MSc Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering. Programme Specification

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1 MSc Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering Programme Specification Introduction This Programme Specification is a concise summary of the main features of the MSc in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering at Cardiff University and of the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve if full advantage is taken of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods for each module can be found in the student handbook and on the School of Engineering webpages. 1. Teaching Institution Cardiff University 2. Programme accredited by Institution of Engineering and Technology (Last visit: 2009) 3. Final Award MSc in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering 4. Exit Award Postgraduate Certificate for 60 credits Postgraduate Diploma for 120 credits 5. Relevant QAA benchmark Engineering (2010) 6. Date of production/revision August Mode of study/duration Full-time (1 year) and part-time (2 years) 8. Admissions 9. Programme Aims The Programme of Study aims to: produce postgraduate specialists educated widely in two disciplines engineering and computer science who are able to apply these skills to provide solutions to Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering problems in a wide variety of real-life settings including digital telecommunications, digital media production, finance, medicine, defence and homeland security; produce postgraduate specialists will also be able to demonstrate financial, regulatory, managerial and ethical problems encountered in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering, equipped to be key professional players in the wider industry, the professions and public service; contribute to the advance of multimedia communications systems expertise and scholarship, in order to meet the strategic needs of the industries in the local region and wider national initiatives. produce individuals with a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights which are at the forefront of Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering produce individuals who can show originality in application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering. More specifically, the Programme of Study aims to: provide students with advanced knowledge and skills, confidence to solve multidisciplinary problems in the context of Multimedia Systems and MSc Multimedia Systems and Comms

2 Communications Engineering, ability to exercise original thought, have good professional judgment and take responsibility for the direction of important tasks ; produce postgraduates who are able to use a combination of general and specialist engineering knowledge and understanding to optimise the application of existing and emerging technology in the area of Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering; produce postgraduates who are able to engage in the creative and innovative development of Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering; provide postgraduates with methods that enable them to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and nonspecialist audiences ; produce postgraduates who can demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level ; help students continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level. widen regional participation in Higher Education. 10. Programme Outcomes The Programme Outcomes have been informed by the Engineering Benchmark Statement (2010) for Masters Programmes. Students who gain the award will have demonstrated achievement of the following Intended Learning Outcomes, as set out under Sections A, B, C and D below: A. Knowledge and understanding identify and use engineering methods and tools that are appropriate to the problem being solved undertake a leading role in a design and development activity in one of their chosen specialist disciplines grapple with the essential elements within complex issues and understand how these may be solved in a systematic and creative manner understand and be prepared to take part in the future research and development in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering. B. Intellectual Skills Show originality, competence and confidence in tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems Conceive, plan, undertake and manage an engineering project to a professional level Understand the application of Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering to the design, implementation and management of systems that are able to collect, manipulate, interpret, synthesise, present and report data Design and implement creative and innovative multimedia communications systems, which may contain embedded system components Contribute to the continuing development of systems engineering practice and research based upon a critical evaluation of existing methods Be capable of assuming a high level role within an organisation, including being prepared for higher-level research studies MSc Multimedia Systems and Comms

3 C. Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills Select an appropriate development tool for a given task. Examples of applicable tools include those deployed within current research into Multimedia Communications Systems, Digital Signal Processing, Communication Engineering and Computer Science, appreciating the modern methods for the specification and design of systems and best practice Model the components used in Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering, and understand the interaction between a model based approach and an iterative dynamic modelling method that employs real elements Obtain a detailed understanding of signal processing mathematics, modelling and implementation using a range of modern tools Have an understanding of the hardware and software infrastructures used in the development of communication systems and networks, including an working knowledge and appreciation of relevant industry standards and the use of current tools Exploit concepts and methodologies to realise present-need strategic information systems relevant to Multimedia Systems and Communications Engineering processes accounting for any relevant environmental factors Describe the principles of human perception, decision making and behaviour, as they influence the design, implementation and operation of information systems. D. Transferable Skills Communicate their own ideas, research findings, underlying principles and theories effectively by oral, written and practical means Appreciate the respective benefits of working in a team and as an individual Be aware of the current and future direction of IT development, including developments in for example the Internet, databases, spreadsheets, word processing and Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages Develop and maintain their skills to reflect future systems engineering developments Plan, undertake and manage research projects. 11. Programme structure and requirements, courses and awards The programme is presented as a one-year full time Masters level programme, and is also available in part-time mode over two years. Detailed structures and requirements, courses and awards are available in the Student Handbook and on the School of Engineering webpages. The programme is presented in two stages: In Stage 1 students follow taught modules to the value of 120 credits, with a limited amount of choice between optional modules. Stage 2 consists of a Dissertation module worth 60 credits. Summative assessment is undertaken at the end of each stage (or each year if part-time). 12. How the programme will be delivered A wide range of teaching styles will be used to deliver the diverse material forming the curriculum of the programme. Master s level modules are provided by both the School of Engineering and the School of Computer Science and Informatics. Students will attend lectures and participate in examples classes. All students must complete 120 credits in MSc Multimedia Systems and Comms

4 Stage 1 in order to progress to the dissertation, for which they are allocated a supervisor from among the teaching staff of both schools. Dissertation topics are normally chosen from a range of project titles proposed by academic staff, usually in areas of current research interest, although students are encouraged to put forward their own project ideas. 13. How the programme will be assessed Achievement of learning outcomes in the majority of modules is assessed by a combination of coursework assignments, plus University examinations set in January or May. Examinations count for 60% 70% of assessment in Stage 1 of the programme, the remainder being largely project work and pieces of coursework. Award of an MSc requires successful completion of Stage 2, the Dissertation, with a mark of 50% or higher. Candidates achieving a 70% average may be awarded a Distinction. Candidates achieving a 60% average may be awarded a Merit. Candidates failing to qualify for an MSc may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma for 120 credits in Stage 1. Candidates failing to complete the 120 credits required for Stage 1 may still be eligible for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate for the achievement of at least 60 credits. 14. What is expected of you Students should attend lectures whenever possible. While a 10-credit module represents 100 hours of study in total, typically this will involve hours of contact time with teaching staff. The remaining hours are intended to be for private study, coursework, revision and assessment. Therefore all students are expected to spend a significant amount of time (typically 20 hours each week) studying independently. Students must keep their personal tutor, project supervisor and the School of Engineering Teaching Office informed of any circumstances or illnesses that might affect their capacity to attend teaching or undertake assessment. 15. How we will support you Students will be allocated a personal tutor to assist them with both academic progress and pastoral support when required. The personal tutor will see students early on in the programme, and as required thereafter. For the dissertation stage, students will be allocated a supervisor in the relevant field of research specialism, whom they should expect to meet with regularly. In addition to the broad range of support services provided centrally by Cardiff University, students with specific needs will be supported as required. Learning Central, the Cardiff University virtual learning environment (VLE), will be used extensively to communicate with students, support lectures and provide general programme materials such as reading lists and module descriptions. It may also be used to provide self-testing assessment and give feedback. 16. Other features The distinctive features of the programme include: the opportunity for students to learn in a research-led teaching institution serviced by staff rated in the highest possible category by independent Government assessment; the opportunity to work in facilities commensurate with top-class research units; academic staff who are Chartered Engineers and members of the British Computer Society; the participation of research-active staff in programme design and delivery. the variety of the advanced level modules on offer MSc Multimedia Systems and Comms

5 approval as Further Learning for membership of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standards of learning include: Annual Programme Review and Evaluation (report made public in the School); Periodic Review; Academic Validation of Programmes of Study; External Examiners Reports (made twice a year); Accreditation Reports; Student Module Evaluations (each student makes an anonymous evaluation on each of his/her modules, and results are made public); Student/Staff Sub-groups (with minutes made public); Student Representatives on Board of Studies; Staff Appraisal; Staff Peer Review of Teaching. 17. External Examiner The External Examiner currently appointed for this programme is Dr Peter Hall, University of Bath MSc Multimedia Systems and Comms

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