced differential calculus and vectors for modelling of generic engineering situations given in terms of multi-dimensional models. You’ll spend around three hours per week in lectures and workshops.

 
Introduction to Circuits and Fields
This module provides the understanding of the physical world including an introduction to electric and magnetic fields and circuit theory and passive components. For study of this module you’ll spend around three hours in lectures each week.

 
Introduction to Electronic Engineering
This module provides an introduction to Electronic Engineering, including topics such as: Boolean algebra and minimisation techniques, linear amplifiers and other circuits utilising the operational amplifier, the physical principles of diodes, bipolar and field-effect transistors and their application to circuits. You’ll have three 1-hour lectures per week plus eight 1-hour progress tests per year to study for this module. 

 
Introduction to Communications Engineering
You’ll be given an introduction to communication systems and an overview of fundamental signal and system concepts. The module looks at methods to describe signals mathematically and in terms of their time and frequency domain representation. You’ll examine aspects of noise on signals and system performance, filters, amplitude and frequency modulation and basic concepts in digital signal processing. MATLAB will be used in problem solving. You’ll have three 1-hour lectures per week plus four 1-hour progress tests per semester to study for this module. 

 
Introduction to Computer Engineering
Introducing you to computer engineering, you’ll cover topics such as: an overview of computer architectures, software design methodologies, the software life-cycle, C-programming, software development strategies and verification and validation procedures. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures per week as well as nine 3-hour laboratories and four 1-hour progress tests per semester to study for this module. 

 
Introduction to Electrical Engineering
This module provides an introduction to Electrical Engineering and covers topics including: basic electromagnetic principles and the characteristics of electrical coils, the operation of ideal and non-ideal transformers, the equivalent circuit and their applications, reactive and apparent power, basic electro-mechanics .You’ll also have a basic introduction to electrical machines focusing on the operation and analysis of the 3-phase AC cage induction machine. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour examples class per week plus four 1-hour progress tests per semester to study for this module.

 
Laboratory and Presentation Skills A
This module provides the practical experience which complements modules in the first year of all undergraduate courses in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. It includes experimental and project work, the development of laboratory and team working skills, and technical report writing. You’ll spend around two hours in lectures and three hours in practicals each week for this module. 

 
Introduction to Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sources
This module provides an introduction to renewable and sustainable energy sources. It covers the various types of renewable energy and the resources available and explains the physical principles of various types of energy conversion and storage, in relation to electrical power generation. You’ll spend around two hours in lectures and three hours in practicals for study of this module.

 
 

Typical Year Two Modules

Compulsory

Probabilistic and Numerical Techniques for Engineers
This module is divided into two sections, one part develops the foundations of probability theory and allows you to apply large sample statistics within an engineering context. The other part provides you with an introduction to numerical techniques used for obtaining approximate solutions to ordinary differential equations. You’ll normally spend around one hour per week in lectures and two hours in workshops studying for this module. 

 
Signal Processing and Control Engineering
You’ll develop your understanding of systems and system analysis tools as well as basic analogue and digital signal processing methods that would be of use in a wide range of applications in electrical and electronic engineering and beyond. You’ll have three 2-hour lectures and a three 1-hour practical each week for study of this module. 

 
Telecommunications
This module provides an introduction to telecommunication systems. Topics covered include: modulation schemes (amplitude, frequency and phase), receiver configurations, noise and interference in analogue systems, delivery systems (copper, fibre, radio wave propagation and transmission-line characteristics) and multiple access techniques. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and have a three hour practical per week for study of this module.

 
Power Supply Electronics
Introducing you to the subject of power electronics you’ll cover subjects such as: methods of analysis for power electronic circuits, comparison of power supplies for electronic equipment, linear and switching regulators, single phase diode rectifiers comparison of power device types; calculation and management of losses in power devices and practical considerations for high speed switching circuits. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures and one 1-hour problems class per week plus two laboratory sessions.

 
Electronic Engineering
You’ll cover a range of topics in Electronic Engineering including: schmitt trigger, feedback and relaxation oscillators, synchronous counters with external input; electron mobility, joule heating, and  structure of bipolar. You’ll spend around six hours per week in lectures as well as having a three hour practical laboratory session to study for this module. 

 
Professional Skills for Electrical & Electronic Engineers
Providing you with the key skills required to give professional presentations, you’ll gain an awareness of the different techniques required for varying size audiences, the technologies available and the limitations. Through group working, you’ll develop skills in the preparation of material in a purely visual sense, for example poster, flyer and rolling presentation forms as well as gaining professional skills in the form of CV production and application preparation. You’ll have a one hour lecture per week for study of this module. 

 
Electrical Engineering Design Project - Renewables
This module takes the form of a laboratory-based project which is performed in groups of either two or three students. The overall aim of the project is to design, build, test and document a renewable energy powered device with microcomputer control. The project exercises and develops skills in electrical and electronic design, energy system design, real-time software, presentation and group working. You’ll have one 2-hour lecture and one 1-hour lecture during the first week plus one three-hour laboratory session per week.

 
Mathematical Techniques for Electrical and Electronic Engineers
The majority of the module is concerned with providing techniques for solving selected classes of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) relevant to the analysis of engineering topics. This module also provides the basic calculus to help analyse engineering problems in two- or three-dimensions and special solutions of partial differential equations relevant to engineering applications. You’ll have a one hour lecture and two hour workshop to study for this module.  

 
Electronic Construction Project
The aim of this module is to develop awareness of and ability to solve problems in the field of electronic design and construction. You’ll develop a range of practical and experimental skills, focusing on the design and development of a system. You’ll work in small groups and will be required to go through a phase of research and independent learning, as well as keep good traceability of your work during all phases of the project. The applications will be in the field of audio signal processing, an example is the design, building and testing of an audio amplifier and related power supply. You’ll spend around three hours in lectures and three hours in practicals for study of this module. 

 
Energy and the Environment
This module examines the environmental impacts of the energy industries. It will encompass the methodologies for quantitative impact assessment and their specific application to the energy industries. The full life cycle for fossil and renewable energy will be included along with large and small scale energy systems. You’ll spend around two hours in lectures each week to study for this module.

 
 

Typical Year Three Modules

Compulsory

Project in Energy Conversion
Engineers working in industry usually learns that they become involved in extended practical or theoretical projects. This module provides an opportunity for you to work in a similar situation. You’ll choose a project in the field of Energy Conversion of interest to you, work under the supervision of a member of staff and write a dissertation on your work. You’ll have weekly individual tutorials with your project supervisor, but otherwise will be expected to work alone.

 
Business Planning for Engineers
This module introduces a diverse set of topics that a graduate engineer is likely to encounter upon entering employment.  You’ll become equipped with the knowledge to be able to write and assess rudimentary business plans and make informed decisions about product and business development. It includes various models, tools and concepts that are common within the business community including: Belbin’s model of team formation, the appropriate use of PEST and SWOT analysis, the basics of marketing, the product life cycle, technology audits, intellectual property, ethics and product design. You’ll have two contact sessions of one hour duration per week. These will be used for formal lectures, individual and group presentations, coursework planning and coursework feedback.

 

Optional

Power Networks
This module provides you with an understanding of power system apparatus and their behaviour under normal and fault conditions. Through a two hour lecture each week, you’ll cover topics such as: concept and analysis of load flow, voltage/current symmetrical components, computation of fault currents, economic optimisation, power-system control and stability, power system protection and power quality.

 
Electrical Machines
This module provides you with an understanding of the operational characteristics of common electrical machines (dc, ac induction, ac synchronous and stepping). Both theoretical and practical characteristics are covered including: electromagnetic theory applied to electrical machines, principles and structure of dc machines - commutation effects, principles and structure of induction machines, principles and structure of synchronous machines, parameterisation for performance prediction and machine testing and evaluation. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures per week, supplemented with practical demonstrations for study of this module. 

 
Control Systems Design
This module enables you to design both analogue and digital controllers for linear single-input single-output systems. You’ll have access to CAD control design packages for evaluating control design. Through three 1-hour lectures per week, you’ll cover topics such as: design of analogue controllers using Root Locus Method; closed loop performance and frequency response; microprocessor implementation; practical problems in digital control; design of digital controllers using z-plane techniques and practice with CAD package.

 
Energy Conversion for Motor and Generator Drives
Introducing you to the concepts and operating principles of variable speed electric motor drives systems, you’ll use a number of system examples to demonstrate how the drive systems are specified, designed, controlled and operated. You’ll have a two hour lecture each week for study of this module. 

 
Power Electronic Design
Providing an understanding of the operational principles of power electronic converters and their associated systems, this module covers: 3-phase naturally commutated ac-dc/dc-ac converters, capacitive and inductive smoothing - device ratings, dc-ac PWM inverters and modulation strategies, resonant converters, high power factor utility interface circuits and power converter topologies for high power (multilevel). You’ll have two 1-hour lectures per week.

 
Renewable Generation Technologies and Control
This module covers the analysis and design of renewable and sustainable energy systems. It covers the various types of renewable energy and the resources available. It uses an understanding of the physical principles of various types of energy resources in order to develop analytical models which can be applied to the design of renewable energy systems, including energy conversion and storage, especially for electrical power generation. You’ll have a two hour weekly lecture to study for this module. 

 
FACTS and Distributed Generation
This module provides students with an understanding of power systems which include renewable energy generators. It investigates the operation of renewable energy generators at a systems level, including analysis of distributed generation systems. The module covers some of the following topics: analysis of load flow in distributed generation systems; operation and control of microgrids; distributed power system control and stability; Use of STATCOM devices, and Flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS). You’ll have one 2-hour lecture per week and will spend time in the computing laboratory working on CAD problems.

 
Electronic Design
Through one 2-hour lecture per week, this module aims to further your understanding of design techniques for transistor-based analogue circuits, using transistor amplifiers as a vehicle for this. Standard high-frequency models are introduced for transistors. This approach enables amplifier operation to be understood and analysed at all signal frequencies, starting with a review of mid-band operation, followed by low and high frequency operation. Finally the origins and effect of noise in electronic circuits is introduced.

 
Solid State Devices
This module seeks to develop a detailed understanding of the internal operating mechanisms of semiconductor electronic and opto-electronic devices. You’ll focus on devices based on pn junctions (e.g. diodes, bipolar junction transistors) and devices based on MOS capacitors (eg memory cells, CCD detectors, MOSFETs). The module will consider how the targeted application for a device impacts upon its design. (For example, signal-mixing diodes, power diodes, light-emitting diodes and solar cells are all based upon the pn diode, but provide very different functionality.) The characteristics required of these devices will be discussed in relation to their incorporation into appropriate electronic systems. You’ll have two 1-hour lectures each week for study of this module, supplemented with example sheets.

 
VLSI Design
Introducing you to the principles of semi-custom and full custom design of integrated circuits (IC) for digital electronic systems, the module is based around the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) integrated circuit process that is used to fabricate the majority of ICs in production today. The module provides insight into the issues involved in IC design through the analysis of examples based around logic gates. Layout design techniques for CMOS logic gates are covered. You’ll have one 2-hour lecture and one 2-hour CAD laboratory per week for study of this module.

 
Fields Waves and Antennas
This module presents and develops the basic analytical, computational and experimental tools used in the study of electromagnetic fields and waves at high frequency. Topics covered include: waves on transmission lines, Maxwell's equations and plane electromagnetic wave propagation, power flow, methods for electromagnetic field computation and an introduction to antennas. You’ll have  two 1-hour lectures each week.

 
Embedded Computing
This module aims to introduce principal generic and distinctive features of embedded computing, and develop practical skills in designing firmware for PIC16 microcontrollers. You’ll have a two hour lecture each week for the study of this module.

 
Engineering Software: Design and Implementation
Providing you with an understanding of the design patterns and data structures that are in use in modern software packages, you’ll learn to perform critical analyses of complex design tasks and to decompose them into manageable and maintainable parts. In addition, the emergence of parallel programming techniques will be discussed and practical design choices and implementations analysed. You’ll have one 2 hour lecture per week.

 
 

Careers

By the end of your degree you will have learnt about emerging and advanced technologies and will have a thorough understanding of electrical engineering applied to renewable energy systems. Through a final-year project, you will have refined your engineering skills in preparation for graduate placement.

Professional accreditation

Engineering Council accredited degree
 

This degree has been accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

 

This course is accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2012, 80.6% of first-degree graduates in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,704 with the highest being £35,500.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2011/12.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

Funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

Please check the department website for details of course-specific scholarships.

Home students*

There are several types of bursary and scholarship on offer. Download our funding guide or visit our financial support pages to find out more about tuition fees, loans, budgeting and sources of funding.

To be eligible to apply for most of these funds you must be liable for the £9,000 tuition fee and not be in receipt of a bursary from outside the University.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The International Office provides support and advice on financing your degree and offers a number of scholarships to help you with tuition fees and living costs.

KIS

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

 

How to use the data

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