Module code: EEEM006

Module Overview

IMPORTANT: The second assessment pattern (100% Weighting) is only applicable to the MSc Short Course Students

Expected prior learning: None.

Module purpose: Antennas and the propagation of radio on the physical layer (PHY) are a fundamental aspect of communications, space and radar as well as any other device that will radiate electromagnetic waves over an air interface. In order for wireless devices to operate and comply with suitable standards, it is important that they use a suitable antenna design, while also modelling the propagation environment the device may encounter is important for purposes of testing the radio transceiver, thus knowledge of propagation modelling is required to achieve this.


Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 61

Seminar Hours: 8

Tutorial Hours: 9

Laboratory Hours: 6

Guided Learning: 26

Captured Content: 40

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes the following:

•    Role of an antenna in a system
•    Radiation mechanism
•    Introduction to common forms of antenna.
•    Fundamental parameters of antennas, including: gain, polarisation, impedance, and bandwidth.
•    Antenna characterisation
•    Principles of operation of planar and linear antennas
•    Fundamentals of phased array antennas.
•    Fundamental physical components of propagation: reflection, refraction and diffraction.
•    Deterministic propagation models: free space, plane earth and ray tracing.
•    Empirical and Stochastic propagation models: Shadowing, Rayleigh/Rice fading, Doppler spread. Narrowband and wideband fading.
•    Small antenna design examples.
•    Computer aided and practical laboratory design exercises.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Laboratory Report 20
Examination Examination - 2hrs 80

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate not only knowledge in antenna theory but to apply the theory through the laboratory exercises they will undertake whereby they will realise the challenges in designing an antenna both in the context of simulating a design but also in building a prototype. Students will also gain a hands on experience in measuring and evaluating antenna prototype designs. The examination will test not only knowledge of antenna theory and principles of radio propagation but to apply such cases to problem solving suited to the deployment of fixed and mobile wireless links.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

  • A two hour written exam consisting of three compulsory questions. Each question contains a problem solving task. This constitutes 80% of the final mark.

  • A practical lab task designing and testing a prototype antenna (3 hours), as well as a computer aided design (CAD) laboratory (3 hours) is undertaken over two separate weeks. Following both laboratories, a laboratory report is submitted with a deadline at a later date with the task of writing up the results and carrying out some assignment tasks from the two laboratory sessions. The report is assessed and constitutes 20% of the final mark.  

Students studying this module via the MSc Electronic Engineering (by short course) will be assesed by 100% examination.

For confirmation of exact dates and times regarding deadlines, please check the assessment calendar issued to you.

Formative assessment and feedback

For the module, students will receive formative assessment/feedback in the following ways:

  • During seminars and tutorials where suitable problem tests are included within the sessions

  • During revision classes/tutorials

  • During supervised practical laboratory sessions

  • During supervised computer laboratory sessions

Module aims

  • This module aims to bring the student to understand the key aspects of antenna theory and design (including practical hands on laboratory exercises) as well as fundamental factors involved in modelling radio channels to ensure conformance in wireless system design and deployment.
  • The module also aims to provide opportunities for students to learn about the Surrey Pillars listed below.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the fundamental parameters of antennas, such as: gain, impedance, and efficiency. Explain the basic principles of operation of a type of antenna KC M1, M2
002 Have practical experience in designing and testing antennas and report the outcome of the testing in written form. CPT M5, M12, M16, M17
003 Explain propagation behaviour in practical scenarios and how to apply propagation models to advanced representative problems. KCT M3

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to achieve the following aims:

  • To know and apply the fundamental physics behind antennas and radio propagation through which they can be applied to real scenarios in designing types of antennas, but also to best determine the propagation scenario for planning deployment of a radio.

  • To gain design skills in simulating, building, testing and evaluating antennas through the laboratory sessions.

  • To explain the difference as well as advantages and disadvantages of different propagation models and know the contexts in which they can be used for fixed and mobile link deployments.

Learning and teaching methods include the following:

EEEM006 – Short Course Version

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

  • A two hour written exam. Each question contains a problem solving task. This constitutes 100% of the final mark.

Learning and teaching methods include the following:

  • Short course 30 hours x 1 week delivered in the form of a continuing professional development course. 22 hours of lectures and eight hours of laboratory time.

  • 1 hour tutorial arranged ad hoc between the course and the exam.

  • Distance learning material provided to work through after the course and enable application of learning to a professional setting.

  • Optional tutorials to attend with the module leader either online or in person to be arranged ad-hoc, which will provide opportunity for further feedback and strengthening of learning.

EEEM006 – Main Version

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following.

  • A two hour written exam. Each question contains a problem solving task. This constitutes 80% of the final mark.

  • A practical lab task designing and testing a prototype antenna (3 hours), after which a laboratory report is submitted on a deadline set in the weeks following the laboratory. A report is submitted in the weeks following the laboratory. This constitutes 10% of the final mark.

  • A computer aided design (CAD) laboratory (3 hours) using Computer Simulation Technology (CST) Microwave Studio. The laboratory will include familiarisation with the package after which an antenna is to be designed and evaluated. A report is submitted in the weeks following the laboratory. This constitutes 10% of the final mark.

Learning and teaching methods include the following:

  • Seminars 1 hour x 8 weeks to provide narrative to the online material delivered as well as inspiration in real learning.

  • Tutorials 1 hour x 8 weeks for further learning and formative feedback.

  • Revision tutorial 1 hour x 1 week.

  • Taught material online is provided for each of the 8 weeks where the seminars and tutorials occur.

  • Two weeks of thee hour laboratory classes, one week with a computer aided design (CAD) based assignment and the other as a practical lab building and testing an antenna prototype.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: EEEM006

Other information

The following of the Five Pillars of the Surrey Curriculum Framework are embodied by this module:

Sustainability – The siting and positioning of antennas as well as the height they are placed at when used as a base station or radar transmitter are crucial to ensuring that planning and deployment of radio coverage is formed in the most economical and low energy form, while further additions could be possible to generate its own cleaner energy. This is also supported by the design of the antenna to ensure it does not compromise its efficiency. These elements of design and deployment of antennas are crucial to sustainable cities and rural communities and therefore form an important element of antenna and propagation fundamentals taught in this module.

Digital capabilities – Students as part of their assessed laboratory work will undertake simulations on Computer Simulation Technology (CST) Microwave Studio which is a leading software in the design and simulation of antennas. This will substantially broaden digital capabilities in a new software that can be learned and used subsequently in other work and also in further simulation work that may be undertaken in a dissertation.

Employability – Fundamentals of antennas and propagation including antenna efficiency and gain, path loss and methods of how to model the propagation of radio in a given scenario will be learned from this project. Such skills are crucial in calculating link budgets and ascertaining the ability to form communication in a transmitter to receiver link or radar detection. These are crucial skills to an engineer involved in planning and deployment of radio.

Resourcefulness and resilience – Students will develop substantial skills in design of antennas and problem solving to ascertain the capability of complex types of antenna included in the module. Furthermore the ability to model radio propagation in complex environments will be demonstrated by taking a given environment and determining the right modelling approach to predict coverage of the area.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.