Satellite Communications Engineering MSc

Why choose this course

Surrey is a world-leader in satellite communications, broadcasting, terrestrial mobile networks and the internet: essential components of communication and information infrastructures. This has allowed us to create a masters programme that is delivered by academics and researchers with extensive theoretical expertise and practical experience.

What you will study

Mobile communications provide terrestrial coverage in densely populated areas, while satellite communications enable wireless communication in regions where mobile networking is not cost-effective.

This masters will give you an in-depth understanding of the engineering aspects of these important current and future technologies.

The University of Surrey has well established contacts with major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, and is also a major hub for terrestrial communications research, being home to the world’s largest academic research group specifically in 5G communications. Our state-of-the-art 5G Innovation Centre was founded with key national and international industry players in the communications field, including the UK’s major mobile operators. It is focused on driving the delivery of a mobile communications and wireless connectivity capable of meeting the need of tomorrow's connected society and digital economy.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MSc Part-time 60 months October 2018
MSc Full-time 12 months October 2018

Professional recognition

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

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.

Facilities, equipment and support

Through consistent investment, we have built up an impressive infrastructure to support our students and researchers. The University of Surrey hosts Surrey Space Centre – a unique facility comprising academics and engineers from our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

Our mission control centre was designed and developed by students to support international CubeSat operations as part of the GENSO network, and it also supports the development of the University’s own educational satellites.

Our teaching laboratories provide ‘hands-on’ experience of satellite design and construction through the use of EyasSAT nano-satellite kits. They also house meteorological satellite receiving stations for the live reception of satellite weather images.

Elsewhere, our fully equipped RF lab has network analyser, signal and satellite link simulators. The Rohde and Schwartz Satellite Networking Laboratory includes DVBS2-RCS generation and measurement equipment, and roof-mounted antennas to communicating live with satellites.

A security test-bed also exists for satellite security evaluation. We have a full range of software support for assignments and project work, including Matlab, and you will be able to access system simulators already built in-house.

Satellite Communications Engineering students can also make use of SatNEX, a European Network of Excellence in satellite communications supported by ESA; a satellite platform exists to link the 22 partners around Europe. This is used for virtual meetings and to participate in lectures and seminars delivered by partners.

Our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, is situated close by on the Surrey Research Park and provides ready access to satellite production and industrial facilities. In addition, we have a strategic relationship with EADS Airbus Europe-wide and several other major communications companies.

Technical characteristics of the pathway

This programme in satellite communications engineering. provides detailed in-depth knowledge of theory and techniques applicable to radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineering.

The programme includes core modules in both RF and microwave covering all ranges of wireless frequencies and a number of application devices including radio frequency identification (RFID), broadcasting, satellite links, microwave ovens, printed and integrated microwave circuits.

Additional optional modules enable the student to apply the use of RF and microwave in subsystem design for either mobile communications, satellite communications, nanotechnology or for integration with optical communications.

The teaching material and projects are closely related to the research being carried out in the Department’s Advanced Technology Institute and the Institute for Communication Systems.

Research

Our current research concerns high throughput satellite design with advanced payload techniques. We are also working on mega constellations of satellites and on satellites within 5G, while on the networking side, work focuses on advanced internet over satellite and satellite security systems. Students undertake their projects with the research teams in these areas and learn from specifically tailored modules on these advanced techniques.

Graduate prospects

Graduates from this course are to be found in most of the key satellite companies and form an active Surrey alumni group. Companies which have employed our graduates include Inmarsat, SES, Eutelsat and Airbus.

Programme leader

EVANS BG Prof (Elec Elec En)

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 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.

Disclaimer

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.

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.

Modules

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Timetable

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, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH 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.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum 2:2 in a UK honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in Electronic or Electrical Engineering, Communication Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Physics or a related discipline.

Relevant industrial experience may also be considered.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic:  6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).

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 is also an IELTS test centre.

Credit transfer

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.

Fees

Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Part-time October 2018 £1,100* £2,300*
Full-time October 2018 £9,800 £20,500
* per 15 credits

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2018-19 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

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