Smart Telecom and Sensing Networks (SMARTNET) MSc – 2 years

Join our unique, two year, joint Masters course, and get ready to shape the development of the 5G network across Europe.

A partnership with universities in France and Greece.

Course type


Course format

Integrated international placement


2 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Why explore the ERASMUS-funded Smart Telecom and Sensing Networks programme

Head of Group for Electronic Engineering, John Williams, discusses his experiences of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

UK postgraduate loans are nowopen

UK postgraduate loans have now opened. If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

Find out more

Course outline and modules

SMARTNET is a unique two-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree programme supported by European Union funding.  
Offered jointly by three universities, you’ll benefit from the distinctive and complementary academic qualities and strong educational and research environments of each one. 
During this course, you’ll learn about the interdisciplinary fields of photonics and 5G wireless technologies for data communication, sensing and data processing.   
You’ll also benefit from the involvement of industrial partners who will give you the opportunity to bridge the gap between your academic knowledge and its application in the real world. This will be especially helpful as you work on your masters project. 
What you’ll learn 

You’ll 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.  
There are six pathways on our SMARTNET course: 

•    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. 


Core modules:

•    5G Signal Processing
•    Radio Systems and Personal Communication Networks
•    Optical Networks
•    Mobile Data Networks
•    Machine Learning
•    MSc Dissertation

You will then need to choose three out of the following modules:

•    Broadband Wireless Networks
•    Modelling and Characterisation of Fibre Photonic Devices
•    Digital Communications and Information Theory
•    Project Management
•    Optical Communications Systems
•    Strategic Management and Finance
•    Internet of Things
•    Introduction to Parallel Programming Techniques
University partners 

The SMARTNET course is delivered in partnership between Aston, the Université Paris-Saclay and the University of Athens. Each university brings its own strengths to this unique partnership.  
Aston University – key strengths in wireless and optical communications network systems, optical sensing and industrial applications. 
Université Paris-Saclay (France) through member institutions Télécom SudParis and Télécom ParisTech – key strengths in the 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  

We also have strong relationships with a wide range of multi-national organisations who contribute significantly to the course through their own expertise.  
These businesses are: 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). 

Entry requirements

  • For graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in telecommunications, electronics, electrical engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics or similar. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.
    Find out more about our English language requirements.
    For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your Country webpage.

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. 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning will be a combination of formal lectures, seminars, workshops as well as individual and group projects and presentations.

Assessment will be through a combination of assignments and exams, with a major project contributing to the final grade.

Fees and scholarships

An Erasmus Mundus 2 year programme.

Scholarship and self-funded places available.

UK postgraduate loans are now open

If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2021, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs.

UK postgraduate loans are now open


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

Career prospects

This course will give you not only the theoretical knowledge but also the necessary transferable skills to play a leading role in the design, operation and optimisation of future telecommunications systems.

On graduation, you will have a joint masters qualification and be a telecommunications engineer with a broad background, and a global vision of your field. You’ll also have developed other skills you need in industry, including effective communication and an understanding of the importance of collaboration.

There is a huge demand from industry for graduates with these skills and this course also provides a clear pathway to further study and research.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020.
More information on post-work visas

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study this SMARTNET course at Aston? 

You’ll graduate with a joint masters, having benefitted from the input of three universities across Europe, each with its own specialisms. This will put you in a strong position as you enter the market as a telecommunications engineer, a skill set that is currently in high demand. 

What will I be doing on the SMARTNET course at Aston? 

You will be gaining the knowledge and skills you need to develop your career and take on a senior engineering management role. You’ll learn through a series of taught modules and undertaking a major project.  

Chat with Current Students


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