Full time 12 Month(s), Part time 24 Month(s)
Specialising in advanced communications, this programme will give you the opportunity to develop new skills, enhance your competence and gain technical expertise in state-of-the-art and emerging communication technologies, which will boost your career prospects.
This programme has been developed for graduates in engineering or science-related disciplines, with an interest in contemporary wireless communication systems. While you may have encountered many of these systems in day-to-day life, this programme will provide you with a rigorous understanding of technologies such as 4G, 5G and beyond 5G mobile communications, Wi-Fi, mobile WiMAX, space-time coding, software defined radio, and reconfigurable analogue and digital RF systems. The acquired knowledge will be useful in a wide range of applications, including the Internet of Things as well as medical, geophysical, aerospace, automotive and environmental systems.
In addition, the interdisciplinary nature of this programme means that you will benefit from two specialist departments: the Engineering Department and the School of Computing and Communications. Combining the research and teaching strengths of these two departments, this course offers you a blend of academic teaching, practical experience and professional training. You will develop knowledge and skills related to both advanced communications and embedded systems, as well as the opportunity to gain real-world experience through an industrial or research placement.
During the year, you will also have access to Lancaster’s dedicated Knowledge Business Centre (KBC), which maintains links with partner companies. This will ensure that you have the chance to apply your knowledge and skills to real industrial challenges and develop practical skills and experience that will support your career progression.
You will also complete a dissertation project on a topic of your choice, guided by an academic. This will allow you to bring together everything you have learnt and gain valuable experience by applying it to real-world cutting-edge research problems. As part of this project, you also demonstrate an ability to review articles, reflect on their views, interpret research findings, make your own judgements and justify these to peers and academic staff. Fundamentally, you will develop an expertise in a specific area of wireless communications.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Building upon previous modules, students will learn about established communication techniques. Among these are advanced error-correcting coding, which involves the encoding and decoding of Hamming. Convolutional and cyclic codes will be explained and analysed, and coded-modulation and turbo-coding techniques will also be briefly discussed. Sessions in channel equalisation will focus on the impact of intersymbol interference (ISI) on system performance, and will explore solutions including zero forcing (ZF) and minimum mean square error (MMSE) equalisers. In addition, students will be exposed to diversity methods, such as temporal and spectral methods. Spatial diversity techniques for multiple antenna systems, also known as multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems, will be analysed and described in detail.
Emerging techniques will also be introduced, including fountain coding and network coding, green communications, cooperative networks, cognitive radio and dynamic spectrum sharing.
Students will be expected to demonstrate a deep knowledge of concepts, mathematical tools and theories related to advanced communication methods, such as low parity check coding, equalisation, diversity combining and multiple access protocols. Students will gain the ability to develop software scripts that implement state-of-the-art communication methods and demonstrate their impact on the performance of communication systems. Additionally, students will be provided with the level of knowledge that is required to discuss recent emerging technologies, explain their underlying principles and provide examples of potential future services and applications.
Submission Date: end of August
A large part of the masters involves completing a dissertation project. This starts with students selecting a project by December in the first year of study. This piece of work will involve writing 40000 words and at least 200 hours of work.
This is primarily a self-study module that is designed to provide the foundation of the main dissertation, at a level considered to be publishable quality. On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to make value judgement relating to technologies and applications, and to justify these to peers and academic staff.
The topic of the project will vary from student to student, but will be at a level commensurate with the weight and level of the module. Students will refine, extend, and perfect their own scientific reflection and practice. The project also offers students the opportunity to apply their technical skills and knowledge on currrent world-class research problems and to develop an expert knowledge of a specific area.
This module covers all aspects concerning the provision of existing mobile phone systems (both 2G and 3G), and emerging fourth generation (4G) mobile systems (WiMAX and LTE). It also discusses system features and application for future generation mobile system and emerging new technologies, such as ad-hoc mesh, software defined radio and heterogeneous networks.
Exploring the design and manufacture of electronic systems, including methods of synthesising large digital functions, achieving low power consumption, and managing timing at typical System-on-Chip (SoC) clock speeds, is the focus of the module. Students will explore the trade-offs between power consumption, speed and scaling in state-of-the-art SoC technology. They will also explore system architectures of cores and implementation options on reconfigurable devices.
A combination of lectures and practical sessions will allow students to develop an understanding of design and synthesis in VHDL/Verilog. The practical element will consist of a mini project to implement a digital system on an Altera FPGA and will require the application of the practical skills learned throughout the module.
Mixed signal functions will be discussed, and students will learn about design for test and design for manufacture solutions in detail. The topics of HW/SW codesign, packaging technologies and interconnect will all be taught together with underpinning circuit design for high speed digital systems.
Students will come to understand the fundamentals of communication in SoCs, as well as learn to apply their insight into the hardware organisation of a SoC platform.
We do not expect students to have high level skills in electronics design. A basic understanding of circuits and electronic components is valuable however, tutorials will be provided.
We interact with hundreds of tiny computers in everyday life that are embedded into our houses, our cars, our toys, and our work. As our world has become more complex, so have the capabilities of the microcontrollers embedded into our devices. ARM Cortex M family represents a new class of powerful, energy efficient, and easy-to-use processor microcontrollers that meet the needs of tomorrow’s smart and connected embedded applications. As such the Cortex-M processor is well on its way to becoming an industry standard architecture for embedded systems. As a result, the knowledge of how to use it is becoming a requisite skill for graduates with electrical and electronics degrees as well as professional developers.
The aim of this module is to familiarise the students with the distinctive features of embedded systems and their design procedure. More specifically, we focus on how to program a Cortex-M0+ microprocessor using ARM assembly language and embedded C. This requires learning both hardware and software aspects of the microcontroller processor.
Throughout the module, the students undertake several hands-on practical exercises to deepen their understanding on the fundamental concepts of the embedded systems and become more familiar with the hardware architecture and instruction sets of the microcontroller at the register level. This is followed by a group project during the second week of the module on design and development of a mechatronics system. The students work with Keil IDE software as an industry standard development tool and learn how to use its capabilities for debugging and programming of the ARM based microcontrollers.
At the end of the module the students will be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the architecture and programming of the KL025Z board and ARM CortexM0+ processor; use a combination of embedded C and ARM assembly language for programming these MCUs; and be able to choose a particular device, integrate it into a system, and write working programs.
Pre-requisites of this module are a basic understanding of digital electronics (ENGR 116, 228) and familiarity with designing microcontrollers.
This module focuses on design methods for distributed circuits. Students will develop an understanding of RF transmission line theory by considering impedance matching, S-parameters, and Smith charts, as well as RF measurements and detection. They will also explore high frequency circuit design, which includes RF amplifier and filter design, noise calculations, and applications of RF components.
There is a strong practical element to the module that involves students using Microwave Office to build and test a microwave amplifier. This provides students with practical skills in high frequency electronics and related fields.
In completing these tasks, students will develop an understanding of the impact, importance and application of high frequency electronics in the field of communications, remote control and wireless interface.
By the end of this module, students will be able to design RF circuits using analytical techniques and computational design software including filters and amplifiers; design impedance matching networks; and understand high frequency distributed circuits.
Pre-requisites of this module include BSc degree level understanding of AC Theory.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Designed for: Applicants with a first degree in Electronic/Electrical/Control Engineering or Computer Science, Physics or Mathematics
Duration: 12 months, full-time or 24 months, part-time
Entry requirements: 2:1 (Hons) degree (UK or equivalent) in Electronic/Electrical Engineering, Control, Computer Science/Computer Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or a related discipline which may include communications, electrical engineering, computer systems or computer sciences systems engineeringIf you have studied outside of the UK, you can check your qualifications at International Qualifications
Additional requirements: Work experience in an engineering position requiring the application of technical skills is desirable but not requiredSome understanding of the following is also desirable: Maxwell's laws, high frquency materials and disruptive technologies
English language: IELTS: Overall score of at least 6.5, with no individual element below 6.0 We consider tests from other providers, which can be found at English language requirements
If your score is below our requirements we may consider you for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes:
10 week- Overall score of at least 5.5, with no individual element below 5.0 For details of eligibility see: Pre sessional programmes 4 week- Overall score of at least 6.0, with no individual element below 5.5 Further information is available at English for Academic Purposes
Funding: All applicants should consult our information on fees and funding.
Further information: Please see our website
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