Short courses


Mobile Communications Systems

  • 150 hours
  • 8 weeks (2pm to 6pm each Monday) + optional exam


This short course/CPD module considers the fundamentals of mobile and wireless communications systems.

The course starts with a detailed view of the wireless propagation channel, the wireless environment and the modulation techniques used in wireless systems.

We focus on the detailed implementation of the key mobile systems, namely GSM UMTS and 4G/LTE, from the viewpoints of system architecture, the physical layer and system implementation and take a detailed look at the physical and logical channel implementation.

The 2.5 and 3.5/3.75 Generations are also discussed with a description of HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA and HSUPA.

Issues of network planning, mobile services and business are also considered in the module as well as the 3GPP standards defining the various mobile generations.

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

Who this course is for

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

The courses are particularly suited to graduates in electronic and electrical engineering, physics, 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, although a basic understanding of engineering mathematics will be beneficial.

Course content

The course is made up of the following areas.


  • Introduction and historical background
  • The wireless and cellular environments
  • The wireless propagation channel
  • Legacy systems and brief introduction to AMPS and TACS

Modulation and coding for wireless systems

  • Modulation techniques (analogue and digital, BPSK, QPSK and QAM, OFDM)
  • Multiple access techniques (TDMA, FDMA and CDMA)
  • Coding (error control and source coding)


  • System architecture
  • The physical layer
  • Logical and physical channels
  • Data and services
  • 2.5 G Basics (HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE, EGPRS)


  • System architecture
  • The physical layer
  • Coding and channel allocation
  • Network design
  • 3.5 and 3.75 systems (HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA)

4th generation systems and LTE

  • System architecture and and evolved packet core (EPC)
  • The physical layer
  • Beyond 4G and the move to 5G systems

Other aspects and technologies

  • Mobile networks implementation and planning
  • Mobile services and business aspects

Business case study and lecture

  • Lecture by invited experts from the mobile industry
  • Discussion normally focuses on IP issues, business, commercial and financial aspects and on recent/future developments

Teaching, assessment and certificates

Classes will be held from 2pm to 6pm on Mondays, over 8 weeks. 

Teaching will take place in person with some materials available online. 

The course 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 Engineering CPD courses

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

Benefits to employees
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 successful completion this course should enable you to:

  • know and understand the engineering principles of wireless transmission, cellular systems and the different cellular/mobile systems
  • analyse and calculate the path loss, fading profiles and effects of multi-path propagation in various cellular environments (based on thorough understanding of the wireless channel)
  • develop a thorough knowledge of system architecture, signal formats channel structure and services for GSM, UMTS and 4G/LTE systems.
  • analyse error-correcting capabilities of different forward-error correcting schemes and justify the choice of particular schemes for given applications
  • understand the standardisation processes of wireless systems and the different cellular generations and be familiar with the IP issues associated with the development of technologies and standards
  • compare the different cellular generations and standards in terms of capabilities, technologies (core and wireless access/physical layer), services, cost, complexity and history
  • make a learned guess at what is 'next step' in cellular systems development on the basis of a thorough understanding of existing systems and of systems under development

Course team

Professor Izzat Darwazeh

Professor Izzat Darwazeh

Izzat is the course (module) leader. His teaching covers aspects of optical fibre communications, telecommunication networks and high speed integrated circuits and MMICs. His research interests are mainly in the areas of high speed optical communication systems and networks, microwave circuits and MMICs for optical fibre applications and in mobile communication circuits and systems.

He's authored/co-authored more than 250 papers in the areas of optical and wireless (cellular) communications and MMICs and high speed/frequency circuits. He's co-editor of the IEE book "Analogue Optical Communications" and co-author (with Luis Moura) of "Linear Circuit Analysis and Modelling: From DC to RF". He's also co-author (with Dr Clive Poole) of “Microwave Active Circuit Analysis and Design”.

He acts as a consultant to several UK and international organisations and commercial bodies and he serves on a wide range of professional committees. Since 2001 he's been at UCL's Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, becoming a Professor of Telecommunications Engineering in 2006.

Course information last modified: 22 Sep 2023, 17:32