NASA satellite in space

MScSatellite Applications (with Data Science)

Why this course?

Our MSc Satellite Applications is a globally unique Masters degree which addresses the UN Sustainable Development Goals through satellite applications, entrepreneurship and data science. It was developed in partnership with:

The programme offers training in satellite data acquisition, processing, interpretation, and application. Additionally, the course provides a focus on data science and entrepreneurship skills, requiring you to register a new business whilst studying for the MSc, and to develop a business plan to support it using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a broad range of global challenges to provide a basis for this plan.

This is a novel and unique opportunity to acquire specialist skills in satellite applications that will significantly enhance your skillsets, ultimately enabling you to become a global entrepreneur.

This MSc in Satellite Applications has an optional Data Science specialist stream for those wishing to acquire more advanced skills in big data applications.

The volume of satellite datasets is increasing rapidly while trained professionals to process this data are rare. This new degree addresses this market gap.

What you'll study

You'll take eight compulsory modules and four optional generic modules. You'll also undertake an individual project.

If you're taking the MSc Satellite Applications (without the Data Science specialty) you’re free to select from any of the optional classes, which you'll find in the 'course content' tab.

If you’re on the Data Science specialist option, you must include the two compulsory modules from your area of specialism, which you'll find in the 'course content' tab.

Individual project

Students are required to develop a business plan and establish a start-up company which provides a solution to the achievement of a global challenge of your choice. Students are encouraged to consider addressing any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). You'll receive support from academic and industry advisors to enable you to find solutions to real world problems using satellite data.

Course content

You'll take 180 credits made up of 120 credits of taught modules and 60 credits individual project. The 12 months full-time MSc course spans three semesters as follows:

  • Semester 1 - September to December - 50 credits of taught classes
  • Semester 2 - January to May - 70 credits of taught classes
  • Semester 3 - May to August - 60 credits dissertation

Semester 1

Introduction to Space Technologies

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the operation of space technologies that are used to deliver satellite data for various applications. It features an overview of the space environment, spacecraft or satellite design principles, configuration and sub-systems, along with the techniques to undertake a basic space mission analysis and design for satellite applications.

Introduction to Satellite Applications

This module aims to give students a broad overview of satellite applications in industry, military, and research. Students will learn to distinguish between different satellite systems, their capabilities and limitations as well interpret satellite and acquire a basic understanding on what products are derived from different sensors.

The class will cover aspects of satellite communications, Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), remote sensing (active and passive), altimetry and an introduction to remote sensing data processing tools.

Big Data Fundamentals

The aim of this module is to give students:

  • an understanding of the new challenges posed by the advent for big data, as they refer to its modelling, storage & access
  • an understanding of the key algorithms & techniques which are embodied in data analytics solutions
  • an understanding of the fundamentals of Python to enable the use of various big data technologies
  • an understanding of how classical statistical techniques are applied in modern data analysis
  • an understanding of the potential application of data analysis tools for various problems & appreciate their limitations
Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Commercialisation

This class aims to provide engineers and scientists with a better understanding of what it takes to create and grow technology-based businesses. Specifically it aims to:

  • provide students with an appreciation of the intrinsic value of entrepreneurship, innovation & commercialisation activities to business
  • provide students with a set of frameworks to better understand & more successfully engage in high-tech business opportunities
  • provide students with a better appreciation & understanding of management in a complex, uncertain & interdisciplinary high-tech business environment

Semester 2

Payloads

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the operation of satellite payloads used to provide satellite applications featuring an overview of payload fundamentals and types of sensors, along with the techniques to undertake a basic technical analysis of satellite payload systems or sensors.

The module is intended for students who may or may not have a strong background in space technologies but who have completed the prerequisite first semester 'Introduction to Space Technologies' module on the MSc in Satellite Applications Course.

Data Science for Space Applications

This module aims to give the students hands-on experience with data retrieved from satellites. A blended learning approach will also give the students the opportunity for self-directed learning and interaction with their teaching staff as well as peers.

The module will enable students to describe different forms of satellite data, explain how satellite data is acquired and interpreted usefully and perform basic data processing and analysis using Python programming language.

Satellite Applications for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

This module aims to not only give students hand-on experience with satellite data, but also create a connection between this data and application areas using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as case studies.

The content of the lecture, combined with computer labs, aims to encourage and inspire students, so that they are aware of their possibilities in order to be able to complete the final project after the second semester.

The module will teach the students an understanding of how to develop their own business plan where they use satellite data to support any global challenge or the SDGs.

New Venture Planning

This class is designed to provide a practical introduction to business modelling and understanding how new ventures are developed. The class is multi-disciplinary in nature and integrates within it the main business disciplines. It focuses upon the processes within new businesses but draws comparisons with larger organisations and as such introduces a more entrepreneurial approach to the career patterns of individuals who pursue careers in larger organisations.

The class will not follow the more traditional lecture pattern but will be highly interactive with class participants being involved in individual and group activities which will encourage creative thinking and 'learning by doing' in addressing the real opportunities and challenges that face the first-time entrepreneur.

This class considers the nature of business planning and deals with the business planning process. It is a project-based course in which students, working in small groups, research and develop a business plan for a new venture. Students will select a business idea and develop it into a business model. In the final weeks of the course, each group will showcase a video presentation of their plan and will be questioned by an 'enterprise panel' about aspects of this business model.

Semester 3

Individual Project

The Individual Project is for MSc students after taught modules are successfully passed.

In this part of the course, students undertake supervised, individual project work, with the award of MSc being made on the basis of an acceptable thesis submission. The project will involve the development of a business plan and establishment of a company start-up aimed at addressing a global challenge using satellite data.

Compulsory classes – Optional Data Science Specialist Stream Only

Semester 1
Legal Ethical & Professional Issues for the Information Society

This class aims to ensure that the student is aware of the legal, social, ethical and professional issues commensurate with the practice of Information Systems Engineering. The students will learn to:

  • appreciate the characteristics of professionalism as it relates to modern data management
  • recognise & appreciate the professional aspects of other engineering & related classes in the curriculum, & how those aspects influence practice
  • form a sound basis on which you'll subsequently be able to practise Information Systems Engineering with a due regard for legal, ethical & social issues

Compulsory Classes for Optional Data Science Specialist Stream Only - Semester 2

Machine Learning for Data Analytics

The aim of this class is to equip students with a sound understanding of the principles of machine learning and a range of popular approaches, along with the knowledge of how to apply the techniques. The class will teach the students how to:

  • understand the aims & fundamental principles of machine learning
  • understand a range of the key algorithms & approaches to machine learning
  • apply the algorithms covered & interpret the outcomes
  • understand the applicability of the algorithms to different types of data & problems along with their strengths & limitations

Learning & teaching

You'll select from a combination of specialist and compulsory modules. The specialist modules focus on different technical aspects allowing tailored learning to suit individual needs. The compulsory modules provide the key skills which are considered necessary for professionals in satellite applications.

To qualify for the MSc, you'll undertake an individual project which allows for the development of your own business plan and company start-up on completion. The business will focus on providing an economically viable solution to one or more of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The projects will be supported by academic and industry advisors to enable you to complete your projects successfully within the prescribed period.

Assessment

The course is assessed through written assignments, exams and the individual project.

Entry requirements

First or second-class Honours degree, or equivalent, in engineering or physical sciences or any other relevant discipline such as geography, geoscience, environmental science, and computer science, is essential. Good knowledge of programming is desirable, and basic knowledge in programming is highly-desirable.

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum overall band score of IELTS 6.5 (with no component below 5.5) or satisfactory evidence of English Language competency according to the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

2019/20

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

Scotland/EU

  • £8,100

Rest of UK

  • £9,250

International

  • £20,050

How can I fund my course?

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarships (FEES)

We're offering a substantial number of Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarships (FEES) for new self-funded, international (non-EU) fee paying students with excellent academic qualifications. It's a scholarship for £2,700 towards course tuition fees for an MSc programme.

UKSA Firesat IPP Scholarships

New self-funded, international (non-EU) fee paying students from Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and other African countries can apply for the UK Space Agency Firesat International Partnership Programme Scholarships (UKSA Firesat IPP Scholarships). There are six fully-funded (tuition plus stipend) and two partially-funded (tuition only) scholarships available.

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to 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 support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

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

Careers

High-calibre professionals with satellite applications or data skills are in demand throughout the world. This course is designed to give you the skills to exploit the knowledge gained by creating and growing a new company of your own, or if you prefer to meet the global industrial demand for highly-qualified people in the area of satellite applications, data science, and development organisations targeted at the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It's particularly suitable for graduates in the following sectors,

  • sustainable development
  • academia
  • government
  • policy
  • industry
  • entrepreneurship

We work closely with the Univeristy Careers Service. They offer advice and guidance on career planning and looking for and applying for jobs. In addition, they administer and publicise graduate and work experience opportunities.

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Satellite Applications

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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