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Wireless and Optical Communications - MSc

Course Description

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.

Degree information

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
-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. First destinations of recent graduates include electrical and technical engineers at companies including Société Générale and Ericsson

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.

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

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Student Profiles

UCL Graduate Support Bursary - 20+ Awards

UCL is making 93 individual bursary awards available. Each bursary will cover the full tuition fee cost for the programme and provide £10,000 in maintenance funding per year.

Value of Scholarship(s)



The scheme is aimed at supporting traditionally under-represented groups to progress on to graduate study at UCL. All applicants will be required to demonstrate that their annual household income is currently under £42,611. This scheme is open to prospective students domiciled in the UK (that is, UK is your country of "ordinary residence”) who have "Home" tuition fee status.

Application Procedure

This initiative is funded through the HEFCE Postgraduate Support Scheme. The UCL Graduate Support Bursary scheme forms part of UCL’s wider initiative to support graduate Master’s students.

Further Information



Fleming Scholarship for MSc Studies - 5 Awards

The scholarship is awarded to the students entering the department with the best undergraduate examination performance providing they qualify for UK/EU fee status. In the event of a tie we will give preference to the students in the order they accepted our offer unconditionally - a good reason to be prompt in decision making!In addition to the prestige that comes with the award, there is also a significant financial award - £4,000. 5 scholarships will be given to Home/EU students with £2,000 given on enrolment and a further £2,000 given later in the year provided that a distinction is achieved in the work assessed during term 1.

Value of Scholarship(s)



5 scholarships of £4,000 are available for Home/EU students.

Application Procedure

All new students will be considered - no need to apply specifically.

Further Information



Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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