The MSc in Compound Semiconductor Electronics has been designed to provide you with advanced level knowledge and skills in compound semiconductor engineering, fabrication and applications, and to develop related skills, enhancing your engineering competency and employability.
This programme is jointly delivered with the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS). The ICS is an exciting new development at the cutting edge of compound semiconductor technology. The Institute has been established in partnership with IQE plc, to capitalise on the existing expertise at Cardiff University and to move academic research to a point where it can be introduced reliably and quickly into the production environment. It is unique facility in the UK, and aims to create a global hub for compound semiconductor technology research, development and innovation.
As a student on this programme, you will have the opportunity to undertake a 3-month summer project which will be based either within the Institute for Compound Semiconductors, or in placement with one of our industrial partners. We have strong, long-established industrial links with companies such as National Instruments and Mesuro and are therefore able to offer a portfolio of theoretical, practical, fabrication and applications-centred projects in both academic and industrial placement environments.
Our flexible curriculum contains a robust set of required modules and a number of elective modules which include the latest results, innovations and techniques and are designed to incorporate the most effective teaching and learning techniques.
Upon graduation, you will have the training, skill-sets and hands-on experience you need to succeed in the dynamic and highly competitive fields of compound semiconductors and advanced communications systems. Given the University’s unique position at the forefront of compound semiconductor technology, you will have a distinct advantage when applying for PhD studentships or employment in industry.
The MSc in Compound Semiconductor Electronics is a two-stage programme delivered over three semesters (autumn, spring, and summer) for a total of 180 credits.
• Stage 1: Autumn/Spring terms (120 credits, taught)
You will undertake required modules totaling 70 credits, covering essential skills.
You will additionally have the choice of 50 credits of optional modules from a total of 100 credits, with each module covering specialist skills.
You must successfully complete the 120 credits of the taught component of the course before you will be permitted to progress to the research project component.
• Stage 2: Summer term (60 credits, dissertation/research project)
The summer semester consists of a single 60 credit research project module of 3 months’ duration. You will be required to produce a research dissertation to the required standard in order to complete this module. Students completing Stages 1 and 2 will qualify for the award of the MSc degree.
High Frequency Device Physics and Design
RF Circuits Design & CAD
Management in Industry
Software Tools and Simulation
Compound Semiconductor Fabrication
Compound Semiconductors Research Project
Fundamentals of Micro- and Nanotechnology
High Frequency Electronic Materials
HF and RF Engineering
Magnetism, Superconductivity and their Applications
Low Dimensional Semiconductor Devices
Quantum Theory of Solids
Compound Semiconductor Application Specific Photonic Integrated Circuits
A wide range of teaching styles will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum.
Lectures can take a variety of forms depending on the subject material being taught. Generally, lectures are used to convey concepts, contextualise research activities in the School and to demonstrate key theoretical, conceptual and mathematical methods.
You will practice and develop critique, reflective, analytical and presentational skills by participating in diverse learning activities such as research group meetings, seminars and open group discussions. At all times you will be encouraged to reflect on what you have learned and how it can be combined with other techniques and concepts to tackle novel problems.
In the practical laboratory sessions, you will put the breadth of your knowledge and skills to use, whether that be using your coding skills to automate a laboratory experiment, designing components for a large piece of equipment or troubleshooting research hardware. The emphasis on the MSc in Compound Semiconductor Electronics is squarely on acquiring and demonstrating practical skills which will be of use in a research environment and hence highly sought-after by employers.
When working on your dissertation you will be allocated a supervisor from among our teaching staff. Dissertation topics are typically chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest, although students are encouraged to put forward their own project ideas. Projects may also come forward from potential employers and industrial partners who may be able to offer work-based placements for the duration of the project work.
Multiple assessment methods are used in order to enhance learning and accurately reflect your performance on the course. In the required modules, a mixture of problem-based learning, in-lab assessment, written assignment, simulation exercises, written and oral examinations and group-based case study work will be used.
Feedback provided by your MSc Tutor, Module Leaders and for some modules, your fellow students will allow you to make incremental improvements to the development of your core skillset.
The methods used on the optional modules vary depending on the most appropriate assessment method for each module, but typically include written and/or practical assignments together with a written and/or oral examination.
An MSc in Compound Semiconductor Electronics will open up opportunities in the following areas:
• Technical, research, development and engineering positions in industrial compound semiconductors, silicon semiconductors and advanced communication systems;
• Theoretical, experimental and instrumentational doctoral research;
• Numerate, technical, research, development and engineering positions in related scientific fields;
• Physics, mathematics and general science education.
Cardiff University’s unique position at the forefront of compound semiconductor technology will provide you with the opportunity to develop experience and build contacts with a range of leading companies and organisations.
There will be a number of industrial placements each year for the summer research project module, which will either be hosted at the Institute for Compound Semiconductors or at the industrial partner’s facilities. The number and nature of these projects will vary from year to year and will be assigned based on performance in formal assessments.