Analogue Communication and Propagation (H6107)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module gives you in-depth exposure to the principles and practice of anlogue communications, propagation and antenna design. This covers all relevant frequency ranges, including the conventional low and microwave frequencies up to terahertz. You’ll combine theory, design and practice, drawing on the latest research and industry standards. 

The module also provides you with a highly illustrative approach to fundamental theory combined with analysis, design and operation for an array of practical applications.

Topics include:

  • Maxwell's equations, the electromagnetic wave equation, the Poynting vector
  • plane waves, phase and group velocity, skin depth
  • propagation along transmission lines, attenuation and distortion, characteristic impedance, reflections and standing waves
  • electromagnetic propagation in free space, line of sight communications and design using Fresnel zone, power budget in satellite links, tropospheric and ionospheric propagation
  • introduction to antennas and aerials (including dipole, Yagi-Ueda, arrays, dish, planar, patch, antennas for CP) radiation pattern, reciprocity theorem, antenna gain
  • analogue communication systems, modulation and demodulation systems (AM/FM/pulse), phase lock loops
  • physical sources and statistical properties of electrical noise, signal-to-noise ratio, noise figure, noise temperature
  • spectrum management and EMC, radio transmitter and receiver architecture.


85%: Lecture
15%: Practical (Laboratory)


25%: Coursework (Problem set, Report)
75%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 37 hours of contact time and about 113 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: