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MSc Satellite Communications Engineering

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University of Surrey
Faculty of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Full-time: 12 months, Part-time: up to 48 months
An honours degree in electronic engineering, mathematics, computing or physical sciences. Our minimum entry level is a 2.2 from a good UK university, or overseas equivalent. Relevant industrial experience will also be considered.English language requirements-IELTS minimum overall: 6.5-IELTS minimum by component: 6.0
UK/EU- £6720 FT, £560 per 15 credits PT, Overseas- £15765 FT, £1310 per 15 credits
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Masters study type: Full time Masters study type: Part time

Surrey is at the forefront of satellite communications research and training. This MSc is unique in Europe in equipping students with the necessary background to enter the satellite industry or to continue onto a research degree.

We have a unique concentration of academic staff experienced in the satellite area, as well as developed contacts with all the major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers. Industry participates in the MSc programme in both lecturing and projects, and facilitates excellent engagement for our students.

Our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, is situated close by on the Surrey Research Park and provides ready access to satellite production and industrial facilities. In addition, we have a strategic relationship with EADS Astrium Europe-wide and several other major communications companies. Graduates from this MSc are to be found in key positions in the satellite industry and continue to be much in demand.

Compulsory Modules
Satellite Communications A
This module covers the basics of satellite communication systems and provides the student with the knowledge to design a complete system. It covers earth stations, satellite types, regulation of the spectrum and interference, the propagation channel, air interfaces, and fixed and mobile applications. A feature of the module is coverage of the satellite business, major players, financial and business planning. A key element of the module is the assignment on a real system design which replicates what has to be done in the industry.

Spacecraft Systems Design
This module covers the basics of the space environment and spacecraft design. It includes orbit dynamics, power production and conditioning, thermal design, attitude and orbit control, launching and launchers. Detailed system design for communications, earth observation payloads and mission analysis are covered in the module.

Satellite Communications B
This is a more advanced communications module building on Satellite Communications A and giving state-of-the-art aspects of air interface (modulation/coding) and inclusion in DVB and ETSI standards; satellite broadcasting to fixed and mobile terminals; broadband access and vsats; non-geostationary constellations and operations with mobile terminals; networking issues of IP over satellite and security; radio resource management and MAC; advanced payload design including multibeam antennas and on-board processing, as well as inter satellite links.

Spacecraft Bus Subsystems
This module covers the principles, technology and operation of a spacecraft’s key bus, or platform, systems and how the space and mission environments constrain these. These bus systems include the craft's power system, thermal control system, communications and data handling system, and its mechanical and propulsion systems.

General Optional Modules
Students can select from a list of fundamental discipline-based options, either to fill in gaps in their undergraduate knowledge or to get a deeper understanding of a discipline. Areas covered are: Antennas and Propagation; Digital Communications; Mathematics of Signal Processing; Packet and Telecommunications Networks; and RF Systems and Circuits. These modules are aimed at a basic theoretical understanding rather than practice.

Specific Optional Modules
These specific optional modules allow the student to customise the MSc to their personal interests or orientate to a particular job market. Thus a communications route would take Data and Internet Networking and Network and Service Management and Control to incorporate satellite networks. Alternatively, if your interest is in satellite/spacecraft production and manufacturing, then modules on Advanced Guidance, Navigation and Control, Dynamics and Control of Spacecraft, Launch Vehicles and Propulsion, and Space Robotics would be preferred.

These modules are detailed and state of the art in each area.

The above gives you a wide range of possibilities for personalising an MSc that suits your individual needs.

Programme Structure
Our MSc programmes are made up of eight taught modules. Each module is worth 15 credits. A project, worth 60 credits, runs over the year. This brings the total to 180 credits for the programme.

Your project is chosen in Semester 1 and work on it begins in Semester 2 on a part-time basis. In the summer, you will be working on your project on a full-time basis, with final report and a viva voce assessment conducted at the end of the semester.

Professional recognition
As an Institution of Engineering and Technology-accredited institution, our programmes are admissible under the continuing professional development (CPD) scheme.

Visit the MSc Satellite Communications Engineering page on the University of Surrey web site for more details!

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