Communication Network Planning and Management
Learn to design, install and manage new communication networks
Why take this course?
Communication systems and networks provide a means of linking people and businesses on a global scale and have become vital to modern society.
Our emphasis is on understanding system-level principles and on the design and implementation of systems to meet customer requirements, rather than the detailed circuit-level design of how a communication system works.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Use our fully equipped multi-platform suites and computer labs to enhance your learning experience
- Analyse high-frequency signals, measure antennas in our anechoic chamber or experiment with our range of control applications including helicopter development kits and walking robots
- Carry out your final project in a workplace environment or relate your topic to a current issue in industry
What opportunities might it lead to?
This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). It will provide you with some of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).
The Master’s course description, specifically the units, matched my personal requirements and desires.
Svilen Boyadzhiev, MSc Communication Network Planning and Management student 2012
- Start date and duration
- 1 year full time (start September), 3 years part time (start September), 16 months full time (start January - International applicants only)
- A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £6,400 part time: £2,130 p/a* (3 Years)
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700* part time: £4,570 p/a* (3 Years)
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 2555
- School of Engineering
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
This course provides a broad understanding of client-facing management techniques within the context of communication systems and networks. You will study six core topics on this course, followed by an individual project.
Here are the units you will study:
- ICT Configuration and Administration: This unit aims to conceptualize and evaluate the theory, methods, and issues involved in installing, configuring and effectively managing a Unix based operating system for networking, as well as a complete virtualized environment.
- Communication Systems Analysis: This unit focuses on basic principles in the analysis and design of modern communication systems, the workhorses behind the information age. It puts emphasis on the treatment of analogue communications as the necessary background for understanding digital communications.
- Data Communications and Networking: The unit provides you with the required foundation and depth of knowledge to comprehensively understand the core principles of data communications and computer network.
- Network Design and Management: This unit aims to introduce you to the issues, processes and tools of top-down network design and provide you with awareness of the issues and techniques involved in the management of large scale computer networks.
- Mobile and Satellite Systems: The main objective of this unit is to discuss the properties and characteristics of fixed and mobile radio channels and to analyse their effects on the design of terrestrial and satellite communication systems.
- Communication Security: This unit attempts to follow a systematic and rational engineering approach to help you master challenging topics such as cryptography.
- Individual Project: The course ends with a four-month individual project in which you apply your knowledge to a significant communications system or network planning problem. Projects are tailored to your individual interests and may take place in our own laboratories or, by agreement, in industry.
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions in conjunction with implementing your individual project, which can often be linked with industry. In addition, you will need to spend significant time in our electronic, communications and computer laboratories as well as in private study directed by lecturers.
How are you assessed?
Assessment is geared towards the subject matter in a way that encourages a deeper understanding and allows you to develop your skills. Here’s how we assess your work:
- coursework assignments
- a laboratory report
- a dissertation
Facilities & Features
The Network Lab
Our new £1 million network laboratory rivals anything available at other British universities. It will give you access to over 250 servers with full remote access. You’ll get the chance to configure, experiment with and manage different networking technologies. Plus, learn programming languages such as Java, HTML and C, and use a wide range of application packages such as OPNET and Wireshark. Our lab accommodates learning in all areas of computer networks and communication systems.
Specialist Software and Equipment
A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs, supported by multi-platform network suites offering a variety of operating systems. You’ll have a range of excellent resources at your fingertips including:
- Cisco equipment
- Digital Signal Processing (DSP) kits
- ECAD and software development suites
- analogue and digital electronics
- Linux, Windows and Unix systems
A one-stop academic help and support resource for all School of Computing students. Need help understanding your assessments? Want to talk to someone about your project or about a programming problem? This is the place to go.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Careers & Opportunities
The growing worldwide demand for technologists who can translate a client's communication needs and aspirations into a secure and reliable communication network, will open up a range of employment opportunities for you. Examples of possible roles include developing and commissioning a mobile phone network for a new geographical region or introducing wireless network multimedia to a company.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degrees students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service – Purple Door – can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days 2016
- Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1pm – 5pm
Our Postgraduate Information Days are for anyone considering postgraduate study at the University of Portsmouth. It’s your opportunity to learn about the University and the postgraduate opportunities on offer.
Meet with our postgraduate subject specialists and faculty admissions teams who will provide information and guidance on the range of Master's courses and research programmes available at the University. In addition, some of our current postgraduate students will be available to speak to you about postgraduate student life at Portsmouth, alongside staff from our Careers and Recruitment service, Student Finance Team, International Office and Graduate School.
Alternatively, If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.