University of Sussex

University of Sussex

Satellite Communication Systems

The aim of our taught courses is to develop academic and professional excellence both for newly qualified and practising engineers who wish to extend their professional expertise in specialist areas. Satellite systems are now the pre-eminent communications technology. Integrated with the global fibre optic backbone, satellites are used for TV broadcasting, mobile communications, internet access, navigation (Global Positioning System), environmental monitoring, surveillance, and defence. This course covers the central technologies required for the understanding, analysis and implementation of satellite communication systems, and provides both the requisite theory and practical experience for you to contribute professionally in the subject area. Practical project work for the major dissertation may be undertaken in conjunction with active researchers working on fibre optic communications, security and surveillance, wireless communications and networks.

Entry requirements

A 1st- or 2nd-Class undergraduate Honours degree in engineering, mathematics or physics. The undergraduate Honours degree will normally be in the fields of electronics, communications or computer engineering. Applicants with relevant work experience will also be considered on an individual basis. Students whose 1st language is not English require evidence of proficiency in the English language.

Course modules

Each course comprises 8-9 taught modules, typically 4-5 core modules and 4 options, plus an MSc project accounting for a maximum of 1/3 of the course. The options allow you to choose a pathway that suits your personal interests. Taught modules are delivered in the autumn and spring terms, with examination periods in January and May. The MSc project is a substantial practical exercise undertaken over the spring term and the summer up to the end of August. You study 4 core modules in: Advanced digital signal processing; mobile communications; advanced digital communications; satellite and space systems; you choose a further 4 modules from a range of options in: Advanced electronics; networks and management. In addition, you undertake a substantial individual MSc project. Projects are assigned in the spring term and begin with preliminary research and project planning. Following the summer examinations, you are expected to work on the project full time until the end of August, leading to submission of your dissertation and project presentation.

Assessment methods

Modules are assessed by a range of methods, including laboratory reports, essays and unseen examinations. The MSc project is assessed typically by an interim report, a presentation and a substantial dissertation. Some projects are undertaken in groups and replicate the type of professional teamwork expected in industry.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time £ 6,060 per Academic year (home fees) 12 months
MSc Full-time £ 17,850 per Academic year (overseas fees) 12 months
MSc Part-time - 24 months

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Sussex House Brighton BN1 9RH South East

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Key information

Telephone number: 
01273 678048