Postgraduate MSc/PgDip

Robotics and Automation

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The rise of robotic intelligence is reshaping our world. From transport to healthcare to manufacturing, organisations are discovering ways to improve task delivery and solve complex challenges. Join the revolution with our MSc Robotics and Automation postgraduate degree.

Providing a strong foundation in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts, this practical and relevant course is recommended for industry professional and engineering-based graduates seeking to develop specialist knowledge and build a robotics-focused skillset.

Available with full-time and part-time study paths, course content will broaden your understanding of what robotics can do. You will examine control technology and practices, and explore virtual reality systems. As you progress, you will look at artificial intelligence and see how this is applied in the development of mobile robotics.

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

Start your MSc Robotics and Automation 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:

  • Critically review current autonomous intelligent robots as you gain practical experience with techniques, including fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks
  • Gain a firm grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts as you explore the technology used to develop virtual reality applications
  • Complete a research project in our robotics laboratories supported by an internationally-renowned academic team and research centre

students accepted

This is for you if...


You are a professional with a strong engineering background looking to develop specialism in robotics and automation for career progression or diversification


You are engineering-based graduate seeking to build specialist knowledge for a future career shaping the future of robotics


You are an engineering or computer science-based professional eager to learn how you can apply robotics and automation to develop solutions in industry

Course details

All about the course

Close up of robotic model on a desk

Course delivery

Drawing on our position as a leading UK robotics research centre, our MSc Robotics and Automation course is delivered through a range of highly-focused modules. The 180-credit MSc award comprises four taught modules, plus a research dissertation. The 120-credit PgDip comprises four taught modules. This programme is designed to meet the requirement of the Engineering Councils Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).

Flexibility is at the heart of our learning approach. You can choose to study this postgraduate course full-time or part-time on campus, with start dates in January and September:

  • As a full-time student, you will complete four 30-credit taught modules in each of the first two semesters on campus. You will complete a 60-credit research project during your final semester
  • As a part-time student, you will complete two 30-credit modules in semesters across the first two years of study. Across a further year of study, you will complete a 60-credit research project
Learning experience

The course approaches robotics by providing a grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts with practical experiences in hardware/software-based mobile robotics.  Led by a research-active academic and technical team, the course is delivered in our advanced robotics laboratories. Practical experiences enable you to use robotics platforms, MATLAB toolboxes and programming languages, to produce hardware or software-based mobile robotics.

Current course topics include automation control systems, interactive visualisations, artificial intelligence and mobile robotics. The dissertation module is your opportunity to plan, manage and implement a robotics or automation project. Learn more about the current course modules in the section below.

Course team

The Robotics and Automation postgraduate course is delivered by an academic team with exceptional research experience and extensive professional connections.

Course leader: Dr. Theo Theodoridis

Semester one

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.

Interactive Visualisation

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.


Gain a comprehensive knowledge of the core mechatronic engineering discipline. On this module, you will explore a range of closely-related subjects and applications, such as electro-mechanical system modelling, technological advances and usage of sensors and actuators, Real Time concepts and embedded systems, and robot control algorithms. This module content provides awareness and preparation for a wide range of career opportunities in the automation, manufacturing, and electronic engineering industries, and for further study and research in Mechatronics.

Semester two

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.

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/ Dissertation (Robotics and Automation)

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

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?






Lectures and workshops introduce topics, providing opportunities to discuss them with your tutors and other students to develop your understanding. 

Many topics are taught using extensive hands-on practical laboratory-based sessions.

Practical experiences includes the use of robotics platforms, MATLAB toolboxes and computer programming languages.

Alongside formal teaching, you will also have regular meetings with your personal tutor, where you can discuss elements of the course, your progress and potential research topics.


Assessment strategies are designed to develop your skills for future employability and assessment success. Feedback is regularly provided.

The typical assessment approach for this course is coursework (70%) and examinations (30%).

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.

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


A National Advanced Robotics Research centre since 1987, Salford is equipped with advanced facilities you will use to develop your knowledge and skills. 

Our Autonomous Systems and Robotics laboratories feature an array of advanced equipment which include industrial robot arms (ABB Flexpicker, a six jointed Nachi arm, and a human-scale CRS robot), conveyor belt systems based on industry versions, plus a selection of wheel and leg-based mobile robot platforms.

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 that spans engineering, robotics and automation.

Supported by two decades of experience in automation and robotics, our Autonomous and Advanced Robotics (ASAR) Centre hosts one of the UK's largest international industrial-sponsored postgraduate programmes in robotics and automation. The Centre also provides degree apprenticeship training for Siemens. 

North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC)

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?

A robotics engineer


At the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), robotics and automation is rapidly developing, and adoption across a wide range of sectors and industries, including healthcare, retail, manufacturing and logistics, is gathering pace.

There is huge career potential in areas of robotic design, control systems integration and design, factory automation, and engineering management. As a robotics postgraduate, you can expect to find new and emerging engineering, technical and operational-based roles.  

Read about Vincent's role at Dassault Aviation.


You might also choose to take your subject interest further with postgraduate research. Home to PhD and Research Master’s opportunities, our Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics (ASAR) Centre has internationally recognised research excellence in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (RAI).  A National Advanced Robotics Research Centre since 1987, the Centre is a spoke of the EPSRC Future AI and Robotics for Space Hub.

Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available at Salford through our Doctoral School.

A taste of what you could become

A robotics designer

A robotics engineer

A software developer

A control systems engineer

A robotics operator

And more...


What you need to know


This course is recommended for engineering-based graduates and experienced professionals who are fascinated by robotics, and want to be part of shaping how they will be part of our future. 


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

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

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
Full-time home 2025/26 £10,350.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year

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

January 2025

September 2025