Telecommunications tower

MScCommunications, Control & Digital Signal Processing

Why this course?

This full-time course covers the theoretical and practical aspects of communications theory and networks, fundamental control technology and digital signal processing (DSP). All these topics are critical to the information and communications age.

You’ll gain an advanced knowledge of the principles of the communications, control and DSP domains. You’ll also develop an understanding of the current and future developments and technologies within these three disciplines.

Along with full accreditation from the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), this course will enable you to capitalise on job opportunities across a range of sectors including:

  • control
  • telecommunications
  • signal processing
  • electronics
  • IT user companies

EDF Energy, Siemens and Texas Instruments are just some of the multinationals where our graduates have secured positions.

You’ll study

You’ll take two semesters of compulsory and optional taught classes. These are followed by a three-month research project in your chosen area. Opportunities exist to do the project through the department's competitive MSc industrial internships.

The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners including Selex ES, ScottishPower, SmarterGridSolutions. You'll address real-world engineering challenges facing the partner, with site visits, access and provision of relevant technical data and/or facilities provided, along with an industry mentor and academic supervisor.


We’ve a wide range of excellent teaching spaces including interactive classrooms and brand new state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with the latest technologies including:

  • White Space Communications Facility
  • Hyperspectral Imaging Centre
  • DG Smith Radio Frequency Laboratory

You’ll have access to our IT facilities including web based resources, wireless internet and free email. There’s an IT support team to help with all your needs.


The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) - this programme is CEng accredited and fulfils the educational requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer when presented with a CEng accredited Bachelors programme.

Course content

Compulsory classes

(September to May)

Digital Signal Processing Principles

You'll develop the necessary tools that will allow you to design, analyse and simulate (Matlab/Simulink) DSP systems by introducing core mathematical concepts, algorithms and fundamental properties of discrete signal and systems with applications.

Information Transmission & Security

The aim of this class is to develop an understanding of the principles by which information can transmitted with varying levels of security and the techniques by which communication systems can be analysed and designed.

Control Principles

This class will introduce you to the basic concepts, mathematical tools and design methods of classical control theory. It will enable you to use analysis and design tools used in control engineering and appreciate the industrial applications of control systems.

You'll also learn to analyse and design closed loop control system specifically using industrial three-term (PID) controllers. Through an introduction to advanced control methods, you'll gain a basic understanding of a time-domain approach to control analysis and design of industrial processes.


Assignment & Professional Studies

The aim of this class is to provide you with support for your general academic and professional development.

You'll undertake an advanced investigation of an electronic or electrical engineering topic of your choice, to enhance your learning, and develop presentation and communication skills.

Elective classes

Choose at least two from this list

Communications Networks

This class will provide you with an understanding of the principles and key transport technologies which underpin high-speed heterogeneous broadband communications networks and architectures while giving an insight to the technical and strategic challenges associated with the provision of a Quality of Service (QoS)-based integrated future-network platform.

Advanced Digital Signal Processing Principles

The objective of this class is to ensure you develop the necessary skills that will allow you to analyse, design, implement and simulate advanced DSP techniques and algorithms for a variety of communications and general engineering problems.

Embedded Systems Design

This class provides hands-on experience in translating Digital Signal Processing concepts into real-time embedded systems applications.

Through a combination of lectures, up-to-date technical discussions and hardware programming, you'll learn to design and implement real-time embedded systems through familiarisation with Digital Signal Processors and FPGAs. 

Image & Video Processing

This class will provide an introduction to the techniques relevant to digital images and video. This includes techniques both to process images and video and also to efficiently compress and communicate them.

The class will give you a comprehensive understanding of various image and video processing and coding standards. You'll also study some key applications of these standards.

Control Techniques

Through an introduction to the concepts and tools of modelling, simulation for control of dynamical systems, and computer control engineering, you'll develop the skills required to understand and analyse digital control systems for real time engineering applications. You'll also appreciate the design of estimation and its use in control design.

Summer (June to September)

MSc Research Project / Internship

The aim of the research project is to provide you with an opportunity to bring your knowledge and skills together and deploy them in a significant practical investigation, using relevant engineering literature, and where relevant, initial experiments or simulations.

Learning & teaching

We use a blend of teaching and learning methods including interactive lectures, problem-solving tutorials and practical project-based laboratories. Our technical and experimental officers are available to support and guide you on individual subject material.

Each module comprises approximately five hours of direct teaching per week. To enhance your understanding of the technical and theoretical topics covered in these, you're expected to undertake a further five to six hours of self-study, using our web-based virtual learning environment (MyPlace), research journals and library facilities.

The teaching and learning methods used ensure you'll develop not only technical engineering expertise but also communications, project management and leadership skills.

Industry engagement

Interaction with industry is provided through our internships, teaching seminars and networking events. The department delivers monthly seminars to support students’ learning and career development.

Xilinx, Texas Instruments, MathWorks, and Selex ES are just a few examples of the industry partners you can engage with during your course.


A variety of assessment techniques are used throughout the course. You'll complete at least six modules. Each module has a combination of written assignments, individual and group reports, oral presentations, practical lab work and, where appropriate, an end-of-term exam.

Assessment of the summer research project consists of four elements, with individual criteria: 

  1. Interim report (10%, 1,500 to 3,000 words) – The purpose of this report is to provide a mechanism for supervisors to provide valuable feedback on the project’s objectives and direction.
  2. Poster Presentation (15%) – A vital skill of an engineer is the ability to describe their work to others and respond to requests for information.  The poster presentation is designed to give you an opportunity to practise that.
  3. Final report (55%) – This assesses the communication of project objectives and context, accuracy and relevant of background material, description of practical work and results, depth and soundness of discussion and conclusions, level of engineering achievement and the quality of the report’s presentation.
  4. Conduct (20%) - Independent study, project and time management are key features of university learning. The level of your initiative & independent thinking and technical understanding are assessed through project meetings with your supervisor and your written logbooks.

Entry requirements

A first or good second-class UK Honours degree or equivalent overseas qualification in electronic, electrical or communications engineering, or a related subject from a recognised academic institution.

Candidates whose first language is not English or who have not undertaken their undergraduate course in the UK must possess a recent UKBA-recognised English qualification.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • 2017/18 - £5,500

Rest of UK

  • 2017/18 - £9,000*

* PGT Engineering students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channels Islands will
receive a £3,000 scholarship towards the cost of their fees (applies only to students not already in receipt of any other
fees scholarship).


  • 2017/18 - £18,000

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Students are eligible for a range of scholarships offered by the Department, University and external organisations. View our Electronic & Electrical Engineering Scholarships brochure for more information.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

For a number of eligible courses, Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students can apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students a living cost loan. Find out more about the scheme and what courses are eligible.

English students

Students ordinarily resident in England may be eligible to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover their tuition fees and living costs.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


By concentrating on three distinct disciplines, this course enables you to capitalise on job opportunities across a range of sectors including control, telecommunications, signal processing, electronics and IT user companies. Globalisation of the communications, electronic & digital sectors means if graduates wish to work abroad, this course provides an ideal passport to anywhere in the world.

Almost all of our graduates secure jobs by the time they have completed their course. They have gained professional and technical occupations with international companies such as Samsung, MathsWorks, Nokia and Texas Instruments, as well as joining Wolfson Microelectronics, Seles ES and Linn Products in the UK.

Increasingly, graduates of this course also play leading roles in the power and renewable energy sectors, supporting data analytics, information transmission and security for organisations such as EDF Energy, Siemens & Petrofac Engineering.

Job titles include:

  • Graduate controls engineer
  • Graduate software engineer
  • Lecturer
  • Plant controls graduate

Employers include:

  • FTDI
  • MacDonald Humfrey (Automation)
  • Mehran University of Engineering
  • Vestas

Contact us


Applications should be made online by selecting the correct 'Apply' button.

You will need to supply various documents to support your application. These include:

  • a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts
  • proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English)
  • references from two academic sources
  • a copy of the photo page from your passport - this is only required if you are an international students who requires a visa to enter the UK

All UK, EU & international direct applicants should use the first 'Apply' option below. Applicants on Joint Education Programmes from the department’s strategic partners in China and Pakistan should select the 'Apply' option linked to their home institution (eg BUCT – Beijing University of Chemical Technology; LUT – Lanzhou University of Technology).

Communications, Control and Digital Signal Processing

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Communications Control and Digital Signal Processing - LUT

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Communications Control and Digital Signal Processing - UESTC

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Communications Control and Digital Signal Processing - HITEC

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Communications Control and Digital Signal Processing - BUCT

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2017, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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