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MSc Digital Broadcast Technology

Course Overview

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.

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.

Key information

    Course name

    MSc Digital Broadcast Technology

    Total academic credits

    180 credits

    Qualification awarded


    Awarding body

    Birmingham City University

    Professional recognition


    Academic level

    Postgraduate (QCF_NQF Level 7)

    Study mode

    Full time – Classroom & Laboratory based


    13 months

    Tuition fees




    Work placement


    Course location


Academic entry requirements

Candidates should 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.

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.

Progression route

Further academic study at MPhil or PhD levels or professional career.

Career opportunities

Opportunities with 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.


Semester 1

  • Web Technologies (10 credits)
  • Production Technologies (10 credits)
  • Media Solutions and Architectures (20 credits)
  • Networks Technologies (20 credits)

Semester 2

  • Workflow Methods (20 credits)
  • Research Methods (10 credits)
  • Compression Encoding (20 credits)
  • Media Acquisition and Presentation (10 credits)


Semester 3

  • Masters Project (60 credits)


Assessment methods
A range of assessment methods are employed, with assessment criteria published in each assignment brief. Knowledge and skills are assessed, formatively and summatively, by a number of methods: coursework, examinations (seen and unseen, open and closed-book), presentations, practical assignments, vivas, online forums, podcasts and project work.


Reasons for choosing this course

  • Delivered in Conjunction with the BBC and includes a one week, practical, hands-on residential at the BBC’s Academy at Wood Norton in Worcestershire
  • Industry Links - 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
  • Encourage an enjoyable and satisfying educational experience through involvement in a wide range of participative and active teaching and learning methodologies
  • 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
  • The one week residential at the BBC Academy at Wood Norton in Worcestershire includes hand-on practical sessions using BBC facilities, delivered in conjunction with BBC training staff
  • 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 of Digital Media Technology works closely with its sister School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks (CTN) on this course. CTN 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


What you will learn in this course

  • Web standards and protocols, web hosting, security, privacy, client / server side technologies, databases and management, personalisation architectures and management, service oriented architectures, agent systems
  • Studio production, chroma keying, studio technologies - sound, lighting, camera techniques real time, mobile (outside) broadcasts, health and safety, power supply and distribution
  • 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
  • Web technologies - IP networks, routing, addressing, LANs, WANs, client / server systems, P2P, transmission technologies - optics, radio, cable, and telco networks
  • Metadata, ontologies, asset management; file transformation; taxonomy; content management architecture, interactive, personalised TV, social network production, user generated content, multiscreening
  • 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 - audio, iImage, video, codecs, containers, modulation, multiplexing, DAB, DVB, DMB object-based media, UHD, 3DTV
  • Capture - cameras, sensors; monitors and other user interface devices, electronics systems, audio and vision mixers


The aims of the programme are to:

  • Provide a stimulating and participative learning experience in a supportive environment that will foster the research and independent study skills required at masters level
  • Enable students to gain an in-depth knowledge of tools and techniques for creating, developing, implementing and managing broadcast services and businesses
  • Develop skills and technology expertise in all aspects of media from media acquisition and production; through the signal technology stages and over the architectures for distribution in the highly complex interactive media consumer market
  • Promote an awareness of professional, legal and ethical considerations
  • Enable students to research, manage data, communicate effectively and work as part of a team to support career advancement


Main learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
On completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of advanced theories and concepts relevant to the development and operation of commercial broadcast systems and technologies
  • Express a detailed understanding of the underpinning tools, technologies and techniques of media formats and methods used in broadcasting systems
  • Recognise the framework of relevant legal requirements and appropriate professional conduct related to the development and operation of commercial broadcast systems and requirements for media production


Intellectual skills
On completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Apply advanced knowledge, tools and techniques to investigate new and emerging technologies, tools, techniques and processes used in broadcast systems
  • Assess the evolving market requirements and technical developments arising globally in broadcasting systems, and applying these as a progressive and responsible practicioner with the ability to fulfil clearly defined needs, identifying relevant constraints
  • Evaluate solutions, strategies and business models for the provision of timely and relevant interactive broadcast media solutions


Practical skills
On completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Synthesise knowledge, concepts and ideas and/or forms of creative expression, to deliver appropriate solutions to problems
  • Design and develop innovative media services and solutions using appropriate tools and techniques applied at signal level, network level and in production applications
  • Develop a working solution for the distribution of digital media products, including management of assets


Transferable/key skills
On completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Schedule and monitor the development of an advanced project through the application of management practices
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as an independent learner, displaying insight when reflecting on personal and group practice
  • Access information from a range of sources, appraise its suitability for master’s level research, and formulate independent conclusions based on systematic analysis