Electronic Engineering (by Research) - MSc

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts offers research-led degrees in a wide range of research disciplines including telecommunications, mobile networks, antennas and optical and radio systems, instrumentation and control systems and biometrics/cyber-security, in a highly stimulating academic environment.

Overview

Our one year MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering is an internationally recognised advanced postgraduate research degree, providing an ideal foundation for advanced skills and knowledge. Traditional MSc degrees primarily contain taught modules, whilst an MSc by Research is heavily research or practice-based and you learn through hands-on projects.

Whereas a taught Masters develops expertise in existing subject knowledge, an MSc by Research places more emphasis on research and practical expertise and is project-based rather than module-based. An MSc by Research can focus on individual research skills, providing a strong foundation to build on for students considering a doctoral degree (PhD). Alternatively, our MSc by Research can be done via a practice-based approach, which is more orientated toward the industry. It is well structured, with clearly defined tasks to be completed, which will eventually lead to the final dissertation.

Example topics for MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering

  • Ultrafast real-time microscopy and spectroscopy
  • Automated Analysis and Understanding of Biological Cells from Microscopic Images
  • 3D Printing of Wearable Antennas
  • Brain Computer Interfaces for biometrics and emotion monitoring

About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts

Established over 40 years ago, the School has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.

We undertake high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. 

As a postgraduate student in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, you receive support through individual supervision, specialised seminars and colloquia, usually with external speakers. We also offer a range of financial support options.

Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. There is a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly and supportive teaching and research environment.

We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.

Entry requirements

A  2.2 or honours degree or MSc with Merit or above in an electronics, computing or a related electronics subject.  

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

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. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

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. 

Need help with English?

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.

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Course structure

Our MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering can be undertaken as an External Research Degree (i.e. remotely), or via traditional physical attendance at our Canterbury campus.  

Students taking our MSc by Research do not undertake credit-bearing taught modules and there are no written examinations. Instead, you will be assigned a supervisor who is a leading expert in their field.  You are expected to attend a bi-weekly supervision lasting up to 1 hour via online tools such as Skype or Google Hangout for those choosing to undertake the MSc by Research through the online option. In these meetings, you will present your progress to your supervisor.  Tasks and deadlines will be set accordingly to your schedule.  

Tasks may include writing a report section, a prototype design, and an experimental set-up.  Typically, we would expect a formal submission of your completed task every two months.  Submissions are delivered via Kent's online learning system called Moodle.

The degree therefore allows you the flexibility to shape your own career path (either in research or in industry) in an area of particular interest to you, whilst also enabling you to develop extensive subject expertise and independent research or practical skills over an extended period. 

Generally, our MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering can be broken into the following parts:

Part I: Project definition and review of state-of-the-arts 

Part II: Project planning and Methodologies

Part III: Practical work (research and development, experiments, etc)

Part IV: Reporting 

The MSc by Research in Electronic Engineering culminates in the submission of a written research dissertation to be examined by one internal examiner and one external examiner. An oral viva voce is held at the discretion of the examiners. 

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £4500
  • EU full-time £16800
  • International full-time £16800
  • Home part-time £2250
  • EU part-time £8400
  • International part-time £8400

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 information@kent.ac.uk.

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

Chevening scholarships

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.

The Complete University Guide

In The Complete University Guide 2021, 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 2021 for more information.

Complete University Guide Research Intensity

Independent rankings

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.

Research areas

Communications

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:

  • photonic components
  • networks/wireless systems
  • microwave and millimetre-wave systems
  • antenna systems
  • radio-over-fibre systems
  • electromagnetic bandgaps and metamaterials
  • frequency selective surfaces

Research projects available within the Communications Research Group are available to view here

Intelligent Interactions

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.

  • Social and Affective Computing
  • Assistive Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces
  • Mobile, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing
  • Sensor Networks and Data Analytics
  • Biometric and Forensic Technologies
    Behaviour Models for Security
  • Distributed Systems Security (Cloud Computing, Internet of Things)
  • Advanced Pattern Recognition (medical imaging, document and handwriting recognition, animal biometrics)
  • Computer Animation, Game Design and Game Technologies
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Digital Arts, Virtual Narratives

Research projects available within the Intelligent Interactions Research Group are available to view here

Instrumentation and Control 

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

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘find a supervisor’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Careers

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.

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

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.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

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 studying communications 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.

Students interested in Information Security and Biometrics have access to state-of-the-art biometrics equipment, which can be used for studying the characteristics of the different biometric modalities introduced during the course.

New facilities

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. 

Support

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.

Dynamic publishing culture

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.

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Apply now

If you would like to study as an external research student (i.e. remotely), please contact Tara Sutton on t.j.sutton@kent.ac.uk or +44 (0)1227 827323 to discuss your application.

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.

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Canterbury

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

E: information@kent.ac.uk

Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827535

E: eda-admissions-pg@kent.ac.uk

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk