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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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£13,640 (FT)
Overseas:
£27,850 (FT)


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.

Accreditation:

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.

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:

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.

Compulsory modules

  • 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.

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following:

  • 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
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Analogue CMOS Integrated Circuit Design and Applications (Masters Level) (ELEC0131) and Internet Multimedia Systems (ELEC0098) are currently suspended.These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

Dissertation/report

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

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

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

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

Careers

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.

Employability

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.

Accreditation:

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.

Department: Electronic & Electrical Engineering

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

Applications

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 £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020