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School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Communications and Signal Processing MSc (Eng)

Communications and Signal Processing


High speed mobile broadband wireless access and the Internet of Things (IoT) are both part of the next communications revolution. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion (connected) objects by 2020!

As new video-rich, bandwidth-hungry services are developed, the challenge to implement these communication networks in practice is becoming even more demanding. Current (4G)/future (5G) cellular systems are using/will use mathematical techniques like precoding, MIMO beamforming, estimation and detection, etc. But these networks and devices will also need to be energy efficient and use advanced signal processing for future 5-G communications, possibly in the mm-wave part of the r.f. spectrum.

At the core of all the above is the enabling technology of digital signal processing (DSP). Research is constantly being carried out by the world’s major communication companies to develop new DSP algorithms so that mobile broadband services/IoT applications/etc. can be delivered (with an acceptable quality of service) to an increasing number of users over a limited bandwidth. In addition, DSP is also needed to deal with the huge security issues of a possible 50 billion IoT connected devices.

One of the unique features of this course is the inclusion of a significant number of specialist industrial lectures, which ensures that you can relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing to the practical limitations of real-world constraints. In addition, our digital signal processing laboratory (from Texas Instruments) will give you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, GPS, etc. We are currently seeking accreditation for this course from
the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Find out about our MSc programme managers by visiting our staff profiles page

Course duration: 12 months (full-time)
Start date: September
Course fees (full time): UK/EU: £10,000; International: £19,000
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £3,000 available.


The table below shows the modules that you will study if you commence your studies in September 2015. This information is taken from the University Programme Catalogue, which is a tool designed for current students to select modules.

If you are looking to start your studies in September 2016, it will provide you with an example of what you will study.

All of our MSc courses operate on a credit-based modular system. A standard module is typically worth 15 credits and the research project/dissertation is worth 45 credits. You are required to study 180 credits in total.

Compulsory modules Credits
Industry Dissertation 15
Wireless Communications Systems Design 15
Digital Signal Processing for Communications 15
Digital Wireless Communications Principles 15
Optical Communications Networks 15
Data Communications and Network Security 15
Research Project 45
Optional modules (choose one)  
Programming 15
Software Development 15
Optional modules (choose two)  
Cellular Mobile Communication Systems 15
High Speed Internet Architecture 15
FPGA Design for System-on-chip 15
Embedded Microprocessor System Design 15

This is an indicative list and actual content may vary as we regularly review the content of our courses in light of new experiences and developments in the field.

Career options

Career options
On completing this course, you will have obtained the skills that will lead to employment in any area of the communications/signal processing industry including optical networking, DSP design and implementation, cellular mobile, r.f. planning, broadband systems and general communications research and development. This course is also an excellent base from which to pursue a PhD and possibly an academic career.

Graduate destinations
Every year our Careers Centre undertakes a destination of leavers survey with students six months after graduation. A selection of these destinations, from the last five years, can be found on our employability page.

Entry requirements

A UK upper second class honours degree (2.1), or equivalent, in electronic/electrical engineering, computing, mathematics or physics; or the equivalent of a good lower second class honours degree (2.2) accompanied by demonstration of specific competence in communications theory or practice.

We also welcome and accept students with a wide range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirement: GCSE English Language grade C (or above) or an equivalent recognised English Language qualification e.g. IELTS: 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Our Language Centre provide a range of English for Academic Purposes Pre-sessional courses, which are designed to help international students develop their language and academic study skills.

How to apply

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. This will allow you to track your application at each stage of the process. For assistance please view our postgraduate taught guidelines.

If you require any further information please contact our admissions team,
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 2035.