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MRes Telecommunications


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The MRes Telecommunications is a one year research degree dealing with areas of technology and systems related to telecommunications, communications technology and the next generation of IP support networks. This prestigious programme offers significant research content alongside taught courses strongly linked to industrial requirements.

This programme replaces the MSc Communications Research programme previously offered by the department.

The Programme

Students develop an advanced understanding of the architectures and components that are used to construct a broadband network. The programme offers an overview of the network structures used to build telecommunications networks, enables students to specialise in a specific area of telecommunications, and includes a substantial research project.

The major focus for the degree is a research project which counts for over half of the total programme (compared to 1/3 in a typical MSc), augmented by appropriate specialist technical courses and supported by a programme of transferable and personal skills development operated jointly by the department and the UCL Graduate School.

Each of the modules is 'owned' by an academic working in the subject area covered by the module. The modules are reviewed every year by these two people to maintain the relevance and quality of the material delivered.

We also offer a highly innovative, 2 year Masters degree with a year in industry open to students on all of our communications engineering MSc and MRes programmes. Students apply in their first term for exclusive year-long paid internships at Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley, California. If successful, postgraduate students will complete an extended industry-focused project whilst being mentored at Cisco.

Transferable and Personal Skills Elements
Transferable and personal skills covers such topics as communications, team working, decision making and management. These skills are being seen as of increasing importance by employers as an essential element of the overall training of research and development specialists. The T&P; skills element draws on the UCL Interdisciplinary Personal and Professional Skills in Research Practice (PPSRP) programme. This provides generic and transferable skills training for UCL postgraduate researchers (both MSc Research and PhD) students. In addition to the central provision some specialist transferable skills specific to the needs of the telecommunications Industry are taught within the department. This element of the MSc Research serves to foster and develop business awareness and relevant skills capabilities in graduate researchers that can be applied very widely during their subsequent careers. The main elements of the Transferable and Personal Skills training programme can be briefly summarised as follows:
Advanced Knowledge and Skills Elements
These taught course sections of the MSc Research makes extensive use of our experience with the Integrated Graduate Development Programme “Telecommunications for Industry” extended out to a wider communications research and development community by incorporating technical options also from other postgraduate programmes at UCL such as Optoelectronics and Microwaves. The taught components comprise an Introduction to Telecommunication Networks followed by a further 3 optional technical modules. Details of these course modules are listed below.
diagram of MRes Telecommunications Modules
ITN:Introduction to Telecommunications Networks MCS:Mobile Communications Systems (Recombined MWC/WCP)
BTC:Broadband Technologies and Components (New TTS) BCL:Broadband Communications Lab
IPN:Introduction to IP Networks CSM:Communications Systems Modelling
TBE:Telecommunications Business Environment NGN:Next Generation Networks (New TIC)
SNS:Software for Network Services and Design AP:Antennas and Propagation
IMS:Internet Multimedia Systems
NSM:Network and Services Management NPO:Network Planning and Operations
RS:Radar Systems PPMS:Transferable Skills
OTN:Optical Transmission and Networks APD:Advanced Photonic Devices
RFC:RF Circuits and Sub-Systems PSS:Photonic Subsytems
Integration of the Training and Research Elements
MRes participants interact strongly with one-another during the taught elements - particularly the transferable skills components - as well as with practising researchers in industry through participation in the taught course modules. They are required to put the T&P; elements into practise in their research projects and this provides the vehicle for several of the assessed elements of these components. In addition we hold two events at UCL each year intended specifically to provide young developing researchers with the opportunity to present their research work. These are:
Poster Presentation Session, Lecture and Dinner
The MRes participants together with other research students in this general area at UCL produce a poster on their research for an 'Open Afternoon' for industry, followed by a prestige lecture and reception/dinner. This provides an opportunity for interaction between industrial participants and MRes students. The poster session provides experience in preparing and presenting research in this format and are formally assessed as part of the T&P; element of the programme.
Research Symposium:
A Symposium at which young researchers at UCL and elsewhere present their work and a number of senior researchers from Industry provide invited presentations. Each MRes student prepares a paper for publication and presentation. The paper is subjected to review and feedback and further assistance/guidance is provided with presentation techniques in the Transferable Skills element of the programme. This helps to develop the presentation skills of the participants and to integrate the taught and research elements.

The 'substantial research experience' is at the heart of the MRes programme and is required to involve not less than 50% of the time. The project is undertaken with an individual academic supervisor, working in association with one of the research groups at UCL or a collaborating industrial research laboratory. In either case, the project is invariably closely linked to industry, a strong feature of the MRes at UCL. The research project requires writing of an interim report and culminates in the submission of the MRes dissertation. Assessment is based on the interim report and dissertation and includes an oral examination of both elements. The project also provides an essential 'application vehicle' for certain of the supporting Transferable Skills elements which provides for synergistic mutual enhancement of the individual facets of the programme.