A 2.2 or higher honours degree in Electronics, Computer Engineering or a related electronics discipline, Physics or Mathematics (especially Applied).
Computer Science degrees with sufficient mathematical content may also be considered on an individual basis (pre-sessional Maths may be required).
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules.
This module focuses on the basic principles of modern computer architecture and how they are mapped onto modern (32-bit) microcontrollers. The course uses the ARM processor core as an exemplar of a modern processor architecture that is now ubiquitous in embedded systems. The course will cover classic topics in architecture (CPU and ALU structure, Instruction sets, memory and memory) and performance metrics for evaluating the relative performance of different architectures such as RISC vs CISC and also VLIW, SIMD, MIMD, ASSP and DSP devices.
The NXP 1786 (mbed) microcontroller is used as an example microcontroller development platform and industry standard IDE's from Keil/IAR are used to program, test and debug them. The course includes a comprehensive presentation of typical microcontroller peripherals: ADCs and DACs, Timers and Input Capture, communication using IIC, SPI, UART. Displays. Interrupts and Interrupt Service Routines (ISRs).
The course also provides an introduction to the C and C++ programming languages and their use with microcontroller based systems. This material will include: Variables, data-types and arithmetic expressions. Strings, Loops, Arrays. Functions, Structures, Pointers, bit operators. The pre-processor. I/O operations in C. Debugging Programs. Object-Oriented Programming. The Standard C Library.
Issues such as software testing and testing strategies are discussed. Compiling and downloading code onto the mbed using commercial Integrated Development Environments such as Keil® and IAR®. GNU based toolchains for Microcontroller development.
Introduction to Matlab
Introduces the basics of the Matlab and Simulink programme environment and prepares the students for the Introduction to Matlab workshops.
Introductiion to the MSc Projects
Overall timetable and plan for the individual and group projects
Writing Better Technical English
As scientists and engineers, an ability to communicate information clearly through the written word is central to our professional activities. Whether we are publishing our research in an academic journal, writing a report for our employers or just summarising a piece of work for our records, the way in which we write will directly influence the quality and value of what we do.
In these lectures we will look at what determines the quality of formal writing, and how we can maximise the impact and clarity of what we write. Whether English is our native language or a second language, it is important critically to examine how we write if we are to express what we have to say in the best possible way. We will begin by examining the benefits of making more effort in our writing, and we will survey some of the common errors which often occur, showing how these can have an effect not just on the ease with which our work can be understood and absorbed but also on the precise meaning of what we say. We will explore some strategies for improving writing quality, and will consider some guidelines for the development of longer-term writing skills. We will explore a number of examples of "good" and "bad" writing, and everyone will have an
opportunity to take part in some simple exercises.
Literature Review: Techniques and Tools
Surveys using networked electronic information sources, on-line databases, inter-library loan facilities, private communications, etc. Identification of a technical area worthy of research, definition of the state- of -the-art in a given field, definition of the research project, and research proposals. Patent search.
Research Project Management
Time management. Resources management. Project management software (MS Project). Use of logbooks. Data management. Data security. Team working skills.
Structure, content and procedures. Project reports and theses. Journal and conference papers. Technical presentations. Use of references. Writing up of abstract, introduction and conclusions. Submission, refereeing and amendments. Effective use of figures, drawings and tables. MS WORD, ENDNOTE and LATEX.
Presentations and Research Results
Objectives and structure. Audience analysis. Rehearsal and delivery. Design of visual aids. Use of computerized projection facilities. Multi-media approach. Poster design and poster presentation. Handling questions.
Interllectual Property Rights
Patents, patent rights and know-how. Copyright and copying. Design rights and registered designs. Research contracts and agreements. Confidentiality agreement.
Ethics in engineering research. Research supervision. Modelling and simulation versus real experimental work. Processing and presentation of experimental data. Obfuscation in writing up research papers.
Understanding systems definitions, the context of projects and levels of systems engineering. System boundaries. Capturing requirements. System design methods. Validation and verification.
Project management phases, Tucker's team building model. People, psychological types. Influencing others and managing people. Leadership styles
Introduction to signals and signal analysis. Frequency and time domain representations of signals. A review of the Fourier Series, Fourier Transform and Laplace Transforms. Noise: definitions and sources of noise in signal analysis.
Digital Signal Processing:
The sampling theorem, Aliasing, Anti-Aliasing and Anti-Imaging Filters, ADCs and DACs. The Fourier Transform (FT). The Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) and The Fast Fourier Transform (FFT).The Z-transform. Pole-Zero placement methods for signal analysis. Transfer functions in S and Z domains. Theory, design and performance of Finite Impulse-Response (FIR) and Infinite-Impulse-Response (IIR) Filters. Multirate DSP. Architectures and devices for digital signal processing. Effects of Finite Precision.
Applications of DSP:
Processing and filtering of signals for Instrumentation and measurement, Processing and filtering of images: DSP in modern communication systems.
Local area networks: Ethernet technologies and standards; switched Ethernet and STP; virtual LANs; wireless LANs and WiFi. Personal area network technologies and standards for the Internet of Things: Bluetooth, ZigBee, LoWPAN.
IP Networks: IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, operation; routing protocols; Mobile IP; transport layer (TCP/UDP) and application layer protocols, including real-time protocols.
Network security and encryption mechanisms: IPSec and other security protocols. Network performance analysis, queuing theory, and network simulation.
Advanced modulation and optimal receivers design and their performances of M-ary PSK and QAM; Signal design for bandlimited channels; Carrier and symbol synchronization; Multichannel and multicarrier communications (e.g. OFDM); Filterbank based Multicarrier Transmission (FBMC); Spread spectrum and CDMA signals for digital communications; Multiuser communications; multiple input multiple output (MIMO) technology.
Fundamentals of Image Processing
General introduction to digital image processing; image acquisition, quantisation and representation; Affine transforms; image enhancement techniques: contrast manipulation, binarisation, noise removal (spatial and frequency domain); edge detection techniques; image segmentation: edge-based, region- based, watershed; Hough transform; image feature extraction; advanced image processing: morphological operations, colour image processing, various image transforms (Fourier, wavelet, etc).
Fundamentals of Pattern Recognition
Patterns and pattern classification, and the role of classification in a variety of application scenarios, including security and biometrics. Basic concepts: pattern descriptors, pattern classes; invariance and normalisation. Feature-based analysis. Texture analysis. The classification problem and formal approaches. Basic decision theory and the Bayesian classifier. Cost and risk and their relationship; rejection margin and error-rate trade-off. Canonical forms of classifier description. Estimation of class- conditional distributions; bivariate and multivariate analysis. Euclidean and Mahalanobis distance metrics and minimum distance classifiers. Parametric and non-parametric classification strategies. Linear discriminant analysis. Clustering approaches, and relationship between classifier realisations. Practical case studies. Introduction to non-classical techniques such as neural network classification.
Security Applications and Image Analysis
Signature authentication and analysis, Digital watermarking, Content hidden in Images and Video, Steganography. Image forensics.
Programming and data analysis using MatLab and other software tools as appropriate. Introduction to practical work using MatLab. Students not familiar with Matlab programming will be provided with appropriate introductory material before this lecture.
An Introduction to reconfigurable systems. PLDs, PLAs, FPGAs. Fine grain architectures, Coarse grain architectures, Heterogeneous device Architectures. Case studies. Configuration of FPGA's. Run-time configuration, partial configuration, dynamic reconfiguration. Partitioning systems onto a reconfigurable fabric. Synthesis tools. Timing issues. Verification and Test strategies.
An introduction to Hardware Description Languages. VHDL will be used to illustrate a typical HDL (but this may change to or include Verilog in future). The lectures will define the architectural aspects of a VHDL : entity, architecture, process, package, types, operators, libraries, hierarchy, test benches and synthesisable VHDL. Workshops and laboratories will be used to illustrate how VHDL code is synthesised on to physical hardware devices and a number of challenging practical design examples will be used to illustrate the process.
Basic computer arithmetic and its implementation on reconfigurable logic architectures. Fixed-point and Floating point number representations. The IEEE-754 FP standard. Redundant Number Systems. Residue Number Systems. Methods for Addition and Subtraction. Fast adder architectures. Multi-operand addition. Multiplication: Multiplier architectures; Constant coefficient multipliers; Distributed arithmetic; LUT methods. Special methods: division, square root, the CORDIC algorithm. High-throughput arithmetic. Low-power arithmetic.
Embedded real time operating systems (rtos)
Operating Systems (OS) and Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS). Embedded RTOS. Software development methods and tools: Run-time libraries. Writing a library. Porting kernels. Concurrent Programming and Concurrent Programming Constructs. Task Scheduling and Task Interaction. Basic Scheduling methods, scheduling algorithms. Tasks, threads and processes. Context switching. Multitasking. Communication, Synchronisation. Semaphores and critical sections. Example RTOS systems. (E.g. Embedded Linux, Windows CE, Micrium, VxWorks etc.). Programming and debugging Embedded Systems. Practical examples and case studies.
Embedded Processors; Hard and Soft Processor Macros (e.g. Altera Nios and Xilinx Microblaze, ARM). A brief overview of peripherals. Architectural Models. HW/SW Partitioning and partitioning algorithms. Distributed systems. Memory architectures, architectures for control-dominated systems. Architectures for data-dominated systems. Compilation techniques for embedded processor architectures. Modern embedded architectures. Architecture examples in multimedia, wireless and telecommunications. Examples of emerging architectures. Multiprocessor and multicore systems.
Overview of wireless communications; wireless channel models; capacity of wireless channels; cellular concept; handoff; adjacent cell interference; adaptive modulation; diversity; MIMO technologies, CDMA and OFDMA; radio resource allocation; third generation (3G), forth generation (4G) LTE, and fifth generation (5G) mobile communication systems;
High-speed access networks: ADSL,VDSL, G.fast; PONs and point-to-point Ethernet; cable networks (DOCSIS and MoCA). Fixed wireless access. High-speed transport networks: SDH, OTN and WDM technology. Quality of Service in the Internet, and multimedia networking. Multicast routing. Differentiated services, queuing disciplines and queue management. Multi-protocol label switching. Wavelength routing and MP?S. Software-defined networking and virtualised network functions. X-as-a-Service concepts. Industry "hot-topic" seminars.
Sensors and Sensing Systems:
Measurement terminology and error analysis.
Sensors and transducers.
Optical sensing techniques.
Signal processing techniques:.
Imaging based Measurement and Monitoring Techniques:
Digital imaging technologies.
Image processing techniques.
Intelligent Measurement and Monitoring Techniques:
Soft computing techniques for measurement and monitoring.
Smart sensors and intelligent monitoring.
Industrial Case Studies.
A major practical system will be developed either in an industrial context or within the department. There are no formal lectures - students will undertake the work in their own time under the regular supervision of a member of the academic staff and, where appropriate, industrial collaborators.
The project module is examined by a presentation and dissertation. The Research Methods and Project Design module is examined by several components of continuous assessment. The other modules are assessed by examinations and smaller components of continuous assessment. Students must gain credits from all the modules (180 credits in total).
This programme aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop intellectual skills in:
You gain subject-specific skills in:
You gain the following transferable skills:
The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.
Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:
A one off payment for UK, EU and International applicants who meet the criteria set by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. The scholarship is available across all postgraduate taught programmes in the School.
For further information and to make an application, see the scholarship for international students.
This programme attracts many applications from Chevening scholars. Chevening is the UK Government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders, and Kent is a Chevening partner.
For details of the funding available, see our Chevening Scholarships page.
In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.
In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity.
An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.
The Communications group’s activities cover system and component technologies from microwave to terahertz frequencies. These include photonics, antennae and wireless components for a broad range of communication systems. The Group has extensive software research tools together with antenna anechoic chambers, network and spectrum analysers to millimetre wave frequencies and optical signal generation, processing and measurement facilities. Current research themes include:
Research projects available within the Communications Research Group are available to view here.
The Intelligent Interactions group has interests in all aspects of information engineering and human-machine interactions. It was formed in 2014 by the merger of the Image and Information Research Group and the Digital Media Research Group.
The group has an international reputation for its work in a number of key application areas. These include: image processing and vision, pattern recognition, interaction design, social, ubiquitous and mobile computing with a range of applications in security and biometrics, healthcare, e-learning, computer games, digital film and animation.
Research projects available within the Intelligent Interactions Research Group are available to view here.
The Instrumentation and Control Research Group works in two complementary research themes – Instrumentation and Control. The group has made considerable endeavours to solve challenging measurement, monitoring and control problems through applied research programmes with support from a range of funding bodies and industry. The group has established long term partnerships with the power generation, manufacturing and healthcare industries.
The group’s expertise lies primarily in process sensors, intelligent instrumentation, smart condition monitoring, digital image processing, data fusion, data modelling, and robust control and estimation. Since 2010 the group has published more than 100 research papers in leading journals and over 150 refereed conference papers in the field of instrumentation and control. In addition to a well equipped Instrumentation Laboratory on Kent Campus, the group has regular access to industrial-scale test facilities, full-scale power plants, hospitals and clinics.
Research projects available within the Instrumentation and Control Research Group are available to view here.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
Human computer interaction; usability and playability design; computer game studies and interactive narrative; social computing and sociability design; virtual worlds; online communities and computer-mediated communication.View Profile
Design and modelling of multi-band antennas for personal, on-body and mobile communication systems; passive RFID tagging/sensing and skin mounted transfer tattoo tags; reduced-size frequency selective structures (FSS and EBG) for incorporation into smart buildings for control of radio spectrum.View Profile
Pattern recognition; information fusion; computer vision; image processing: image coding; fractals and self-similarity; biometrics; bio-signals; assistive technologies.View Profile
Ubiquitous computing, mobile computing, social computing, Internet of Things, wireless sensor networks.View Profile
Space antennas; smart antennas; microwave circuit and systems.View Profile
Optical-microwave interactions, especially fibreradio networks; optoelectronic devices and optical networks.View Profile
Image processing; biometrics technologies including usability, cybermetric linkages and standardisation; automated analysis of handwritten data; document processing.View Profile
Computer vision; OCR; biometrics; security and encryption; multi-expert fusion and document modelling.View Profile
Biometric security and pattern classification techniques especially deriving encryption keys from operating characteristics of electronic circuits and systems.View Profile
Antennas and microwaves.View Profile
Advanced combustion instrumentation; visionbased instrumentation systems; digital image processing; condition monitoring.View Profile
The understanding of complex systems, in particular, biological and financial systems; using mathematical modelling such as molecular simulation, Brownian dynamics and network theory.View Profile
Modelling of ion implantation processes and ion diffusion into glass for integrated optic applications.View Profile
Pattern recognition; multiple classifier systems; artificial intelligence techniques; neural networks, genetic algorithms, and other biologically inspired computing paradigms; image processing; multimodal biometric models; handwriting recognition; numerical stochastic optimisation algorithms; nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory; Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for sensor data fusion.View Profile
Analysis and applications of nonlinear electronic systems.View Profile
Optical communications; microwave photonics; biophotonics.View Profile
Modulation; coding; MIMO; mobile communications; wireless sensor networks.View Profile
Nonlinear control; sliding mode control; decentralised control; fault detection and isolation.View Profile
Sensors; instrumentation; measurement; condition monitoring; digital signal processing; digital image processing; applications of artificial intelligence.View Profile
Design and modelling of microwave and millimetrewave devices and antennas, especially substrate integrated waveguides and smart antennas.View Profile
Wireless communications and networking especially OFDMA; radio resource allocation; distributed antenna systems; wireless relay networks; user-centric networks; cooperative communications.View Profile
Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: of Kent postgraduate students who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations, over 97% were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).
We have developed our programmes with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students are in a strong position to build a long-term career in this important discipline. You develop the skills and capabilities that employers are looking for, including problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.
Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.
The School is well equipped with a wide range of laboratory and computing facilities and software packages for teaching and research support. There is a variety of hardware and software for image acquisition and processing, as well as extensive multimedia computing resources. The School has facilities for designing embedded systems using programmable logic and ASIC technology, supported by CAD tools and development software from international companies, including Cadence™, Xilinx™, Synopsys™, Altera™, National Instruments® and Mentor Graphics™. The SMT laboratory can be used for prototyping and small-volume PCB manufacture. A well-equipped instrumentation research laboratory is also available.
Students have access to commercial and in-house software tools for designing microwave, RF, optoelectronics and antenna systems (such as ADS™, CST™, HFSS™) and subsequent testing with network and spectrum analysers up to 110 GHz, an on-wafer prober, and high-quality anechoic chambers.
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts is undergoing a £3 million redevelopment and modernisation of its engineering and design facilities due for completion in July 2020. This includes an engineering workshop and fabrication facilities, a dedicated makerspace for innovation, collaboration and the development of practical skills, a virtual reality suite, production studio (including photography, video and green screen facilities) and a large teaching and design studio. These changes will deliver modern and advanced teaching and research facilities supporting all Engineering, Design and Digital Arts subjects.
As a postgraduate student, you are part of a thriving research community and receive support through a wide-ranging programme of individual supervision, specialised research seminars, general skills training programmes, and general departmental colloquia, usually with external speakers. We encourage you to attend and present your work at major conferences, as well as taking part in our internal conference and seminar programmes.
Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: IEEE Transactions; IET Journals; Electronics Letters; Applied Physics; Computers in Human Behaviour.
All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.
Learn more about the applications process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.
Once started, you can save and return to your application at any time.