< Communication Systems : MSc (Full Time)

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Communication Systems

MSc (Full Time)

UCAS Code:none
Minimum Length:12 Month(s)
Maximum Length:12 Month(s)
Credit Points:180
Director of Studies:Dr P Coulton

Educational Aims: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Educational aims of programme
The course is designed to provide students with a clear understanding of the theory, implementation and application of DSP techniques in Digital Communication Systems. The course aims to enhance the ability of graduates to obtain employment in high technology industries by providing:
-  thorough knowledge of key modern Digital Signal Processing techniques.
  • training in the application of Digital Signal Processing methods in Communication Systems.
  • the fundamental principles and design constraints imposed on the current and next generation of Communication systems.
  • opportunities to apply Digital Signal Processing techniques into alternative application areas e.g. Automotive, Medical, Robotics, Environment and Avionics. 
the occasion to work on the state of the art DSP based, industrially relevant projects within the dynamic and collaborative environment of  Departmental research groups.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

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Intended learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding
The course provides students who hold a relevant first degree with the opportunity to develop knowledge, understanding and to evaluate new technologies and applications of theoretical knowledge in fields of:
  • all aspects of modern digital transmission systems.
  • concepts and recent advances in the theory and application of error control coding techniques.
  • modern digital signal processing techniques.
  • the real time implementation of Digital Signal Processing algorithms and systems on general purpose DSP and FPGA devices.
  • signal compression in general and modern source coding techniques in particular for speech and video signals.
  • adaptive filtering and classification techniques.
The level of understanding is greater than that of an undergraduate course in depth in that the student will be expected to make value judgement relating to technologies and applications, and justify these to peers and academic staff.

Teaching/learning methods

Knowledge in all areas is acquired primarily through lectures, tutor led seminars and practical projects.  Elements of the above areas are emphasised and re-enforced in the research project component of the course.  In addition, the research project also provides the investigative and analytical skills which are an important aspect of the course, allowing students to study one or more areas of knowledge and applications in greater depth and detail.


Students are assessed by a combination of:
(i) Class tests, which provide an ongoing monitoring procedure throughout the lectures associated to each particular area,
(ii) Mini project reports, which test the application of that knowledge practically, and
(iii) Examinations, which test both the knowledge acquired and the ability to apply that knowledge in a systems scenario.
(iv)The research project further tests the application of general knowledge in addition to the skills and attributes outlined below.
Skills and other attributes
This course provides students with skills in the following areas:


-  Evaluate research outcomes and information critically.
-  Synthesise information form a variety of sources and media to gain understanding.
-  Derive strategies for the effective application of this information in developing solutions to problems.


-  Produce software implementations of specific system standards and techniques.
-  Produce hardware DSP/FPGA based implementations of algorithms/systems.
-  Use of software tools to aid in the design and implementation of systems.


-  Work effectively, independently or as part of a team.
-  Software and hardware development skills
-  Effective written and oral communication skills, including reports and documentation.
-  Collection, appraisal and presentation of information/experimental data.

Teaching/learning methods

Intellectual aspects are primarily developed through tuition in the mini-projects and by direct supervision in the research project
Practical aspects are taught to all students in the mini-projects and certain aspects developed in the research project dependant upon its nature.
Transferable skills come through mini-projects and the main research project, seminars on writing skills and the presentation of their research project in written and oral forms.


Intellectual skills are assessed through the mini-project reports and feedback is provided to students through comments and an overall mini project mark. They are also assessed in the research project via the direct supervision given by the project supervisor who provides an ongoing analysis to the student of his progress.
The oral presentation of the project provides the student with the opportunity to gain comments from several members of the department on their development of intellectual skills.



Practical skills are assessed directly on the solutions the students provide in the mini projects and the final project reports. Feedback is provided through similar processes as with intellectual skills.

Transferable skills

The ability to work independently is assessed throughout the course, via mechanisms given in the assessment part of 10a, and particularly during the research project.
Software and hardware skills are mainly acquired in mini-projects and are assessed via design problems whose solution is given by the student in a written report.
Writing skills are assessed as part of the marks given for each mini project and the final project. Feedback is provided to students by supervisors.  In addition, the external examiner reviews the research project independently.
 As stated previously, as part of their final assessment, students are required to give an oral presentation of their research project.
The ability to collect, analyse and present data/information is fundamental to mini-projects and the research project, and is assessed in both cases by the supervisor who provides feedback to students.
Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201