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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2021/22)
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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration 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
UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
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).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Wireless and Optical Communications.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
- Introduction to Telecommunications Networks
- Wireless Communications Principles
- Broadband Communications Laboratory
- Communications Systems Modelling
- Broadband Technologies and Components
Please note that there are compulsory transferable skills activities associated with this programme, but these are not credit bearing.
45 credits of options are drawn from three of the following:
*Please note optional modules maybe subject to change.
- Advanced Photonic Devices
- Antennas and Propagation
- Photonic Subsystems
- Optical Transmission and Networks
- Radar Systems
- RF Circuits and Sub-systems
- Internet of Things
- Mobile Communications Systems
- Internet Multimedia Systems
- Further information about these modules is available on the department website.
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.
The students are expected to have their own computer/laptop, in order to carry out independent study and any programming assignments.
For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) awards competitive scholarships for postgraduate study, for details visit www.theiet.org
Please visit the UCL Electronic and Electrical Engineering Scholarships website for more information on funding.
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. Recent graduates have moved into roles as 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
What our students and staff say
"Through UCL I’ve benefited from access to an internationally leading research community and from interaction with exceptional students."
Dr Tony KenyonPhD 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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
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 specialised training of existing employees in industry.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.