MSc Smart Telecom and Sensing Networks (SMARTNET)

Photonics SMARTNET

Choose SMARTNET, and you will be studying one of engineering's key multidisciplinary areas of the future."

Dr Stylianos Sygletos
Programme Director

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree in a related field

On completion, you will be a telecommunication engineer with a broad and interdisciplinary background, and a global vision of your field.
This programme is delivered by the world-leading Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies
Develop the skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of a 5G network infrastructure.
78% of our research has been ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF)
Benefit from close links with 17 industrial partners

Entry requirements 

For graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in telecommunications, electronics, electrical engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics or similar. Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. You can view our English language policy here

Erasmus Mundus 2 year programme

Start date: September
Duration: 24 months full-time: three semesters of taught modules on campus at two of the partner institutions and a six-month individual project.
Fees: Scholarship and self-funded places available. Please see https://smartnet.astonphotonics.uk/participation-fees_and_scholarships/ for full details

Aston University only - 1 year programme*

Start date: September
Duration: 12 months full-time
UK/EU: £7,600 (2018/19 fee)

International: £16,000 (2018/19 fee)  
*subject to full approval


You can find out more about our Postgraduate scholarships for international students here. If you are a UK or EU student, please email pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk for information on funding.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.


Why choose SMARTNET

  • Study one of engineering’s key multidisciplinary areas of the future
  • Develop the skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of a 5G network infrastructure
  • As part of the Erasmus Mundus programme, graduate with two full MSc qualifications
  • Benefit from close relationships with 17 industrial partners

SMARTNET is a unique two-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme supported by European Union funding. You will receive training in the interdisciplinary fields of photonics and 5G wireless technologies for data communication, sensing and data processing. Offered jointly by three universities, you’ll benefit from the distinctive and complementary academic qualities, and strong educational and research environments, of each.  

Alternatively, a non-Erasmus, Aston University only, SMARTNET training pathway is available, leading to a standard MSc qualification (180 credits).

In either programme, you will study a range of subjects highly relevant to both industry and society. These will include optical and wireless networks, sensing networks, 5G technologies, photonics networks, digital signal processing and big data methods. As well as being of fundamental academic importance, these are critical subjects for the global future of information and communication technologies. 

The strong involvement of industrial partners in the programme will offer you the opportunity to bridge the gap between your academic knowledge and practical application. You will be encouraged to carry out a number of industrial visits to enhance your MSc project.


As a student of the collaborative SMARTNET programme, you will be able to choose to follow one of six pathways: 

5G broadband infrastructures
Advanced 5G network architectures
Energy efficient smart networks
High capacity 5G network systems
Connectivity technologies for smart network systems
Big data analytics and 5G

Applications for the Erasmus programme must be done online via the SmartNet website. The application takes some time, so make sure you have plenty of time to do it. You can view more information about making your application here

Applications for the Aston University programme will open soon. 

University Partners

Aston University – key strengths in wireless and optical communications network systems, optical sensing, industrial applications

Université Paris-Saclay (France) through member institutions Télécom SudParis and Télécom ParisTech – key strengths in physical aspect of telecom and sensing networks, electromagnetics, nano-photonics, antenna design and microwave technology

University of Athens (Greece) – key strengths in digital signal processing, machine learning, big data management systems and security of networks.

Industrial Partners 

Airbus (UK), OTE (Greece) , Orange Labs (France), FAZ Technology (Ireland), Coriant R&D (Germany), Yenista (France), Arden Photonics (UK), Keopsys (France), Orange Polska (Poland), CEMENTYS (France), EKINIOS (France), KTN (UK), EPIC (France), network Rail (UK), Branscan (UK), Thales (France), Nokia Bell Labs (France).

Both programmes will equip you not only with the theoretical knowledge but also the transferable skills that will give you the potential to play a leading role in the design, operation and optimization of future telecommunication systems. On completion, you will be a telecommunication engineer with a broad and interdisciplinary background, and a global vision of your field, who will be able to move ideas from basic science to application and thrive on collaboration. 

Potential demand from industry for a workforce with these skills is enormous. 

For application enquiries for the Erasmus programme, contact the team here.

Interested? We'd love to hear from you.

What's next?

Student finance
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