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 Start date
MSc Full-time Feb 2018
MSc Full-time 12 months Feb 2018
MSc Oct 2018
MSc Full-time 12 months Oct 2018
Stag Hill

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.

Global opportunities

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. On the networking side, we work on advanced internet over satellite and satellite security systems. Students may undertake their projects with the research teams in these areas and learn from specifically tailored modules on these advanced techniques.

Graduate prospects

Our graduates can be found in most of the key satellite companies and they form an active Surrey alumni group. Companies which have employed our graduates include Inmarsat, SES, Eutelsat and Airbus.

Our students

  • Asma Seddaoui, PhD Space Engineering

    "When I found the opportunity to combine my passion and my love through a PhD, I jumped with no hesitation."

    Read more

  • Ben Clewer, PhD Space Engineering

    "Being as this is my seventh year here at Surrey now, apparently I like the place! My ultimate goal is to work on human spaceflight missions, in either the mission concept or design stages."

    Read more

Our graduates

  • Daniel Bamber, MSc Space Engineering

    “I want to be on the leading edge as technology advances and takes us further and further from Earth.“

    Read more

  • Thanat Varathon, MSc Satellite Communications Engineering

    “One of the best things about the course, in my opinion, was the opportunity to experience seminars delivered by guest speakers from satellite companies.”

    Read more

Discover

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 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.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

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 assist you in developing 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).

Students are encouraged to disclose their condition and register with the service so that they can be appropriately supported during their studies.

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

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).

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Recognition of prior learning

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 UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Feb 2018
Full-time Feb 2018
Oct 2018
Full-time Oct 2018 £9,800 £20,500

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018-19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Funding

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught masters programme fees.

For more details

Surrey International Scholarship for Engineering and Physical Sciences 2018 entry

These university-funded scholarships are worth £2,500 - £5,000 for 2018 entry on select MSc programmes within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences departments.

For more details

Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans.

For more details

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.

Contact us

Admissions enquiries

+44 (0)1483 682 222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

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