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Computer Communication Networks MSc

Enquire now Apply Full-time Subject area: Electronic and Computer Engineering
Study mode

1-year full-time

PG code


Start date


Study location

Brunel University London campus


Postgraduate Loans: From 1 August 2018 , students who live in England will be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan in academic year 2018/19 of up to £10,609. Find out more

About the course

This course provides exposure to the wide variety of technical, managerial and organisational issues essential to effective commercial deployment of data communication systems.

You will develop practical skills through the workshop module, both to reinforce the theory presented in lectures and to gain hands-on experience. In addition to in-depth technical knowledge, the data communications industry also considers project management, team working and presentation skills to be key attributes, which are all developed on the course.


Data communications is a rapidly expanding sector with exciting career prospects. In this fast moving environment postgraduate qualifications provide a competitive edge in career progression.

This course is aimed at widening and deepening the experience of academically capable graduates and practising engineers, specifically:

  • Recent graduates in electrical or electronic engineering, computer science, physics and mathematics who wish to deepen their knowledge of the technological, commercial and managerial issues associated with data communication systems
  • Practicing engineers who wish to update their knowledge.
  • European and other overseas engineers who wish to broaden their education in the UK.


Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)

Course content

Compulsory Modules

Advanced Digital Communications

The aim of this module is to introduce students to more advanced topics in digital communication systems and to provide students with up-to-date knowledge of the techniques used in digital communication systems including more advanced topics in digital wireless communication systems. This module covers channel modelling, coding, digital transmission through wireless channels, advanced error control techniques, spread spectrum, multi-carrier digital transmission (OFDM and MIMO), and their applications in wireless and cellular mobile communication systems.

Computer Networks

Introduces the terminology and concepts of system networks, using the OSI network model as the reference framework. Aims to produce an understanding of network structures and techniques, covering layered network architectures, protocols, process interconnection, system network modelling, routing and software implementation at various network layers. The reference framework is compared with common networks such as TCP/IP, IPX and NETBIOS and the technologies for bearer transmission services and related issues, including ISDN, SDH, ATM, frame relay, email, X400 and X500 are considered.

Communication Networks Security

This module introduces the fundamental theory that enables what is achievable through the use of security engineering and presents the practical techniques and algorithms that are currently important for the efficient and secure use of distributed/Grid computing systems. Topics include Introduction to Security Engineering, Classical Cryptography (Monoalphabetic and Polyalphabetic Ciphers, Transposition, Substitution, Linear Transformation), Computational Fundamentals of Cryptosystems (Computational Complexity and Intractability, Modular Arithmetic and Elementary Number Theory), Modern Symmetric Key Cryptography (Feistel Ciphers, DES, Triple-DES and AES), Public Key Cryptography (The Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange Algorithm, Public Key Infrastructures, X.509 Certificates, PK Systems such as RSA and Elliptic Curves), Multilevel Security (the Bell-LaPadula Security Policy Model, the Biba Model, the NRL Pump), Multilateral Security (Compartmentation and the Lattice Model, the Chinese Wall, the BMA Model), Protecting eCommerce Systems.

Network Design and Management

Introduces different network design methodologies and principles. Covers the needs to identify and resolve design issues with regards to networks and protocols. Provides network strategies and regulation policies. Considers how to design and manage networks of different types with respect to performance and requirements.

Intelligent Systems

Introduces the use of Java object-oriented programming language for distributing peer to peer program design. Includes the use of databases (JDBC, SQL, XML/XQL), client/server systems, servlets and RMI.

Radio and Optical Communication Systems

Covers modern data transmission technologies starting from the component level and building up to complete system design, operation and management. Considers current and planned optical, satellite and mobile networks and services, as well as their integration into global systems.

Project Control and Management

Introduces a range of formal methods and skills necessary to equip the student to function effectively at the higher levels of project management. Covers the need for the development of project management skills in achieving practical business objectives.

Research Methods and Professional Development

The aim of this module is to instil principles of good research practice and enable students to acquire skills to conduct scientifically-robust research with due consideration of engineering quality issues and environmental and health and safety risks:

  • To develop understanding of how research and development drives innovation in a business context and the mechanisms to protect intellectual property.
  • To develop student’s ability to plan their own research and learning activities, including for a piece of advanced research (the dissertation

Project and Dissertation

The dissertation is a stimulating and challenging part of the MSc programme. It provides the opportunity to apply the knowledge learnt in the taught part of the course and to specialise in one aspect, developing the student's deep understanding and expertise in a Data Communications related area of their choice. Students may carry out their project wholly within the University, but industrial-based projects are encouraged.

For company-sponsored students, projects should be related to the company's present and future enterprise. Industrial projects often lead to recruitment of the student by the collaborative company, recent examples of which include BT, Siemens, 3Com, Worldcom, Nortel and Orange.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.


Careers and your future

The employment record for graduates of the course remains highly impressive. Graduates have been recruited by a wide range of communications equipment manufacturers, vendors, service providers and end users. A number of leading data communications companies have recognised the unique blend of skills our MSc provides and identified our graduates for inclusion their UK, European and global recruitment programmes.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry criteria 2019/20

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, usually in Electrical or Electronic Engineering; Computer Science; Information Systems; Mathematics or Physics. Other qualifications and relevant experience will be assessed on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Assessment and feedback

Each of the eight course modules is assessed either by formal examination, written assignments or a combination of the two. Hand-in dates for the assignments are specified at the beginning of the academic year.

Examinations are normally taken in January and May. Successful completion of the first part of the programme allows the student to proceed to the dissertation stage. To qualify for the award of the MSc degree the student must submit a satisfactory dissertation.

Special features

The Electronic and Computer Engineering discipline is one of the largest in the University, with a strong portfolio of research contracts, and has strong links with industry.We have a wide range of research groups, each with a complement of academics and research staff and students. The groups are:

The laboratories are well equipped with an excellent range of facilities to support the research work and courses. We have comprehensive computing resources in addition to those offered centrally by the University. The discipline is particularly fortunate in having extensive gifts of software and hardware to enable it to undertake far-reaching design projects.


Women in Engineering and Computing Programme

Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.


The course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK, if you have a qualifying first degree.

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

UK/EU students: £9,100 full-time

International students: £18,720 full-time

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).