Yearbooks

Programme: BEng Computer Engineering

Code Faculty Duration Credits Download
12130009 Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology Minimum duration of study: 4 years Total credits: 568

Programme information

All fields of study of the BEng degree have been accredited by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), and comply with the academic requirements for registration as a professional engineer. The programmes are designed in accordance with the outcomes-based model as required by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). The learning outcomes and contents of the programmes have been compiled in accordance with the latest accreditation standards (PE-60 and PE-61) of ECSA, which also comply with the SAQA requirements, and which are summarised as follows:

Learning outcomes of the BEng degree:
A graduate in engineering should be able to apply the following skills on an advanced level:

  1. Engineering problem solving.
  2. Application of specialist and fundamental knowledge, with specific reference to mathematics, basic sciences and engineering sciences.
  3. Engineering design and synthesis.
  4. Investigation, experimentation and data analysis.
  5. Engineering methods, skills, tools and information technology.
  6. Professional and general communication.
  7. Awareness and knowledge of the impact of engineering activity on society and the physical environment.
  8. Work in teams and in multidisciplinary environments.
  9. An awareness and ability for lifelong learning.
  10. An awareness and knowledge of principles of professional ethics and practice.


Learning contents of the BEng programmes:
Six essential knowledge areas are included in the syllabi of the programmes. The typical representation of each knowledge area as a percentage of the total contents of an undergraduate programme is given in brackets ( ) in the list below. This percentage varies for the different study directions, but conforms in all instances to the minimum knowledge area content as stipulated by ECSA.
Knowledge areas:

  1. Mathematics, including numerical methods and statistics (13%)
  2. Basic sciences: the natural sciences essential to the programme (15%)
  3. Engineering sciences (40%)
  4. Engineering design and synthesis (16%)
  5. Computing and information technology (5%)
  6. Complementary studies: communication, economy, management, innovation, environmental impact, ethics, engineering practice (11%).

Admission requirements

  • The following persons will be considered for admission: a candidate who is in possession of a certificate that is deemed by the University to be equivalent to the required Grade 12 certificate with university endorsement; a candidate who is a graduate from another tertiary institution or has been granted the status of a graduate of such an institution; and a candidate who is a graduate of another faculty at the University of Pretoria. 
  • Life Orientation is excluded when calculating the APS. 
  • Grade 11 results are used in the conditional admission of prospective students. 
  • A valid qualification with admission to degree studies is required.
  • Minimum subject and achievement requirements, as set out below, are required. 
  • Conditional admission to the four-year programmes in the School of Engineering is only guaranteed if a prospective student complies with ALL the requirements below. ?
  • Note: Candidates who do not comply with the minimum requirements, set out above, but who have obtained a minimum APS of 30, an achievement level of 5 for English, 6 for Mathematics and 5 for Physical Science, will be considered for conditional admission to either the four-year programme or the ENGAGE programme based on the results of the NBT. 
  • Admission to ENGAGE in the School of Engineering will be determined by the results of the NBT, NSC results, an achievement level of 5 in Mathematics and 4 in Physical Science, as well as an achievement level of 4 in English, together with an APS of 25. 
  • Students may apply directly to be considered for the ENGAGE programme.
  • Tuition will be presented in English only.

Minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Science

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

5

C

6

B

6

B

35

* Cambridge A level candidates who obtained at least a D in the required subjects, will be considered for admission. International Baccalaureate (IB) HL candidates who obtained at least a 4 in the required subjects, will be considered for admission.

ENGAGE Programme minimum requirements

Achievement level

English Home Language or English First Additional Language

Mathematics

Physical Science

APS

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

NSC/IEB

AS Level

4

D

5

C

4

D

25

Other programme-specific information

With a few exceptions, most modules offered at the School of Engineering are semester modules having credit values of either 8 or 16.
A student may be permitted by the Dean, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, to register for an equivalent module in an alternate semester, although the module is normally offered to the student’s group in another semester, and providing that no timetable clashes occur.

Please note:

  1. All students are required to successfully complete JCP 2013, Community-based project 203 as part of the requirements for the BEng degree. A student may register for the module during any of the years of study of the programme, but preferably not during the first or the final year of study.
  2. Students registered for Chemical Engineering who have passed CBI 311, receive credit for CBI 410.
  3. Mechanical Engineering: For the Aeronautical Option, the themes of both the Design and the Project must be aeronautical-related.
  4. Offering of electives depends on the availability of resources and industry support.

Promotion to next study year

Promotion to the second semester of the first year and to the second year of study (Eng. 14)

  1. A new first-year student who has failed in all the prescribed modules of the programme at the end of the first semester, is excluded from studies in the School of Engineering. A student who is registered for the Engineering Augmented Degree Programme and has passed only 8 credits will also be excluded.
  2. A student who complies with all the requirements of the first year of study, is promoted to the second year of study.
  3. A student who has not passed at least 70% of the credits of the first year of study after the November examinations, must reapply for admission should he/she intend to proceed with his/her studies. Application on the prescribed form must be submitted to the Student Administration of the School of Engineering not later than 11 January. Late applications will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances after approval by the Dean. Should first-year students be readmitted, conditions of readmission will be determined by the Admissions Committee.
  4. Students who have not passed all the prescribed modules at first year level (level 100), as well as students who are readmitted in terms of Faculty Regulations must register for the outstanding first-year level (level-100) modules.
  5. A student who is repeating his or her first year, may, on recommendation of the relevant heads of department and with the approval of the Dean, be permitted to enroll for modules of the second-year of study in addition to the first-year modules which he or she failed, providing that he or she complies with the prerequisites for the second-year modules and no timetable clashes occur. Students on the ENGAGE programme may, following the same procedure, be permitted to enrol for level-200 modules in addition to the level-100 modules which he/she failed providing that he/she complies with the prerequisites for the modules at 200-level and no timetable clashes occur. On recommendation of the relevant head of department and with special permission from the Dean, permission may be granted to exceed the prescribed number of credits. The total number of credits which may be approved may not exceed the normal number of credits per semester by more than 16 credits.
  6. Students in Computer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, who fail a first-year module for the second time, forfeit the privilege of registering for any modules of an advanced year of study.


Please note:

  1. From the second year of study each student should be in possession of an approved calculator. It is assumed that each student will have easy access to a personal computer.
  2. Students who intend transferring to Mining Engineering, must familiarise themselves with the stipulations set out in the syllabi of PWP 121 Workshop practice 121.


Promotion to the third year of study of the Four-year Programme, as well as to the third and the fourth years of study of the ENGAGE Programme. In case of the fourth year of study of the ENGAGE Programme, the words "first", "second" and "third" must be substituted with the words "second", "third" and "fourth" respectively. (Eng. 15)

  1. A student who complies with all the requirements of the second year of study, is promoted to the third year of study.
  2. A student must pass all the prescribed modules at first year level (level 100) before he or she is admitted to any module at third year level (level 300).
  3. A student who is repeating his or her second year must register for all the second-year modules still outstanding. Such a student may, on recommendation of the relevant head of department and with the approval of the Dean, be permitted to enroll for modules of the third year of study in addition to the second-year modules which he or she failed, providing that he or she complies with the prerequisites for the third-year modules and no timetable clashes occur. On recommendation of the relevant head of department, and with special permission from the Dean, permission may be granted to exceed the prescribed number of credits. The total number of credits which may be approved may not exceed the normal number of credits per semester by more than 16 credits.
  4. Students in Computer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering who fail a second-year module for the second time forfeit the privilege of registering for any modules of the third year of study.
  5. Students who intend transferring to Mining Engineering must familiarise themselves with the stipulations set out in the syllabi of PWP 120 Workshop practice 120, as well as PPY 317 Practical training 317.


Promotion to the fourth year of study of the Four-year Programme, as well as to the fifth year of study of the ENGAGE Programme. In case of the fifth year of study of the ENGAGE Programme, the words "second", "third" and "fourth" must be substituted with the words "third", "fourth" and "fifth" respectively. (Eng. 16)

  1. A student who complies with all the requirements of the third year of study is promoted to the fourth year of study. A student who does not comply with all the requirements but who is able to register for all outstanding modules in order to complete the degree programme, may at registration be promoted to the fourth year of study.
  2. A student must pass all the prescribed modules of the second year of study, before he or she is admitted to any module of the fourth year of study.
  3. A student who has not passed all the prescribed modules of the third year of study, must register for the outstanding modules. A student may be admitted by the Dean, on the recommendation of the relevant head of department, to modules of the fourth year of study, in addition to the outstanding third-year modules, provided that he or she complies with the prerequisites of the fourth-year modules and no timetable clashes occur. The total number of credits per semester for which a student registers may not exceed the normal number of credits per semester by more than 16 credits. In exceptional cases, the Dean may, on recommendation of the relevant head of department, permit a student to exceed the above limit.
  4. Students in Computer, Electrical and Electronic Engineering who fail a third-year module for the second time, forfeit the privilege of registering for any modules of the fourth year of study.

Pass with distinction

  1. A student graduates with distinction if:
  1. no module of the third or fourth year of study of the four year programme or of the fourth or fifth year of the ENGAGE programme was repeated and a weighted average of at least 75% was obtained in one year in all the modules of the final year of study; and
  2. the degree programme was completed within the prescribed four years for the four year programme and within the prescribed five years of the ENGAGE programme.
  1. Exceptional cases to the above will be considered by the Dean.

Minimum credits: 144

Please Note: Cos 222 has been replaced by Cos122 as from 2017 academic year. Students who have already passed Cos 222 will be credited for Cos 122.

Fundamental modules

Core modules

  • Module content:

    The focus is on object-oriented (OO) programming. Concepts including inheritance and multiple inheritance, polymorphism, operator overloading, memory management (static and dynamic binding), interfaces, encapsulation, reuse, etc. will be covered in the module. The module teaches sound program design with the emphasis on modular code, leading to well structured, robust and documented programs. A modern OO programming language is used as the vehicle to develop these skills. The module will introduce the student to basic data structures, lists, stacks and queues.

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  • Module content:

    Fundamental concepts of modern operating systems in terms of their structure and the mechanisms they use are studied in this module. After completing this module, students will have gained, as outcomes, knowledge of real time, multimedia and multiple processor systems, as these will be defined and analysed. In addition, students will have gained knowledge on modern design issues of process management, deadlock and concurrency control, memory management, input/output management, file systems and operating system security. In order to experience a hands-on approach to the knowledge students would have gained from studying the abovementioned concepts, students will have produced a number of practical implementations of these concepts using the Windows and Linux operating systems.

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  • Module content:

    This module introduces imperative computer programming, which is a fundamental building block of computer science. The process of constructing a program for solving a given problem, of editing it, compiling (both manually and automatically), running and debugging it, is covered from the beginning. The aim is to master the elements of a programming language and be able to put them together in order to construct programs using types, control structures, arrays, functions and libraries. An introduction to object orientation will be given. After completing this module, the student should understand the fundamental elements of a program, the importance of good program design and user-friendly interfaces. Students should be able to conduct basic program analysis and write complete elementary programs.

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  • Module content:

    Electrical quantities, units, definitions, conventions. Electrical symbols, ideal and practical current and voltage sources, controlled sources. Ohm’s law in resistive circuits, Kirchoff’s current and voltage laws, resistors in series and parallel circuits, voltage and current division, mesh current and node voltage methods. Circuit theorems: Linearity, superposition, Thevenin and Norton equivalent circuits, sources transformation, power calculation, maximum power transfer. Energy storage elements: current, voltage, power and energy in inductors and capacitors, inductors and capacitors in series and parallel. Ideal operational amplifiers and applications: inverting and noninverting amplifiers, summing amplifiers, current sources, integrators.

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  • Module content:

    *Attendance module only
    This module is offered at the end of the first year of study. The duration is at least two weeks during which the students receive practical training in computers and computer networks. The module may for practical reasons be offered in a different time slot (e.g. at the beginning of the next year of study).

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  • Module content:

    Introductory mathematics: Symbols, exponents, logarithms, angles in degrees, radial measure, goniometry, differentiation, and integration. Motion along a straight line: position and displacement, acceleration. Vectors: adding vectors, components, multiplying vectors. Motion in two and three dimensions: projectile motion, circular motion. Force and motion: Newton’s Law, force, friction. Kinetic energy and work: work, power. Potential energy: Centre of mass, linear momentum. Collisions: impulse and linear momentum, elastic collisions, inelastic collisions. Rotation: kinetic energy of rotation, torque.  Oscillations and waves: Simple harmonic motion, types of waves, wavelength and frequency, interference of waves, standing waves, the Doppler effect. Temperature, heat and the first law of thermodynamics.

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  • Module content:

    Social sciences: Perspectives on contemporary society
    An introduction to long-standing questions about the nature of human societies and contemporary challenges. Topics to be discussed include globalisation and increasing connectedness; rising unemployment, inequality and poverty; rapid urbanisation and the modern city form; transformations in the nature of work; environmental degradation and tensions between sustainability and growth; shifts in global power relations; the future of the nation-state and supra-national governance structures; and possibilities for extending human rights and democracy. Critical questions are posed about modern selfhood, sociality, culture and identity against the background of new communications technologies, ever more multicultural societies, enduring gender, class and race inequities, and the emergence of new and the resurgence of older forms of social and political identity. These issues are approached from the vantage of our location in southern Africa and the continent, drawing on social science perspectives.

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  • Module content:

    Humanities: Text, culture and communication
    Successful communication of ideas, values and traditions depends on understanding both the literal and implied meanings of texts. In this module students are introduced to a variety of texts, including original literary and visual texts, with a view to developing an understanding of how textual meanings have been constructed and negotiated over time. Students are encouraged to understand themselves as products of – and participants in – these traditions, ideas and values. Appropriate examples will be drawn from, among others, the Enlightenment, Modernism, Existentialism, Postmodernism and Post-colonialism.

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  • Module content:

    Equivalent force systems, resultants. Newton's laws, units. Forces acting on particles. Rigid bodies: principle of transmissibility, resultant of parallel forces. Vector moments and scalar moments. Relationship between scalar- and vector moments. Couples. Equivalent force systems on rigid bodies. Resultants of forces on rigid bodies. Equilibrium in two and three dimensions. Hooke's law. Trusses and frameworks. Centroids and second moments of area. Beams: distributed forces, shear force, bending moment, method of sections, relationship between load, shear force and bending moment.

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  • Module content:

    *This module is designed for first-year engineering students. Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 158, WTW 114, WTW 134, WTW 165.
    Introduction to vector algebra. Functions, limits and continuity. Differential calculus of single variable functions, rate of change, graph sketching, applications. The mean value theorem, the rule of L'Hospital. Indefinite integrals, integration.

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  • Module content:

    *This module is designed for first-year engineering students. Students will not be credited for more than one of the following modules for their degree: WTW 146, WTW 148 and WTW 124,

    Vector algebra with applications to lines and planes in space, matrix algebra, systems of linear equations, determinants, complex numbers, factorisation of polynomials and conic sections. Integration techniques, improper integrals. The definite integral, fundamental theorem of Calculus. Applications of integration. Elementary power series and Taylor’s theorem. Vector functions, space curves and arc lengths. Quadratic surfaces and multivariable functions.

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Minimum credits: 156

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Engineering systems are often subjected to variation, uncertainty and incomplete information. Mathematical statistics provides the basis for effectively handling and quantifying the effect of these factors. This module provides an introduction to the concepts of mathematical statistics and will include the following syllabus themes: data analysis, probability theory, stochastic modelling, statistical inference and  regression analysis.

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  • Module content:

    Data abstraction is a fundamental concept in the design and implementation of correct and efficient software. In prior modules, students are introduced to the basic data structures of lists, stacks and queues. This module continues with advanced data structures such as trees, hash tables, heaps and graphs, and goes into depth with the algorithms needed to manipulate them efficiently. Classical algorithms for sorting, searching, traversing, packing and game playing are included, with an emphasis on comparative implementations and efficiency. At the end of this module, students will be able to identify and recognise all the classical data structures; implement them in different ways; know how to measure the efficiency of implementations and algorithms; and have further developed their programming skills, especially with recursion and polymorphism.

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  • Module content:

    Transient response phenomena in RC, RL and RLC circuits: Natural response and step response. Alternating current (AC) circuits: Phasors, impedances, and power in AC circuits. The application of Ohm’s law, Kirchoff’s circuit theorems, matrix methods and Thevenin and Norton equivalents to sinusoidal steady-state analysis. Three-phase circuits: Balanced three-phase circuits, star/delta configurations, and three-phase power transfer calculations. Magnetically coupled circuits: Mutual inductance, coupling factor, transformers, ideal transformers and autotransformers. Application of circuit theory to an induction machine: basic principles of induction machines, equivalent circuit and analysis thereof, calculation of power and torque through application of Thevenin's theorem. Synoptic introduction to other types of machines.

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  • Module content:

    *Attendance module only
    This module is offered at the end of the second year of study. The duration is at least two weeks during which the students receive practical training in computers and computer networks. The module may for practical reasons be offered in a different time slot (e.g. at the beginning of the next year of study).

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  • Module content:

    Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with engineering audiences and the community at large. Written communication as evidenced by: uses appropriate structure, use of modern or electronic communication methods; style and language for purpose and audience; uses effective graphical support; applies methods of providing information for use by others involved in engineering activity; meets the requirements of the target audience. Effective oral communication as evidenced by appropriate structure, style and language; appropriate visual materials; delivers fluently; meets the requirements of the intended audience. Audiences range from engineering peers, management and lay persons, using appropriate academic or professional discourse. Typed reports range from short (300-1 000 word plus tables diagrams) to long (10 000-15 000 words plus tables, diagrams, references and appendices), covering material at exit level. Methods of providing information include the conventional methods of the discipline, for example engineering drawings, as well as subject-specific methods.

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  • Module content:

    Frequency domain analysis of linear time-invariant systems. Laplace, Fourier and Z-transforms applied to periodic, aperiodic and sampled signals; exponential and trigonometric Fourier series. Nyquist sampling theorem, transfer functions, poles and zeros, bandwidth and rise time, frequency response, impulse response, Bode diagrams, natural frequency, natural and forced response. Instability and oscillations. Computer simulation.

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  • Module content:

    This module is presented at the end of the first semester during the recess period and lasts for one week. The module serves as an introduction to programming and computer simulations using a high-level industry-standard programming language to develop and support programmatic problem solving skills. 

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to digital circuit design, digital representations of numbers, device electronics in digital circuits, representation and simplification of logic functions, components of combinational circuits, analysis and design of combinational circuits, components of sequential circuits, analysis and design of sequential circuits, programmable components for combinatorial and sequential logic.

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  • Module content:

    This module is integrated into all undergraduate academic programmes offered by the Faculty. Main objectives: execution of a community project aimed at achieving a beneficial impact on a section of society; awareness of personal, social and cultural values and an understanding of social issues; and development of life skills. Assessment: project proposal, written progress reports, peer assessment, assessment by community, presentation, report presented in the form of a blog.

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  • Module content:

    Introduction to materials: the family of materials, atomic structure and types of bonding, crystal types and space arrangement of atoms, directions and planes in crystals, defects in crystals, diffusion in solids. Mechanical properties of materials: stress and strain, mechanical testing (strength, ductility, hardness, toughness, fatigue, creep), plastic deformation, solid-solution hardening, recrystallisation.
    Polymeric materials: polymerisation and industrial methods, types of polymeric materials and their properties. Corrosion of metals: mechanisms and types of corrosion, corrosion rates, corrosion control. The heat treatment of steel: Fe-C phase diagram, equilibrium cooling, hardening and tempering of steel, stainless steel. Composite materials: Introduction, fibre reinforced polymeric composites, concrete, asphalt, wood.

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  • Module content:

    Linear algebra, eigenvalues and eigenvectors with applications to first and second order systems of differential equations. Sequences and series, convergence tests. Power series with applications to ordinary differential equations with variable coefficients. Fourier series with applications to partial differential equations such as potential, heat and wave equations.

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  • Module content:

    Theory and solution methods for linear differential equations as well as for systems of linear differential equations. Theory and solution methods for first order non-linear differential equations. The Laplace transform with application to differential equations. Application of differential equations to modelling problems.

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  • Module content:

    Calculus of multivariable functions, directional derivatives. Extrema. Multiple integrals, polar, cylindrical and spherical coordinates. Line integrals and the theorem of Green. Surface integrals and the theorems of Gauss and Stokes.

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  • Module content:

    Numerical integration. Numerical methods to approximate the solution of non-linear equations, systems of equations (linear and non-linear), differential equations and systems of differential equations. Direct methods to solve linear systems of equations.

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Minimum credits: 152

Core modules

  • Module content:

    Programme and systems engineering
    Concepts: Application of project management, systems thinking, systems approach, product, system and project life cycles, project phases and specification practices. Development models: stage-gate development, project charter, systems engineering models, systems engineering management and life cycle characteristics. Planning and Scheduling: task definition, work breakdown structures, duration estimation, Gantt charts, critical path, resource handling. Costs and Budgets: cost estimates, project life cycle costs, work authorisation. Control: project organisation. Legal: contracts, intellectual property. Case studies and semester project
    Engineering Economics
    Decision making in an engineering environment. Allocation of cost. Money-time relationships (discreet interest formulae, tables, financial calculator, Excel). Bases for comparison of alternatives (present worth, annual worth,). Decision making among alternatives before and after tax (useful lives equal to study period, useful lives different among alternatives).

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  • Module content:

    Practical application of neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms and expert systems. Introduction to pattern recognition, optimization and problemsolving using intelligent systems techniques.

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  • Module content:

    Modelling and simulation of physical systems. Block and signal flow diagrams. State variable formulation. Time and frequency domain analysis. Stability and sensitivity. Design methods, cascade (eg. PID) and feedback controllers.

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  • Module content:

    Basic Signals Theory, Transform theory (Fourier, Laplace and Z-transform) and Linear Systems. Overview of stochastic processes:  Stationarity and ergodicity.  Noise and channel models. Transmission effects. Definition of information and coding of analog information sources. Shannon’s Channel Capacity Theorem.  Introduction to channel (error) detection and correction coding: Block and Convolutional coding. Maximum-likelihood sequence decoding: The Viterbi algorithm. Analysis of digital modulation techniques in AWGN. Optimal Receiver design. Nyquist and Partial-Response systems. Power Spectral Density (PSD) of random data signals. Digital Transmission through band-limited channels: ISI, Nyquist criteria and equalizers. Data communication standards and protocols.  The focus will be on applications in the computer and network environments.

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  • Module content:

    *Attendance module only
    This module is offered at the end of the third year of study. The duration is at least two weeks during which the students receive practical training in computers and computer networks. The module may for practical reasons be offered in a different time slot (e.g. at the beginning of the next year of study).

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  • Module content:

    Introduction - electromagnetic spectrum, parameters of digital signals, circuit theory vs. microwave techniques;  Transmission lines - lumped element model, transmission line equations, wave propagation, lossless lines, input impedance, short and open circuited and ?/4 lines, power flow, transients, S-parameters; Electrodynamic fields - plane waves, propagation in dielectrics and conductors, shields, Lenz’s law, Faraday’s law, Maxwell’s equations, transformers, storage fields vs. radiation fields, near and far fields, mechanisms of radiation; Static electric and magnetic fields – sources of fields, voltage, electrostatic induction, capacitance, electric and magnetic dipoles, permittivity, permeability, conductivity, magnetic materials, etc.; Non-ideal components – non-ideal resistor, - inductor, - capacitor, - wires, high-frequency measurements; Electromagnetic compatibility – spectrum of digital signals, interference, PCB layout, PCB shielding, grounding methods, power supply decoupling, ground loops, differential and common mode radiation, cable shielding.

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  • Module content:

    Hardware based introduction to system designing microprocessors. General microprocessor architecture assembly language and limited C embedded code development, with specific focus on a RISC (Microchip PIC 18) and MIPS (Microchip PIC 32) type processor, memory interfacing and address decoding, microprocessor input/output and interfacing, general programming concepts, general microprocessor system design principles, current trends and new processors exposure to development boards and integrated development environments.

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  • Module content:

    Amplifier concepts: gain, input impedance, output impedance, bandwidth, cascaded stages. Amplifier power dissipation and power efficiency. Operational amplifiers: non-ideal, limitations, low power, programmable. Diode operational circuits: Logarithmic amplifiers, peak detector, clamp, absolute value, voltage regulators. Feedback and stability in amplifiers. Operational circuits: Instrumentation amplifiers, multipliers, oscillators, filters, translinear circuits, and sampling electronics.

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  • Module content:

    Software engineering deals with the application of engineering principles to develop and maintain high-quality software that is reliable and that works efficiently. Software engineering includes defining software requirements and performing software design, software construction, software testing, and software maintenance tasks. The module exposes students to various methodologies in the different stages of the software life cycle, the problems of group work, and software configuration management with versioning systems such as CVS. The student is exposed to object modelling techniques and languages such as UML, as well as advanced debugging and testing techniques.

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  • Module content:

    In this module, students are required to generate a creative system design through synthesis and integration of components and subsystems. Students have to acquire technical knowledge through independent learning, and demonstrate a competency to work in a technical design team to realise and demonstrate a working product. This practical component is augmented by theoretical instruction in the fundamentals of system engineering, industry standards and practices, PCB layout techniques, and packaging technology.

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  • Module content:

    Two exit learning outcomes (ELO) of ECSA are addressed and each must be passed in the same semester. ELO7: Demonstrate critical awareness of the impact of engineering activity on the social, industrial and physical environment. The history of engineering globally and in South Africa. Most important engineering projects globally and in South Africa. The impact of technology on society. Occupational and public health and safety. Occupational Health and Safety Act. Impacts on the physical environment. The personal, social, cultural values and requirements of those affected by engineering activity. The combination of social, workplace (industrial) and physical environmental factors are appropriate to the discipline of the qualification. ELO8: Demonstrate competence to work effectively on a small project as an individual, in teams and in multidisciplinary environments. Identifies and focuses on objectives. Works strategically. Executes tasks effectively. Delivers completed work on time. Effective team work: Makes individual contribution to team activity; performs critical functions; enhances work of fellow team members; benefits from support of team members; communicates effectively with team members; delivers completed work on time. Multidisciplinary work by the following: Acquires a working knowledge of co-workers’ discipline; uses a systems engineering approach; communicates across disciplinary boundaries. Report and presentation on team project. Tasks require co-operation across at least one disciplinary boundary. Students acquire a working knowledge of co-workers discipline. Students communicate between disciplinary boundaries.

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Minimum credits: 152

Core modules

  • Module content:

    This module aims to provide a strong foundation for allowing students to understand modern computer architectures and systems. Microarchitectures and instruction set architectures (ISAs) will be studied in detail, as well as computer memory types and their organisation. The study will also cover performance acceleration techniques such as caching and pipelining.
    Topics relating to parallel processing will be studied, including instruction level parallel processing (SIMD), multi-threading and multi-core processors as well as their synchronisation. Specialised architectures and techniques used in embedded processors (such as those found in smartphones) will be explored. The module also provides an overview of advanced computer communication buses, memory and storage systems prevalent in enterprise class computing (data centres), including topics such as: network-attached storage NAS, virtualisation, clusters, grid computing and cloud computing. Practicals will demonstrate various elements of computer architectures using VHDL.

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  • Module content:

    Commerce via the Internet, electronic payment systems, virtual organisations and electronic business. Introduction to data security, system security, network security, user considerations, firewalls, encryption, access control and social engineering.

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  • Module content:

    This module entails the individual completion of an engineering project from concept to delivery. The student must demonstrate independent mastery of an engineering project. The module focuses on the formulation of an engineering problem, the development of appropriate technical specifications, project planning and management and then completion of a technical project of a given nature, scope and complexity. The nature of projects is either mainly design (design, synthesis and testing) with a smaller component of investigation (experimental work and data analysis), or, alternatively, mainly investigation with a smaller component of design. As final step in the project, the student evaluates the final outcome of the design or investigation against the specifications and he/she also evaluates the impact of the project (social, legal, safety and environmental). Oral and written technical communication is evaluated as an important part of the module.

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  • Module content:

    Four weeks practice-orientated experience at any institution of the student’s choice (preferably in electrical, electronic or computer engineering).  The student must acquire experience in the working environment and more specifically work ethics, ecology, economy, punctuality, knowledge of human nature, etc.  One week after the commencement of the second semester the student must submit a report on the aspects of his/her work experience as determined by the Head of the Department.

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  • Module content:

    Specific niche areas from computer engineering are addressed within the context of a research project. The student should be able to demonstrate competence in designing and conducting investigations and experiments; to analyse the results; to select and use appropriate engineering tools and software; to interpret and derive information from the data; to draw conclusions based on evidence and to communicate the purpose, process and outcomes in a report.

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  • Module content:

    Fourier-Transform: revise the Discrete Fourier-Transform (DFT); Fast Fourier-Transform (FFT). Digital filters; cyclic convolution; overlap-and-add as well as overlap-and-save methods; design of FIR- and IIR-filters (incorporating the effect of finite word lengths). Implementation: computer architecture and DSP processors; Mapping of DSP algorithms onto DSP hardware. Projects: simulation (in C) and real-time implementation of selected signal processing algorithms on DSP hardware.

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  • Module content:

    Requirements to maintain continued competence and to keep abreast of up-to date tools and techniques. ECSA code of conduct, Continuing Professional Development, ECSA outcomes, ECSA process and reasons for registration as CEng and PrEng. Displays understanding of the system of professional development. Accepts responsibility for own actions. Displays judgment in decision making during problem solving and design. Limits decision making to area of current competence. Reason about and make judgment on ethical aspects in case study context. Discerns boundaries of competence in problem solving and design. Case studies typical of engineering practice situations in which the graduate is likely to participate.

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