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Course content

RF and microwave engineering helps to make many aspects of our day-to-day lives possible, from mobile phones and Wi-Fi, through to radios and radar systems.

Here at Surrey, we are one of the few institutions with the expertise and facilities to give you hands-on experience in radio frequency and microwave devices. Your teaching will be backed up and informed by pioneering research in wireless communications, space technology, and advanced gigahertz and terahertz microwave technologies. This course emphasises radio and microwave communications in 5G and beyond as well as many industries in the space and defence sector.

What you will study

There is a high demand for skilled radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineers in the communications, space, aerospace, automotive industries, among others. On our course, you’ll learn about a range of modern theories and practical design techniques which form the essential knowledge and skills you need to become an RF engineer.

You’ll experience RF systems and circuits across the frequency spectrum, ranging from radio frequency identification, working at a few megahertz, through to mmWave frequencies (at tens of gigahertz) which are relevant to satellite communications and advanced 5G radio. 

Theoretical concepts established in lectures are complemented by practical implementation in laboratory sessions, with direct experience of industry-standard computer-aided design software.

Academic year structure

If you wish to study the full-time course, you will take eight modules. You can expect four modules to be studied in each semester. In these semesters, you will also apply for and agree a project with an academic supervisor and begin work on the project. You will move on to full-time work on this project after the end of Semester 2. After this, you have approximately two and a half months to complete the work and write your dissertation. 

If you’re considering doing our course part time, you’ll study for between two to five years. The length depends on how many modules you study each year. You will study between two and six modules per year. For part-time study, we’d recommend that you do your project in your final year. This will be after you have completed all eight modules or at a time when they are near completion. 

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Study and work abroad

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Academic support

We provide solid academic support through our taught modules and into the project period. You will be assigned a personal tutor with whom you can discuss both academic and general issues related to the course. When you move into the project phase of the course, you will be assigned a project supervisor who you will meet, usually on a weekly basis, to discuss the progress of your project.

The individual taught modules also feature strong academic support, usually through a tutorial programme. All of the RF and microwave modules have tutorial sheets to support the lectures. It’s also worth noting that a number of our course modules give you opportunities to engage in interactive learning through computer-aided design and practical laboratories. 

Although completing the tutorials is not part of the formal assessment, you have the option of using the tutorials to receive individual feedback on your progress in the modules.


Our Department has three pioneering research centres which involve RF and microwave work: The Institute for Communication Systems (home of the 5G Innovation Centre), the Advanced Technology Institute (owner of the n3m Laboratories); and Surrey Space Centre (founder of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.). All of your teaching and project supervision will be inspired by and delivered out of one of these research centres.

Graduate prospects

Highly skilled RF engineers are highly sought after in the industry, so as a successful graduate of this course you will have plenty of opportunities to pursue a rewarding career. Past employers have included Telefonica, Qinetiq and Ericsson.

Visit the RF and Microwave Engineering (MSc) page on the University of Surrey website for more details!





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