Modular MSc: Electronic Engineering via short courses

The Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences promotes excellence in research and education across a wide range of topics. It comprises research centres in communication systems, satellite engineering, vision, speech and signal processing, ion beam applications, mathematics and computing.

Course overview

An MSc in Electronic Engineering via short courses has been introduced comprising elements drawn from the full-time MSc courses. The purpose of the course is to encourage those working in industry to continue with their professional development without necessitating an expensive career break. The modular approach means that students can choose their own pace of study to fit in with their work commitments. The majority of our short courses have been approved for technical sponsorship by the IET.

Our department awards credits on the Modular MSc via short courses which are assessed by examination and, in the case of Satellite Communications, lab work and assignments. Each module is worth 15 credits.

How to gain your masters degree

To obtain an MSc Electronic Engineering, you will need to complete eight modules to gain 120 credits and a project that will award you a further 60 credits.

The maximum amount of time allocated for a Modular MSc via short courses student to complete the MSc is normally four years from registration.


Enquiries should be addressed to Barbara Steel in the faculties Professional Development Office:

Registration and entry requirements

Candidates should formally register straightaway and complete the MSc Application form. This form is processed by the Faculty PG Admissions Office and Registry and, if satisfactory, a formal offer will be made.

A first degree is usually necessary in order to register for an MSc but other qualifications combined with evidence of relevant employment can be taken into account in lieu of a first degree. The University has to be satisfied that the candidate is suitable for an MSc.

Supporting evidence for application includes:

  • Evidence of degrees or HNCs/HDNs claimed
  • Two referees
  • A letter of support from the applicant’s company
  • Evidence of previous experience.

The University reserves the right to refuse an application if it is felt that the student will have problems attaining the academic standards required for the MSc.

Postgraduate certificates

If a candidate, having completed four modules or 60 credits, decides not to continue with the masters course, a postgraduate certificate can be awarded. A 50 per cent average mark must have been obtained.

120 credits for a PG Diploma, a project can be used towards the PG Diploma.


Registration on the modular masters course is currently free. A charge per module will be made for attending the module, currently between £1,475 to £1,600.

Project fees

A charge will be levied for the administration and supervision of the project which counts for up to 60 credits towards the standard MSc. The cost of this will be advised at the Project Stage by Registry. Please note that the charges for overseas delegates may differ from that charged to UK students. The Registry has further information on this. The courses are charged for on a per-course basis. 

Additional credits and distance learning

A student can opt to undertake additional exam work for the short course in RF Circuit and System Design which doubles the number of credits available from the short course. The student will be given extra course notes or, in the case of the RF Circuit and System Design module a three month distance learning course and will need to complete all exams and assignments (if applicable) for these courses.

There is an additional charge, currently £400, for undertaking the Distance Learning module on this course. Some other courses are supplemented by extra study material on the University’s Distance Learning System, “U-Learn” and should be studied in addition to the course material provided during the five day short course.


Projects will follow the same requirements as for the standard masters course. Projects may only be arranged once full registration on the modular masters course has been achieved and four modules have been satisfactorily completed.

The project is intended to occupy approximately 100 working days, of which 25 days are for planning and preparation. Students will carry out a project in their company to a schedule agreed by the Company Project Supervisor, the University Project Supervisor and the student.

Times of examinations

The examinations are currently taken at the same time of the year as that for the full time MSc students and are taken in the UK. Examinations usually take place in January or February and May or June and, usually, four weeks notice is given of the exam date from the Examinations Office. Students from abroad will be examined in the UK.


In the case of the Satellite Communications module it is made up of examination and assignment – weighting 60:40 respectively. The assignment will be issued after the Satellite Communications module has taken place and students have two months to complete this. Late return of the assignment will result in penalties in marking.

Pass marks

The pass mark for an MSc module is 50 per cent.
A mark of 60 per cent is noted as a merit and 70 per cent is noted as a distinction.


Students who obtain a mark of 40 per cent to 49 per cent may be compensated. One module only can be compensated at this level after reassessment ie after a retake has been done. Students must also have an overall average of above 55 per cent including the failed module.

If a student fails an exam he/she will have the opportunity to resit. If this exam is failed on the resit then there won’t be another opportunity to take this exam and the student will not be able to continue with the MSc. The maximum pass mark of a retake will be capped at 50 per cent.

The modules

Modules currently participating in the modular masters course:

It is possible to gain extra credits on these modules by taking examinations/assignments based on the full Module MSc syllabus.

This course is supplemented with a three month distance learning programme comprising extra course material, tutorials, working through past exam papers and liaison with a Tutor.

Students from overseas

Note that the course consists of one-week short courses taken over a period of 2-4 years. The course is not continuous and therefore you would need to apply for a 6-12 month student visitors visa to cover the period for the module you would be taking and then apply for another short-term visa for the next module(s) and also to cover exam periods.

Even if the University makes an unconditional offer, there is no guarantee that a visa would be granted for the full term. We can write a letter in support of a visa application but it would be in support of a six month student visitor visa only and not for a continuous programme.


Some funding, through the Panasonic Trust may be available for UK and EC-based students. Please contact the Professional Development office for more details.

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Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
University of Surrey