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Course content

Why this course?

This full-time course covers the theoretical and practical aspects of communications theory and networks, fundamental control technology and digital signal processing (DSP). All these topics are critical to the information and communications age.

You’ll gain an advanced knowledge of the principles of the communications, control and DSP domains. You’ll also develop an understanding of the current and future developments and technologies within these three disciplines.

Along with full accreditation from the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), this course will enable you to capitalise on job opportunities across a range of sectors including:

  • control
  • telecommunications
  • signal processing
  • electronics
  • IT user companies

EDF Energy, Siemens and Texas Instruments are just some of the multinationals where our graduates have secured positions.

You’ll study

You’ll take two semesters of compulsory and optional taught classes. These are followed by a three-month research project in your chosen area. Opportunities exist to do the project through the department's competitive MSc industrial internships.

The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners including Selex ES, ScottishPower, SmarterGridSolutions. You'll address real-world engineering challenges facing the partner, with site visits, access and provision of relevant technical data and/or facilities provided, along with an industry mentor and academic supervisor.


We’ve a wide range of excellent teaching spaces including interactive classrooms and brand new state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with the latest technologies including:

  • White Space Communications Facility
  • Hyperspectral Imaging Centre
  • DG Smith Radio Frequency Laboratory

You’ll have access to our IT facilities including web based resources, wireless internet and free email. There’s an IT support team to help with all your needs.


The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) - this programme is CEng accredited and fulfils the educational requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer when presented with a CEng accredited Bachelors programme.

Learning & teaching

We use a blend of teaching and learning methods including interactive lectures, problem-solving tutorials and practical project-based laboratories. Our technical and experimental officers are available to support and guide you on individual subject material.

Each module comprises approximately five hours of direct teaching per week. To enhance your understanding of the technical and theoretical topics covered in these, you're expected to undertake a further five to six hours of self-study, using our web-based virtual learning environment (MyPlace), research journals and library facilities.

The teaching and learning methods used ensure you'll develop not only technical engineering expertise but also communications, project management and leadership skills.

Industry engagement

Interaction with industry is provided through our internships, teaching seminars and networking events. The department delivers monthly seminars to support students’ learning and career development.

Xilinx, Texas Instruments, MathWorks, and Selex ES are just a few examples of the industry partners you can engage with during your course.


A variety of assessment techniques are used throughout the course. You'll complete at least six modules. Each module has a combination of written assignments, individual and group reports, oral presentations, practical lab work and, where appropriate, an end-of-term exam.

Assessment of the summer research project consists of four elements, with individual criteria: 

  1. Interim report (10%, 1,500 to 3,000 words) – The purpose of this report is to provide a mechanism for supervisors to provide valuable feedback on the project’s objectives and direction.
  2. Poster Presentation (15%) – A vital skill of an engineer is the ability to describe their work to others and respond to requests for information. The poster presentation is designed to give you an opportunity to practise that.
  3. Final report (55%) – This assesses the communication of project objectives and context, accuracy and relevant of background material, description of practical work and results, depth and soundness of discussion and conclusions, level of engineering achievement and the quality of the report’s presentation.
  4. Conduct (20%) - Independent study, project and time management are key features of university learning. The level of your initiative & independent thinking and technical understanding are assessed through project meetings with your supervisor and your written logbooks.


By concentrating on three distinct disciplines, this course enables you to capitalise on job opportunities across a range of sectors including control, telecommunications, signal processing, electronics and IT user companies. Globalisation of the communications, electronic & digital sectors means if graduates wish to work abroad, this course provides an ideal passport to anywhere in the world.

Almost all of our graduates secure jobs by the time they have completed their course. They have gained professional and technical occupations with international companies such as Samsung, MathsWorks, Nokia and Texas Instruments, as well as joining Wolfson Microelectronics, Seles ES and Linn Products in the UK.

Increasingly, graduates of this course also play leading roles in the power and renewable energy sectors, supporting data analytics, information transmission and security for organisations such as EDF Energy, Siemens & Petrofac Engineering.

Job titles include:

  • Graduate controls engineer
  • Graduate software engineer
  • Lecturer
  • Plant controls graduate

Employers include:

  • FTDI
  • MacDonald Humfrey (Automation)
  • Mehran University of Engineering
  • Vestas

Visit the Communications, Control & Digital Signal Processing MSc page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!





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