Digital signal processing (DSP) is at the core of the communications revolution. Research is constantly being carried out to develop new DSP algorithms, allowing mobile broadband services, ‘Internet of Things’ applications and other technologies to be delivered to a growing number of users.
This programme will give you a thorough understanding of different aspects of DSP and as it relates to the communications landscape, as well as specialist knowledge from your choice of optional modules.
Our DSP lab will give you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, GPS and other technologies, and you’ll learn from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields.
You’ll also benefit from specialist industrial lectures, allowing you to relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing to practical problems and real-world constraints.
Our School is an exciting and stimulating environment where you’ll learn from leading researchers in specialist facilities. These include our Keysight Technologies wireless communications lab, as well as labs for embedded systems, power electronics and drives, ultrasound and bioelectronics.
There’s also a Terahertz photonics lab, class 100 semiconductor cleanroom, traffic generators and analysers, FPGA development tools, sensor network test beds. We have facilities for electron-beam lithography and ceramic circuit fabrication – and a III-V semiconductor molecular beam epitaxy facility. The Faculty is also home to the £4.3 million EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, set to make us a world leader in robot design and construction.
Throughout the year you’ll study a set of core modules that give you an in-depth understanding of DSP, wireless communications, different optical communications networks and the complex issues around network security. If you don’t have any experience of c-programming you’ll also take a module that develops these skills; alternatively, you can choose between this module and another on software development.
You’ll also select optional modules that are tailored to your own interests or career plans – you could focus on embedded microprocessor systems, high-speed internet architecture or other topics. To build your understanding of the global electronics industry, you’ll also complete a dissertation. This could take the form of a business, manufacturing or outsourcing plan, a proposal for research funding or an essay on a specific aspect of the industry.
Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Communications and Signal Processing module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- Industry Dissertation 15 credits
- Wireless Communications Systems Design 15 credits
- Digital Signal Processing for Communications 15 credits
- Digital Wireless Communications Principles 15 credits
- Optical Communications Networks 15 credits
- Data Communications and Network Security 15 credits
- Main Project 45 credits
- Cellular Mobile Communication Systems 15 credits
- High Speed Internet Architecture 15 credits
- FPGA Design for System-on-Chip 15 credits
- Embedded Microprocessor System Design 15 credits
- Programming 15 credits
- Software Development 15 credits
Learning and teaching
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in electronic/electrical engineering, computing, mathematics or physics.
Applicants with a 2.2 will also be considered if they can demonstrate specific competence in communications theory or practice.
All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.
English language requirementsIELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks).
How to apply
This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
UK/EU: £10,250 (total)
International: £21,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
The School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students.
Find out more about our Scholarships.
On completing this course, you will have obtained the skills that will lead to employment in any area of the communications/signal processing industry including optical networking, DSP design and implementation, cellular mobile, RF planning, broadband systems and general communications research and development.
Graduates from our School have gone on to work for organisations such as the National Grid, Ericsson Telecommunications, Cisco Systems, AECOM, Deep Sea Electronics, Huawei, Intel Corp., the Technology and Strategy Board and many more.
This course is also an excellent base from which to pursue a PhD and possibly an academic career.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects on the MSc in Communications and Signal Processing include:
• Powerline communications for smart grid
• Quantum key distribution over passive optical networks
• Physical layer security using artificial noise
• An energy-saving robot mobility diversity algorithm for wireless communications
• Analysis and processing of physiological data from a smart watch to monitor health
• Evaluation of wireless sensor networks for civil engineering applications
• Cooperative wireless communications over fading channels
• Carrier frequency offset compensation in OFDM for IEEE 802.11
• Underlay spectrum access strategy in cognitive radio
• Spectrum sensing for cognitive radio