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Robotics and Automation


School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Start Date(s): September


MSc (one year full-time, 27 months part-time)
PgDip (nine-months full-time, 21 months part-time)

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

UK - £7,560

International - £13,860

In Brief:

  • Gain a firm grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts
  • This course has a particular emphasis on advanced robotics, where robots are designed to operate with a degree of intelligence
  • Projects supported by internationally-leading research
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This course is for students who already have a strong engineering background and wish to specialise in robotics and automation. This course has a particular emphasis on advanced robotics, where robots are designed to operate with a degree of intelligence.

You will gain a firm grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts, along with the ability to comprehend and fully specify integrated automation systems embodying intelligence, robotic and automation hardware and software, and virtual reality (VR)/simulation technologies.

The course also provides a suitable background for research in advanced autonomous systems with reference to robotics.

Semester 1

This module will develop a detailed and systematic understanding of current industrial control technology and practices. On completion of the module you will be able to apply current PLC, SCADA and DCS systems, and the ability to design and program a PLC and robot-based system.
This module aims to give you an understanding of a representative cross section of the science and technology necessary to use, design, develop and critically evaluate interactive visual (virtual reality) systems. This includes analysing novel virtual reality applications to formulate functional and non-functional specifications, undertaking the principles of real-time 3D computer graphics and their enaction using low level APIs and high level toolkits, and developing virtual reality solutions through the integration of standard components.

Semester 2

You will explore the role of artificial intelligence in control applications with practical experience of using techniques such as fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and evolutionary computing in engineering applications.
This module will teach you to critically review and analyse current autonomous intelligent robots, consolidate and extend knowledge in robotics applications and provide a practical understanding of robotic navigation and locomotion. You will also be taught the theory and practice of autonomous intelligent mobile robots and how these techniques and technologies impinge on research and industrial activities.

You will work under the direction of an academic supervisor to carry out an advanced research or development project related to robotics and/or automation. As part of this project you will be expected to:

  • Plan, manage and implement a project related to robotics and/or automation
  • Utilise appropriate sources of information to carry out and produce a literature review
  • Develop a framework for critical assessment and evaluation
  • Organise an MSc Dissertation.

Many of our students work on projects in conjunction with aeronautical companies associated with the University.

Entry Requirements

A 2:2 honours degree, or equivalent qualification, in engineering or science.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

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 6.5 with no element below 5.5 or equivalent (International & UK/EU).

Suitable For

Suitable for students who already have a strong engineering background and wish to specialise in robotics and automation.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module
Full-time International£13,860

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

For more information please see our funding section


You will be taught via a series of lectures and workshops with many of the modules taught via extensive hands-on practical lab-based sessions.

Practical experience includes the use of robotics platforms to produce a software system using the MATLAB toolboxes or the C programming language or to produce a finished hardware/software based mobile robotics system.


70% coursework and 30% examination.

Postgraduate Staff Profile

Dr Samia Nefti-Meziani is the Head of the computational Intelligence and Robotics Research Group. She is a leading expert internationally in artificial intelligence and cognitive robotics her research interests over the last 20 years are concerned with the development of cognitive models for information processing, decision support systems and robotics.

She has published and edited extensively in this area, which have appeared in leading academic journals such as IEEE trans in Fuzzy systems, Expert systems with applications, Journal of operational Research Society, etc. She has also organised many international and national workshops in the above areas and led national and European (FP5, FP6) multidisciplinary research projects. She is a Chartered member of BCS (formerly known as British Computer Society) and active member of the European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems and Co-Chair of IEEE UK and Ireland chapter in Robotics and Automation.


Graduates from this course can expect to find employment in a range of industries. Robotics and automation are continuously developing topics that present many career opportunities in areas such as robotic design, control systems integration and design, factory automation, engineering management and research.

Alumni Profile

Laurent Teyssie, Industrial Development Manager, Intertechnique (Zodiac Aerospace)

“I conducted my final year MSc Dissertation project at the University of Salford on the use of industrial robots for electrical engine design for a company called Leroy Somer, part of the Emerson Group. Afterwards I was appointed by them as an Industrial Engineer to manage a project in TPM/ Lean Manufacturing for increasing the productivity using real-time process control. After this experience I was appointed by Intertechnique as an Industrial Manager and am currently responsible for the industrial development of equipment from the design phase to the production phase.”

Links with Industry

Many of our students work on final year projects in conjunction with aeronautical companies associated with the University.

Further Study

Many of our students go on to further study at the Centre for Advanced Robotics which is very closely linked with this course.


There are dedicated labs and facilities for Robotics and Automation students, including: Industrial robots, flexi-picker, manipulators (Hitachi, KUKA) humanoid robots plus many mobile robots. Plus dedicated computing facilities

And if you do your MSc Project with an aerospace company, as many of our students do, then you will also have access to their facilities.

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