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Communications Engineering (MSc)

Course Description

The main objective of the course is to educate students in the rapidly growing area of Communications to undertake responsible and challenging posts in academia and industry.

The course covers the key areas of wireless and wired networks and protocols, digital signal processing and digital electronics. In addition to the technical background provided in these subjects, hands-on experience is gained through a major individual Research and Development project, a group design project and a supporting laboratory programme.

Course Structure

The programme consists of three modules taught through lectures and a laboratory programme, a group design module and an individual research and design project.

Core Modules:
-Communications Systems
-Radio Communications
-Digital Systems
-Design of Wireless Systems
-Research and Development Project

Learning and Teaching

This is a 12-month full time degree course that runs from October to the end of August the following year. The programme consists of a total of five core elements. These are three modules taught by lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes in Communications Systems, Radio Communications and Digital Systems, a group design module on Design of Wireless Systems module and a major individual research and development project.

The three core lecture modules involve a total of 101 hours of lectures, 18 hours of tutorials and seminars and 33 hours of practical laboratory classes.

For the Group Design Module, each group is supervised by one or more members of staff, and guided through the various stages of design. The principal learning outcome from this module is for students to understand the stages in the design of current communication equipment and to understand the importance of information flow within a design team. Students should expect to have around 20 hours of contact time with their academic supervisors over the course of the design module.

A major individual research and development project is also undertaken on the course. This provides an open-ended challenge to each individual student, in collaboration with a staff supervisor. Regular meetings are held with the supervisor to discuss project progress and planning issues. A mid-term assessment is carried out to ensure project is on track. At the end of the project students are required to submit a final report on their work, in the style of a research paper. They are also required to prepare and to present a poster to allow an assessment to be made of their understanding and ability to present their work, plus an oral examination is held to allow detailed questions to be put to the student regarding the technical aspects of their project. Students should expect to have around 25 hours of contact time with their supervisors plus 500 hours of practical work, supported by the School’s technicians and other research workers, over the course of their research projects.

Visit the Communications Engineering (MSc) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A good second class honours degree (typically equivalent to UK 2:1 Honours) or better in a subject which includes a significant electronics content.

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