Andrea Hodanova from Brno, Czech Republic, graduated with distinction from the MSc Emdedded Systems Design in 2012.
I opted for this University because it is a university with a long tradition in teaching technology. I really liked the fact that the University has 100 years of experience in college and university education. I also wanted to go to Wales, which is a lovely country.
About the Course
I chose Embedded Systems Design because the modules for this degree included both programming of microcontrollers in C and ASIC/FPGA design in VHDL, which I think prepares you for a wide range of careers from Embedded Software Designers to Hardware Designers, Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers. The knowledge taught in this course is very versatile in today’s world of electronics.
The best thing about the course
You will learn to use state-of-the-art software tools that potential employers use. These include ModelSim for digital systems simulation or Xilinx tools for hardware synthesis. There is also a laboratory equipped with Renesas kits and software for embedded programming. All of these tools are well known in the industry and a lot of companies expect their potential employees to know how to use them.
I enjoyed all of the modules. My favourite module of the first term, however, was a module that goes beyond pure electronics: a module about product management. I had never have a module on product management or management in general and I found it very useful from practical point of view. I got to know the processes behind the launch of an electronic product on the market.
In the second term, my favourite module was about VHDL. I had known a bit of the VHDL language already, but this module was a good summary of all the important features of the language with an emphasis on practical use in labs and assignments.
I also loved the dissertation, because I could choose a topic of my own. I chose robotics and designed a robot. I used knowledge from four different modules in this project.
The teachers are very patient and nice and they are very erudite in the field of electronics. I liked the approach of Mr David Scammel who was also my dissertation tutor. I also enjoyed the superb presentation skills of Mr Clive Thomas from Product Management, the profound knowledge of hardware design of Mr Iain Shewring and the patience and care of Mr Mike Price.
About the life at the University
I stayed in private accommodation, but I went to the campus very often not only to the classes, but also to the Student Union building in the evenings. I enjoyed the varied programme of the Basement and had a lot of fun there. I took part in events for international students, the best of which was the International Welcome Week. I also attended Welsh classes to learn some Welsh. At first I was afraid of it, but it was fun in the end. I can recommend it to everyone, even international students like me.
I think that the year I spent here (abroad and far from my parents) has taught me to be more independent and self-sufficient. I feel more prepared for a career in Electronics of IT than with a BSc only. I think the University has taught me the fundamentals of academic research as well and I am thinking about an academic career as well.
In my opinion
The Embedded Systems Design course is a useful combination of modules that teach you electronics at masters level. I think that this particular course is the best Electronics course at the University. I wouldn’t omit a single module from the plan, all of them are very useful from the career point of view.
My plans for the future
Having received an MSc in Electronics, I would like to broaden my knowledge in other closely related fields. At the moment, I am finishing an MSc in Information Technology in the Czech Republic. After that, I am hesitating between a PhD and a job in a company.
Writing this article about my studies brings back a lot of memories of the life in Treforest and of my friends. The best moment of my studies was when I finished my dissertation and had it printed. I felt so proud when I held the two copies in my hands and went to submit them that I did not want to let them go.