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Course content

Our Masters programme in Satellite Communications Engineering is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary skills required for careers in the satellite and space industries.

We have an exceptional concentration of academic staff experienced in the satellite area, in addition to well-established contacts with all the major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers.

Industry participates in the MSc programme in both lecturing and projects, and facilitates excellent engagement for our students. Graduation from this programme will therefore make you very attractive to the relevant space-related industries that employ over 6,500 people in the UK alone.

Read about the experience of a previous student on this course, Thanat Varathon.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. 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.

Facilities, equipment and support

Through consistent investment, we have built up an impressive infrastructure to support our students and researchers. 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 network analyser, signal and satellite link simulators. The Rohde and Schwartz Satellite Networking Laboratory includes DVBS2-RCS generation and measurement equipment, and roof-mounted antennas to 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

This programme in satellite communications engineering. provides detailed in-depth knowledge of theory and techniques applicable to radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineering.

The programme includes core modules in both RF and microwave covering all ranges of wireless frequencies and a number of application devices including radio frequency identification (RFID), broadcasting, satellite links, microwave ovens, printed and integrated microwave circuits.

Additional optional modules enable the student 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 Department’s Advanced Technology Institute and the Institute for Communication Systems.

Global opportunities

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.


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

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