Skip to main content

Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering (MRes)

This MRes course aims to provide you with an excellent platform for career development, whether that be within industry or academic research. You will be taught advanced level knowledge and skills that will allow you to succeed in the rapidly growing wireless and microwave communication industry, while also enhancing your research skills.

You will develop expertise in new and evolving areas of microwave engineering including mobile communications and the medical applications of microwaves. You will improve your advanced computer-aided design, measurement and characterisation skills. The course will also offer modules in:

  • radio frequency engineering
  • advanced fabrication and test
  • commercialising innovation
  • non-linear RF design and concepts.

You will also have the opportunity to complete an independent project as part of an intensive research stage, putting you in a strong position for a possible future in academic or industrial research. If you do not wish to undertake a research project, you can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate, thus maximising accessibility whether you are working in industry or higher education.

Distinctive features

This MRes course will include:

  • the opportunity to enhance your independent research skills and to undertake a substantial research project
  • you will learn in a research-led teaching institution, taught by staff in one of the highest ranked university units in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • the opportunity to work in modern facilities commensurate with a top-class research university
  • the opportunity to learn in an environment graded as Silver standard in the first TEF assessment, meaning that the University "consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK Higher Education"
  • participation of research-active staff in programme design and delivery
  • master’s level teaching complemented by guest lectures from industrial professionals
  • a research group atmosphere where students can enhance each other’s learning experience.

Upon graduation, you will have the training, skillsets and hands-on experience you need to succeed in this dynamic and highly competitive field, and will have a distinct edge when applying for PhD studentships or employment in industry.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time
Qualification MRes
Full-time duration 1 year
Start dates September

The course is presented as a one-year full-time masters level programme, in two stages. In stage one, students follow one semester of taught modules from September to January, to the value of 60 credits, focusing on research skills. Stage two consists of independent research of eight months' duration, leading to the submission of a significant research project of 120 credits in the following September.

The overall project structure is a single piece of work held over 8 months of the MRes programme. Part of the assessment output will be a publication-ready research paper, although submission/publication of this paper will not be a requirement.

The students on this programme are encouraged to take part in research activities across the School, College and University, such as research seminars and conferences. The project will be selected by the student in combination with academic staff in one of the School’s active research teams. You will be allocated a research tutor who will guide your work and dissertation write-up.

How will I be taught?

A wide range of teaching styles are used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. You will attend lectures and take part in lab and tutorial based study during the Autumn semester of stage one. You will develop ideas for your individual research project.

At the beginning of stage one, you will be allocated a research tutor. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic and research staff, in areas of cutting-edge research interest. You will be encouraged to put forward your own project ideas where possible. You will receive training in the utilisation of laboratory resources throughout the project.


The course is assessed through examinations, written coursework, and a final individual research dissertation.

Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January. Examinations count for 60–70% of assessment in stage one of the programme, the remainder being largely project work and elements of coursework.

We are a world leading centre for wireless and microwave engineering research. There are many opportunities for projects with our internationally recognised research groups.

High frequency engineering

We are currently working in a number of research areas:

  • The development and application of a new generation of non-linear, high-power, high-frequency measurement systems including Waveform Engineering, an alternative approach to traditional non-linear characterisation and modelling.
  • High frequency device characterisation with on-wafer facilities covering a frequency range up to 110 GHz, and novel power amplifier design techniques allowing rapid implementations of very high-efficiency, high-linearity and wide bandwidth architectures (Class B, J, F as well as their inverse and continuous modes).
  • Research to improve energy efficiency involving the use of high-power solid state microwave components for the development of the next generation of highly efficient sources of heat within industrial, medical and scientific applications.

Electronic materials

We are also working on continued enhancements of high frequency device performance which is currently limited by the electronic materials used. Our research here involves fundamental studies and materials processing of a range of electronic materials, from superconductors to III-V semiconductors (including GaN and InN) and transparent conducting oxides (eg indium tin oxide, and related materials).

These activities link our state-of-the-art clean room and processing facilities to the high frequency characterisation facilities and the realisation of efficient devices by waveform engineering.

Career prospects in this field are generally excellent, with graduating students following paths either into research or related industry.

If you are interested in working in industry, many of our graduating MSc/MPhil/MRes students achieve excellent employment opportunities in organisations including Infineon, Huawei, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Vodafone and International Rectifier.

In terms of research, Cardiff University has many electrical, electronic and microwave related research areas that require PhD students, and the MRes will provide you with an excellent platform if this is your chosen career path.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans


Master's Excellence Scholarships

Scholarships available worth £3,000 each for UK/EU students starting a master’s degree in September 2018.

Find out more

See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Additional costs

There are no additional costs anticipated.

Applicants should apply through the University's online application system.

An upper second class honours degree in electrical or electronic engineering or a similar field from a good UK university or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have a good 2:2 or equivalent, or relevant industrial experience, we will give your application individual consideration.

You will need to demonstrate understanding or experience in electromagnetic concepts relevant to microwave engineering, as well as an understanding of basic nonlinear devices such as transistors and diodes.

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to pass IELTS exams. Minimum requirements are an IELTS score of 6.5.

Please read our English language requirements for more details.


Administrative contact(s)

Postgraduate Admissions Office

School of Engineering

Academic contact(s)

Dr Jonathan Lees

Dr Jonathan Lees

Head of Department, Electrical & Electronic Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 4318


Apply now
See the range of PhD studentships and projects currently available.

Related courses

Related subjects