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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELEC5333M Wireless Communications Systems Design

15 creditsClass Size: 100

Module manager: Dr. Nutapong Somjit

Taught: 1 Sep to 31 Jan (adv yr), Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The teaching and assessment methods shown below will be kept under review during 2021-22. In particular, if conditions allow for alternative formats of delivery, we may amend the timetable and schedule appropriate classes in addition to (or in place of) any online activities/sessions. Where learning activities are scheduled to take place on campus, it may be possible and/or necessary for some students to join these sessions remotely. Some of the listed contact hours may also be optional surgeries. Students will be provided with full information about the arrangements for all of these activities by the module staff at the beginning of the teaching semester.‘Independent online learning’ may involve watching pre-recorded lecture material or screen-casts, engaging in learning activities such as online worked examples or mini-projects, etc. Students will be expected to fully engage with all of these activities. The time commitment for independent online learning, and also the frequency and duration of online sessions are approximate and intended as a guide only. Further details will be confirmed when the module commences.Where assessments are shown as Online Time-Limited Assessments, the durations shown are indicative only. The actual time permitted for individual assessments will be confirmed prior to the assessments taking place.


This module explores the principles which govern physical layer of modern wireless communications systems, including the software tools needed to design and evaluate the systems and sub-systems which form a wireless communications system.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify the RF and microwave signals and devices within a communication system chain.
2. Explain the interactions between the functional blocks within a communications system, and how RF and non-RF component/parameter/system designs interact.
3. Explain how distortion and spectral regrowth can affect system performance.
4. Discuss the role of radio propagation analysis and planning in the deployment of communications systems.
5. Use mathematical methods and CAD tools to analyse the performance of a microwave communications link.
6. Discuss the process of specification-capture for a communications system.
7. Explain the physical limitations and practical trade-offs necessary in the design of a digital radio network.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Introduction to microwave communication systems
Link budget
RF subsystems
System modelling
Modulation formats and impact on circuit design
Distortion and spectral regrowth
Direct and heterodyne conversion
Sub-system characterisation
System noise figure analysis
Impact of RF/microwave component design on wireless communication system performance
Radio propogation analysis as a system planning tool
Communications system architecture hardware anaysis as a design study
Delivering complete communications systems in the real-world

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning52.0010.00
Private study hours118.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students are expected to use private study time to consolidate their understanding of course materials, to undertake preparatory work for seminars, workshops, tutorials, examples classes and practical classes, and also to prepare for in-course and summative assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students studying ELEC modules will receive formative feedback in a variety of ways, including the use of self-test quizzes on Minerva, practice questions/worked examples and (where appropriate) through verbal interaction with teaching staff and/or post-graduate demonstrators.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentAssignment 130.00
AssignmentAssignment 230.00
ProjectProject 140.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resits for ELEC and XJEL modules are subject to the School's Resit Policy and the Code of Practice on Assessment (CoPA), which are available on Minerva. Students should be aware that, for some modules, a resit may only be conducted on an internal basis (with tuition) in the next academic session.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/09/2021 15:22:45


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