RF and Microwave Engineering MSc
Why choose this course
RF and microwave engineering helps to make many aspects of our day-to-day lives possible, from mobile phones and Wi-Fi, through to radios and radar systems.
Here at Surrey, we are one of the few institutions with the expertise and facilities to give you hands-on experience in radio frequency and microwave devices. Your teaching will be backed up and informed by pioneering research in wireless communications, space technology, and advanced gigahertz and terahertz microwave technologies. This course emphasises radio and microwave communications in 5G and beyond as well as many industries in the space and defence sector.
What you will study
There is a high demand for skilled radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineers in the communications, space, aerospace, automotive industries, among others. On our course, you’ll learn about a range of modern theories and practical design techniques which form the essential knowledge and skills you need to become an RF engineer.
You’ll experience RF systems and circuits across the frequency spectrum, ranging from radio frequency identification, working at a few megahertz, through to mmWave frequencies (at tens of gigahertz) which are relevant to satellite communications and advanced 5G radio.
Theoretical concepts established in lectures are complemented by practical implementation in laboratory sessions, with direct experience of industry-standard computer-aided design software.
Study and work abroad
There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.
We provide solid academic support through our taught modules and into the project period. You will be assigned a personal tutor with whom you can discuss both academic and general issues related to the course. When you move into the project phase of the course, you will be assigned a project supervisor who you will meet, usually on a weekly basis, to discuss the progress of your project.
The individual taught modules also feature strong academic support, usually through a tutorial programme. All of the RF and microwave modules have tutorial sheets to support the lectures. It’s also worth noting that a number of our course modules give you opportunities to engage in interactive learning through computer-aided design and practical laboratories.
Although completing the tutorials is not part of the formal assessment, you have the option of using the tutorials to receive individual feedback on your progress in the modules.
Our Department has three pioneering research centres which involve RF and microwave work: The Institute for Communication Systems (home of the 5G Innovation Centre), the Advanced Technology Institute (owner of the n3m Laboratories); and Surrey Space Centre (founder of Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.). All of your teaching and project supervision will be inspired by and delivered out of one of these research centres.
Highly skilled RF engineers are highly sought after in the industry, so as a successful graduate of this course you will have plenty of opportunities to pursue a rewarding career. Past employers have included Telefonica, Qinetiq and Ericsson.
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Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Academic year structure
If you wish to study the full-time course, you will take eight modules. You can expect four modules to be studied in each semester. In these semesters, you will also apply for and agree a project with an academic supervisor and begin work on the project. You will move on to full-time work on this project after the end of Semester 2. After this, you have approximately two and a half months to complete the work and write your dissertation.
If you’re considering doing our course part time, you’ll study for between two to five years. The length depends on how many modules you study each year. You will study between two and six modules per year. For part-time study, we’d recommend that you do your project in your final year. This will be after you have completed all eight modules or at a time when they are near completion.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Year 1 (full-time)
Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7
A full-time student must choose:
THREE in Semester 1
THREE in Semester 2
Unstructured (3-5 years)
Optional modules for Unstructured (3-5 years) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7
A part-time student must complete study of SIX optional modules within 60 months.
EEEM053 (EPS 1) for Semester 1 (compulsory without placement)
EEEM054 compulsory with placement for Semester 1
EEEM055 (EPS 2) for Semester 2 (compulsory without placement)
EEEM056 90 credit project (core with placement for S2 & Summer)
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Learning and disability
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in either Communication Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information and Communication Technologies, Physics or Telecommunication Engineering, or a recognised equivalent international qualification. We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on an unstructured self-paced part-time course, the fee shown is per 15 credits for the 2019-20 academic year. The fee payable in subsequent years will be reviewed annually.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.