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Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / 2 years (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

To produce post-graduate specialists with essential knowledge and expertise in electronic and microwave engineering. To develop an awareness of the rapidly growing application space for microwave engineering and to use this to contribute significantly to a wide range of industry-focussed research, design and development work.

Special Features

Course Description

The aim of this course is to provide, at an advanced level, knowledge and skills in wireless and microwave communication engineering, and to develop related skills, enhancing the engineering competency and employability of its graduates.

The course will allow students to become expert in new and evolving areas of microwave engineering including mobile communications and medical applications of microwaves. Key focus areas include advanced computer aided design (CAD) and communication systems engineering. The course will cover laboratory work and advanced engineering management alongside modules in HF and RF engineering, advanced fabrication and test, advanced communication systems and non-linear RF design and concepts. Other modules consider the fundamentals of micro and nano-technology or optoelectronics.

Course Structure

The course consists of lecture, lab and tutorial based study during the Autumn and Spring semesters, followed by an individual research project in the summer. The course is assessed through examinations, written coursework, and a final individual project report.

A wide range of teaching styles are used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. Students will attend lectures, participate in examples classes and group study. All students must complete 120 credits in Stage 1 in order to progress to the dissertation (stage 2), for which they are allocated a project supervisor. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff in consultation with industrial partners, usually in areas of current research or industrial interest. Students are also encouraged to put forward their own project ideas.

The programme is presented as a one-year full time Masters level programme, and is also available part-time over two years.

Autumn Semester

  • Software tools and Simulation: 10 credit Autumn semester module that aims to ensure students from diverse backgrounds achieve a common foundation in using the software tools and simulation techniques used within both research areas and industrial labs.
  • Advanced Communications Systems: 10 credit Autumn semester module that provides a thorough understanding of modern mobile communications systems, modulation schemes, state-of-the-art hardware and system characterisation techniques.
  • High Frequency Electronic Materials: 10 credit Autumn semester module that introduces the fundamental physical properties at high frequencies of a range of novel electronic materials.
  • HF & RF Engineering: 10 credit Autumn semester module that introduces circuit design techniques that must be employed in the design of high-frequency circuits and systems
  • Non-Linear RF Design and Concepts: 10 credit Autumn semester module that explores how non-linearity of electronic devices used in communications systems can both degrade and enhance overall performance.
  • Research Study: 20 credit Autumn/Spring semester module with the main aim of engaging, motivating and enthusing students and through industry-linked case studies, promote a strong teamworking approach to learning at an early stage of the MSc programme. Also to provide knowledge and necessary research skills to embark on a productive research project. The research study is an essential precursor to the 60-credit summer research study involving both individual and group work activities.

Spring Semester

  • RF Circuit Design and CAD: 10 credit Spring semester module that considers advanced concepts behind modern-day microwave and monolithic microwave circuit design, looking specifically at measurement systems, amplifier design and matching techniques.
  • Management in Industry: 10 credit Spring semester module giving students an appreciation of what to expect when they take their first positions in the world of corporate business and industry.
  • Fundamentals of micro and nanotechnology: 10 credit Spring semester module introducing the principles of micro and nano-scale fabrication in the context of integrated circuit (IC) technology and micro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
  • Optoelectronics: 10 credit Spring semester module that gives a comprehensive overview of developments in the rapidly expanding subject of optoelectronics and optoelectronic communication and optical information storage systems.
  • Advanced CAD, Fabrication and Test: 10 credit Spring semester module focussing on the use of a range of advanced CAD tools and modern measurement instruments - a key attribute of a modern day electronic/RF Engineer. Modern microwave fabrication and prototyping techniques are also explored.
  • Research Study: 20 credit Autumn/Spring semester module with the main aim of engaging, motivating and enthusing students and through industry-linked case studies, promote a strong teamworking approach to learning at an early stage of the MSc programme. Also to provide knowledge and necessary research skills to embark on a productive research project. The research study is an essential precursor to the 60-credit summer research study involving both individual and group work activities.

Dissertation

60 credit summer research or industry related project. This activity is carried out during the summer months between July and September, often involves working closely with an industrial partner, and looking at a significant, interesting and challenging electronics / microwave related problem.

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