• raspberry pi
  • National Centre for Computing Education logo

Design and Prototype Embedded Computer Systems

Discover embedded system design and work your way through the product design lifecycle. Supported by Google.

5,256 enrolled on this course

Educators are currently active on this course

A set of embedded systems such as a smartwatch, a smartspeaker, and a washing machine, overlaid on a pattern of flow charts.
The CPD Certification Service

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles. Find out more.

Learn how to design your own embedded system

On this course from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, you will explore how embedded systems are used in the world around us.

You will learn what makes an embedded system different from a general purpose system (such as a PC) and discover how embedded systems are specialised for a particular use case.

As you explore the iterative design process, you will discover how the purpose of a system affects how it is designed, from choosing its components to the look of the final product. You will also investigate the design of an algorithm and, ultimately, design your own embedded system.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds So you’ve got an idea for a physical computing project. What hardware should you choose? What materials will you use? This free course will teach you about the differences between embedded and general-purpose computer systems, how to design and prototype your projects, and how to create robust design documents. You’ll take part in practical activities to decompose problems, write algorithms to develop your ideas, and apply an iterative design process to help you create a better product. This three-week course also contains peer-led discussions, trainer interaction, and feedback on your knowledge as you progress. You can learn whenever and wherever you want.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 seconds So whether you’re a teacher with students of your own or simply curious about design and physical computing, this course will help you understand the key characteristics of embedded systems and bring your projects to life. Sign up now at rpf.io/embeddedsystems.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 seconds [CLICK]

What topics will you cover?

  • The difference between embedded systems and general-purpose systems
  • How to decompose a product into features, tasks, and components using a block diagram
  • What is real-time computing is and why is it important?
  • How to apply an iterative design process
  • Prototyping
  • Designing a finished physical product
  • Connecting a device to the internet to provide functionality

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 3 May 2022 - 27 May 2022

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Compare embedded systems to general-purpose systems
  • Investigate the design of a smartwatch as an example of an embedded system
  • Apply a design process to both an algorithm and a whole product
  • Develop a prototype of an embedded system

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teachers delivering lessons on embedded systems in the classroom, at a GCSE level or equivalent.

This course will also be of interest to those with some experience of physical computing who want to move on to creating their own products.

Who will you learn with?

MrC is a teacher, maker, hacker & an avid breaker of stuff. (He usually breaks it better.) As one of the gizmologists at the RPF & part of MakeSpace Outreach Squad, he knows a thing or two about tech.

Who developed the course?

Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world, so they are capable of understanding and shaping our increasingly digital world.

National Centre for Computing Education

This course is part of our professional development teacher programme for the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE). Our nationally-recognised certificates cater for all levels of teaching.

Funded by the Department for Education and supporting partners, we aim to transform the way computing is taught in schools across England, and enable more young people to benefit from studying this important subject.

Endorsers and supporters

supported by

Google logo
Recommended

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe to Unlimited

Join with limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$49

One-off payment

$27.99/month

Automatically renews

Free

Unlock your expertiseAccess hundreds of coursesTry this course - with limits
Access to this courseticktickLimited to 3 weeks
Access to ALL eligible coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Buy this course

Ways to learn

Subscribe to Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses or buy just this course for extra benefits. Or, join with limited access.

Subscribe to Unlimited

$27.99/month

Automatically renews

Access hundreds of courses

  • Access to this course
  • Access to ALL eligible short courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Buy this course

$49

One-off payment

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Join with limited access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 3 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #RPiLearn to talk about this course on social media.