Electrical Engineering

Your Autumn term and academic year 2020–21

This course will begin on schedule in the Autumn and we plan to reopen our campuses. We are looking forward to seeing you in person, if travel and visa arrangements allow. If you can’t travel to campus in time for the start of term, we want to reassure you that your academic Department has made plans which make it possible to offer you a high-quality remote educational experience during the Autumn term.

Your  teaching  will be a combination of on-campus (in-person)  and remote learning (online). We call this ‘multi-mode’ delivery. Depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the ‘multi-mode’ balance may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus teaching and learning activities throughout the year.

For more information about multi-mode delivery, your learning experience and the steps we’ll be taking to keep you safe on campus if you are able to join us, please see our COVID-19 information for applicants and offer holders.

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start dateOctober 2020
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credits

Applications are now closed


This course will provide you with in-depth knowledge and critical awareness of theoretical and practical solutions to problems at the forefront of communications and the processing of signals.

Communications and signal processing are closely intertwined, and together provide the basis of modern information engineering.

Areas of application include:

  • mobile communications (3G/4G/LTE and future 5G), access networks and wireless communication
  • Communication networks including broadcast and computing communication networks
  • image processing and robotic vision
  • audio and video recording
  • radar and sonar detection
  • biomedical signal processing
  • medical imaging
  • remote sensing
  • array signal processing and beamforming
  • space-time communications and processing

Study programme

You study taught modules, both core and optional, in the Autumn and Spring terms (October–April). Modules are taught through a blend of lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories. You will then take written exams on the studied modules between May and June.

You also complete a substantial individual research project, which will be carried out in an area of special interest.

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council.

It meets the full academic requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partially meets the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institution of Engineering and Technology is renewed every 5 years, and the current agreement runs between 2019 and 2023.


Modules shown are for the current academic year and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Please note that the curriculum of this programme is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.



Core modules

You take all of the core modules below.

Adaptive Signal Processing and Machine Intelligence (Spring)

Aims to provide in-depth knowledge of the theoretical basis and applicability of modern methods for spectral estimation, algorithms which underlie adaptive signal processing, and machine intelligence techniques such as dimensionality reduction and neural and deep networks. Lecturer: Prof Danilo Mandic.

Advanced Communication Theory (Autumn)

Presents several advanced cutting edge topics which are important for current and future (5G and beyond) multi-antenna wireless communication systems. Lecturer: Prof Thanassis Manikas.

Digital Signal Processing and Digital Filters (Autumn)

This module aims to give a thorough grounding in the design of digital filters and in multirate signal processing techniques. Lecturer: Mr Mike Brookes.

Probability and Stochastic Processes (Autumn)

Provides analytical tools for studying random phenomena in engineering systems. Aims to develop the main ideas of probability theory in a systematic way, study randomly-varying functions of time, and demonstrate how to set up probabilistic models for engineering problems. Lecturer: Dr Cong Ling.


This laboratory module aims to foster best practice in experimental work, while supporting the lecture modules and giving practical exposure to real systems. It also aims to prepare students for experimental work of the MSc project. Lecturer: Dr Cong Ling.

Optional modules

You choose either four or five* modules from below.

Coding Theory (Autumn)

Covers fundamental knowledge on error correcting codes and finite fields, and to expose the connection between coding theory and other topics. Lecturer: Dr Wei Dai.

Communication Systems (Autumn)

Provides the foundations of a typical 3G/4G/5G wireless Digital Communication System and an overview of its operation. Defines performance criteria for wireless-DCS and associated parameter planes. Identifies theoretical limits in the performance of wireless-DCS. Investigates extending a conventional wireless-DCS to spread spectrum and multi-carrier systems. Lecturer: Prof Thanassis Manikas.

Digital Image Processing (Autumn)

Examines the fundamental digital image processing methods that stem from a signal processing approach. Lecturer: Dr Tania Stathaki.

Distributed Computation and Networks: a performance perspective (Spring)

Covers network and distributed computation devices and systems (NDCDS) from the perspective of curent business, industry, service and societal activities ranging from health care to manufacturing, from commerce to security and defence. Lecturer: Prof Erol Gelenbe.

Information Theory (Spring)

This module is designed to introduce the main concepts of information theory and to demonstrate its implications to communications. Lecturer: Dr Cong Ling.

Machine Learning for Computer Vision (Spring)

This advanced module introduces the concepts, theories and state-of-the-art algorithms for visual learning and recognition. The first half of the module is for formulations and theories of machine learning techniques, focused on discriminative classifier learning. The second half leads to the topics of visual recognition by the machine learning techniques learnt, including object detection, object categorisation, face recognition, and segmentation. Lecturers: Dr T-K Kim and Dr Krystian Mikolajczyk.

Network and Web Security (Spring)

Module run by the Department of Computing. Lecturer: Dr Sergio Maffeis.

Optical Communication (Autumn)

Provides an understanding of the structure, operating principles and underlying physical concepts of optical communication systems, to show the capabilities and restrictions of such systems. Lecturer: Prof Eric Yeatman.

Pattern Recognition (Autumn)

Aims to introduce the concepts, basic formulations and applications of pattern recognition. This module studies feature representation in a vector form, the concept of machine perception and decision surfaces, and metrics/distances, template matching, model fitting, as basic tools to process and classify data. Lecturers: Dr T-K Kim and Dr Krystian Mikolajczyk.

Topics in Large Dimensional Data Processing (Autumn)

The aim of the module is to introduce students to the theory and design of algorithms to acquire and process large dimensional data arising in topics such as finance and internet (e.g. online social networks and twitter data). Lecturer: Dr Wei Dai.

Traffic Theory and Queueing Systems (Spring)

Provides the opportunity to develop a conceptual framework for modelling and analysing different communication networks (e.g. circuit-switched and packet-switched networks). The module will show, firstly, how to set up such models and, secondly, how to use them in the performance (e.g. QoS) analysis of communication systems. Lecturer: Dr Javier Barria.

Wavelets and Applications (Spring)

Finding useful information in huge amount of data is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. The key insight of wavelet theory is that by finding alternative representations of signals, it is possible to extract their essential information in a fast and effective way. Lecturer: Prof Pier-Luigi Dragotti.

Wireless Communications (Spring)

An advanced module on wireless communication and communication theory that details the fundamentals of wireless communications from a 4G and beyond perspective. A major focus of the course is on MIMO and multi-user communications at the link and system level. Dr Bruno Clerckx.

* If you choose five optional modules, the four modules in which you achieve the highest mark will be counted toward your final degree grade.

Research project

You will also carry out an individual research project: three months part-time (January–March) and four months full-time (June–September).

The project gives you the opportunity to carry out research that deepens your knowledge of an area in which you have a special interest.

It also develops your report writing, presentation and time management skills.

An academic supervisor will mentor you, and the project is assessed by a written report and poster presentation in September.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Group projects
  • Hardware laboratory
  • Individual projects
  • Industrial placement (optional)
  • Lectures and seminars
  • Problem solving classes
  • Software laboratory
  • Tutorial sessions

Aassessment methods

  • Coursework software or hardware deliverable
  • Individual Research Project
  • Reports
  • Oral and poster presentations
  • Written examinations

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a first-class degree in electrical/electronic engineering, or a related subject with a substantial electrical/electronic engineering component.

The overall degree grade must be at least 75% overall.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications.

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College, and not specifically this Department.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

For full details on the online application process, please visit the admissions website.

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can usually choose up to two courses.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2020 entry

£14,000 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2020 entry

£32,500 per year

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2020 will apply to fees for the academic year 2020–2021.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan from the UK government.

For 2019-20 entry, the maximum amount was of £10,906. The loan is not means-tested and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Further information

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