Digital Broadcast Technology - MSc

Full Time, Part Time
September 2016
£10,500 for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

Technologies in the TV and broadcast industries are rapidly advancing and converging with web-based services, games and virtual environments. The global industry continues to offer increasing opportunities in technical operations, broadcast network management and also in research and development.

This course aims to capitalise and maintain the UK expertise in this area, along with the requirement to continually evolve the delivery of technology in the industry.

The focus of the course is on engineering and technology rather than production skills.

The course is designed both to prepare recent graduates for a technical/commercial career and to provide a route to the specialisation needed for a research career. It should also be suitable for past graduates of internet and communications related courses who may have worked for several years and wish to update their knowledge at the forefront of the discipline.

The study programme is designed to enable you to acquire and develop a thorough technical and theoretical understanding focusing on vocational and practical skills directly relevant to industry. Alongside the development of technical and analytical skills, students will also develop team and professional development skills through group work, peer review and reflective evaluation and consideration of legal and ethical issues.

What's covered in the course?

  • The course has been developed in conjunction with the BBC, and is now open to external applicants.

  • This course has been developed in consultation with the BBC, Creative SkillSet, the Sector Skills Council for the Media Industry in England, and other organisations in the broadcast industry.

  • This course provides the skills and knowledge to enable you to undertake a variety of technical roles in the broadcast industry, such as Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast System Engineer, Broadcast Systems Developer, Broadcast Solution Architect, Broadcast Infrastructure Engineer, and Broadcast Support Engineer.

Why Choose Us?

  • Once a month, Creative Networks brings together people involved with screen-based and sound media industries creating networking opportunities with people who work in the Industry.
  • The school is recognised both nationally and internationally for the high quality of our teaching and research and extensive industry partnerships. And it is established as one of the leading academies for Apple, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

This course is open to International students

School of Computing and Digital Technology

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New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

We would normally expect you to hold at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline such as Digital Broadcast Technology, Broadcast Engineering, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering or Networking.

However, we can also consider your application without standard entry qualifications if you can provide evidence of the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully complete the course.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 13 months £10,500
PT 29 months £900 per 15-credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 13 months £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

Stage 1: Postgraduate Certificate

Web Technologies
10 credits

Web standards and protocols, web hosting, security, privacy, client / server side technologies, databases and management, personalisation architectures and management, service oriented architectures, agent systems

Production Technologies
10 credits

Studio production, chroma keying, studio technologies - sound, lighting, camera techniques real time, mobile (outside) broadcasts, health and safety, power supply and distribution.

Media Solutions and Architectures
20 credits

Headend servers, middleware, conditional access, DRM, triple/multiplay services cable, satellite, digital terrestrial TV, telco IPTV, OTT webTV, mobile, high power transmission valves; content delivery networks, user terminals, interaction and personalisation services.

Networks Technologies
20 credits

Web technologies - IP networks, routing, addressing, LANs, WANs, client / server systems, P2P, transmission technologies - optics, radio, cable, and telco networks.

Stage 2: Postgraduate Diploma

Workflow Methods
20 credits

Metadata, ontologies, asset management; file transformation; taxonomy; content management architecture, interactive, personalised TV, social network production, user generated content, multiscreening.

Research Methods
10 credits

Practical and critical awareness of research method, writing for publication and for project analysis, preparation for the research and dissertation element of the course.

Compression Encoding
20 credits

Compression - audio, iImage, video, codecs, containers, modulation, multiplexing, DAB, DVB, DMB object-based media, UHD, 3DTV.

Media Acquisition and Presentation
10 credits

Capture - cameras, sensors; monitors and other user interface devices, electronics systems, audio and vision mixers

Stage 3: Masters

Masters Project
60 credits

Course Structure

The study programme is designed to enable you to acquire and develop a thorough technical and theoretical understanding focusing on vocational and practical skills directly relevant to industry. Alongside the development of technical and analytical skills, you will also develop team and professional development skills through group work, peer review and reflective evaluation and consideration of legal and ethical issues.

The course addresses broadcast technology in four main themes, and is designed to be delivered either as a stand-alone course or as part of a Skillset Build Your Own MSc.

The Web technologies theme covers web-based technologies including essential architectures and security, protocols and standards. The theme then expands the concepts to more advanced architectures and technologies required for industrial web-based media.

The Media Distribution Architectures theme covers network architectures and solutions and their developments in the broadcast media industry.

The Production theme explores the technology behind media production, specifically how production workflow is evolving as media becomes less linear and is delivered to the interactive and multi-device viewing public. A necessary element in this theme is asset management and description. The Production Technology module addresses the studio-level technologies.

The Media Technology and Formats theme addresses signal technologies in their acquisition, presentation, compression and encoding in preparation for storage and transmission.

A Research Methods module prepares students for the final semester Masters Project dissertation, completed in the third semester, as well as industry research activities beyond.

Employment Opportunities

Graduates from our undergraduate programmes have gone on to work for the BBC, Blitz Games Studios, Capita, Clusta, Czech Television (Česká televise), Gas Street Works, Ernst & Young, IBM, ITV, Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd, Morgan Motor Company, RDF Television, and SKY TV.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


The course is also suitable for people who are upskilling early in their career in broadcast technology organisations. However you would also benefit from the course if you have relevant qualifications and short experience in an associated discipline.

The course will also be a natural extension to broadcast technology first degree graduates.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

Here at Birmingham City University, the School of Computing and Digital Technology is equipped with a multitude of professional, dedicated equipment. With world-class facilities including: two film and television studios, four multi-track recording studios, post-production facilities, and several hundred multimedia stations.

We have cutting edge facilities available to support the course and research that goes on in the School, including the purpose-built Media Centre at The Parkside Building, DMT Lab and Cisco Academy at Millennium Point and Recording studios and concert halls at Birmingham Conservatoire. We also have several PC and Apple Mac computing suites with the latest industry standard applications and tools for audio, video and multimedia application development and content creation.

As a student of the School of Computing and Digital Technology you will be able to take advantage of a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art technology and equipment to prepare you for working within industry. Our four fully digital, interconnected TV studios can be used within a variety of contexts, including audio-recording. Alongside this with have several broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.

As the programme is taught in partnership with the Birmingham Conservatoire you will have access to a wide-range of musical facilities including six studios, a Recital Hall and the 520-seat auditorium Adrian Boult Hall. We have a range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment ready for you to use.

Film and television

You will have access to four fully digital, interconnected TV studios, along with broadcast-standard edit and dubbing suites.


An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Birmingham Conservatoire

Facilities and partner venues at the Conservatoire including six studios, a Recital Hall and the 520-seat auditorium Adrian Boult Hall.

Sound and music

Discover the full range of studios, mix rooms, recording spaces and a vast range of recording equipment.

Andy White

Programme Leader

Andy joined Birmingham City University 2001 as a Senior Lecturer within the School of Computing and Digital Technology. Following a number of years in course management he has recently been appointed Programme Leader managing a group of courses in the multimedia and broadcast area.

Andy began his career as a postgraduate researcher in 1995 at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle. His research in collaboration with the University of Essex and Sony Ericsson led to publications and the development of novel tools which can automatically design and optimise electronic systems.

Moving to the West Midlands in 1999, Andy worked as a consultant developing and implementing technology strategies that were delivered across the region to businesses and organisations.

As a Senior lecturer at Birmingham City University he continues to remain active in research and knowledge exchange through projects funded by various sources, such as DTI, ERDF and EU R&D Frameworks.

Andy holds an BEng(Hons) in Electronic and Communications Engineering and an MSc in Computer Based System Design from the University of Huddersfield and is currently working toward registration of a PhD.

Jerry Foss

Subject Leader

Jerry is a Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, he joined the University in 2005.

Jerry has 30 years’ experience in telecommunications research and development in intelligent networks, data communications protocols, interactive services, media distribution, broadband access and services development, defence communications contracts, network architectures and infrastructures.

During this time his research involved a number of collaborative projects between industry and universities for UK government funding and also for European framework funding. Research projects included industry/academic collaborative projects on networked virtual reality applications, intelligent agent-based e-commerce markets and adaptive services, information services and infrastructures.

Jerry has presented papers and spoken at a number of highest level international conferences and events and instrumental in a wide range of international collaborative work programs.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295