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BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering with a Foundation Year

Blend creativity with maths, science and technology to design and engineer innovative solutions

Year of entry: 2019
Show year of entry: 2020

UCAS code


Institution code



4 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

See entry requirements below (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fees

£21,330 per year (2019/20)

Clearing and adjustment 2019

Seeking bright minds for 2019! We have limited places available on some of our courses.

Explore our vacancies

If you're returning to education, or haven't chosen the right subjects at A level, our foundation year will give you the maths and physics knowledge you need to transfer on to any one of our courses.

You'll spend your first year learning fundamental theories in maths and physics to A level standard, and you'll begin to develop your practical skills in the lab.

After your foundation year, you'll automatically continue on to the first year of our BEng Electronic Engineering course. However, you'll have the opportunity to transfer on to any of our other specialist courses.

This course will enable you to function with confidence in the challenging world of electronics, as a designer, in research or as a manager. You'll work with world-class researchers who are advancing our understanding of electronics every day.

Our courses are very flexible, and offer you the opportunity to either become a specialist or generalist. You can choose your own route through your degree. You'll be fully supported at all times by staff who are enthusiastic about their subjects and willing to help you.


This course is fully accredited by the IET and counts towards the training requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Our courses have been continually accredited for 25 years.

As I was returning to education, the Foundation Year was brilliant, providing a solid grounding in higher level Maths and Physics, and confirming Electronic Engineering was for me. It has been enjoyable and a fantastic challenge to study at the University of York and the city is a delightful place to call home.

What our students say about us.

Teaching quality

We're first in the Russell Group for 'The Teaching on my Course' and second for in four other areas including 'Overall Satisfaction' (NSS 2018).

Course content

Watch our video

Our modules are geared to meet the rigorous needs of the electronics industry. You'll study the principles and practicalities of electronic engineering, as well as honing essential skills in mathematics and computer programming.

As you progress, you'll cover topics such as electronic hardware design, Java programming, signal processing and analysis, microprocessor interfacing, engineering construction and design, feedback and computer control. In your final year, advanced optional modules allow you to specialise according to your own developing interests, in areas from digital communications to nanoelectronics.

Throughout your course you'll have opportunities to apply your learning in our well-equipped labs. Individual and group projects will see you design, build and test products using state-of-the art hardware and software.

Foundation year

The foundation year is based on the A level curricula for maths and physics.

The first part of the course starts at an early secondary school level and progresses through to A level standard over the year. There is also a practical electronics element, where you'll learn about electronic circuits in a well-equipped laboratory.

Teaching groups are very small, allowing for plenty of personal support and advice with your studies. Once you complete your foundation year, you'll move on to Year 1, which is common across all of our courses. 

Autumn Term

Modules in the Autumn Term assume virtually no previous knowledge beyond primary school, and with a few exceptions do not exceed GCSE level.


  • Fundamentals of Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry
  • Linear and Quadratic Equations
  • Basic Statistics
  • Simple Trigonometry
  • Introduction to Calculus


  • Fundamentals of Mechanics
  • Properties of Matter
  • Heat and Temperature
  • Electricity and Magnetism


  • Introduction to Laboratory Work
  • Resistive Circuits
  • Diodes
  • Laboratory Practical

Spring Term

Modules in the Spring Term build on the fundamentals established in the first term and begin to progress to A Level-standard.


  • Matrix Algebra
  • Differential Calculus
  • Complex Numbers
  • Integral Calculus
  • Vectors
  • Differential Equations
  • Trigonometric Identities


  • Mechanics
  • Electricity
  • Electromagnetism
  • Optics


  • Internal Resistance
  • AC signals in Resistive Circuits
  • Laboratory Practical

Summer Term

Modules in the Summer Term will bring you up to A level-standard in maths and physics.


  • Complex numbers
  • Series Expansions
  • Vectors
  • Integral Calculus
  • Differential Equations
  • Matrix Algebra


  • Waves
  • Electro-Statics
  • AC Circuits
  • Atomic Physics
  • Gravitation


  • RC/RL Circuits
  • Impedance and Resonance
  • Laboratory Practical

Year 1

Year 1 provides you with a grounding in electronic principles, circuits, components and devices. There's a strong emphasis on mathematics and computing, including learning the C programming language. You'll also develop your practical skills, designing and building complete products as part of laboratories and group projects.

Core modules

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

In Year 2 you'll learn to analyse and design hardware and software systems. You'll study material including data structures, algorithms, electromagnetism and Java programming. An advanced construction project gives you the opportunity to apply your skills of design, engineering, problem-solving and project-management.

Core modules

Year 3

In Year 3 you'll study a range of advanced core and option modules. You can focus on your interests, or investigate a new aspect of electronic engineering. Throughout the year you'll work on a major individual project, using the knowledge and skills you've developed to research and design a solution to an engineering challenge.

Core modules

The BEng Individual Project gives you a chance to put the skills and understanding you've developed into practice. You'll undertake an independent project: from specification, through initial feasibility studies, to production and testing. Projects from previous years have included:

  • Radio controlled ultra small airplane
  • Programmable environmental chamber
  • Measuring and predicting solar output
  • Magnetic biosensors for future medicine
  • Visual tuning feedback for choirs
  • An electronic Alethiometer

Many of the projects on offer are closely aligned to our current research, giving you the chance to work alongside world-class academics at the forefront of the field.

Option modules

You'll select three of the following modules (10 credits each):

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Assess electronic engineering designs by applying detailed knowledge of algorithms, devices and systems and by consulting relevant documentation and research. 
  • Evaluate system and component performance through a variety of analytical techniques including computational methods and modelling. 
  • Create designs to address real-world problems by synthesising ideas into engineering specifications. 
  • Solve technical problems through employing skills in programming, CAD, construction and measurement and by using safe laboratory techniques. 
  • Clearly communicate and explain electronic engineering issues and practice in a technically accurate manner to a variety of audiences, verbally, in writing and using multimedia. 
  • Coordinate and execute complex projects (with effective time management, team working, and ethical decision-making) in preparation for technical careers in electronics, computing and related disciplines.

Strong links with industry

We will help you to become an employment-ready, motivated graduate, with skills in the latest developments in engineering such as robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and immersive technology.

Group work to prepare you for your career

Our courses involve group work to allow you to experience the management, coordination and decision-making processes required by engineers. You'll develop key transferable and managerial skills.

Free membership

We offer all students free membership of ShockSoc (our student electronics society), SWEY (Supporting Women in Engineering, York) and we pay for student membership of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) while you are at York.

Fees and funding

The fees and funding figures below are for 2019 entry. If you take a year abroad or year in industry you'll pay a reduced rate of fees for that year.

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £21,330

Additional costs

There is no compulsory purchase of equipment or books necessary for this course. Lecture notes will be provided by staff, and you will have free printing.

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Foundation year bursary

You may be eligible for a partial tuition fee waiver for your foundation year. The fee waiver you receive will depend on your household income. Find out more about the foundation year bursary.

Foundation year scholarships

The Department of Electronic Engineering offers a number of £500 scholarships for the best performing foundation year students, after the first term of the course. These are open to both UK/EU and international students.

Department scholarships

We have ten £1,000 scholarships to award in 2018/19.

These are open to all new first year entry students starting in 2018 who selected York as their firm choice. All eligible new students will be considered automatically - there is no separate application. The scholarships will be awarded based on your whole application, with emphasis on the highest grades of entry. £500 is paid during Autumn Term and the other £500 is paid at the end of Summer Term, providing you successfully progress to Year 2.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Award

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

Our courses are highly intensive. Your timetabled activities each week will include:

  • Lectures
  • Practical work (including projects every year)
  • Workshops
  • Computer laboratories
  • Supervisions

You'll also be expected to spend some time studying independently. As you progress through the course you'll take on more independent study, guiding your own learning and developing your project management skills.

Your individual project in your final year will be supervised by an academic member of staff who will guide you through your project.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures and seminars552 hours468 hours336 hours300 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1,200 hours a year learning.


You can find detailed descriptions of our facilities on our website, including laboratory space, our recording studios, digital media suite and computing classrooms.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Electronic Engineering, on Campus West.

Most of your contact hours will be in the Department of Electronic Engineering, with some additional teaching on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Your assignments will be designed not just to test you but for you to creatively apply what you've learnt, and to stretch you to supply novel solutions. We use a variety of assessment styles, including a practical portfolio. You'll encounter all of them during your course, but the exact balance will depend on the modules you choose:

  • Closed-book exams
  • Short technical reports
  • Electronic portfolios, including programming exercises, video reports or blogs
  • Presentations and demonstrations
  • Major technical reports

You'll receive written feedback on work you hand in to help you understand your grade and develop your skills. For your individual project you'll produce a written report, have a viva (a presentation and question/answer session) and also show your project on our demo day, which our external advisory board attend.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Written exams68%68%53%40%
Practical exams0%16%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Electronics practical

Committed to equality

We hold a bronze Athena SWAN award for our commitment to gender equality in science.

Flexible courses

You may be able to change course, add a year in industry or change between MEng and BEng. Just ask us for more details.

A whole department being dedicated to my degree subject was a big tick. Looking at the majority of universities, more than one stream of engineering is typically offered – such as Civil, Mechanical or Chemical. However at York, they offer only Electronic Engineering with specialised streams, such as Music Technology or Nanotechnology, which suited me to a T.
Sophie-Jayne, MEng Electronic Engineering with a Year in Industry

What our students say about us.

Careers and skills

The growth of the electronics industry means demand for new engineers is always high. We have the highest proportion of graduates finding employment within one year of finishing their studies (UK engineering and technology graduates LEO data set, June 2017). Our students enter a wide range of jobs relating to electronic engineering, including software and hardware development.

For those wishing to take different career paths, the transferable skills you'll develop are highly valuable. Mathematics, programming, team working and technical management are sought after in a huge range of sectors, from media to financial services. Recent employers have included Jaguar Land Rover, IBM, Qinetiq, ARM, BBC, BT and Network Rail. Find out more about our graduate destinations and graduate profiles.

Career opportunities

  • Avionic systems engineering
  • Design engineering
  • Digital consultancy
  • Software and systems engineering
  • Cyber security
  • Telecommunications design
  • Broadcast engineering
  • Automotive safety
  • Visual effects

Transferable skills

  • Analyse system and component performance through computational methods and modelling
  • Create designs to address real-world problems by synthesising ideas in engineering specifications
  • Solve technical problems through applying skills in programming, CAD, construction and measurement
  • Communicate and explain electronic engineering issues to a variety of audiences verbally, in writing, and using multimedia
  • Assess designs by applying detailed knowledge algorithms, devices and systems, and consulting relevant research
  • Coordinate and execute complex projects in electronics
  • Effective time management, teamworking and ethical decision making

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
A levels
If you're currently studying, or have completed A levels in the last three years:
BBB in any three subjects, excluding Maths and General Studies, and a C/4 in GCSE Maths. 
If you already have, or are currently studying A level Maths you should apply for one of our degree programmes without a foundation year.
BTEC If you're currently studying, or have completed a BTEC Diploma in the last three years:
BTEC: DDM in any subject and a C/4 in GCSE Maths.
Other qualifications
We consider applications from people offering combinations of A levels and BTECs subsidiary diplomas, contact us for more advice. 
If you are a mature student (age 21 or over) with qualifications that do not meet our typical offer (above) we would expect GCSE Maths C/4 or equivalent aptitude shown at interview. We will also look for evidence that you are
capable of dealing with the foundation year workload in your application and during your interview. 
Please get in touch with us for an informal discussion you are interested in our foundation year programmes but you’re unsure whether you meet our criteria.

English language

 If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

  • IELTS: 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component
  • Pearson: 55, with a minimum of 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 169, with a minimum of 162 each component
  • TOEFL: 79 overall, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE III: Pass in all components

For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Admissions Enquiries - Helen Lay
Admissions Tutor - Dr Jude Brereton

Learn more

Department of Electronic Engineering

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