Taught course

Communication Systems Engineering

University of Portsmouth · School of Engineering

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Why take this course?
Communication systems are vital to our modern society for business, personal life, entertainment and leisure.

On this course you will cover the design and analysis of modern communications technologies, telecommunications and data network systems while building the interdisciplinary skills to meet current and future needs of commerce and industry.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Focus on the practical application and design aspects of communications systems rather than intensive analytical detail
  • Experiment with our range of control applications including helicopter development kits and walking robots
  • Analyse high-frequency signals or measure antennas in our anechoic chamber

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course has been accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). It will provide you with some of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • Professional electronics
  • Telecommunications
  • Terrestrial and satellite broadcasting
  • Project management

Module Details

You will study several key topics and complete a four-month individual project in which you apply your knowledge to a significant communications system or network planning problem. Projects are tailored to your individual interests and may take place in our own laboratories or, by agreement, in industry.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Data Communications and Networking: The unit provides you with the required foundation and depth of knowledge to comprehensively understand the core principles of data communications and computer network.
  • Communications Security: This unit attempts to follow a systematic and rational engineering approach to help you master challenging topics such as cryptography.
  • Microwave and Wireless Technology: The unit combines team working via a project based learning activity relating to a significant circuit simulation and design problem with lectures aimed at analysing and applying the characteristics of a range of devices used in the microwave and wireless industries.
  • Mobile and Satellite Systems: The main objective of this unit is to discuss the properties and characteristics of fixed and mobile radio channels and to analyse their effects on the design of terrestrial and satellite communication systems.
  • Digital Modulation and Coding: Coding and modulation provide the means of mapping information into digital waveforms such that the receiver (with an appropriate demodulator and decoder) can recover the information in a reliable manner. This unit links to many of the most fundamental concepts underpinning information theory.
  • Communication System Analysis: This unit focuses on basic principles in the analysis and design of modern communication systems, the workhorses behind the information age. It puts emphasis on the treatment of analogue communications as the necessary background for understanding digital communications.

Programme Assessment

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials (personal and academic), laboratory sessions and project work. The course has a strong practical emphasis and you will spend a significant amount of time in our electronic, communications and computer laboratories.

A range of assessment methods encourages a deeper understanding of engineering and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework
  • Laboratory-based project work
  • A major individual project/dissertation

Student Destinations

This course will enable you to develop your career in one of the fastest growing global activities, by giving you a deeper understanding of the principles of communication systems and networks. It is sought-after by a wide variety of employers in telecommunications, data communications, broadcasting and the internet, with interests ranging from overall system design to the more detailed development of RF and data subsystems.

The range of careers is ever widening and includes data network design, wireless networks, mobile, terrestrial and satellite systems and their applications in broadcasting, telephoning, business communications and the internet. As well as design, you will have the option and ability to develop careers in technical management and engineering project management.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • Electronics engineer
  • Acoustics engineer
  • Broadcasting engineer
  • Application engineer

Qualification and course duration


part time
36 months
full time
12/16 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566