Masters degrees in Networks and Communications equip postgraduates with the skills to develop and manage computer network systems, communication techniques and protocols.
Taught MSc courses are typical for this field, though research oriented MRes and MPhil programmes may be available at some institutions. Entry requirements normally include an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as Computer Science
Communications networks are evident in all forms of our everyday communication: from real-time communication such as radio systems and telecommunications, to mobile data, video communications and optical technologies.
You will receive training in developing and managing these communications through analysis of different forms of signal processing techniques, including digital transmission and wireless communications. Analysis of storage area networks, such as cloud technologies, is also a key component.
Methods will explore network design, network simulation, network redundancy (backup models) and reliability. Within this, you will also analyse techniques in programming, computer security and cryptography (coding).
Your expertise can be applied to several commercial and other industries. From retail, to charities and public services, a whole host of businesses and organisations rely on effective communications strategies.
Application period/deadline: November 1, 2017 - January 24, 2018
• Cutting-edge knowledge in wireless communications both at physical and network layers
• Capability to design and implement wireless solutions, e.g., for future 5G networks, Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices and smart energy-efficient wireless sensor applications
• Relevant skills of the latest radio engineering methods, tools, and technologies, and ability to design RF electronics for smart phones and base stations of mobile systems
The International Master’s Degree Programme in Wireless Communications Engineering (WCE) is a two-year programme concentrating on wireless communications network technology. The programme will give you relevant skills and core knowledge of the latest methods, tools and technologies combined with time-tested issues such as:
• Advanced wireless communication systems
• Communication networks
• Computer engineering
• Information theory
• Stochastical and digital signal processing
• Radio channels
• Radio engineering
The two-year programme has two specialisation options:
• Radio Access and Networks
• RF Engineering
Radio Access and Networks concentrates on designing and applying radio access technologies both at physical layer and at network layer for 5G, IoT, and future mobile system generations.
RF Engineering focuses on essential radio system parts and gives the knowledge to design integrated RF and DSP circuits for mobile handsets, base stations, future 5G devices, IoT applications, and smart & energy efficient sensors.
Optional module makes it possible to widen your expertise into:
• Machine vision
• Mobile and social computing
• Signal processors, and
• Video and biomedical signal processing.
The education is organized by the Centre for Wireless Communications which consists of 150 academics from over 20 countries. CWC performs world-class research for the future of 5G and IoT applications, which will give you the possibility to move forward already during your studies. CWC provides a number of jobs as a trainee or a master’s thesis student, with the possibility to continue as a doctoral student, and even as a post-doctoral researcher.
The skills gained in the programme offer you a solid academic training and essential knowledge on the design of wireless communications networks at the system level. After graduation you are capable of designing, implementing and employing 5G and IoT applications and developing future wireless communications technologies.
Possible titles include:
• Chief engineer
• Design engineer
• Development engineer
• Maintenance engineer
• Patent engineer
• Program manager
• Project manager
• Radio network designer
• Research engineer
• RF engineer
• Sales engineer
• System engineer
• Test engineer, and
• University teacher
Students applying for the programme must possess an applicable B.Sc. degree in one of the following fields of study: communications engineering, electronics & electrical engineering, or computer engineering.
This master’s course is great if you want to become an expert in computer security and networks. Whether you want to continue in your computer science studies or turn your industry experience into qualifications, this is the ideal course for you.
Computer security and networks experts are in high demand around the world. You study a combination of modules, from Systems Administration and Security through to Mobile Systems and Communications, making sure you have the right skills for business. You gain a good understanding of planning and managing large development projects when studying our E-Commerce Management and Master’s Project modules – both will enhance your employability and career prospects even further.
There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MSc Computer Security and Networks:
You study the concepts, principles and theories of computer networks and security, informed by current research and professional practice. For example, building and managing a secure and effective commercial web presence requires much more than coding expertise – it requires a sound combination of commercial acumen, technical understanding and effective operations management. Our lecturers have significant research and industry experience and are well placed to develop your skills and knowledge in this field.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You learn about concepts and methods primarily through keynote lectures and tutorials using case studies and examples. Lectures include presentations from guest speakers from industry. Critical reflection is key to successful problem solving and essential to the creative process. You develop your own reflective practice at an advanced level, then test and assess your solutions against criteria that you develop in the light of your research. For example, in Mobile Systems and Communications and Network Service Management you research an agreed area, based on the topics introduced during lectures, and prepare a report on this.
How you are assessed
Assessment takes a variety of forms including:
We typically give on-going feedback during lectures and tutorials and assessment feedback using online methods.
From the beginning of your programme, we prepare you for a career in industry. In addition to your taught classes, we create opportunities for you to meet and network with our industry partners through events such as our ExpoSeries, which showcases student work to industry. ExpoTees is the pinnacle of the ExpoSeries with over 100 businesses from across the UK coming to the campus to meet our exceptional students, with a view to recruitment.
There are a number of internship options, including:
This course is for students who want to become professionals in computer networks and modern telecommunications fields.
You will gain a comprehensive understanding of techniques used to transmit digital information, modern computer network design and operation, communication protocols and the importance of standards and regulatory issues
These subjects are supplemented by modules in technical and administration management techniques and by an industry-sponsored seminar course.
MSc students also undertake an individual project.
This course covers a comprehensive range of topics split in to four large modules worth 30 credits each plus the MSc Project.
External speakers from blue-chip and local companies will give seminars to complement your learning, that will be real-world case studies related to the subjects you are studying in your modules. These are designed to improve the breadth of your learning and often lead to ideas that you can develop for your MSc Project.
MSc (one year full-time or two years part-time)
PgDip (nine months full-time or one year and six months part-time)
MSc (one year and four months full-time)
PgDip (one year full-time)
Teaching will be in the form of lectures, individual and group class work, plus topical and relevant participative class discussions and critical evaluation using case studies
Laboratories will be used to provide you with hand-on experience of using and setting up network systems. Tutorials will be used to give you practice in solving theoretical and design problems associated with network technologies and network systems.
Over the programme, the assessment of the taught modules is as follows:
Graduates with experience of computer network systems and digital communications are in demand in all industrial and commercial sectors.
The employment record for the MSc is good, with students obtaining jobs in traditional telecommunication companies, software development companies and companies in the service and commercial sectors.
Typical jobs range from network design engineers, network maintenance, software development, systems design and integration, marketing, after-sales support and technical support.
We have links with companies such as large companies such as BT, Talk Talk, Motorolla, BBC, CICSO and local companies like i-wimax.
These companies engage with the University by giving guest seminars and often our students will work with them on their MSc Project.
Many of our graduates will go on to further study in our Computer Networks and Telecommunications Research Centre (CNTR)
The CNTR undertakes both pure and applied research in the general field of telecommunications and computer networking including computer networking technologies, wireless systems, networked multimedia applications, quality of service, mobile networking, intelligent buildings, context driven information systems, smart environments and communication protocols. Much of this work is funded through research grants and supported by industry. In addition, members of the group are actively involved in a range of public engagement programmes which aim to raise the awareness of these subjects for the general public and in schools.
Research themes in this Centre include:
You will have access to a dedicated computer networks lab which is equipped with industry standard equipment. In addition to PC equipment, the lab contains a set of switches, routers, servers, wireless equipment, testing tools and analysers which help you in building various data networks.
Various software tools and simulation packages are also available in the school's labs for you to use in your assignment and final projects. Such tools enable you to design and test data networks in simulated environments allowing you to experiment with your design before implementing the real network. The course is also supported by other facilities including PC suites, library, programming and office packages and a virtual learning environment.
We have a wide range of testbeds available for projects, including wireless networking, wireless sensors, satellite networking, and security testbeds, future internet testbed and cloud infrastructure.
We also have a wide range of software tools for assignments and project work, including OPNET, NS2/3, Matlab, C, C++ and various system simulators. Some projects can offer the opportunity to work with industry.
Read about the experience of a previous student on this course, Paulo Valente Klaine.
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, until a total of eight is reached. It consists of eight taught modules and a standard 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.
The taught postgraduate Degree Programmes of the Department are intended both to assist with professional career development within the relevant industry and, for a small number of students, to serve as a precursor to academic research.
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:
Intended capabilities for MSc graduates:
This programme in Mobile Communication Systems reflects the importance and ubiquity of mobile telephony and mobile data communications throughout the world.
Students will gain a detailed knowledge of the fundamentals and advanced concepts involved in communications and 3G/4G/5G mobile technology together with the principles, algorithms and protocols that underpin Internet-based mobile backbone networks.
This material is complemented by study in areas such as mobile applications and web services, mobile app software development, the Internet of Things, network management, and satellite communications.
The teaching material and projects are closely related to the research being carried out in the EE Department's Institute for Communications Research.
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.
The Internet Engineering MSc is a broad programme encompassing all the fundamental components of the Internet. Graduates acquire the skills necessary to design, manage and maintain the networks that will build the Future Internet, placing them in a prime position at the forefront of this rapidly changing field.
Students develop an understanding of the evolving networks and applications using the internet protocol. Particular attention is given to the convergence of telecommunications and data networks into 'all IP'-carrier grade networks. The programme offers specialisms including fundamental network design, applications and services, and security and network management.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of six core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).
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, guest lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory and workshop sessions and project work. Assessment is through unseen written examination, coursework, design exercises and the research project.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Internet Engineering MSc
In the next 15 years, all of the facets of our life will be "online". Our health (bio-sensors, health records), entertainment (games, 3D TV, Virtual Reality), security (children GPS tracking, CCTV) and other social interactions will use fascinating internet applications that are only now being envisaged. Our graduates will be in a prime position at the forefront of this revolution by having in-depth knowledge of all of its components.
Recent graduates have gone on to become graduate engineers, R&D engineers and network services engineers at companies including France Telecom, BT, Huawei, Cisco, Motorola and PwC.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The Internet Engineering MSc programme provides a broad and comprehensive coverage of the technological and scientific foundations of telecommunications networks and services, from the physical layer to the application layer. A strong emphasis is given to mobile and wireless communications and the latest standards in these areas (LTE, WiMAX, IEEE 802 family of standards). Students study both the theoretical foundations of all related technologies and also carry out extensive practical assignments in several related areas.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering is one of the most highly rated electronic engineering research departments in the UK. Our research and teaching ethos is based on understanding the fundamentals and working at the forefront of technology development.
This MSc offers a wide variety of modules that include the physical layer (optical, wireless), the Internet layer (routing, congestion control, traffic engineering), the application layer (codecs, security) and the "business layer" (regulation, business opportunities).
Lectures are delivered by world-class researchers in all these fields with regular lectures from the main industrial leaders in the telecommunications industry.
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.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Electronic & Electrical Engineering
97% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.