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School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Communications and Signal Processing MSc (Eng)

Communications and Signal Processing


Digital signal processing (DSP) is at the core of the communications revolution. Research is constantly being carried out to develop new DSP algorithms, allowing mobile broadband services, ‘Internet of Things’ applications and other technologies to be delivered to a growing number of users.

This programme will give you a thorough understanding of different aspects of DSP and as it relates to the communications landscape, as well as specialist knowledge from your choice of optional modules.
Our DSP lab will give you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, GPS and other technologies, and you’ll learn from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields.

You’ll also benefit from specialist industrial lectures, allowing you to relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing to practical problems and real-world constraints.

School Facilities
Our School is an exciting and stimulating environment where you’ll learn from leading researchers in specialist facilities. These include our Keysight Technologies wireless communications lab, as well as labs for embedded systems, power electronics and drives, ultrasound and bioelectronics.

There’s also a Terahertz photonics lab, class 100 semiconductor cleanroom, traffic generators and analysers, FPGA development tools, sensor network test beds. We have facilities for electron-beam lithography and ceramic circuit fabrication – and a III-V semiconductor molecular beam epitaxy facility. The Faculty is also home to the £4.3 million EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, set to make us a world leader in robot design and construction.

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.

Course Content

Throughout the year you’ll study a set of core modules that give you an in-depth understanding of DSP, wireless communications, different optical communications networks and the complex issues around network security. If you don’t have any experience of c-programming you’ll also take a module that develops these skills; alternatively, you can choose between this module and another on software development.

You’ll also select optional modules that are tailored to your own interests or career plans – you could focus on embedded microprocessor systems, high-speed internet architecture or other topics. To build your understanding of the global electronics industry, you’ll also complete a dissertation. This could take the form of a business, manufacturing or outsourcing plan, a proposal for research funding or an essay on a specific aspect of the industry.

Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.

Course Structure
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

There are seven core modules including your Main Project. You’ll also choose either Programming or Software Development – if you have no experience in c-programming, you’ll need to take Programming. Then you’ll select two optional modules.

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


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, RF planning, broadband systems and general communications research and development.

Graduates from our School have gone on to work for organisations such as the National Grid, Ericsson Telecommunications, Cisco Systems, AECOM, Deep Sea Electronics, Huawei, Intel Corp., the Technology and Strategy Board and many more.

This course is also an excellent base from which to pursue a PhD and possibly an academic career.

Careers support
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in electronic/electrical engineering, computing, mathematics or physics.

Applicants with a 2.2 will also be considered if they can demonstrate specific competence in communications theory or practice.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications, For information contact the School of School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Postgraduate admissions team.

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.