Short courses


Antennas and Propagation

  • 150 hours
  • 8 weeks (11am to 1pm each Tuesday) + optional exam


This short course on antennas and propagation aims to give you a good grounding in:

  • a range of antenna and array designs
  • methods used for their measurement
  • the principles of radiowave propagation

The material is developed from fundamental principles and illustrated with numerous practical examples of working antenna and array systems.

This course is run by UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering.

Who this course is for

The department's short courses/CPD modules are aimed at those working in the telecommunications industry such as researchers, engineers, IT professionals and managers.

They're particularly suited to graduates in electronic and electrical engineering, communications engineering and computer science who want to further their knowledge on a particular topic, or work towards a Master's degree.

You don't need to have any pre-requisite qualifications to take this course.

Course content

You'll cover the following:

  • basic antenna definitions: gain, directivity, efficiency, effective area and length, directional patterns and polarization
  • propagation principles: friis transmission formula, atmospheric effects, fading, tropospheric scatter, link budget calculation
  • Hertzian dipole reactive and far field patterns
  • types of radiating element
  • antenna theory, covering: Fourier transforms in antennas, displacement theorem, amplitude tapers and sidelobe levels, orthogonality, pattern synthesis, near and far field patterns and focused apertures
  • arrays and electronic beam control: interferometers, linear arrays, the product theorem, frequency-scanned arrays, phase and time delay compensation, null steering, switched-line phase shifter and sidelobe levels, vector modulators and multiple beamforming arrays
  • digital beam-forming: smart antenna systems in mobile applications
  • reflector and lens antennas: including the feed systems
  • antenna measurements and anechoic chambers 
  • horn antennas, printed and helical antennas and slot antennas
  • printed patch antenna laboratory

Dates, assessment and certificates

Classes will be held from 11am to 1pm on Tuesdays, for 8 weeks.

Teaching will take place in person with some materials available online. Please note, dates and teaching arrangements may need to change in response to government guidance around Covid-19.

The courses is assessed by exam.

If you complete the course but not the exam, you'll receive a certificate of attendance.

If you take and pass the exam you'll get a certificate stating this, which includes your pass level.

Benefits of UCL's Electronics and Electrical Engineering CPD courses

You can take this course as a standalone (one-off) course/module, or accumulate it towards a Master's degree (up to two standalone modules can be transferred towards the flexible Master's degree).

Benefits to the employee
The programme offers the opportunity for professional people working in the telecommunications industry to develop their career, be able to respond to changes in their environment, and learn while they earn. It's also designed to give you the opportunity of working towards an MSc qualification from an academic institution whose quality is recognised world-wide.

Benefits to employers
Our flexible CPD courses enhance staff motivation and assists in the recruitment and retention of high-quality staff. It enables your company to keep ahead of the competition by tapping into world-leading research, and to profit from UCL's world class Telecommunications and Business expertise.

View the full range of related courses available.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you should be able to: 

  • understand the basic definitions of antennas and antenna systems, including gain, directivity, polarization, array factor etc.
  • make basic calculations of propagation loss, taking into account free-space loss and polarization effects, and extend this to a link budget analysis
  • analyse, from first principles, the basic properties of a range of antennas, such as dipoles, parabolic reflector antennas, horn antennas, printed patch antennas
  • appreciate the trade-offs between antenna properties, such as aperture efficiency and sidelobe levels and be able to demonstrate these using fundamental principles
  • apply numerical modeling tools such as CST (by means of the lab experiment) to design antennas, with particular reference to a printed patch antenna 
  • design antennas and antenna systems to fulfill particular practical requirements, an example being a stack of dipoles for a broadcast antenna
  • perform antenna measurements using facilities such as far-field antenna ranges (to measure radiation pattern and/or gain) and network analysers (to measure impedance bandwidth)
  • understand the limitations of antennas and antenna systems, both fundamental and practical, and how best to arrive at an economic and environmentally-friendly solution

Course team

Professor Paul Brennan

Professor Paul Brennan

Paul's areas of interest include antennas and microwaves/RF systems, which cover several areas, namely PLL frequency synthesis, antennas, RF-ID tags and radar systems.

Course information last modified: 20 Jan 2022, 11:57