Taught course

Microelectronic and Communications Engineering

Northumbria University · Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have, or expect to obtain before entry, one of the following: a minimumof a lower second class degree in a subject related to their proposed area of study. a degree, or in some special cases an equivalent appropriate qualification, supported by relevant work-based learning. Applicants will normally have a Physics or Engineering undergraduate background, or experience in those areas and will be planning to undertake a career in either Communications or Microelectronics.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

We take for granted so many of the gadgets and services that we use daily. Smart phones, iPads, netbooks, digital music and video players have become almost an essential part of our daily lives. The communication systems that enable us to use these devices have also developed rapidly, allowing us to make phone calls from planes, access the internet on trains, make video calls and stream internet media direct to our devices.

This programme will build on your existing skills and knowledge in electronics. During your studies you will gain the in-depth knowledge and skills you need for analysing, modelling and optimising the performance of advanced microelectronic and communication systems. You will study a broad range of topics including advanced embedded system technologies, digital design automation and silicon electronic design, as well as optical fibre communication systems, radio frequency design and communication systems design.

The programme balances a mix of taught modules with an MSc research project, which culminates in a dissertation. The combined modules are worth 120 credits and the project is worth a further 60 credits, making 180 in total to achieve the full MSc award.

The research project and dissertation give you the opportunity to explore an area of particular interest to you in more depth. You will be able to discuss this with a member of academic staff and will be assigned a project supervisor, who will be able to provide guidance and support throughout your project.

The rapid growth of the communications and microelectronics industries has created a strong demand for skilled engineers, who are able to design and manufacture semiconductors and freespace and optical communication systems. The UK Government’s commitment to high-speed broadband means that demand for communications engineers is expected to outstrip supply. UK and international demand for microelectronic engineers also remains strong, with salaries reflecting employers’ need to attract the best candidates.

Upon graduating from this programme, you will be well-equipped to apply for roles such as communications engineer, electronic/electrical engineer, operational researcher, software engineer and systems developer. You may also consider the wider engineering and information technology sectors, including energy, transport, electronics and telecommunications, defence and manufacturing

Information for international students

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score in each component of 5.5. Pearson Academic score of 62 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

Qualification and course duration


full time
12-16 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office
0191 227 4453