Space Science and Engineering: Space Technology MSc

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

Taught jointly between UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering and UCL Space & Climate Physics by expert researchers and engineers in the field, this MSc programme aims to provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of space technology and satellite communications together with detailed training in research methods.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students develop a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of:

  • Spacecraft, satellite communications, the space environment, space operations and space project management
  • The electromagnetics of optical and microwave transmission, and of communication systems modelling
  • A range of subjects relating to spacecraft technology and satellite communications.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Space & Climate Physics, located at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, is the largest university space science group in the UK.

It offers a unique environment at the forefront of space science research, where scientists and research students work alongside top engineers building and testing instruments for space as well as studying the data from these and other spaceborne and ground-based instruments.

The close contact that the laboratory enjoys with Space Agencies such as ESA and NASA and with industrial research teams encourages the development of transferable skills which enhance job prospects in academic circles and beyond.

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 research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.

Core Modules

  • Introduction to Space Science, Environment and Satellites
  • Space Systems Technology
  • Spacecraft Operations and Project Organisation
  • Communications Systems Modelling Type II
  • Satellite Communications Type II
  • Spacecraft Design Group Project


  • At least one from the following:
  • Spacecraft Design – Electronic Sub-systems
  • Spacecraft Mechanical and Structural Design
  • Antennas and Propagation Type II
  • RF Circuits and Sub-systems Type II

  • At least one module from:
  • Space Instrumentation and Applications
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Remote Sensing of the Earth Type II


All MSc students undertake an independent research project, which normally involves attachment to a research group, and culminates in a report of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, team-based coursework exercises, presentations and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination, coursework, and the individual and group projects.

Further details available on subject website:


STFC and NERC studentships may be available.

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

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

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for graduates working in, or intending to work in the commercial space industry or national space agencies in the UK and overseas. No previous knowledge of spacecraft hardware is assumed and the programme will be supplemented by other material depending on a student's background and needs.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study for a Master's degree in Space Science and Engineering, and particularly on which Pathway (Space Science or Space Technology) you intend to enrol, and why
  • why you want to enter a programme of study at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme, how have you heard of it and what do you want to get from it
  • how your academic and professional background meets the entry requirements and the demands of this programme, considering the topics that are taught in it
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree, i.e. which kind of career you intend to pursue
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver, and how prepared you are to face the challenges it poses (e.g. large project component, individual and in a team, and taught advanced topics).


The programme aims to prepare students for further research degrees and/or careers in space research or the space industry.

First destinations of recent graduates include:

  • ONERA: Research Engineer
  • Hispassat: Telecommunications Engineer
  • Detica: Engineer
  • Equinox Consulting: Financial Consultant
  • Murex: Financial Consultant
  • Risk Management Solutions: Risk Analyst
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory: Analyst
  • School of Electronics & Computer Science IT-Innovation: Research Engineer
  • EADS Astrium Ltd: Engineer
  • Thales Space: Engineer

Next steps


Ms Katrina Walker

T: +44 (0)20 7679 4909


Space & Climate Physics

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Student View

"As part of my PhD project I was able to take part in a three-week summer school, the Urbino Summer School of Palaeoclimatology. This was a very valuable experience where international lecturers gave talks on their research."

Cherry Newsam

Degree: PhD

Subject: Earth Sciences, Faculty: Mathematical and Physical Sciences

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Degree: High Energy Physics PhD

Subject: Physics and Astronomy, Faculty: Mathematical and Physical Sciences