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School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Communications and Signal Processing MSc

Communications and Signal Processing


Mobile broadband wireless access is now the next communications revolution. As new video-rich, bandwidth-hungry services are developed, the challenge to deliver the next generation of broadband communication networks is becoming more profound. At the heart of any modern communications network or device is the enabling technology of advanced digital signal processing (DSP). For example, in future, 4-G systems (e.g. LTE-Advanced), precoding DSP, MIMO beamforming, advanced DSP detection will all be routine.

Therefore, research is continuously carried out by the world's major communication companies to develop new DSP algorithms, in order for high bitrate, mobile and broadband services to be delivered, with an acceptable quality of service, to an increasing number of users within a limited bandwidth. That is the challenge!

This School, with its world-class research-led teaching, is ideally placed to deliver an MSc both relevant to industry and with good career prospects. One of the unique features of this course is the inclusion of a significant number of specialist industrial lectures, which ensures you can relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing with the practical limitations of real-world constraints. In addition, the Digital Signal Processing laboratory (from Texas Instruments) gives you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, MP3 players, etc.

Course duration: Full-time, 12 months
Start date: September
Course fees: UK/EU: £10,000; International: £16,800
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £3,000 available.

The School is ranked number 1 in the UK for research in the latest Research Assessment Exercise.

Visit our virtual experience to meet some of our academic staff and students.


The tables below show the modules that you will study if you commence your studies in September 2013. 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 2014 a list of modules is available in the 2014 brochure.

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
Wireless Communications Systems Design 15
Digital Signal Processing for Communications 15
Cellular Mobile Communication Systems 15
Digital Wireless Communications Principles 15
Optical Communications Networks 15
DSP Hardware Implementation 15
Data Communications and Network Security 15
Pilot Study 15
Research Project 45
Optional modules (choose 1)  
High Speed Internet Architecture 15
Digital Design for System-on-chip 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 degree equivalent to a UK upper second class (2:1) honours degree, or better in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Mathematics or Physics.

Applicants with a good lower second class (2:2) honours degree and who can demonstrate specific competence in communications theory or practice will also be considered and should not be deterred from applying.

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

English language requirement: A pass at GCSE level in English language (grade C or above). If English is not your first language, you are required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. You will need to meet our minimum requirements for one of the following recognised English language tests: the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Pearson Test of English Academic.

How to apply

The easiest and quickest way to apply for one of our masters courses is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process. However, if you prefer, you can download an application form to print out and complete. Once complete, please return this, along with the correct documents to our Engineering Admissions Hub either via email or post: Engineering PGT Admissions Hub, Faculty of Engineering, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.

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