Advanced Control Systems
MSc/PgDip

Part-time study available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Advanced Control Systems at Salford

1.

Emphasis on feedback control, robotics, flight control and discrete event manufacturing control

2.

Real opportunities for career progression in to the automation industry

3.

Programme designed using Engineering Council benchmarks

Course Summary

The overall objective of this course is to add value to your first degree and previous relevant experience by developing a focused, integrated and critically aware understanding of underlying theory and current policy and practice in the field of control systems engineering.

The course is control systems focused, with the emphasis on control systems theory together with a range of control applications including industrial control (SCADA), intelligent control, flight control and robotic control. The control systems approach provides continuity in learning throughout the one year of study.

Course Details

This course has been awarded accredited status by both the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for 2010 to 2014 intake cohorts as meeting the exemplifying academic benchmark for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for students who also hold an accredited BEng Honours degree. Candidates who do not hold an appropriately accredited BEng Honours degree will gain partial exemption for CEng status; these candidates will need to have their first qualification individually assessed if they wish to progress onto CEng registration.

Professional registration and Institution membership will enhance your career in the following ways:

  • Access to continuous professional development
  • Careers advice and employment opportunities
  • Increased earning potential over the length of your career
  • International recognition of your qualifications, skills and experience
  • Evidence of your motivation, drive and commitment to the profession
  • Networking opportunities

On completion of the course you should have a critical awareness and understanding of current problems in control engineering, techniques applicable to research in the field of control systems and how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the field of control systems. You should also be able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialists.

Course Structure

The MSc course has both full-time and part-time routes over three 12 week semesters

Semester One

October to February

Semester Two

February to June

Semester Three

June to September (dissertation period)

Full-time study option:

Study over two 12 week semesters

This module will develop a detailed and systematic understanding of current industrial control technology and practice. On completion of the module you will have the capacity to apply current PLC, SCADA and DCS systems. You will also have the ability to design and program a PLC and robot-based system.
This module will give you a comprehensive understanding and systematic understanding of knowledge in the design and analysis of both measurement and feedback control systems.
The aim of this module is to give you a comprehensive understanding of the role of artificial intelligence in control applications, and provide you with practical experience of using techniques such as fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and evolutionary computing in engineering applications.
On completion of this module you will have a complete understanding of how to analyse flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.
This module will develop your understanding of operations research and of when and how the different approaches, models and techniques are used in management decision making such as financial management, production planning and decision analysis.
The project module is to give you the opportunity to bring together what has been done in all of your other modules, working under the direction of an academic supervisor to carry out high-level coordinated academic and practical work.

On completion of the Project, you should have demonstrated the following:

  • Ability to apply multiple theories (educational, technical and project management) learnt elsewhere to a real-world research-driven project
  • Application of an appropriate software development methodology, using principles of planning, design, usability and scalability
  •   Critical and evaluative appraisal and discussion, arriving at relevant conclusions.
  •  

Part-time route

Year 1, Semester 1

This module will develop a detailed and systematic understanding of current industrial control technology and practice. On completion of the module you will have the capacity to apply current PLC, SCADA and DCS systems.You will also have the ability to design and program a PLC and robot-based system.
This module will give you a comprehensive understanding and systematic understanding of knowledge in the design and analysis of both measurement and feedback control systems.

Year 2

Choose TWO modules from the following options:

The aim of this module is to give you a comprehensive understanding of the role of artificial intelligence in control applications, and provide you with practical experience of using techniques such as fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and evolutionary computing in engineering applications.
On completion of this module you will have a complete understanding of how to analyse flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.
Operations Techniques

Year 3

The project module is to give you the opportunity to bring together what has been done in all of your other modules, working under the direction of an academic supervisor to carry out high-level coordinated academic and practical work.

On completion of the Project, you should have demonstrated the following:

  • Ability to apply multiple theories (educational, technical and project management) learnt elsewhere to a real-world research-driven project
  • Application of an appropriate software development methodology, using principles of planning, design, usability and scalability
  • Critical and evaluative appraisal and discussion, arriving at relevant conclusions.

Entry Requirements

  • Typically a minimum of 2:2 honours degree with significant numerate content comparable to first degrees in engineering

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

  • International students must provide evidence of a proficiency in English at IELTS 6.0 (with no element below 5.5)

Suitable For

This course is suitable for engineering graduates seeking employment in the automation and control sector, and, in part-time mode, for practising engineers from the control systems area who wish to extend and update their skills.

Applicant profile

This course is suitable for engineering graduates seeking employment in the automation and control sector, and, in part-time mode, for practising engineers from the control systems area who wish to extend and update their skills.

Teaching

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops and laboratory activities.

Assessment

  • 35% examinations
  • 65% coursework (labs, reports, dissertation)

80% of students say subjects are enthusiastically taught by staff.

PGSES 2010

Employability

A wide range of control and automation opportunities in manufacturing and engineering companies, opportunities in the aerospace sector.

Further Study

There are opportunities to go on to further research study within our CASE control and Intelligent Systems Research Centre.

Research themes in the Centre include:

  • Control Engineering
  • Railway/Automotive Research
  • Computational Intelligence and Robotics
  • Biomedical Research
  • Energy and Electrical Engineering
For more information

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£6,200
Part-time£1,035 per 30 credits
Full-time International£13,300, £2217 per 30 credits part-time
Full-time PgDip£4,140

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


Scholarships and Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study through our:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • University of Salford student loyalty discount
  • Country bursary scheme for International students only

There are also other sources of funding available to you.

For more information please see our funding section

Facilities

74% of students say they have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities or rooms when they needed to.

PGSES 2010

Mechanical Lab – This lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Aerodynamics Lab – Contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels – typical laboratory experiments would include determining the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Composite Material Lab – This lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections. The facility is particularly utilised for final year project work.

Control & Dynamics Lab – Contains flight simulators (see details below) and programmable control experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration due to rotating imbalance, and understanding the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Flight Simulators

  • Merlin MP520-T Engineering Simulator

    This simulator is used to support engineering design modules, such as those involving aerodynamics and control systems by giving a more practical experience of aircraft design than a traditional theory and laboratory approach. As a student, you'll design and input your own aircraft parameters into the simulator before then assessing the flight characteristics.

    The simulator is a fully-enclosed single seat capsule mounted on a moving 2-degree of freedom platform which incorporates cockpit controls, integrated main head-up display and two secondary instrumentation display panels.

    An external instructor console also accompanies the simulator and is equipped with a comprehensive set of displays, override facilities and a two-way voice link to the pilot.

  • Elite Flight Training System

    The Elite is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator used for flight operations training and is certified by the CAA as a FNPT II-MCC Multi-Crew Cockpit training environment. It has two seats, each with a full set of instrumentation and controls, and European Visuals, so you see a projection of the terrain that you're flying through, based on real geographic models of general terrain and specific airports in Europe.