Sensor Systems MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

The MSc Sensor Systems at UCL introduces hardware, algorithms and socio-technical aspects of deploying sensor networks in real-world settings. It will provide a hands-on understanding of how to design, deploy and use distributed sensors and actuators in the real-world, and equips students with the knowledge, methods, and tools to take on the whole development cycle of such sensory systems – from idea to deployment.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree (or international qualification of an equivalent standard) in electronic and electrical engineering, computer science, or a related field (e.g., engineering mathematics; engineering physics; information systems; mathematics and computing; data science; electronics.) Applicants should have some experience of programming languages such as C, C++, Python, or Java. Applicants should additionally have some experience with algebra, numerical analysis, probability, or statistics. Applicants must show an interest in developing creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

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: Good

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

IoT (Internet of Things) is a growing field encompassing digital and physical technologies with applications across different industrial sectors, and spanning manufacturing, consumer electronics, security, mining, design, transport, exploration and healthcare. IoT deployments need to deal with specific challenges arising from the interaction of digital and physical processes, under strict real-time requirements and with limited resources. Designing such IoT systems requires joint understanding of the dynamics of the interaction between digital and physical processes. Delivering such projects also requires design thinking approaches, in order to deal with multiple stakeholders and to identify meaningful and actionable systems that are deployable in real world environments.

The programme has been designed so that you will learn to model and design multisensory networked systems for real-world deployment alongside entrepreneurial and system thinking approaches needed to go from idea to deployment and delivery. This will not only account for the specific technical challenges required by your solution, but also for its socio-economic and geo-political integration, especially through novel system thinking approaches. Taken together, this programme will provide you with the skillset required to produce and exploit IoT systems with real-world relevance.

Students on this programme will take modules to the value of 180 credits, on successful completion of which they will be awarded MSc in Sensor Systems.

Who this course is for

This programme is aimed at students from computer science, engineering, and related disciplines, with some experience in programming (C/C++ or Java) but limited experience deploying sensor systems in the real-world. This programme would appeal to students with an interest in designing and deploying IoT technologies and solutions for a wide range of application scenarios and contexts.

What this course will give you

UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research.

UCL has received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
Our taught postgraduate programmes have some of the highest employment rates and starting salaries, with graduates entering a wide variety of companies in finance.

We take an experimental approach to our subject, enjoy the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships, and place a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.

UCL Computer Science graduates are highly valued as a result of the department's strong international reputation, extensive links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London.

The foundation of your career

This is a new programme; our first graduates will complete in 2022/23.


The programme is designed to teach you to apply knowledge from a range of academic subjects to design, deploy and use distributed sensors in the real-world. After graduating from this programme, you will be able to seek employment in a range of different organizations interested in networked multi sensor IoT deployments. 

Teaching and learning

You will be assessed through a range of methods across the programme, which will vary depending on any optional or elective module choices. The programme’s core curriculum is typically assessed by methods including coursework, programming tests, individual and group projects, class tests, written exams, oral assessments, and a final research project/ dissertation.

Contact time takes a variety of forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervisions, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, visits, placements, office hours (where staff are available for consultation), email, videoconference, or other media, and situations where feedback on assessed work is given (one-to-one or in a group).

Each module has a credit value that indicates the total notional learning hours a learner will spend on average to achieve its learning outcomes. One credit is typically described as being equal to 10 hours of notional learning, which includes all contact time, self-directed study, and assessment.

Each module has a credit value that indicates the total notional learning hours a learner will spend on average to achieve its learning outcomes. One credit is typically described as being equal to 10 hours of notional learning, which includes all contact time, self-directed study, and assessment.

The contact time for each of your 15 credit taught modules will typically include 22-30 hours of teaching activity (classroom based and/ or online) over the term of its delivery, with the balance then comprised of self-directed learning and working on your assessments. You will have ongoing contact with teaching staff via each module’s online discussion forum, which is typically used for discussing and clarifying concepts or assessment matters, and will have the opportunity to access additional support via regular office hours with module leaders and programme directors.

Your research project/ dissertation module is 60 credits and will include regular contact with your project supervisor(s), who will guide and support you throughout your project. You will dedicate most of your time on this module to carrying out research in connection with your project and writing up your final report.



The MSc Sensor Systems is a one-year programme.

In term 1, you will develop a technical background in embedded system design and real-world deployment of multi-agent systems, using existing UCL East deployments to guide your learning. You will apply technical knowledge to a hands-on two-term group project focussed on designing sensor systems. 

In term 2, you will study system thinking and entrepreneurship, continue your work on designing sensor systems, and choose from a range of optional topics. You will also begin preparation for your final research project/ dissertation.

In term 3, you will focus on any examinations that take place in the main examination period and undertake your final research project/ dissertation.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Sensor Systems.


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Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500
Tuition fees (2022/23) £32,100

Additional costs

Students will require a modern computer (PC or laptop). The minimum specifications should be 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A computer with the stated specifications will cost approximately £500. Windows 10 or Linux are supported, but Windows 10 is the preferred option.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science taught postgraduate programmes, please see the department's scholarships webpage.

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

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.

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 Application fees.

When we access your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Sensor Systems at graduate level
  • why you want to study Sensor Systems at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021