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Satellites give us an unprecedented perspective of our planet, enhance travel and provide global communications.

At Surrey, we’re internationally renowned for our work in satellite communications, broadcasting, terrestrial mobile networks and the internet: essential components of modern communication and information. 

Our MSc in Satellite Communications Engineering is taught by academics and researchers with extensive theoretical expertise and practical experience. Thus it gives you a learning experience that really is out of this world.

What you will study

Mobile communications provide terrestrial coverage in densely populated areas. Satellite communications enable wireless communication in regions where mobile networking may not be cost-effective or possible. 

Our course will give you an in-depth understanding of the engineering aspects of these important current and future technologies.

We have useful contacts with major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers. We’re also proud to be a major hub for terrestrial communications research, being home to the world’s largest academic research group specialising in 5G communications. 

Our forward-thinking 5G Innovation Centre was founded by major national and international players in the communications industry, including the UK’s major mobile operators. Here, the focus is on the research and development of mobile communications and wireless technology capable of meeting the needs of the digital economy and the world of tomorrow. In addition, we are also researching how satellites will integrate with future 5G technology. 

Professional recognition

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

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.

Facilities, equipment and support

Through consistent investment, we have built up an impressive infrastructure to support you. The University of Surrey hosts Surrey Space Centre – a unique facility comprising academics and engineers from our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

Our mission control centre was designed and developed by students to support international CubeSat operations as part of the GENSO network, and it also supports the development of the University’s own educational satellites.

Our teaching laboratories provide ‘hands-on’ experience of satellite design and construction through the use of EyasSAT nano-satellite kits. They also house meteorological satellite receiving stations for the live reception of satellite weather images.

Elsewhere, our fully equipped RF lab has a network analyser and signal and satellite link simulators. The Rohde and Schwartz Satellite Networking Laboratory includes DVBS2-RCS generation and measurement equipment, and roof-mounted antennas for communicating live with satellites.

A security test-bed also exists for satellite security evaluation. We have a full range of software support for assignments and project work, including Matlab, and you will be able to access system simulators already built in-house.

Satellite Communications Engineering students can also make use of SatNEX, a European Network of Excellence in satellite communications supported by ESA; a satellite platform exists to link the 22 partners around Europe. This is used for virtual meetings and to participate in lectures and seminars delivered by partners.

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 Airbus Europe-wide and several other major communications companies.

Technical characteristics of the pathway

The course in satellite communications engineering provides detailed and in-depth knowledge of the theory and techniques applicable to communications techniques and spacecraft design. 

Our course also includes a range of modules in communications techniques and networking as well as satellite engineering and spacecraft design and operations. 

Additional optional modules enable you to apply the use of RF and microwave in subsystem design for either mobile communications, satellite communications, nanotechnology or for integration with optical communications.

The teaching material and projects are closely related to the research being carried out in the Institute for Communications Systems, the 5G Innovation Centre and the Surrey Space Centre.


Our current research concerns high throughput satellite design with advanced payload techniques. We are also working on mega constellations of satellites and on satellites within 5G, while on the networking side, work focuses on advanced internet over satellite and satellite security systems. You will do your project with the research teams in these areas and learn from specifically tailored modules on these advanced techniques.

Graduate prospects

Graduates from this course are to be found in most of the main satellite companies and form an active Surrey alumni group. Companies which have employed our graduates include Inmarsat, SES, Eutelsat and Airbus.

Visit the Satellite Communications Engineering (MSc) page on the University of Surrey website for more details!






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