MSc Communications and Signal Processing

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Antennas and RF Systems

Course unit fact file
Unit code EEEN60121
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Available as a free choice unit? No


Brief Description of the Unit

1. Antenna and Propagation (9 credit)
General introduction to antennas systems and propagation in free space.
Antenna parameters: Antenna gain, beamwidth, bandwidth, efficiency and size.
Polarisation: Polarisation-linear, circular and elliptic, multipath effects.
Antenna Radiation: Near field and far fields radiation and basic antenna measurements.
Antenna types: Multiple antennas forming arrays and array factor. Feed structures.
Antenna modelling: High-frequency methods, FDTD, MoM.
Propagation: Radio wave propagation and electromagnetics.

2. RF Systems (6 credits)
Transmission line theory, Telegrapher’s equations. The Smith Chart, ABCD parameters and S-parameters. VSWR and reflection coefficient. Circuit analysis of lumped RF and distributed microwave components. Analysis of lossless reciprocal and non-reciprocal networks. Unitary condition. Worked examples – simple matching networks quarter-wave and lumped LC. Basics of the Smith Chart.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Transmissions Lines & Optical Fibres EEEN30036 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


The programme unit aims to:

  • Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of antenna function and characteristics. 
  • An understanding of the key parameters affecting the propagation of electromagnetic waves in free-space will be developed.
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the available methods used to model antenna systems.
  • Examine the basic analysis techniques for RF and microwave network analysis.
  • Show how Smith Chart is used to analyse a circuit and to undertake some basic matching. 

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understanding of the key parameters when addressing the performance of antennas and the theory behind it.
  • Understand the effect of antenna gain, beam width, polarisation and the nearfield & farfield radiation.
  • Develop the knowledge of the main modelling techniques available to model antenna performance.
  • Develop the knowledge of  the measurement procedures and equipments needed for Antennas and RF circuits.
  • Understand transmission line theory, loading and discrete modelling.
  • Understand the application of the Smith Chart.

Intellectual skills

  • The ability to demonstrate knowledge of antennas used in various communication systems and their key performance parameters.
  • Ability to discriminate between antennas on the basis of their electrical performance and their application.
  • Identify the appropriate measurement equipment needed for a particular antenna or RF function test.
  • Understand the fundamentals of using a microwave circuit simulator such as Keysight's ADS and CST Microwave Studio 3-D modelling tool.

Practical skills

  • Develop the ability to use industry standard tools such as Keysight's ADS and CST Microwave Studio for 3D EM modelling.
  • Use engineering understanding to interpret modelling results.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • The ability to work within a small group to design and build a project within an allocated time.
  • Appreciation of the engineering and analytical thinking on addressing and resolving practical problems
  • Report writing.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 70%
Report 30%

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Practical classes & workshops 12
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 110

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robin Sloan Unit coordinator
Laith Danoon Unit coordinator

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