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Digital Signal and Image Processing (MSc)

Course Description

This specialist option of the MSc Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/taught/computational-and-software-techniques-in-engineering) has been developed to deliver qualified engineers to the highest standard into the emerging field of digital signal and image processing who are capable of contributing significantly to this increased demand for both real-time and off-line systems operating over a range of mobile, embedded and workstation platforms.

Who is it for?

Developed for students interested in software development within the wide spectrum of industries in which digital signal processing and/or digital image processing plays a significant role. Suitable for candidates from a broad range of engineering backgrounds, including aeronautical, automotive, mechanical and electrical engineering in addition to the more traditional computational sciences background, who wish to both develop and complement their existing skill-set in this new area. Part-time students have a flexible commencement date.

Why this course?

This option of the MSc in Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/taught/computational-and-software-techniques-in-engineering) aims to develop your skill-base for the rapidly expanding engineering IT industry sector, not only in the UK but all over the world. Graduates in this option have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of careers embracing telecommunications, the automotive industry, medical imaging, software houses and industrial research where demand for skills is high.

This course additionally forms part of the ESTIA (Ecole Supérieure des Technologies Industrielles Avancées) Cranfield MSc programme which gives ESTIA students the opportunity to study this degree based either at Cranfield University or ESTIA in Bidart, South-West France.

Cranfield University is very well located for visiting part-time students from all over the world, and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Informed by Industry

The course is directed by an industrial advisory panel who meet twice a year to ensure that it provides the right mix of hands-on skills and up-to-date knowledge suitable for the wide variety of applications that this field addresses.

A number of members also attend the annual student thesis presentations which take place at the end of July. This provides a good opportunity for students to meet key employers.

The Industry Advisory Panel includes:

- Dr Adam Vile, Excelian
- Mr Darren Baldwin, Excelian
- Prof Chris Greenough, Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
- Mr Ed Lambourne, Delcam International.
- Mr Matthew Breach, Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems
- Mr Nigel Sedgewick, Selex
- Mr Paul Mulvanny, Ent IT
- Mr Ray Goult, Ent IT
- Dr Sanjiv Sharma, Airbus UK
- Dr Steve King, Rolls Royce
- Dr Julian Turnbull, AV
- Mr Jon Loach, FACTSET

Course details

The course consists of 12 core modules, including a group design project, plus an individual research project.

The course is delivered via a combination of structured lectures, tutorial sessions and computer based workshops. Mathematical and computational methods form the basis of the specialist modules, covering the theory and application of DSIP algorithms for the analysis, interpretation and processing of data in diverse fields such as computer vision, robotics, vibro-acoustic condition monitoring, medical diagnosis, remote sensing and data visualisation. This set of specialist modules are designed to provide students with the programming techniques necessary to develop, maintain and use core DSIP solution software over a wide range of industrial settings.

Group project

The group project which takes place in the spring is designed to provide you with invaluable experience of delivering a project within an industry structured team. The project allows you to develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, delivering technical presentations and gaining experience of working in teams that include members with a variety of expertise and often with members who are based remotely.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Recent Group Projects include:

- Real-time Robotic Sensing
- Automatic Video Surveillance
- Face Recognition Systems
- Applied Digital Signal Processing for Gear Box Analysis
- Vibro-acoustic Analysis of Turbine Blades.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. In general you will begin to consider the research project after completing 3-4 modules - it then runs concurrently with the rest of your work.

For part-time students it is common that their research thesis is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:

- Vision Systems for Real Time Driver Assistance
- Pattern Recognition for Vibration Analysis
- Image Stabilisation for UAV Video Footage
- Presenting Driver Assistance Information Using Augmented Reality
- Real-time Object Tracking for Intelligent Surveillance Systems
- 3D Stereo Vision Systems for Robotics and Vehicles.


Taught modules 45%, Group project 5%, Individual research project 50%

Your career

The MSc in Digital Signal and Image Processing attracts enquiries from companies all over the world who wish to recruit high quality graduates. There is considerable demand for students with expertise in engineering software development and for those who have strong technical programming skills in industry standard languages and tools. Graduates of this course will be in demand by commercial engineering software developers, automotive, telecommunications, medical and other industries and research organisations, and have been particularly successful in finding long-term employment.

Some students may go onto degrees, on the basis of their MSc research project. Thesis topics are most often supplied by individual companies on in-company problems with a view to employment after graduation - an approach that is being actively encouraged by a growing number of industries.

A selection of companies that have recruited our graduates include:

- BAE Systems
- European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS)
- Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl)
- Orange France
- Microsoft
- EDS Unigraphics
- Delcam
- GKN Technology
- Logica
- Oracle Consulting Services
- National Power
- Altran Technologies
- Earth Observation Sciences Ltd
- Oracle Consulting Services
- Easams Defence Consultancy
- Xyratex

Visit the Digital Signal and Image Processing (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jenny Cham

“Cranfield was a really good choice; I went to Vienna for my project due to Cranfield’s partnerships with other European University’s. I also got the opportunity to attend conferences across Europe, write reviews and contribute to my very first peer-reviewed scientific paper - which was well received!
The staff were very supportive, in particular a lady from the Careers Service gave up her time to help prepare me for job interviews, which I found really helpful.
Overall it’s a great environment in terms of access to other really intelligent interesting people. I think that’s a really nice part of being a student at Cranfield.”

(Student Profile)

Lauren Carter

"I believe my MSc was invaluable in preparing me for my current role – covering a broad range of subjects has been extremely useful when liaising with different departments.
I got my job through the links Cranfield had with the company I’m currently working for, who were really impressed by the range of subjects covered as well as the detail and professionalism of my project.”

(Student Profile)

Nsisong Ukut

After researching online and looking at the Cranfield University website, I thought this was the right choice for me. It is the only stand-alone postgraduate university in the UK that specialises in aerospace and engineering and has a great heritage. I had also observed my colleagues in Nigeria who had studied at Cranfield and watched the meteoric rise in their careers. I saw the functions they could handle and how they had launched into global careers.
I found my studies at Cranfield very rewarding – the lecturers give you comprehensive support to help you fully wrap your mind around your subject. Project supervisors are quite amazing too – they connect you into a group project and then with an industrial partner so that you can transform your theoretical knowledge into practical solutions to find the best outcome. This really prepares you for your future career.
Cranfield is a place where you can do a lot! I got involved with the Cranfield Students Association (CSA) in the role of School Representative. This gave me an opportunity to see across the entire school and to see how teaching and non-teaching staff impact the student experience. The support the CSA offers is tremendous – everything to make a good social life and to balance out your academic work. There is an ultra-modern sports centre to keep you fit whilst studying and plenty of clubs and societies that you can get involved in.
Cranfield is the right place to meet the right people in the right environment with the right contacts. The atmosphere is mature and professional and an ideal base to launch your global career.
My advice to anyone who chooses Cranfield is to make use of all the opportunities it offers – embrace it all and make the most of it.
You don’t just get a certificate when you graduate at Cranfield, you get a rewarding experience that will improve the quality of your life.


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).
If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to either have a minimum of a UK second class Honours degree or its equivalent in applied mathematics, aeronautical, mechanical or electrical engineering or computer science or be applying as part of a recognised double-degree programme with their home EU institution.Applications from candidates with lesser qualifications but with considerable relevant work experience will be considered.Entry level C Programming experience is highly advisable but not essential.

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