Communication networks have evolved dramatically over recent decades. Accommodating the data traffic generated by billions of users and trillions of digital devices requires continuous technological evolution. Innovative internet and wireless infrastructure will be needed to cater for these challenging and unprecedented growth and performance characteristics. The master’s programme in Communications Systems will prepare you for a career in such an essential field for our society.
Communication Systems at KTH
The programme takes a holistic view of the internet infrastructure together with its services and applications and covers the topics required to develop communication systems for the next generation. The programme also covers novel concepts and topics, the current trends on the internet such as cloud computing, software-defined networking, 5G mobile network technology, and the Internet of Things. Students will also learn about the fundamental design principles behind the internet, which has enabled explosive growth and has, in turn, stimulated the introduction of new business ideas and ventures.
The first study period consists of mandatory core courses, which provide in-depth knowledge in the areas of communication systems and networks. The programme continues with specialisation tracks that consist of mandatory courses and a wide range of elective courses, allowing the student to specialise within one of the programme’s subject areas. Many courses are problem-oriented, with self-directed and project-based work. The fourth term is devoted to a master's degree project. The purpose of this degree project is for students to demonstrate the skills they have acquired during the programme by applying them to solving real problems. The topic of the degree project may be suggested by a faculty member, an external agency, an industry collaborator, or the student themselves, but should be relevant to the focus of the course work, and must be approved as a topic by the potential degree project examiner.
During the programme, students work in a research environment with ample experimental resources and close contact with the industry – including leading system manufacturers, service developers and providers, and advanced early adopters.
The programme offers three specialisation tracks: Internetworking, Wireless Networking, and Security and Mobile Computing.
Students in this specialisation will develop skills related to the fundamental design behind the internet including services and applications. You will learn how to apply network function virtualisation and software-defined networking technologies to the design and operation of telecommunication networks.
Students in this specialisation will develop skills to analyse and design different communication systems, apply electromagnetic signal propagation principles, wireless transmission techniques, protocols, standards and technologies to build secure and efficient wireless communication systems and Internet of things. You will gain hands-on communication systems knowledge with software-defined radio.
Security and Mobile Computing
Students in this specialisation will develop skills related to product development and services for modern cloud and mobile computing platforms, and how to do this securely. The track is designed for students who go for exchange studies. These exchange studies are organised by a consortium of European universities in different countries, where KTH is one of the partners. The students spend the first year in one country and the second year in one of the other countries. After completing the two years, the students can be awarded double degrees from the two universities they attended.
This is a two-year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Kista campus in Stockholm by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (at KTH).
Internet infrastructure, internet security, wireless networks, internet-of-things, cloud computing, software-defined networking and network function virtualisation, 5G mobile network technology, mobile applications and services, optical communication systems and networks, techno-economic and business model analysis of telecom systems and services.
Today’s technical challenges concern developing network systems to support a wide range of applications and connected devices while ensuring that the next generation of communication systems is scalable, flexible, secure, and sustainable. These systems will give users global access to a large variety of possibilities, ranging from advanced services based on sensor data produced by large amounts of constrained devices to cloud-based distributed services for computation and storage empowered by high-performance networks and powerful connected data centres. The commercialisation of these new ideas will create value for users, vendors, operators and society in general. Consequently, entrepreneurship, product realisation and economics are inextricably linked to communication systems.
The programme provides an excellent basis for a career in research and development, as well as in network design and management. Graduates from the programme can be found in academia, as well as in the industry – on the producer side with system manufacturers and operators, and on the consumer side with industry, in the public sector, and among regulators. There is a huge demand for network designers and administrators, especially in emerging markets in developing regions. Finally, as evidenced by Google, Skype, Spotify, and others, there are rich opportunities for entrepreneurs to change the world.
Research engineer, doctoral studies, software engineer, test engineer, network engineer, app developer, web marketing manager, information security analyst, consultant, database analyst.
"The best part of my programme is that it helps me gain both theoretical and practical knowledge via projects, lab work, group assignments and presentations. The courses are well structured and provide knowledge about ongoing technologies."
Umme from Bangladesh
Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Communication Systems are:
7 Affordable and Clean Energy
9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Energy Efficiency is a fundamental cornerstone of any sustainable network design and it defines the key methods used in the integration of energy-harvesting sources. Proper control of how the energy is drained and balanced across network elements is therefore necessary for self-sustainable network design. In this program, you will learn about energy-sustainable paradigms and methods for addressing the energy savings of existing communication systems and how to work toward (nearly) energy self-sufficient and high-capacity networks.
The Internet of things (IoT) and the development of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication are causing an explosion in the number of interconnected devices. These technologies provide various applications, functions and services in everyday life and a wide range of markets and industries. However, the heterogeneous nature of future networks and the connected devices are making systems more complex. The programme will provide you with the theoretical foundation and the practical skills needed to contribute to the design of modern and sustainable communication systems.
Faculty and research
The programme in Communication Systems is given by the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The Department of Communication Systems teaches courses within the programme. Research issues involve technical and economic aspects of wireless and wired communication systems and networks, fixed and mobile communication systems and networks, communication-related services, applications, and usage.
To be eligible for the program, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English and meet the program-specific requirements.
A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognised university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programmes, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Students in their final year of undergraduate studies may apply and, if qualified, will receive a conditional acceptance. These applicants must include a written statement according to the instructions given by University Admissions. Students in the final year of undergraduate studies at a Swedish university do not have to provide a written statement in order, if qualified, to receive a conditional acceptance. They must, however, have completed 150 ECTS credits in the bachelor’s programme by 1 February.
English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6 is required. The requirement can be satisfied through a result equal to, or higher than, those stated in the following internationally recognised English tests:
TOEFL Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, a total score of 575.
TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
TOEFL iBT internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, a total score of 90
IELTS Academic/IELTS UKVI: A minimum overall mark of 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5
Cambridge ESOL: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): Minimum score of 90
The University of Michigan, ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English)
Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 62 (writing 61)
The language requirement can also be fulfilled through previous university and upper secondary school studies. More information on recognised English tests, previous studies, and required documents is provided by University Admissions.
Specific requirements for the master's program in Communication Systems
A Bachelor of Science, corresponding to 180 ECTS credits, in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering or Information Technology, including courses in
computer science, basic data/telecom and internetworking, computer systems (computer architecture and operating systems) and programming corresponding to at least 60 ECTS credits,
mathematics, including calculus, linear algebra and mathematical statistics or probability theory, corresponding to at least 30 ECTS credits
Your application is not complete without the required supporting documentation. The following general and programme specific documents must therefore be included in the application in the specified order:
Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
Proof of English proficiency
A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents
Specific documents for the master's programme in Communication Systems
Letter of Motivation
2 Letters of recommendation
Relevant work experience