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Master's Degree Programme: Wireless Network and Devices


Duration: 3 Terms (1.5 years)
Form of education: Full time

Programme Chair: Assoc. Prof. PhD Hristomir Yodanov
Tel.: (+ 3592) 8161 724
Е-mail: hristomir.yordanov@phys.uni-sofia.bg
Web: http://wireless.phys.uni-sofia.bg/


Curriculum (pdf)


Modern wireless communications are one of the fastest growing human activities. Just during one-third of а human life, three generations of mobile cellular systems have emerged and wireless networks have been established that now define an entirely new communication style between people. There are fourth generation networks (LTE, WiMAX) now, characterized by a variety of new services and fast data transfer, multimedia and software radio. The growth rate in wireless modes of speech and data transfer for private and corporate purposes is really impressive. There is expansion and qualitative transformation in functions of wireless networks for Internet connection, secure data and image transmission, voice over Internet VoIP, new multimedia services, “mobile wireless office”, tele-medicine, radio frequency identification devices, sensor networks, etc. The key moment was in 2004 when the number of users of “wireless” Internet worldwide surpassed the users with “wired” Internet. Wireless LANs (WLAN) develop nowadays particularly fast as well as personal computers and terminals with their interface devices (Personal Area Networks, PAN). Under discussion are already networks with working range around the human body (Body Area Networks, BAN). Unification of computer, wireless, optical and mobile networks takes place, new functionalities and next generation services constantly emerge. This inevitably changes the ways of communication and social development – social networks, electronic data interchange, e-government, etc. In 2020, 5G communications will be up to date: tremendous transfer speeds up to 10 Gb/s, thousands of users, hundreds of thousands of sensor links, Internet of Things IoT, smart homes, smart cities, driverless cars, and more.

Construction, expansion and maintenance of modern communication networks and communication technologies with so rapidly changing characteristics inevitably requires specialists with extensive knowledge on network architecture and the functionality of network devices, on their programming, as well as knowledge on the means of data exchange. In addition to the traditional skills of network software maintenance, knowledge of their organization and communication protocols, knowledge of physical bases of mobile radio channels, structure and functioning of receivers, transmitters, antennas, microwave measurements, influence of microwaves on human beings and other essentially physical knowledge of networks and devices are of importance. Here is the attractive strength of the master’s programme Wireless Networks and Devices at the Faculty of Physics – it provides training of specialists with sufficiently comprehensive range of knowledge and innovative view on their future work.

Wireless Networks and Devices is designed as an interdisciplinary programme. It is directed towards education of specialists who have completed a bachelor’s degree in various fields: physics, mathematics and informatics, engineering majors in communications, communications and information technology, computer science, software engineering, electronics and energy, etc. The educational goals of the programme are related to implementation of effective training to qualify specialists in the field of wireless networks, modern communications and information technology, software applications, integrated and microwave electronics, antennas, measuring equipment, propagation and influence of electromagnetic waves, etc. Another important goal of the programme is to enable masters in Wireless Networks and Devices with acquired interdisciplinary training in these seemingly pure engineering fields to be competitive and acceptable alternative for employers when recruiting specialists with a different, more physical in nature and engineering in implementation, view on electromagnetic aspects in modern communications.

The structure of the programme includes three educational groups in 3 stages: 3 introductory elective courses (taken within a 1.5 month’s period in the programme’s beginning), 7 compulsory and 7 elective courses (out of 19) in 5 areas (for about 1 year) and practice with individual tasks (for about 1/2 year at the end of training). Because students come from different schools, with different background, three introductory courses are designed to level and refresh their knowledge in the basic theoretical and applied subjects in the field. The compulsory and optional courses and individual practice are divided into 5 areas: 1) Electrodynamics, signals propagation, information and statistics, 2) Signals, modulations, coding and access, 3) Communication equipment and systems (integrated circuits, microwave and wireless equipment), 4) Networks, protocols, programming and software, security, data transfer, and 5) Innovation and management, legal and economic issues of networks. A particularly strong part of the programme is that related to integrated electronics, microwave technology, measurements, antennas, satellite communications, sensor networks, radio frequency identification devices, optical communication equipment, electromagnetic compatibility, signal integration, etc., where the teaching staff have the greatest experience.

Well selected teaching staff – professors with extensive experience and well-trained lecturers from the business, who set “state-of-the-art” level of the studied areas, and nearly 100% coverage of lectures by copyright books (paper or electronic), strongly support students and increase the efficiency of training. The programme includes two unique single-time courses in the summer and winter semester that are taught by renowned experts. The courses are topical and vary each year. The master’s programme is optimized to be effective for about 15–20 students per year. The structure, “know-how” and the specifics of the educational platform of the programme have been published in several articles in English, the latest of which is online at: http://www.ijmef.org/ paperInfo.aspx?ID=2583.

The full duration of the programme is 3 terms, which includes 780 training hours and 90 ECTS credits – 7 compulsory (35 credits) and at least 5 elective courses (25 credits) and one „problem-orientated“ practice (15 credits). The course finishes with preparation of a master’s thesis (15 credits). English is the official language of the programme. The highly competent lecturers are from different high schools, some are CEO, CTO, leading specialists and project managers from several communication companies in Bulgaria.

Students can benefit from the opportunity to continue their study at other universities in the European Union, with which Erasmus programme agreements have been signed, or in non-EU countries at educational institutions with agreed cooperation and student exchange. The signed agreements for student exchange are with: Ecole d’Ingenieurs (ECE-Paris, France); Aalborg University (Copenhagen, Denmark); Instituto Superior Technico (IST-Lisbon, Portugal), Siberian State Aerospace University in Krasnoyarsk, Russian federation.

The applicants for the master’s programme Wireless Network and Devices shall have suitable bachelor’s degree in the field of physics, electronic or communication engineering, computer science and information technology, etc., and good command of English (evidenced by an appropriate document). The education process starts every year at the beginning of October. The admission of students is without preliminary exam; they can apply only with their bachelor diploma according to the rules in Sofia University. The applicants have to apply for the programme far before the start of the academic year in Sofia University. The applicants need to apply for the programme before the end of September, if applying by documents only. The applicants by documents only are required to have an average grade from their bachelor’s education, equivalent to the European C grade, or higher. Students officially finish the programme by defending a master’s thesis before an official (government) commission. The received master’s diploma from the University of Sofia „St. Kliment Ohridski“ is recognized worldwide. The graduated students of the master’s programme Wireless Networks and Devices will have knowledge in the area of design and measurement of RF and microwave integrated circuits, antenna engineering, system design of wireless communication systems and the communication technologies. They can apply for jobs at companies and organizations connected with the design, manufacturing, measurements and analysis of microwave devices and systems, as well as in the area of modern wireless communications.