Telecommunications Systems MSc

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Zuoyin Tang - Course Information

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • General
    A first or good second class Honours Degree from a UK academic organisation in a relevant engineering field, science or closely related discipline.
More information

Key Dates

  • Open day
    Wednesday 26 June
  • Start date

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Get free student membership throughout your studies.

Gain the requisite specialist knowledge and skills to develop, manage and adapt current systems

Our industry links mean our students access guest lectures presented by acknowledged industry experts

Recent graduates have gained positions with organisations including Alcatel-Lucent, A T & T and Huawei Technologies

Course summary

This programme is designed to develop or update a wide range of technical understanding, engineering “know-how” and professional skills that are needed to contribute effectively to the design and development of telecommunications systems for national and international networks, or to enter telecommunications research.

Entry Requirements & Fees

Key information & fees

Duration of programme: 1 year full-time: six months of taught modules on campus and a six month individual project, possibly within industry.

Start date: September

Intake: Up to 25 per year

Fees (Full Time):
UK/EU students  - £9,250 (2019/20 fee)
International students  - £16,350 (2019/20 fee)

Entry requirements

  • A first or good second class Honours Degree from a UK academic organisation in a relevant engineering field, science or closely related discipline.
  • Qualifications from outside the UK or a combination of qualifications and/or experience will also be considered. The course administration office can provide advice on whether these qualifications are the equivalent of the level of Honours Degree required.
  • We will consider that completion of 2 years (full time equivalent) of relevant postgraduate work experience will enhance a first degree by one step (five years experience by two steps, etc).
  • Employment is considered relevant either to the first degree or to the proposed course of postgraduate study. For example, a graduate in computer studies who has been employed as a computer programmer will have relevant employment experience. (Employment undertaken before the commencement of undergraduate study will not normally count for the purposes of enhancement).
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

Application details:
Apply for this course online

Information on visas for international students

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Course outline

Aston’s long-established MSc in Telecommunications Technology programme is organised by the Electronic Engineering subject group in cooperation with the telecommunications industry via an industrial steering committee. The programme is designed to develop or update a wide range of technical understanding, engineering “know-how” and professional skills that are needed to contribute effectively to the design and development of telecommunications systems for national and international networks, or to enter telecommunications research. The programme is involved in the ERASMUS exchange scheme with a well established link with ENST Brest. Graduates of this programme are highly regarded; many of our past students have risen to senior posts within the telecommunications sector.

Taught modules and examinations/assessments are completed during the six months October to March. After successful completion students may then progress to the six month individual research project during April to October. We endeavour to place students with industrial sponsors for the duration of their projects, with all other projects being undertaken at the University.

These modules are examples only and subject to change, please check back for next year’s modules soon.


  • Telecommunications Networks and Quality of Service
  • Radio Systems and Personal Communications Networks 
  • Mobile Data Networks Information Theory and Coding and Traffic Theory 
  • Digital Transmission
  • Optical Communications
  • Software Engineering
  • Project Management 
  • Strategic Management and Finance

Dissertation Stage:

  • Dissertation Preparation
  • MSc Dissertation

Past Project Titles

  • Advanced WDM hybrid transmission based on CWDM plus DWDM - Aston University
  • PROTAGON Research Project
  • Assesment & Development of Embedded Control for Standardised Converged Network Elements - Ericsson, Coventry
  • Personal Response System (PRS) - Aston University
  • An Improved Outdoor MIMO Channel Model with Real Data Analysis - BT, Ipswich 
Learning, teaching & assessment

Learning and Teaching Methods:

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • External lectures given by industry experts and leading academics
  • Guided self-study, based on module specifications and reading lists
  • Individual research guided by academic supervisors and moderators
  • Practicals via laboratory
  • Student presentations

Assessment Methods:

  • Continuous assessment
  • Laboratory reports
  • Written examinations
  • Dissertation modules
Professional accreditation

The MSc in Telecommunications Systems is fully accredited by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

IET logo

Career opportunities

The programme will be of interest to students in technical careers related to the design and development of telecommunications systems for national and international networks, or to those wishing to enter telecommunications research. The programme provides a means whereby graduates from non-telecommunications technical degrees can move into this high demand area. Many of our past students are now senior managers in telecommunications companies in the UK and around the world.

Previous MSc students in our Electronic and Electrical Engineering subjects have undertaken projects including:

  • Future Location and Coverage Prediction
  • Beamforming for Next Generation Wireless Networks
  • An Adaptive and Energy Efficient Wireless Monitoring System
  • Wireless Networking within Offshore Wind Farms
  • Broadband Network and IP/Transmissions Network Delivery 

Our students have worked with organisations including BlackBerry, BT, BAE, Daconi and Jaguar Land Rover.  

Personal development

Our programmes provide a means where graduates from non-telecommunications technical degrees can move into this high demand area. The programme is an “Advanced Vocational Course” postgraduate degree in Telecommunications Systems its theory, practice and applications.

Some of the subjects make full recourse to a range of mathematical topics that should be familiar to the honours graduate of an accredited Undergraduate Degree in Electronic Engineering. Any student who may not possess this familiarity, will be expected to achieve it by private study.

Facilities & equipment

In addition to the usual wide range of facilities expected in a University we have the following local facilities available for to our Masters programmes.

Telecommunications Computing Laboratory: This has 32 specialist GNU/Linux workstations (Debian distribution) specifically for use by undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. It is the main computing teaching laboratory used in the programmes and supports flexible dynamic networking as may be required for some projects.

Telecommunications laboratory: The laboratory also supports practical classes in Optoelectronics and investigations intoWireless LAN networks and digital transmission systems.

Photonics Research laboratories: The word “photonics” describes the engineering and science underlying the manipulation of photons of light rather in the way that the word “electronics” applies to electrons. It embraces the modern application of optical techniques to communications, signal processing, sensors, and data storage. The broad aims of the Photonics Research Group are to research new phenomena and devices, and their applications in future fibre optic systems.

The Aston Photonics Research Group has a well-established international track record of innovation in grating devices for applications in telecommunications, signal processing, optical sensing, and many other grating applications including many first demonstrations. The main areas of research are: ultrafast non-linear phenomena in fibres and fibre devices; high-speed communication concentrating on solitons and soliton transmission, processing, generation and control; all-optical switching and processing; ultrafast all-optical networks; fibre gratings fabrication, design and fundamental studies; fibre grating devices and their application incommunication and sensors; and microwave photonics.

The extensive facilities of the group are available for use on Masters projects.

Adaptive Communications Research Laboratories: This research group focuses on a range of networking architectures from mobile systems to ad-hoc sensor networks. Techniques involve the design of advanced digital systems for application-specific embedded systems and advanced algorithms for improving network efficiency. The group uses state of the art dynamic field programmable gate array hardware to examine physical implementations of these principles.

The future impact of pervasive computing is an area of very active research. We are interested in the applications of dynamic hardware in this area to improve system performance. We are also looking at the applications of advanced coding techniques in the area of mobile third generation networks. The group has links with both the Photonics Research Group and the Neural Computing Research Group. A range of theoretical, experimental and CAD design techniques are used to investigate novel architectures and protocols.

Research interests: Ad-hoc networks, Sensor networks, Mobile networks, Adaptive algorithms, Applications of FPGAs, Dynamic hardware in Internet routers, Concurrent systems design, Coding theory, Cellular architectures for flexible processing, and Architectures for handling high-speed serial data.The facilities are available for use on Masters projects.


You can find out more about our Postgraduate scholarships for international students here.  If you are a UK or EU student, please email for information on funding.

Course director & teaching staff

Programme Director:  Dr. Zuoyin Tang
I joined the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University as a lecturer in 2010. I previously held the positions of Lecturer at University of Bedfordshire, Research Fellow at University of Strathclyde and Research Officer at Swansea University.

Teaching staff:

Dr. Xiaohong Peng

Dr. Peng teaches mobile data networks in this MSc programme. His research areas range from wireless and multimedia communications and networks to sensor networks for healthcare and wellbeing. He has led research projects in both theoretical developments and practical system realisation through collaborations with industry in telecommunications, data storage and mobile communication networks. Dr Peng is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (SMIEEE).

Dr. Paul Harper

I started my research career at Aston in 1994 as a PhD student studying high speed optical telecommunications in the early days of what would become the world renowned Photonics Research Group.

After graduating in 1997 I continued this work at Aston as a Post Doc. In May 2002 along with co-workers, I left the university to form a spin-out project Marconi-Solstis to commercialise our research work.

Dr. Jianhua He

Dr. Sonia Boscolo 

I studied at the University of Burgundy, Dijon, France where I was awarded the BA and MA degrees in Physics in 1998. I joined the Photonics Research Group at Aston University in 1999, and I received a PhD degree for studies on optical solitons and nonlinear solitary waves in 2002.

Since 2002, I have been working with the Photonics Research Group (now the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies), where I am currently a Senior Lecturer.

Dr. John Williams 

Module owner of MSc Dissertation and Dissertation Preparation.

Contact us

MSc Programmes Admissions Officer
Tel: +44 (0)121 204 3200

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