Telecommunications Engineering MSc - University of Sunderland

Course overview

Are you looking to build a career in a specialised niche in the technology sector? This Masters extends your knowledge of IT networks and provides hands-on training in telephony and high-speed data services. This will equip you for well-paid roles as a specialist telecommunications engineer, as well as for more general roles in developing network systems.

Modern telecommunication services rely heavily on network technology and, consistent with this, there is a high level of overlap between this course and Network Systems MSc. However, this course is distinctive because it includes a module on ‘Digital Telephony’. In addition, your Masters project will be on a topic that is specifically related to telecommunications.

An important benefit of choosing Sunderland is the quality of our equipment. For example, we have invested heavily in Cisco equipment. Sunderland is in the top 10 universities in the UK for ‘spend per student’ for computer sciences, according to The Guardian University Guide 2013.

Our academic team includes Cisco Certified Academy Instructors and we make sure that the course is continually aligned with the real-world needs of employers. 

The research aspects of the course are supported by Sunderland’s on-going research programme. The specialisms of our Digital Innovation Research Beacon include intelligent systems, internet technologies, information retrieval and interaction design.

This course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.British Computing Society BCS Accredited degree logo

It is also accredited by BCS on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.

Telecommunications Engineering graduate Louay talks about his experience as a postgraduate student at the University of Sunderland:

Course content

Modules on this course include:

  • Network Simulation (15 Credits)

You will use standard simulation packages to predict network performance prior to installation. You will also cover the simulation of network protocol stacks TCP/UDP, FTP applications, CBR video streaming, performance analysis bandwidth allocation and packet loss.

  • Research Skills and Academic Literacy (15 Credits)

This module covers research methods including qualitative and quantitative approaches. You will carry out literature surveys, data collection, data analysis, critical evaluation and appraisal of published work and data sets. You will also learn how to research and write a technical paper.

  • Wireless Communications (15 Credits)

This module examines the technologies currently used to design and build enterprise-wide wireless networks. It also examines current mobile telecommunications systems including GSM, UMTS and 4G technologies. You will gain hands-on experience of building and testing wireless networks in our specialist labs.

  • Local and Wide Area Networks (30 Credits)

This module covers the elements which make up a modern computer network, in preparation for industry certifications such as Cisco CCNA. It includes the design and build of network systems under realistic scenarios within specialist labs. You will cover network design (subnetting, VLSM), IPv4, IPv6, network configuration, protocols, VLANs, switching and routing.

  • Network Security (15 Credits)

This practical module covers firewalls (hardware and software), system recovery strategies, securing network services, authentication, authorisation and accounting, encryption techniques, dial-up security, intrusion detection and protection systems, proxies, bastion hosts, VPN technologies and network security policies.

  • Broadcast Systems (15 Credits)

This module examines current video delivery mechanisms within IP networks. It covers QoS strategies and both multicast and unicast solutions. You will gain hands-on experience of designing and building converged networks for video delivery in our specialist labs.

  • Digital Telephony (15 Credits)

This module explores the many elements that make up contemporary telecommunications systems. It covers analogue systems, digital systems, mobile, internet based and computer network based systems (VoIP). You will learn the importance of converged systems and quality of service as well as communications protocols such as RTP and SIP. With our specialist lab facilities you will develop a modern converged telecommunications system to meet the needs of a client.

  • Masters Project (60 Credits)

You will take part in a real-world project through a sponsor. The project will involve both research and practical elements.

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, group work, directed reading, research, discussions, seminars, tutorials and practical laboratory sessions. We invite guest speakers to give insights on specialist topics.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include individual written reports, research papers, practical assignments and the Masters project.

Information about our policies relating to student experience and quality assurance processes can be found on the Academic Services website.

Facilities & location

Sunderland’s outstanding IT facilities include the David Goldman Informatics Centre, which has hundreds of computers so it’s easy to find a free workstation with the software you need. 

We are an accredited Cisco Academy and have two laboratories packed with Cisco networking equipment including routers, switches, terminals and specialist equipment for simulating frame relay and ISDN links.

We host high-performance computing platforms, including a Big Data machine and a High Performance Computing Cluster system, for concurrent processing of complex computational tasks. We also have the equipment and licences for our own public mobile cellular network.

University Library Services

We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on computing topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for computing students include:

  • British Standards Online which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
  • Association of Computing Machinery digital library, which includes full-text articles from journals as well as conference proceedings
  • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
  • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text articles dating back to 1994 on a range of subjects including technology
  • Business Source Elite from EBSCO Publishing which covers hundreds of journals and includes articles on topics such as e-commerce and information management

The course is based at our Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. The Campus is on the banks of the River Wear and is less than a mile from the seaside


The David Goldman Informatics Centre

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, St Peter's Way, Sunderland, SR6 0DD

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a 2:2 honours degree in computer science, Information Technology, electrical or electronic engineering, or another discipline related to science and engineering.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you feel you already know some of the topics covered in this course, either due to previous learning or from experience of work, then you may not need to study all of the course.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) is the name given to the process of gaining credit towards a qualification because of something you have learnt in the past. If you are eligible for APL you won't have to learn the same topic again, and so you can be exempt from a module, set of modules or year of a course. 

Read more about APL in the Quality Handbook (.pdf). If you think you may be eligible for APL, please contact the course leader.

Fees & finance

Postgraduate loans

From 2016/17, tuition fee loans will be available to UK/EU postgraduate students for the first time. Find out more about the eligibility criteria.


The annual fee for this course is:

  • £4,750 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £11,500 if you are an International student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or International student, please see the International section of this website.

Employment & careers

Accredited by British Computer Society (BCS)

British Computing Society BCS Accredited degree logo

This course is accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional. ‌

It is also accredited by BCS on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer.


On completing this course, you will be equipped as a skilled professional with up-to-date knowledge in mobile communication technologies, computer networking and voice and data solutions.

Potential roles include:

  • Telecommunications engineer
  • Administrator of convergent voice and data networks
  • Network planner
  • Network manager
  • System designer

Senior telecommunications network engineers can earn around £46,000. Experienced engineers can earn more than £60,000.

A Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

Representatives from Accenture, GE & Huntsman talk about employment opportunities and recruiting University of Sunderland graduates:


Support for your learning

From the start of the course you will be allocated a Personal Tutor who will meet with you at agreed times throughout your course. Personal Tutors encourage your personal development and are a useful point of contact for any queries about your course, extracurricular activities and issues where they can point you towards specialist services at the University. These include student counselling, financial advice and chaplaincy support.

Further support is provided by our technicians who help you make the most of the University’s equipment and software.

Support for your development

To help ensure the course is meeting aspirations for personal development, we invite students to fill in questionnaires at the end of modules. This provides a structured way for you to keep us up-to-date with your views.

During your course, and particularly towards the end of it, we encourage you to make full use of the resources at our Careers & Employability Service. The Service helps you explore your options, clarify your ideas, develop a career focus and make effective applications.

Extracurricular activities

The University supports student-led initiatives that enhance the extracurricular activities available to you. Some of these are related to particular subjects while others allow you to pursue interests and social activities. It’s all part of the vibrant and life-changing atmosphere at the University of Sunderland.

"Studying at Sunderland, you will find a very strong focus on industry links and future employability."

Prof Alastair Irons


"Our courses are designed in collaboration with employers and we work hard to get the balance of theory and practice right in such a way that students are in a strong position to find quality employment when they complete their studies.

"All courses attract high-quality external speakers who talk to students about their work, and the Department of Computing has very strong links with organisations like Microsoft, Cisco, SAP and Sony, as well as local employers such as Nissan.

"Students are encouraged to be enterprising and the Department of Computing has its own software hatchery where students are encouraged to establish their own software business.”

Apply for this course

You can apply online using the link below.

    Next Open Day

  • Date: Thursday 16th February 2017
  • Time: 2:00pm-7:00pm
  • Type: University Open Day
  • Location: Gateway, City Campus, University of Sunderland

Contact Sunderland

Contact the Student Helpline for further information about studying at the University of Sunderland:

Telephone: 0191 515 3000 

Programme Starts  
Monday 16th October 2017 Apply now
Monday 6th February 2017 Apply now

The details

Course Name Telecommunications Engineering
Classification MSc
Course Mode Full-time
Course Level Postgraduate
Duration 60 weeks
Study Location On-campus (Sunderland)
Starting 6 February 2017
22 October 2017
UK/EU Fee £4750
Intl Fee £11500

Entry requirements

2:2 or above in a Science, Computer Science, IT or Electrical and Electronic Engineering related subject

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