Students who wish to study Computer Engineering apply to the Engineering degree (TR032). The first two years are common to all
Engineering students and at the end of the second-year students select Computer Engineering as their specialist area.
A computer engineer has mastered the necessary knowledge of mathematics and systems to tackle a whole range of real world problems. Layered on top of these fundamentals is a set of specialist skills in computing that range from how a computer is designed and constructed to the application of computing power to solve a range of problems from social media to navigation, from medicine to space travel, and many more besides.
The impact of computer engineering has been more significant and more pervasive than that of many other disciplines. The smart phone, tablet computers, the Internet and games consoles are all products that were not even imagined 30 years ago, but have now been realised by the ingenuity of computer engineers.
Computer engineers may design computer hardware, write computer programs, integrate the various sub-systems together or do all three. They need good people skills as they often get quickly promoted to management positions.
The School of Computer Science and Statistics which runs the Computer Engineering programme is the oldest computer science department in Ireland with more than 60 academics and over 300 postgraduate students. The School is highly respected internationally for the quality of its research and many of the staff who will teach you are among the world’s leading experts in their fields. Some famous start-up companies associated with the School are Iona Technologies, Havok, Demonware and DAFT.
The demand for software and system designers will continue to grow within the next decade. When you graduate you will find opportunities for employment in software companies, financial institutions, large industrial organisations, research institutions and multinationals in Ireland as well as in Europe, the US and Asia.
Your degree and what you’ll study In the third year, you will learn how computer systems are constructed from the ground up. You will study low-level assembly language programming to develop a deep understanding of what lies beneath the C++ and Java programs you have written in earlier years. How Operating systems (such as Windows, iOS and Linux) regulate access to hardware and how networks build from simple point-to-point links up to global networks like the Internet are also studied both in theory and in the form of experiments. Encryption and other security-related topics are also covered.
By the time you get to the fourth year, you are ready to undertake a major individual Capstone project which you can choose from and extensive menu offered by staff or you can opt to take an internship with an employer in the computer industry (multi-national, local company or start-up). You can choose from a range of modules exploring how computers can render complex graphics, how they can see and understand video images and how this can be used with headset hardware for augmented reality. The ability of computers to harvest, store and process huge amounts of complex data is central to Computer Engineering, as are the energy and sustainability aspects of operating large cloud computing centres. You can further explore how hackers break into computer systems and how to defend against attack.
The fifth (optional) year leads to a master’s degree (M.A.I.) in engineering and it is here that students get to carry out a major dissertation on a topic of their choice. This is a chance to really become a world-class expert in your favourite topic, researching what others have done across the world and building a hardware or software prototype that demonstrates this. As with the fourth year project, the topic could be anything from helping to manage huge cloud computing facilities through novel face-recognition algorithms to uncovering fraud in bitcoin transactions.
To support your work on the Capstone project you can take a number of optional courses in the first semester including: Fuzzy Logic; Formal Methods; Advanced Computer Architecture; Embedded Systems; Distributed Systems; Networked Applications; Artificial Intelligence; Real Time Animation. For more detail on what is covered in each module, please visit: www.tcd.ie/engineering/current-students.
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