Postgraduate MSc/PgDip

Advanced Control Systems

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

Advanced robotics is progressing the capabilities of control systems. Enrich your engineering degree by developing a focused, integrated and critically aware understanding of control systems engineering theory, policy and practice with our MSc Advanced Control Systems postgraduate degree.

We are delighted this programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Designed to equip you with specialist knowledge, our course takes you on a practical exploration of control applications, including industrial control (SCADA), intelligent control, flight control and robotic control.  Delivered by a research-led team with strong industry focus, you will have the opportunity to complete activities using robotics and engineering facilities.

International applicant? Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Start your MSc Advanced Control Systems study journey

Register for our next Open Day where you can learn more about the course, tour our new engineering facilities and meet the tutors

You will:

  • Gain a critical awareness and understanding of current problems in control engineering
  • Learn how to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively
  • Make sound judgments in the absence of complete data
  • Communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialists

students accepted

Course accreditations

Royal Aeronautical Society Logo

This is for you if...


You are an engineering graduate seeking a career in the automation and control sector


You are a practising control systems engineer and want to extend and update your skills


You are an engineering graduate or professional excited by the opportunity to shape the future direction of robotics and automation application

Course details

All about the course

Course delivery

Our MSc Advanced Control Systems postgraduate degree course is delivered through a range of industry-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises four 30-credit taught modules, plus a 60-credit research-based dissertation project. The 120-credit PgDip comprises four taught modules. 

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study the course full-time or part-time on campus:

  • as a full-time student, you will complete four 30-credit modules in each of your first two trimesters on campus. In the third trimester, you will complete a 60-credit research dissertation project
  • as a part-time student, you will complete two 30-credit modules across trimesters in years one and two. You will complete your 60-credit research dissertation project during a third year of study

For full-time study, each module requires two days of contact per week, with an additional three days of self-study - this equates to a full week of study. Taught modules complete in June, with the dissertation completed by September.

Learning experience

We've developed the course to help you take your engineering skills further.  The course is designed to meet the requirements of the Engineering Council’s Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP). 

The curriculum includes automation, mobile robotics and robotics control, with the option to specialise in either artificial intelligence or flight dynamics. Delivered under the direction of a supervisor, the research project is your opportunity to deliver sophisticated academic and practical research. 

Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.


Automation and Robotics

You will be provided with a comprehensive understanding of current industrial control technology and practices, including Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distributed Control System (DCS) systems. Subjects include discrete event system control, programming PLCs, manipulator theory and manipulator practice.

Instrumentation and Control

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.

Mobile Robotics

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.

MSc Project and Dissertation

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.

You will then select one module from the below:

Flight Dynamics and Control

On completion of this module you will have a complete understanding of how to analyse flight dynamics and the design of flight control systems.

Artificial Intelligence

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.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?






Teaching and learning is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops and laboratory activities. Students benefit from the supply of a range of high-quality teaching materials and software. Interaction is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) and there is a strong focus on guided self-learning.


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

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Rising to the challenge of a changing world, our postgraduate courses are designed to shape the next generation of urbanists, scientists, engineers, consultants and leaders.

Shaped by industry, and delivered by supportive programme teams, you can develop the skills to take your career potential further.

Industry collaboration and research

When you start this degree, you are also joining a community making a difference in industry, our local region and in our wider society.

Many of our academics and technicians who support your course also deliver collaborative, interdisciplinary, high-impact projects and research with our Control and Systems Engineering (CASE) research group that spans engineering, robotics and automation.


Something exciting is on its way in 2023.

Our new North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC) will be a focal point of the our commitment to industry collaboration, innovation, and skills in an established and continually expanding area of expertise by providing a hub which adds value to the University’s and wider Greater Manchester technical infrastructure.

NERIC will be a beacon for the University’s robotics and automation specialisms, with the £16 million facility serving as a hub for small to medium-sized industries (SMEs) looking to design, test and validate innovation in this rapidly growing area.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

car manufacturing


Robotics and automation is a dynamic field, and a wide-range of opportunities are emerging in areas such as robotics design, control system integration and design, factory automation engineering management and research. Due to the rapid integration of new technologies, as a course graduate, you can expect to find employment across many industries.

As a course graduate, you may choose to apply your skills shaping control systems using computer aided design and development, modelling and simulation, and industry automation.


You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. Home to PhD and Research Master’s opportunities, our Control and Systems Engineering (CASE) research hub brings together a wealth of academic and research-staff expertise in areas of mechanical engineering, automation, advanced control and system engineering. 

Explore our Doctoral School to learn more about research training, support and opportunities.

A taste of what you could become

A robotics designer

A control systems engineer

An automation specialist

A robotics engineer

And more...


What you need to know


This course is recommended for engineering graduates seeking a career in the automation and control sector, or practicing control systems engineers who want to extend their skills. 


All of our courses are taught and assessed in English. If English is not your first language, you must meet our minimum English language entry requirements. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this, however we do accept a range of equivalent qualifications. 

Read more about our English language requirements, including information about pathways that can help you gain entry on to our degree courses. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course


International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin their studies. You will need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions. 

If you have a query relating to ATAS, please contact:


Please check international intakes for the latest information and application dates.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

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

International student entry requirements

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

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).

For more information or enquires about this scheme, please contact: 

Learn more about the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,990.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Part-time 2024/25 £1,665 per 30 credits

Additional costs

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

International student scholarships

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Learn more about our latest international scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025