Our MSc in Communications, Networks and Software covers the key aspects of the changing Internet environment, in particular the convergence of computing and communications underpinned by software-based solutions.
Some of our students undertaking their project are able to work on one of our wide range of testbeds, such as internet technologies, wireless networking, network management and control, and internet-of-things (IoT) applications.
We also have specialist software tools for assignments and project work, including OPNET, NS2/3, and various system simulators.
Read about the experience of a previous student on this course, Efthymios Bliatis.
This programme is studied full-time over 12 months or part-time from 24 to 60 months. It consists of eight taught modules and a project.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The taught postgraduate degree programmes of the Department are intended both to assist with professional career development within the relevant industry and, for a small number of students, to serve as a precursor to academic research.
Our philosophy is to integrate the acquisition of core engineering and scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills (where relevant).
To fulfil these objectives, the programme aims to:
A graduate from this MSc Programme should:
We have a full range of software support for assignments and project work, including:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
This course is for students who want to become professionals in computer networks and modern telecommunications fields.
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques used to transmit digital information, modern computer network design and operation, communication protocols and the importance of standards and regulatory issues
These subjects are supplemented by modules in technical and administration management techniques and by an industry-sponsored seminar course.
MSc students also undertake an individual project.
This course covers a comprehensive range of topics split in to four large modules worth 30 credits each plus the MSc Project.
External speakers from blue-chip and local companies will give seminars to complement your learning, that will be real-world case studies related to the subjects you are studying in your modules. These are designed to improve the breadth of your learning and often lead to ideas that you can develop for your MSc Project.
MSc (one year full-time or two years part-time)
PgDip (nine months full-time or one year and six months part-time)
MSc (one year and four months full-time)
PgDip (one year full-time)
Teaching will be in the form of lectures, individual and group class work, plus topical and relevant participative class discussions and critical evaluation using case studies
Laboratories will be used to provide you with hand-on experience of using and setting up network systems. Tutorials will be used to give you practice in solving theoretical and design problems associated with network technologies and network systems.
Over the programme, the assessment of the taught modules is as follows:
Graduates with experience of computer network systems and digital communications are in demand in all industrial and commercial sectors.
The employment record for the MSc is good, with students obtaining jobs in traditional telecommunication companies, software development companies and companies in the service and commercial sectors.
Typical jobs range from network design engineers, network maintenance, software development, systems design and integration, marketing, after-sales support and technical support.
We have links with companies such as large companies such as BT, Talk Talk, Motorolla, BBC, CICSO and local companies like i-wimax.
These companies engage with the University by giving guest seminars and often our students will work with them on their MSc Project.
Many of our graduates will go on to further study in our Computer Networks and Telecommunications Research Centre (CNTR)
The CNTR undertakes both pure and applied research in the general field of telecommunications and computer networking including computer networking technologies, wireless systems, networked multimedia applications, quality of service, mobile networking, intelligent buildings, context driven information systems, smart environments and communication protocols. Much of this work is funded through research grants and supported by industry. In addition, members of the group are actively involved in a range of public engagement programmes which aim to raise the awareness of these subjects for the general public and in schools.
Research themes in this Centre include:
You will have access to a dedicated computer networks lab which is equipped with industry standard equipment. In addition to PC equipment, the lab contains a set of switches, routers, servers, wireless equipment, testing tools and analysers which help you in building various data networks.
Various software tools and simulation packages are also available in the school's labs for you to use in your assignment and final projects. Such tools enable you to design and test data networks in simulated environments allowing you to experiment with your design before implementing the real network. The course is also supported by other facilities including PC suites, library, programming and office packages and a virtual learning environment.
The communications sector has changed dramatically in the past 5 years, as mobile internet, smartphones and associated apps such as social media, commerce and digital media have spurred an information revolution.
This programme responds to the growth of networks and mobile internet applications, allowing you to study traditional communications theory alongside modules dealing with network security and the protocols for high-speed switches and routers.
You’ll build your knowledge of new developments in data-centric networking and the growing trend in cloud computing and online services, such as web-search, video content hosting and distribution, social networking and large-scale computations. Optional modules will allow you to specialise in topics appropriate to your interests and career plans.
It’s a chance to gain specialist knowledge and skills that will be in demand over a wide range of disciplines, from the traditional communications industries to banking, finance and commerce.
Our School is an exciting and stimulating environment where you’ll learn from leading researchers in specialist facilities. Depending on your research project, these may include our Keysight Technologies wireless communications lab, as well as labs for embedded systems, power electronics and drives, ultrasound and bioelectronics.
There’s also a Terahertz photonics lab, class 100 semiconductor cleanroom, traffic generators and analysers, FPGA development tools, sensor network test beds. We have facilities for electron-beam lithography and ceramic circuit fabrication – and a III-V semiconductor molecular beam epitaxy facility.
The Faculty is also home to the £4.3 million EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, set to make us a world leader in robot design and construction.
The programme is built around a set of core modules that develop your knowledge across both semesters. You’ll build your understanding of topics like communication network design, high-speed internet architecture, optical communications networks, data communications and the issues surrounding network security.
If you have no experience of C programming, you’ll also take a module that will equip you with these skills. However, if you do, you could choose to take a specialist module on software development instead. In addition, you’ll choose from optional modules on topics such as digital media engineering, cellular mobile communication systems and even applications of this technology in the medical sector.
To build your understanding of the global electronics industry, you’ll also complete a dissertation. This could take the form of a business, manufacturing or outsourcing plan, a proposal for research funding or an essay on a specific aspect of the industry.
Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
Career prospects are excellent. There is a wide range of career opportunities in all aspects of the communications industry, and the skills learned here will also be generic to allow employment in other sectors such as finance, banking, general manufacturing, etc.
Graduates from our School have pursued careers with organisations like Cisco Systems, General Electric, Huawei, Ericsson Telecommunications, Intel Corp., Technology and Strategy Board, Wabtec Rail UK, AECOM and Orascom Telecom.
Some graduates also choose the path of academic research and therefore subsequently undertake a PhD.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.