Digital Communications Networks MSc

You will study 180 credits in total during your Digital Communications Networks MSc(Eng). A standard module is typically worth 15 credits and the research project is worth 45 credits. These are the modules studied in 2017. If you are starting in September 2018, these will give you a flavour of the modules you are likely to study. All Modules are subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Data Communications and Network Security - 15 credits
Develop the knowledge and understanding of data communications networks, their use in a range of applications, and network security measures.

High-speed Internet Architecture - 15 credits
Provides a basis for understanding, appreciating and performing practical research and development in networking, with a special emphasis on internet routers and switches. The module covers topics on the design, analysis and performance evaluation of a wide range of network architectures, switches and internet routers.

Optical Communication Networks - 15 credits
Covers the essential elements of modern optical networks: the evaluation of WDM, optical time multiplexing and photonic packet switching. The module will also teach you to appreciate case studies and implementation scenarios, how to design virtual WDM networks, and to understand the evolution of modern optical networks.

Communication Network Design - 15 credits
Covers the basic models, algorithms and theories of communication networks design.

Industry dissertation - 15 credits
This module develops a detailed understanding of the global electronics industry. The topic of the dissertation is agreed with the module leader; examples include an essay on a particular aspect of the electronics industry, a proposal for research funding, a business plan and/or a manufacturing/ outsourcing plan.

Main project - 45 credits
Involves independent research on a relevant topic, agreed between you and your supervisor, throughout the second semester and the summer months.

Optional modules (choose three)

Cellular Mobile Communication Systems - 15 credits
Focuses on the underlying principles of cellular mobile radio for voice, data and video, the limitations and possibilities of mobile communications, signal processing requirements, the need for protocols, the principles and practices of 2G (eg GSM) and 3G (eg WCDMA) systems, as well as future developments and design requirements (eg 4G systems).

Wireless Communications Systems Design - 15 credits
This module addresses communication design at many different levels. At the system level, it covers microwave systems, system modelling, subsystem characterisation, and the delivery of complete communications systems in the real world. The propagation level covers system noise-figure analysis, link budgets and radio propagation analysis as a system planning tool. At the circuit level, it includes: RF subsystems; direct and heterodyne conversion; RF integrated circuits; the impact of RF/microwave component design on wireless communication system performance; modulation formats and their impact on circuit design; and distortion and spectral regrowth.

Digital Wireless Communications Principles - 15 credits
Compares and contrasts different communication systems/media and appreciate their limitations. You will understand the principles of the fundamental building blocks in a digital, wireless communication system (eg A/D & D/A) converters, source/channel coders (decoders), modulation (demodulation), matched filter, equalisation, etc) and the basic operation of various multiple access scenarios (eg FDMA, TDMA & CDMA). You will become familiar with basic digital modulation schemes like BPSK, QPSK and QAM and their bit error rate (BER) curves, apply elementary channel coding, and appreciate future technologies/wireless communications developments.

Medical Electronics and E-Health - 15 credits
Provides you with an understanding of how electronics and communications technology is, and could be, used in medical applications and healthcare.

FPGA Design for System-on-chip - 15 credits
Provides an understanding of the principles of the design of digital signal processing systems for VLSI technologies. You will gain a detailed knowledge of digital design techniques for silicon chip technologies in the sub-100nm scale, understand the fundamentals of implementing complex systems on a single chip, and be able to use contemporary EDA design tools to design practical examples.

Digital Media Engineering - 15 credits
This module provides in-depth coverage of issues relating to the recording, transmission, storage and replaying of multimedia content. The syllabus includes: DRM formats and their impact for revenue generation within the field of content distribution; property rights and licensing protection; differentiating supply chain services for pushing digital content in the video, music and gaming industries; and quantifying storage requirements, scaling strategies and control methodologies for digital production management.

Optional modules (choose one)

Programming​ - 15 credits
Develops competence in computer programming, using both Matlab and c.

Software Development - 15 credits
Refreshes and enhances cprogramming skills, and develops further software engineering expertise via a software project in which you will use professional methodology and an alternative programming language. This module is only suitable for students who have good prior experience of c programming.