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Wireless and Optical Communications MSc

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£11,800 (FT) N/A (PT)
£24,610 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Accreditation: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

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.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Wireless and Optical Communications MSc


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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.

Department: Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Student / staff numbers › 102 staff including 63 postdocs › 80 taught students › 140 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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
75% 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.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"Through UCL I’ve benefited from access to an internationally leading research community and from interaction with exceptional students."

Dr Tony Kenyon

PhD training in EEE EngD in Molecular Modelling and Materials, Science CDT in Photonics Systems Development, Nanotechnology MSc, and Wireless and Optical Communications MSc
Reader in Photonic Materials

Application and next steps


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.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for graduates in electronic engineering and physics who wish to train in this fast-growing industry, and is also designed for industry to use for specialised training of existing employees.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Wireless and Optical Communications at graduate level
  • why you want to study Wireless and Optical Communications at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • how you envisage your career path after the MSc

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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