Master of Research (MRes) in Telecommunications

Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering,
University College London
Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE


Welcome to The Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. The Department supports a large and active postgraduate community. The MRes in Telecommunication is a research masters aimed at high calibre candidates wising to pursue a research career in industry or academia. This prestigous programme has a significant research content as well as taught course modules strongly linked to industrial requirements. Graduates of this course are highly regarded in the Telecommunications industry and a significant number also carry on to complete a Ph.D. There is exceptionally strong industry demand for engineers with this research skills base and a clear shortage of supply.

The programme description below outlines the philosophy and general structure of the programme.

The Research Masters Programme
Research Project and Dissertation
Transferable and Personal Skills Element
Advanced Knowledge and Skills Element
Integration of the Research and Training Elements
Qualifications Needed
Application Form
Further Information

A dowloadable version of the MRes brochure is available:
MS Word 2000 format
PDF format

The Research Masters Programme

The Master of Research degree (MRes) in Telecommunications is a one year research degree dealing with areas of technology and systems related to telecommunications. The major focus for the MRes degree is a research project, 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.

In order to guarantee the timeliness of the specialist course material presented, a management panel and advisory committee has been formed. This has members drawn from the senior staff of many of the major telecommunications industries such as BT, GPT, Lucent, Logica, One-to-one, Nortel and Fujitsu as well as leading academics and civil servants from around the world.

Each of the modules is 'owned' by an academic working in the subject area covered by the module as well as by an industrialist with first-hand knowledge of the specific areas of key importance today. The modules are reviewed every year by these two people to maintain the relevance and quality of the material delivered.

Research Project and Dissertation

The 'substantial research experience' is at the heart of the Research Masters programme and is required to involve not less than 60% of the time. The project is undertaken with an individual academic supervisor, working in association with one of the telecommunications-related 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 Telecommunications MRes at UCL. The research project requires the writing of an interim report and culminates in the submission of the final MRes dissertation. Assessment is based on the interim report and the dissertation and an oral examination of both elements. The project also provides an essential 'application vehicle' for certain of the supporting 'T&P' elements of the MRes in Telecommunications, as indicated below, which provides for synergistic mutual enhancement of the individual facets of the programme. A range of project titles which have been offered over recent years are reproduced below. This list is not exhaustive but merely gives an idea of the range of research areas covered.

Some examples of recent MRes project titles offered

Voice over IP in unified Networks
Affordable low complexity space/time processing for wireless telecommunications
Dynamic wavelength allocation and routing algorithms in WDM optical packet networks
IP QoS with dynamic wavelength management
Low cost, open architecture radar systems
LL based provision of QoS for mobile IP-based applications
Synchronisation techniques for packet switched optical networks
Fibre supported radio network architectures
ATM over satellite for aeronautical communications
Dynamic Bandwidth Management for IP QoS
WDM and polarisation interleaving for mm wave radio over fibre systems
High Capacity Synchronous Networks: Performance Planning and Management
Cross-Wavelength Coding for High Capacity Optical Fibre Communications
Coding for Multiple and Segmented Channels
Wireless LANs exploiting Fibre-Radio Technology
Tunable semiconductor lasers.
Static characteristics of quantum well saturable absorbers.
Analysis of high-resolution land clutter
Next Generation Satellite Systems for Air Traffic Management
Traffic Generator for Multi-way Multimedia over the Internet (Mbone)
Synthetic Aperture Sonar

'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 MRes 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 MRes 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:

· Personal & Professional Management Skills

This course is delivered by the Educational and Professional Development Department at UCL and includes a range of skills including team working, communications skills, project planning and management, organisational processes and decision making. This element includes a residential course for research students from a range of UCL postgraduate courses. Some of the skills taught here are put into practise via presentations made at the departmental postgraduate poster session and communications symposium as detailed below.

· The Business Environment

This module deals with strategic management issues related to running a telecommunications operating company [Telco], enabling delegates to appreciate the business perspective of telecommunications both in the UK and globally. Emphasis is on providing an understanding of the interactive nature of the forces impacting on the performance of Telcos.

Advanced Knowledge and Skills Elements

These taught course sections of the MRes 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. In all the taught components constitute 120 equivalent contact hours, covering research techniques, advanced knowledge and advanced skills.

Each IGDP module has an academic manager and an industrial monitor who comments on the evolution of the detailed syllabus, with industrial presenters augmenting and complementing the academic contributions. Details of these course modules are listed below.

Telecommunications Specialist Courses

Core course

Optional courses

Students are assessed in three optional courses, selecting these either from the Integrated Graduate Development Programme 'Telecommunications for Industry' or from the MSc in Technologies for Broadband Communications (TBC) . In discussion with their research supervisor MRes students may attend additional options, e.g. appropriate to their research topic.

The 'specialist' telecommunications elements drawn from the Integrated Graduate Development Scheme 'Telecommunications for Industry', with each module being of 30 lecture hours (or equivalent), are indicated below.

More information on the above courses including the current schedules can be found at http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/IGDP

Alternatively, some options may be selected from our MSc TBC course subject to timetabling constraints and agreement with your project supervisor. These course are currently being updated but are expected to include for example:

The modules lists above are for guidance only and are subject to change as the course maintains relevance to the needs of the telecommunications industry.

Integration of the Training and Research Elements

MRes participants interact strongly with one-another during the taught elements - particularly the 'transferable and personal skills' components - as well as with practicing researchers in industry through participation in the IGDP 'Telecommunications for Industry' taught course modules. They are required to put the 'T&P' elements into practice in their research projects and this provides the vehicle for several of the assessed elements of these components. In addition, MRes in Telecommunications students all participate in two events we hold 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 in Telecommunications 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 researchers. The poster session provides experience in preparing and presenting research in this format and MRes participants are formally assessed as part of the 'T&P' element of the programme.

London Communications Research Symposium: A two-day 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, 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 and personal skills' elements of the MRes programme. This helps to develop the presentation skills of the MRes participants and to integrate the taught and research elements.


A limited number of MRes scholarships are usually available for UK/EU or overseas students to study at UCL. See the Entrance Scholarships web page for details of these scholarships and general information. These scholarships are however highly competitive and all applicants should indicate what alternative sources of funding they will have available on their application form. Applications based entirely on the expectation of obtaining a UCL scholarship are unlikely to be successful except in the case of exceptional candidates.

Qualifications needed

The minimum qualification needed to enter the MRes programme is an upper second class honours degree (2.i) from a UK university or an equivalent class of degree from an overseas university. The degree may be in any relevant subject, e.g. electronic engineering, communication engineering, computer science, physics. A partial list of acceptable overseas qualifications is available here Applicants from overseas, who have not previously studied or worked in the UK, are required to satisfy UCL's English Language requirement.

Application form

Information on applications procedures including a downloadable application form are available by clicking on the link below:

Application Information and Forms

Applicants should read the information on the above site before completing the form. It is important that you give some thought to the page on which you make a personal statement. The MRes Programme Director uses this information, in addition to the other sections of the application, to make a judgement as to whether you are an appropriate candidate for the MRes programme and as an aid to formulating an appropriate research project.

Suitably qualified or soon to be suitably qualified applicants will be given an opportunity to visit the department for a meeting with the Programme Director and the Postgraduate Advisor. We do not expect overseas applicants to attend such a meeting.

Further Information

For further information or an application form please contact:
The MRes Programme Director:
Dr Karl Woodbridge
UK telephone: 020 7679 3969
International telephone: +44 20 7679 3969
E-mail: k.woodbridge@ee.ucl.ac.uk

or the postgraduate programme secretary:
Ms Nicola Best
UK telephone: 020 7679 7300
International telephone: +44 20 7679 7300
E-mail: n.best@ee.ucl.ac.uk

Fax number:
UK Fax: 020 7388 9325
International Fax: +44 20 7388 9325

Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
University College London
Torrington Place

For further information on communications research at UCL, visit:

Information on the Department may be found on the following page:
Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering Home Page

Full Information on UCL postgraduate student admissions procedures and requirements may be found on the following page:
UCL Prospective Students Information

Last update: March 2004

Disclaimer: This information is provided for general guidance only; the detailed content and scheduling of the programme may vary according to changing demands.