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Course content

This MSc covers the key technologies required for the physical layer of broadband communications systems. The programme unites concepts across both radio and optical communication to give students a better understanding of the technical challenges they will face in engineering the rapid development of the broadband communications infrastructure. There is exceptionally strong industry demand for engineers with this skill base.

About this degree

This MSc provides training in the key technologies required for the physical layer of photonic, wireless and wired communications systems and other applications of this technology, ranging from THz imaging to radar systems. The programme encompasses the complete system design from device fabrication and properties through to architectural and functional aspects of the subsystems that are required to design and build complete communication systems.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Introduction to Telecommunications Networks
  • Wireless Communications Principles
  • Broadband Communications Laboratory
  • Communications Systems Modelling
  • Broadband Technologies and Components
  • Professional Development Module: Transferable Skills (not credit bearing)

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following:

  • Advanced Photonic Devices
  • Antennas and Propagation
  • Photonic Sub-systems
  • Optical Transmission and Networks
  • Radar Systems
  • RF Circuits and Sub-systems
  • Internet of Things
  • Mobile Communications Systems


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, laboratory and workshop sessions, seminars, tutorials and project work. All of the programme lecturers carry out leading research in the subjects they are teaching. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination, coursework, design exercises and the dissertation.


Rapid growth of the internet and multimedia communications has led to an unprecedented demand for broadband communication systems. There is exceptionally strong industry demand for engineers with this skills base and a clear shortage of supply. Recent graduates have moved into roles as electrical and technical engineers at companies including Société Générale and Ericsson.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Business Intelligence Analyst, Criteo
  • PhD in Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg
  • Graduate Engineer, Avanti Communications Group
  • Senior Engineer, Mouchel
  • Software Engineer, Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN)


The programme provides a broad package of knowledge in the areas of wireless and optical communications networks, from devices to signal processing theory and techniques, network architecture, and planning and optimisation. Students are expertly equipped to pursue careers as engineers, consultants and system architects in wireless and optical communications. A considerable number of graduates also stay in the education sector undertaking research and teaching.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering is one of the most highly rated electronic engineering research departments in the UK. It is the oldest in England, founded in 1885 with Professor Sir Ambrose Fleming (the inventor of the thermionic valve and the left-hand and right-hand rules) as the first head of department.

Our research and teaching ethos is based on understanding the fundamentals and working at the forefront of technology development. We cover a wide range of areas from materials and devices to photonics, radar, optical and wireless systems, electronics and medical electronics, and communications networks.

Accreditation: Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) 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.

Visit the Wireless and Optical Communications (MSc) page on the University College London website for more details!




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