Space Engineering MSc
Why choose this course
We are already exploring the final frontier, and we will be visiting it even more in the future. 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 even further and do even more.
At Surrey, we pioneered sophisticated ‘micro-satellites’ in the 1980s. Since then, we have maintained a programme of building entire satellites, performing mission planning, working with international launch agencies and providing in-orbit operations, keeping us at the forefront of the space revolution.
Our strategic partnership agreements with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and Airbus, ensure that we continue to form a part of the lifeblood in the UK’s industrial space sector.
What you will study
Our MSc in Space Engineering is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required for a career working with space technologies. You will have access to all aspects of the design and delivery of spacecraft and payloads.
We are the only UK academic institution that develops and executes complete space missions - from initial concept to hardware design, manufacturing, testing and to in-orbit operations (controlled by our own spacecraft mission operation ground station at Surrey Space Centre). Because of this, you will have the chance to gain your own first-hand experience of real space missions.
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.
Technical characteristics of the pathway
This course in Space Engineering 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, in 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 multi-disciplinary course, and projects are often closely associated with ongoing space projects carried out by Surrey Satellite Technology, plc. This is a large local company that builds satellites commercially and carries out industrially-sponsored research.
In 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 underpin 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.
As a graduate of this course, you will be in high demand in the UK and European Space Industries.
Several graduates have been employed in Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (founded by Surrey Space Centre) and Airbus. Other employers include the European Space Agency, The Satellite Applications Catapult and QinetiQ.
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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’re studying this course full time, you will study eight modules across the year, four in each semester. During the two semesters you will also apply for and agree a project with an academic supervisor and begin initial work on the project before working on it full time after the end of Semester 2. From that point you will have approximately two and a half months to complete the work and write up your dissertation.
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 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
Choose 2 of the optional modules in Semester 1
Choose 4 of the optional modules in Semester 2
Unstructured (3-5 years)
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 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.
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.