The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date



This is an advanced MSc programme in the rapidly expanding area of telecommunications engineering. The programme offers a balance between theory and practice (hardware and software based projects) and is aimed at telecommunications, electrical, electronic, physics/mathematics and computer engineering graduates.

5G Technologies

The programme explores the use and application of engineering principles in the specification, design, development and deployment of telecommunications. Specialised training is provided across key 5G technologies including - 

  • Fibre Optic Communications
  • Satellite Communications
  • Antenna and RF Technologies
  • Internet of Things
  • Networks and Security
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Students will develop a detailed knowledge of telecommunication networks and gain the specialist skills, techniques and practices to work in the current and future (5G and beyond) telecoms industry. Graduates will be equipped to develop and implement creative solutions to the problems encountered in terrestrial networks, satellite networks, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Industry Leading Teaching

The MSc Telecommunications at Heriot-Watt is ranked in the UK top 10 for Telecommunications Engineering by the Academic Rankings of World Universities. Our programme is delivered by academic leaders in the field of Senors, Signals and Systems and three of our acadmics are IEEE Fellows, awarded for extraordinary accomplishments in their field of expertise.


Heriot-Watt's new GRID will be the hub for all of our project and laboratory work. This specially designed centre has innovative labs that exemplify our learning-by-doing approach. This will enable you to undertake a wide range of learning activities and to progressively develop your skills and knowledge throughout the degree programme.
GRID will also foster multi-disciplinary working and will provide you with experience of working in project teams, similar to being in the actual workplace. In addition, the facilities are available for students who want to work on their own projects either individually or as part of student societies. 

Heriot Watt University is home to the largest RF lab in Scotland.

Industry Links

Our strong links with industry provide students with the opportunity to undertake projects with leading organisations, including Huawie, Nokia, Cisco, Samsung and Eutelsat.


Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an incorporated engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a chartered engineer.

Student profile

After graduating from Heriot-Watt, I chose to return for my MSc as I’m familiar with the campus so can really focus all my attention on my studies.

Kai Xu, MSc Telecommunications

Course content

The programme is structured over three semesters from September to August. The first two semesters are taught, with a project being completed in the 3rd semester.

Mandatory courses

  • Satellite Communications
  • Information Theory and Communications
  • Sampling and Computational Imaging
  • Critical Analysis and Research Preparation
  • MSc Project

Optional courses

  • Sensors, Actuators and Internet of Things
  • Computer Network Security
  • Fibre Optic Communications
  • Antennas and Applications
  • Scalable Inference and Deep Learning
  • Project Module on Softtware Defined Radio

Entry requirements

Preferably, but not exclusively, a First or Second Class Honours Degree in a suitable numerate Science or Engineering subject. Recognised overseas equivalents will apply.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)


Tuition fees for 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time Part-time
Scotland / Non-UK EU £7400 £3700
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £7400 £3700
Overseas £19800 £9900

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.