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Embedded Systems Engineering

Course Details

Award: Specialist Diploma
Qualification: NFQ Level 9 Minor Award Delivery:
Blended (combination of on-line and on campus delivery)
2 semesters (15 weeks each)
One evening per week (Wednesday) from 6pm to 9pm
Start Date: January 2020 Enquiries:

Embedded systems are the cornerstone of most modern 'intelligent' devices, diverse consumer items such as smartphones, digital TV and washing machines to more complex systems such as automotive navigation and control systems. The application of embedded systems spans many sectors of the economy including consumer electronics, transportation, safety and security and medical applications.

The rapid growth of applications in the Embedded Systems area requires skilled engineers who have the necessary specific hardware and software expertise. This programme aims to equip students with essential knowledge and skills required to design real-time, high performance compact-code embedded systems. This includes analysis of embedded processors and architectures and methods and techniques for programming real time systems. 

1 year: 2 semesters – Spring and Autumn. Commencing January 2020.

The programme is designed for experienced ICT professionals who wish to upskill to meet the emerging skills gap in the Embedded Systems area. It is an intensive blended-learning programme, suitable for those working fulltime, with an on-campus requirement of one evening per week.

An honours primary degree, at minimum second class honours, in a relevant computing, electronics, engineering, mathematics, science or technology discipline.

Applicants who possess an honours undergraduate degree, at minimum second class honours or equivalent, in a non-numerate discipline and have a minimum of three years experiential learning in an appropriate computing discipline will also be considered.

Students should have a programming background and experience ideally in C and/or C++.

Alternative Entry Route
Candidates who do not meet the minimum entry criteria can be evaluated under the UL RPL policy and may be interviewed to ascertain their suitability for the programme.


Students will have the opportunity to embed their newly developed knowledge and skills via an in-company project in the second semester. Employed applications would need to ensure their company would be willing to support an in-company project, and it is assumed applicants could base their project in their own company.

Minor Award at Level 9 NFQ


The programme comprises 4 taught modules and an industry based project.

Operating Systems: multitasking operating systems in single processor systems using a Unix or WIN-32 operating system; lab work will teach the student to develop concurrent program solutions.
Digital (Embedded) Systems: concepts and design issues for interfacing digital hardware to a microprocessor.
Real Time System Design: real-time system design concepts, techniques and methodologies at application level and system level and the interaction of hardware and micro-kernel services on real time applications.
Software Engineering: understanding and applying approaches to software development in the Embedded Systems environment

Estimated time requirement is 8-10 hours per week per module (including one on campus evening per week and a substantial online component).

One evening per week (Wednesday) from 6pm to 9pm. Starting January 2020.

€5,250 payable in two equal instalments in January and September

As this is a Springboard funded Programme, initial applications will come through the Springboard website. Successful applicants will apply again through the UL system one month before course start.

Before you apply, you will need to gather documentation. Please visit the How to Apply page to read detailed guidelines on which documents to gather and the application fee. You will also find the application link for your chosen course on the 'How to Apply' page.

N.B. - We recommend that prospective students for any ULearning programmes visit the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. For any queries which are not addressed in the FAQ please do not hesitate to email or call 061 213360.