The University of Southampton

MSc Systems, Control and Signal Processing (1 year full-time)

Our MSc Systems, Control and Signal Processing degree will allow you to build on the core topic of signal processing with specialisms in systems theory, image processing and machine learning. This one year course will give you highly transferable skills in algorithmic development and programming.

Introducing your degree

Focus on systems and signal processing in a programme that encompasses contemporary approaches to a broad range of topics.

Overview

This programme is structured around a core of topics in signal processing, with specialisms in control and systems theory, image processing and machine learning.

The programme is centred around the research base at Southampton and reflects leading research in ECS in the areas of:

  • signal processing
  • robotics
  • systems and control theory
  • image processing
  • machine learning

The programme has a high mathematical content, and much of the material is strongly computationally based. You will develop strong transferable skills in algorithmic development and programming.

View the programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

One year, full-time.

The programme has been designed to maximise student choice by allowing you to tailor the structure to suit your own interests. You can choose areas that reflect your personal interests and work on an individual project. You will however, also take a number of compulsory modules to ensure you are exposed to key topics in all areas.

To Apply

You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, see How to Apply. Please note that we belong to the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

The deadline for new applications to this course is 31 July each year.

Key Facts

We have pioneered many of the most important advances in electronics and microelectronics over the past 30 years

We lead the UK for the volume and quality of Electrical and Electronic Engineering research (REF 2014)

97% of our Electrical and Electronic Engineering research outputs are rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)

The Guardian University Guide 2018 shows the University of Southampton second in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering

We are number one in the UK for graduate prospects in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the Guardian University Guide 2018

Southampton is ranked in the top 51-100 universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the 2017 QS World Rankings

We have outstanding experimental research facilities, including our world-class high-voltage laboratory and our £110m interdisciplinary clean room

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree:

Our normal entry requirement is an upper second-class honours degree or higher (or equivalent) in a related discipline such as electronic or electrical engineering, computer science or computer engineering, control engineering, physics or applied mathematics.

English Language Requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each competency. For information on other accepted English language tests, please visit www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_language.

International Qualifications:

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website. Please note we are part of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

Selection process:

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (eg hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.

Modules

Career Opportunities

This programme provides an excellent platform for further research in either industry or academia.

Graduates from our MSc programme are employed worldwide in leading companies at the forefront of technology.  ECS runs a dedicated careers hub which is affiliated with over 100 renowned companies including:

  • IBM
  • Arm
  • Microsoft Research
  • Imagination Technologies
  • Nvidia
  • Samsung
  • Google

Visit our careers hub for more information.

 

Through an extensive blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus startup incubator, we also support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build their professional enterprise skills. Discover more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing-for-students.page.

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Pre-course Reading List

Students on this course typically have an undergraduate background in engineering, and will have had substantial exposure to systems and signal processing.

No experience in image processing or machine learning/artificial intelligence is required, but background reading for these sections of the course are:

  • Pattern Recognition and Machine, by Christopher M. Bishop; Springer-Verlag New York Inc.; New Ed edition; ISBN-10: 0387310738, ISBN-13: 978-0387310732
  • Feature Extraction and Image Processing, by Mark Nixon, Alberto Aguardo, Academic Press, 2nd Edition; ISBN-10: 0123725380, ISBN-13: 978-0123725387

A useful tool in systems and signal processing is MATLAB, which is a professional mathematical language. It is available at the university, but expensive to buy a single license. We therefore do not expect you to do this, however there is an open source package Octave for which the language and basic functionality is very similar. Some exposure to this before you start may help you out a little in some of the courses (and it is not a bad skill to have in any case!).

It would be a good idea to refresh your core undergraduate courses in signals and systems/control. Recommended books for this material include:

  • Modern Control Systems, by Richard C. Dorf, Robert, H. Bishop, Prentice Hall, 11th Edition; ISBN-10: 0132270285, ISBN-13: 978-0132270281
  • Signals and Systems by A V Oppenheim , A S Willsky & S H Nawab, Prentice Hall Int 1996. ISBN-10: 0138147574, ISBN-13: 978-0138147570

It would also be wise to refresh your undergraduate courses in mathematics: linear algebra, probability, Fourier analysis and Fourier/Laplace transforms will all be important in this course.

Location

Highfield Campus

Highfield is our main campus and the heart of the University. Set in beautiful green surroundings, it’s easily accessible from the city centre. University Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.

Find out more

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