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Course content

Our Masters in Space Engineering programme is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required for a career working with space technology and its applications.

Surrey students have access to all aspects of the design and delivery of spacecraft and payloads, and as a result are very attractive to employers in space-related industries.

As we develop and execute complete space missions, from initial concept to hardware design, manufacturing and testing, to in orbit operations (controlled by our ground station at the Surrey Space Centre), you will have the chance to be involved in, and gain experience of, real space missions.

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.

Educational aims of the programme

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:

  • Attract well-qualified entrants, with a background in Electronic Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Computing & Communications, from the UK, Europe and overseas
  • Provide participants with advanced knowledge, practical skills and understanding applicable to the MSc degree
  • Develop participants' understanding of the underlying science, engineering, and technology, and enhance their ability to relate this to industrial practice
  • Develop participants' critical and analytical powers so that they can effectively plan and execute individual research/design/development projects
  • Provide a high level of flexibility in programme pattern and exit point
  • Provide students with an extensive choice of taught modules, in subjects for which the Department has an international and UK research reputation

Intended capabilities for MSc graduates:

  • Underpinning learning– know, understand and be able to apply the fundamental mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles that underpin space engineering.
  • Engineering problem solving - be able to analyse problems within the field of mobile and satellite communications and more broadly in electronic engineering and find solutions
  • Engineering tools - be able to use relevant workshop and laboratory tools and equipment, and have experience of using relevant task-specific software packages to perform engineering tasks
  • Technical expertise - know, understand and be able to use the basic mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles associated with the topics within space engineering.
  • Societal and environmental context - be aware of the societal and environmental context of his/her engineering activities
  • Employment context - be aware of commercial, industrial and employment-related practices and issues likely to affect his/her engineering activities
  • Research & development investigations - be able to carry out research-and- development investigations
  • Design - where relevant, be able to design electronic circuits and electronic/software products and systems

Technical characteristics of the pathway

This programme in Space Engineering aims to provide a high-level postgraduate qualification relating to the design of space missions using satellites. Study is taken to a high level, in both theory and practice, in the specialist areas of space physics, mechanics, orbits, and space-propulsion systems, as well as the system and electronic design of space vehicles.

This is a multi-disciplinary programme, and projects are often closely associated with ongoing space projects carried out by Surrey Satellite Technology, plc.

This is a large local company that builds satellites commercially and carries out industrially-sponsored research. Graduates from this programme are in demand in the UK and European Space Industries.

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 Space Engineering MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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