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Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering with a Research Year (MSc)

An MSc course with an emphasis on research which also aims to provide you with the necessary advanced level knowledge and skills that will allow you to succeed in the rapidly growing wireless and microwave communication industry.

An MSc course with an emphasis on research which also aims to provide you with the necessary advanced level knowledge and skills that will allow you to succeed in the rapidly growing wireless and microwave communication industry. It will provide you with an excellent platform for career development, whether that be within industry or academic research.

The course will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Develop your expertise in new and evolving areas of microwave engineering including mobile communications and medical applications of microwaves.
  • Focus on areas such as advanced computer aided design (CAD), measurement and characterisation and communication systems engineering.
  • Cover laboratory work and advanced engineering management alongside modules in radio frequency engineering, advanced fabrication and test, advanced communication systems and non-linear RF design and concepts.
  • Gain expertise in the areas of micro and nano-technology and optoelectronics.
  • Develop your research skills by completing a major project as part of an intensive Research Year either in Cardiff University or with another suitable university partner or research institute.

Distinctive features

This course will provide you with:

  • The opportunity to 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 and commensurate with a top-class research university.
  • The opportunity to learn in an environment graded as Silver in the first TEF assessment, meaning that the University "consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education".
  • The participation of research-active staff in programme design and delivery.
  • MSc teaching complemented by guest lectures given by industrial professionals.
  • A 120-credit Research Year which enables the programme to meet the Bologna requirements for a Master’s programme length of 2 years.
  • A research group atmosphere within which students will enhance each other’s learning
  • The opportunity to be a vital part of our scientific research community.

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.

The MSc course materials were diverse, covering the basic principles as well as niche topics that are key in industry, and position the postgraduate at an ideal starting level. I consider myself extremely lucky to work with such knowledgeable people who helped fulfil my eagerness to learn.

Dr Zaid Aboush, MSc Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration2 years
Other ways to study this course
AccreditationsInstitution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
ContactAsk a question

Admissions criteria

A 2:2 honours degree in Electrical or Electronic Engineering, or a similar field from a UK university, or an equivalent international degree qualification. If you have relevant industrial experience we will give your application individual consideration.

Entry to courses in chemistry will be subject to the University requirements for English language

Find out more about English language requirements

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements

The course is presented as a two-year full-time Masters level programme, in two stages. In Stage 1, students follow two semesters of taught modules to the value of 120 credits. Stage 2 consists of a Research Year of 8 months, leading to the submission of a significant research project of 120 credits.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

The course is presented as a two-year full-time Masters level programme. In Year 1 (Stage 1) students follow two semesters of taught modules to the value of 120 credits.

During the Spring semester you will be supported in generating and negotiating a research project proposal in order to prepare for your Research Year.

Students completing 120 credits at the end of Stage 1 will be permitted to proceed onto the Research Year for Stage 2.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Software Tools and SimulationENT67220 credits
RF Circuits Design and CADENT69110 credits
Research StudyENT69320 credits
Advanced Communication SystemsENT70610 credits
Fundamentals of Micro- and NanotechnologyENT71310 credits
HF and RF EngineeringENT78210 credits
Advanced CAD, Fabrication and TestENT79910 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
High Frequency Device Physics and DesignENT61010 credits
VLSI DesignENT67510 credits
High Frequency Electronic MaterialsENT77610 credits
OptoelectronicsENT79510 credits
Non-Linear RF Design and ConceptsENT79810 credits

Year two

Year 2 will consist of the 120-credit Research Year and project report submission. You will be allocated an Academic Project Supervisor for Year 2, who will guide your work and project report write-up. You will be visited by your Academic Project Supervisor at least once, but preferably twice, if you are based elsewhere in the UK (at a partner HEI). At the end of the Research Year you will submit a significant research project.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

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 and Spring semesters of Stage 1. You will also be able to develop ideas for your individual research project.

At the beginning of Stage 2, you will be allocated an Academic Project Supervisor and a Research Year Supervisor. 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 be provided with training in the utilisation of laboratory resources throughout the project.

How will I be supported?

You will be allocated a personal tutor to assist you with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. For your research year, you will be allocated a Academic Project Supervisor and a Research Year Supervisor of relevant expertise.

Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback.


You will receive written feedback for written coursework assignments and oral feedback for assessed presentations.

How will I be assessed?

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 and May. Examinations count for 60–70% of assessment in Stage 1 of the programme, the remainder being largely project work and elements of coursework.

What skills will I practise and develop?

Knowledge & Understanding:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Apply the principles of Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering to the design, implementation and management of systems that are able to collect, manipulate, interpret, synthesise, present and report data.
  • Select and make use of appropriate IT-based system development tool for a given task. Examples of applicable tools include those deployed within current research into microwave and radio frequency systems, electromagnetic applications, communication systems and software engineering.

Intellectual Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Exemplify the stages involved in the realisation of a key wireless microwave communications sub-system - including characterisation and measurement, modelling, computer aided design, optimisation, fabrication and test.
  • Evaluate the hardware and software infrastructures used in the development of computer networks - including an appreciation of relevant industry standards and the use of current software tools associated with the widening role of internet-based communication.

Professional Practical Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • Understand detailed device level design and characterisation of communications system components based upon an in-depth understanding of the major issues surrounding architecture and structures.
  • Utilise industry-standard computer-aided design tools and techniques, at an advanced level.
  • Engage fully with a research project, applying skills in research and appraisal, including measurement, data collection, investigation and analysis by fully engaging with their project activity and other related applications, and/or the production of research strategies, policies and plans related to their project.
  • Show an advanced level knowledge and understanding of a wide range of microwave engineering related materials and components.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of that engineers need to take account of the commercial and social contexts in which they operate.

Transferable/Key Skills:

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to plan, run and report upon a significant research project at the leading edge of your discipline
  • The ability to communicate your own ideas, research findings, underlying principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means.
  • The ability to work effectively in a team and as an individual.

Career prospects 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 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 this MSc will provide you with an excellent platform if this is your chosen career path.


Before starting my part-time MSc in 2012, I was working as a Senior Test Technician. Thanks to this degree, I was able to secure an RF Engineering role within the same firm, which was great! In my search for a postgraduate degree in microwave engineering, I noticed that there are not many UK universities that offer this programme, but Cardiff University is one of the pioneering institutions. Cardiff University has a very stimulating learning atmosphere. Everyone's really friendly and lecturers are always there to help.

Dr Elango Nagasundaram, MSc Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

EU students entering in 2019/20 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation. No decisions regarding fees and loans for EU students starting in 2020/21 have been made yet. These will be determined as part of the UK's discussions on its membership of the EU and we will provide further details as soon as we can.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Additional costs

During the Research Year, students may have to fund travel costs to and from any partner institution, and should consider costs of accommodation where this is away from Cardiff – living costs could be higher. Additionally, students travelling to undertaken a Project at a different institution may incur visa application costs which would be additional to tuition fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

The University will provide all equipment necessary to undertake the degree programme, but it is strongly recommended that the student should have a relatively modern laptop computer at their disposal, in order to be able to make progress on activities while away from the University facilities.

Stage 2 of this course comprises a Research Year which would usually be undertaken at Cardiff University, but may also be undertaken, with suitable agreements, at a suitable partner HEI or research institute (subject to approval by the School).