Postgraduate MSc/PgDip

Robotics and Automation

School of Science, Engineering and Environment





One year

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


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 a 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.

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.

This programme is designed to meet the requirement of the Engineering Councils Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP).

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

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


By drawing on our position as a leading UK robotics research centre, the Robotics and Automation postgraduate course at Salford is designed to provide specialist knowledge and skills for future career success.

Course delivery

The 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. 

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:

  • Full-time students will complete four 30-credit taught modules in each of the first two semesters on campus. The 60-credit research project is completed during the final semester
  • Part-time students will complete two 30-credit modules in semesters across the first two years of study. The 60-credit research project is completed during a further year of study
Course content

The course approaches robotics by providing a grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts with practical experiences in hardware/software-based mobile robotics. We regularly review module content to ensure your acquired knowledge and skillset reflects trends and industry needs.

Current course topics include automation control systems, interactive visualisations, artificial intelligence and mobile robotics. The dissertation module provides an opportunity to plan, manage and implement a robotics or automation project.

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

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.

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 industry leaders.

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


During your studies, you will experience a modern learning environment, with accessible lecture theatres, AV-equipped classrooms and laboratories, computing suites and multimedia libraries featuring industry journals, databases, and software.

A National Advanced Robotics Research centre since 1987, Salford is equipped with advanced facilities you will use to develop your knowledge and skills.  The Autonomous Systems and Robotics labs feature an array of advanced equipment includes industrial robot arms, including the ABB Flexpicker, a six jointed Nachi arm, and a human-scale CRS robot. These facilities also contain conveyor belt systems based on industry versions, plus a selection of wheel and leg-based mobile robot platforms.

Academic Profile

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

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


At the heart of the Fourth Industrial revolution, robotics and automation is rapidly developing, and adoption across a wide range of sectors and industries is gathering pace.

There is huge career potential in areas of robotic design, control systems integration and design, factory automation, and engineering management. Course graduates can expect to find a variety of engineering, technical and operational-based roles.  


Some graduates choose to further their subject interest through postgraduate research. Learn more about postgraduate research opportunities available at Salford through our Doctoral School.

The Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics (ASAR) Centre at Salford 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.

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...

Career Links

The University of Salford has strong industry links that span engineering, robotics and automation. Developed through collaborative research and development projects, or via the commercial testing of products/components, the knowledge gained through these engagements drives our teaching approach, and helps to connect student learning to real-world scenarios.

The Autonomous and Advanced Robotics (ASAR) Centre at Salford has two decades of experience in automation and robotics. The Centre has extensive experience of providing training, and now hosts one of the UK's largest international industrial-sponsored postgraduate programmes in robotics and automation (approx. 100 students). The Centre also provides degree apprenticeships training for Siemens. 


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. 


International applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.


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:


Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

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

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).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2021/22 £8,640per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Part-time 2021/22 £1,440 per 30 credits
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

January 2022

September 2022