Why choose this course
The night sky presents us with the idea of infinity, and advances in space engineering lead the way in giving us the opportunity to go further and explore more than ever before.
At Surrey, we pioneered sophisticated ‘micro-satellites’ in the 1980s. Since then, we’ve maintained a programme of building entire satellites, performing mission planning, working with international launch agencies and providing in-orbit operations. This activity keeps us at the forefront of the space revolution.
With Surrey Space Centre on our campus, and our strategic partnership agreements with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Airbus, we continue to be part of the lifeblood in the UK’s industrial space sector.
What you will study
Our MSc is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required for a career working with space technologies. You’ll have access to all aspects of the design and delivery of spacecraft and payloads.
We’re the only UK academic institution that develops and executes complete space missions – from initial concept to hardware design, manufacturing and testing, to in-orbit operations. All this is controlled by our own spacecraft mission operation ground station at Surrey Space Centre. Because of this, you’ll have the chance to gain first-hand experience of real space missions.
Please be aware: the course content and modules listed for this course are subject to change for the 2023/24 academic year, whilst we undertake a curriculum design review. Please contact the programme leader if you have any queries about the course.
Technical characteristics of the course
Our MSc aims to provide a high-level postgraduate qualification relating to the design of space missions using satellites. Study is taken to a high -level in both theory and practice, exploring the specialist areas of space physics, mechanics, orbits and space-propulsion systems, as well as the system and electronic design of space vehicles.
This is a multidisciplinary course and projects are often closely associated with ongoing space projects carried out by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. This is a large local company that builds satellites commercially and carries out industrially- sponsored research.
At Surrey Space Centre, we carry out applied research most relevant to space engineering, ranging from whole mission developments and execution, to scientific investigations into specific technologies that support their deployment in the space industry.
Many student projects are conducted in collaboration with industry and focus on real applications, bridging the gap between university education and the end product.
MSc - 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.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.
As a graduate of this course, you’ll be in high demand in the UK and European space industries.
Several graduates have been employed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, which was founded by Surrey Space Centre, and Airbus. Other employers include:
- European Space Agency
- Satellite Applications Catapult.
93 per cent of our electrical and electronic engineering postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA).
Academic year structure
If you’re studying this course full-time, you’ll study eight modules across the year – four in each semester. You will work on your project full time during the summer period for approximately two and a half months, whilst prior to that during semester time you will work on the initial stages of the project part time and complete an interim report. This means that if you begin your course in February, you will complete your project in between the two semesters, while if you begin your course in September, you will complete your project after the two semesters.
You can also study this course part-time, taking between two and five years. The length depends on how many modules you study each year. You can study between two and six modules each year. We recommend part-time students work on their project in their final year of study when all eight modules have either been completed or 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, 75 and 120 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:
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 Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
A minimum of a 2:2 UK honours degree in aerospace engineering, communication engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, electronic engineering, information and communication technologies, mechanical engineering, physics or telecommunication engineering, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.
We'll also consider relevant work experience if you don't meet these requirements.
International entry requirements by country
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
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 your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, 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. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to 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.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any queries.
Start date: February 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 5 years
Start date: September 2023
Full-time - 1 year
Part-time - 5 years
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2023-24 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 2023-24 academic year
- Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.
There are associated costs with this course:
- Books/stationery/admin: Costs may be incurred associated with the purchase of writing paper and associated stationery.
You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about postgraduate student finance.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, 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 registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
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 our full disclaimer.