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MSc Embedded Wireless Systems

Develop the skills you need to become a leader in engineering research, design and development across a range of industries.

Year of entry: 2021 (September)
Show year of entry: 2022


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Wireless communication and mobile computing are the largest growth sectors in electronics and with applications ranging from mobile phones to self-driving cars.

It covers theoretical and practical electronic design, sensors, instrumentation systems, communications and embedded computing from core principles to cutting-edge research.

One of the major features of the course is the teaching of industry standard embedded systems using ARM processors, which are currently in over 90% of all mobile phones.

The course is ideal if you are seeking a route into industries which use wireless sensor network applications, ranging from smart buildings, warehouses, traffic monitoring, patient monitoring, industry 4.0 and the internet of things. After graduating, you'll be significantly more attractive to a wider range of employers due to a more comprehensive portfolio of experience.


Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.

Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Research excellence

In the latest REF assessment (2014), 87 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

You'll study a total of 120 credits spread over 11 modules, as well as undertaking a project worth an additional 60 credits. All the modules are compulsory. 

You'll explore theoretical and practical electronic design, sensors, instrumentation systems, communications and embedded computing from core principles to cutting-edge research.

We take care to ensure our courses are relevant to your future career. Our professional development framework, designed in consultation with expert external advisors, will help to prepare you for industry, research or further study.


Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Research project

The group project usually takes the form of developing an idea for a product specification. You will assign and undertake individual roles within your group. These roles usually involve both technical and managerial aspects so you gain experience of both these different skill sets. The groups you will work within are small, usually four or five students. At the end of the project you will produce an individual project report. Throughout the project, you will receive the support and guidance of an academic supervisor.

Some examples of previous projects include:

Automated Home Appliance System
This project aimed to control the appliances at home from a remote location such as an office. A wifi system, based on XBee, was developed to connect the appliances in the house, for example the air conditioner and heater, emergency sensor alert systems such as smoke sensors, home security surveillance monitoring systems and a home entertainment system to the processor board. Data communication between the appliances at home and the remote, off-home location were enabled via an internet connection and an app on a portable device like a mobile phone.

Acoustic Diversity Sensor Network
This project aimed to measure the complexity of sounds in the environment using remotely sited monitors and transmit the data to a base station via a wireless network. Each monitor node had a microphone to record sounds and calculate an audio complexity index (ACI). Each node had temperature, humidity and light level sensors as well as a GPS receiver. The base station gathered the data and passed it to a computer to display ACI in real time on Google Maps.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Conduct research into the theory and operation of wireless systems (communications, embedded systems, sensors) and apply specialist knowledge in their design and implementation.
  • Extract and critically evaluate literature and other data about complex systems through analytical and computational methods, and modelling.
  • Create innovative and optimised designs to address real-world and industry-relevant problems involving wireless and embedded systems by synthesising novel ideas into engineering specifications.
  • Apply professional skills of programming, circuit design and construction, and system integration to independently solve technically challenging real-world research-based problems.
  • Debate, defend and contextualise information in a succinct, professional and technically accurate manner for engineers and non-technical audiences, and write and interpret technical documentation to international industry standards.
  • Proficiently manage themselves, teams and complex projects in preparation for technical careers as leaders in applied electronic engineering.
The best aspect is the fact that the lecturers are both focused on theory and practical experience. What’s more, you get taught by leading professionals in the field you are studying in, and they always want to help students achieve the best of their abilities.
Jingyang Xu, MSc Embedded Wireless Systems

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,730£23,300

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

All course text books and materials are available in the library or via the VLE. Depending on how you work, you may wish to print off notes and other material. You receive a free, £15 credit for printing and photocopying when you join the department, but you'll have to pay for any printing you do beyond this.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

We offer some departmental scholarship opportunities for our taught MSc courses.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): changes to courses

We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.

Teaching format

You will be taught through a mixture of lectures and practicals. 


You will have the use of departmental laboratories equipped with dedicated computing equipment including STMicro development and sensor boards, ARM microprocessors and licences for Keil uVision embedded C compiler. These will be used in a variety of modules including the group project.

Teaching location

The Department of Electronic Engineering is based on Campus West. The majority of teaching takes place within Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed via a combination of exams, coursework, presentations and reports.

Careers and skills

This course provides a route into industries which utilise wireless sensor network applications, ranging from smart buildings, warehouses, traffic monitoring, patient monitoring, industry 4.0 and the internet of things. After graduating from this MSc, you will be significantly more attractive to a wider range of employers due to a more comprehensive portfolio, experience from running and managing a team project, and system integration skills. Skills you will gain which will make you more attractive to employer include:

Career opportunities

Former students have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Broadcom
  • China Telecom
  • Fidelity Bank PLC
  • Huawei
  • Lenovo
  • Siemens
  • SAP
  • Three Media Tech Co.
  • Zoo Digital Group

Transferable skills

  • Analysing complex problems
  • Designing innovative solutions
  • Communicating to a wide variety of audiences
  • Teamwork
  • Technical skills in this field
  • Management
  • Research skills 
  • Digital literacy
  • Project management
  • Presenting

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in a subject with significant electronics or computing content. We are willing to consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly when the student has high marks in relevant modules or appropriate industrial experience.
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 in each component
Duolingo 100, minimum 90 in all other components
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Get in touch if you have any questions

Susie Beckham and Helen Smith (Enquiries)

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Department of Electronic Engineering

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