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Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering with a Year in Industry (MSc)

This degree aims to produce postgraduate specialists with essential expertise in electronic and microwave engineering, and develop an awareness of the rapidly growing application space for these technologies.

This course, which gives you the opportunity to undertake a year working in industry, will help you gain advanced level knowledge and key skills that will allow you to succeed in the rapidly growing wireless and microwave communication industry. You will also develop technical, intellectual and research skills that will enhance your general engineering competency and employability, providing you with an excellent platform for career development, whether that be within industry or academic research.

This industry-focussed course will give you 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 including 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.
  • Enhance your practical and research skills by completing an industrial placement either with an industrial partner or suitable other organisation, which will comprise a significant research element and invaluable experience as an industry professional.

Distinctive features

This industry-focussed course has a number of special features which include:

  • 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 commensurate with a top-class research university.
  • The opportunity for students 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.
  • An industrial placement which enables the programme to meet the Bologna requirements for a Master’s programme length of 2 years.
  • Specialist academic support from your designated MSc Tutor during your programme.
  • A research group atmosphere where students are able to enhance each other’s learning and become a vital part of our research community.

Upon graduation, you will have the training, advanced level skills and hands-on industrial experience you need to gain employment in this fast-growing 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
ModeFull time with sandwich year
Other ways to study this course
AccreditationsInstitution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
ContactAsk a question

Admissions criteria

A lower 2nd class honours degree in Electrical or Electronic Engineering or a similar field from a good UK university or an equivalent international degree qualification.

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

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 an industrial placement of 8 months, leading to the submission of a portfolio of work to the value of 120 credits in total (two 60-credit modules).

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 applying for placements, and generating and negotiating a research project proposal in order to prepare for your placement year.

Students completing 120 credits at the end of Stage 1 will be permitted to proceed onto 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 industrial placement and dissertation. The School of Engineering expects the placement normally to last for around 8 months. During your placement you will be visited by your Academic Project Supervisor at least once, but preferably twice, if you are based in the UK. At the end of the placement you will submit a portfolio and a research dissertation.

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 Workplace Supervisor. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff and negotiated in consultation with industrial partners, usually in areas of current research or industrial interest. You will be encouraged to put forward your own project ideas, in line with the needs of the industrial partner.

How will I be supported?

At the start of your programme, you will be allocated a personal tutor to assist you with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. For the placement year, you will be allocated an Academic Project Supervisor in the relevant field of research.

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, together with a final individual dissertation, coupled with a portfolio of 60 credits each.

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. Your examinations will count for 60–70% of your 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:

  • 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.
  • Evaluate how industry relates to and engages with research and development.

Intellectual Skills:

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

  • 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 – in the context 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:

  • Undertake 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.
  • Function effectively in an industrial research environment, collaborating with colleagues and both giving and receiving relevant training.
  • Reflect on your direct experience of real-world projects working with customers and professional engineers, including exposure to relevant Codes of Practice, and issues relating to ethics, sustainability and health and safety.

Transferable/Key Skills:

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

  • Plan, run and report upon a significant research project at the leading edge of your discipline
  • Communicate your own ideas, research findings, underlying principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means.
  • Work effectively in a team and as an individual.


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 students achieve excellent employment opportunities in organisations including Infineon, Huawei, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Keysight and Ericsson.

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.

Costs for sandwich/placement years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Additional costs

During the placement year, students may have to fund travel costs to and from an industrial partner, and should consider costs of accommodation at the partner institution, where this is away from Cardiff – living costs could be higher. Additionally, students may incur costs related to visa applications that are not included in the 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.

This course includes a Year in Industry placement after the first taught stage of academic study. We will support you in finding a placement that will allow you to experience, at first-hand, a professional working environment. If you are successful in securing a placement, you will be paid a salary and will enhance your employability skills through direct experience of working in industry.  Placements cannot be guaranteed, but If you are not successful in securing a placement, you will have the option of transferring to the two year MSc Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering with a Research Year or the one year MSc Wireless and Microwave Communication Engineering.