Short courses


Internet of Things (IoT): Introduction to Understanding and Designing IoT Systems

  • 150 hours
  • 8 weeks (9am to 1pm each Monday) + optional assignment


This short course is designed to give you the technical knowledge and skills to build Internet of Things (IoT) systems.

It's highly practical, with 75% of the technical content delivered during lab sessions. In these sessions you'll do exercises involving system design, device programming and cloud development.

The course is aimed at those with a background in electronic engineering or related subjects.

It's run by UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Who this course is for

The course is aimed at those who already have:

  • a background in electronic engineering or a related subject
  • an understanding of basic networking
  • some software (coding) experience

You don't need any specific qualifications to take this course, but the following would be an advantage: 

  • Knowledge of basic electronics (for example, ADCs/DACs, PWM, voltage dividers)
  • Familiarity with networking and TCP/IP
  • Experience programming Arduino and/or Raspberry Pi devices
  • Experience programming in HTML and/or JavaScript

Course content

The following topics will be covered during the course:

1.    Introduction to the Internet of Things

  • What is the IoT and why is it important?
  • Elements of an IoT ecosystem
  • Technology and business drivers
  • IoT applications, trends and implications

2.    Sensors and sensor nodes

  • Sensing components and devices
  • Sensor modules, nodes and systems

3.    Connectivity and networks

  • Wireless technologies for the IoT
  • Edge connectivity and protocols
  • Wireless sensor networks

4.    Analytics and applications

  • Signal processing, real-time and local analytics
  • Databases, cloud analytics and applications

5.    IoT lab exercises

  • Local processing on the sensor nodes
  • Connecting devices at the edge and to the cloud
  • Setting up wireless mesh networks
  • Processing and analysing data offline and in the cloud


This is an intensive, highly interactive and very hands-on course. Over 75% of course material is delivered through flipped lectures. (This means you'll need to carry out pre-work and read the background theory before coming to the sessions.) Most of the contact sessions are workshops in which you'll actively work on programming and development tasks.

A systems engineering approach is adopted throughout the course. You'll review key technologies employed at different levels of the IoT stack and how they're integrated to form complete IoT systems.

You'll be introduced to a number of devices, platforms and software tools from different vendors. These include, but are not limited to, Texas Instruments (TI), ARM, Dust Networks and IBM.

Some examples of the tools used include:

  • Devices: TI CC3200 Launchpad
  • Connectivity: Dust Networks SmartMesh IP 
  • Edge programming: TI Energia 
  • Cloud development: IBM Cloud, including NodeRED, Watson IoT, Watson Studio

Structure and assessment

The course runs over eight weeks, with an optional assessment.

Classes will be held from 9am to 1pm every Monday.


If you complete the course but not the optional assessment, you'll receive a certificate of attendance.

If you take and pass the assessment you'll get a certificate stating this, which includes your pass level.

Benefits of UCL's Electronics and Electrical Engineering CPD courses

You can take this course as a standalone (one-off) course/module, or accumulate it towards a Master's degree (up to two standalone modules can be transferred towards the flexible Master's degree).

Benefits to the employee
The programme offers the opportunity for professional people working in the telecommunications industry to develop their career, be able to respond to changes in their environment, and learn while they earn. It's also designed to give you the opportunity of working towards an MSc qualification from an academic institution whose quality is recognised world-wide.

Benefits to employers
Our flexible CPD courses enhance staff motivation and assists in the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff. It enables your company to keep ahead of the competition by tapping into world-leading research, and to profit from UCL's world class Telecommunications and Business expertise.

View the full range of related courses available.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, you should be able to:

  • explain the definition and usage of the term “Internet of Things” in different contexts
  • understand the key components that make up an IoT system
  • differentiate between the levels of the IoT stack and be familiar with the key technologies and protocols employed at each layer of the stack
  • apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the course to build and test a complete, working IoT system involving prototyping, programming and data analysis
  • understand where the IoT concept fits within the broader ICT industry and possible future trends
  • appreciate the role of big data, cloud computing and data analytics in a typical IoT system

Course information last modified: 20 Jan 2020, 09:13