Automation and Robotics
In a nutshell
This course is relevant for students who already have a strong engineering background and wish to specialise in robotics and automation. You will gain a firm grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts. You will develop the ability to comprehend and specify integrated automation systems embodying intelligence, robotic and automation hardware and software, and virtual reality/simulation technologies.
Delivered in the setting our of advanced robotics laboratories, practical experience you will gain includes the use of robotics platforms to produce a software system using MATLAB toolboxes or the C programming language to produce a finished hardware/software-based mobile robotics.
- Be supported by a renowned academic team delivering internationally-leading research
- Gain a firm grounding in control engineering and intelligent systems concepts
- Critically review current autonomous intelligent robots
- Learn to apply techniques including fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks and evolutionary computing
This is for you if...
You have a strong engineering background and want to develop specialism in robotics and automation
You're fascinated by robotics and want to be part of shaping its future direction
You want to learn how you can apply robotics across a range of industries, including food production, healthcare and space exploration
All about the course
The MSc programme is delivered over one year full-time. It consists of four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project module. PG Dip (nine months full-time) and PG Cert (four months full-time) are available.
You'll follow a modular programme, delivered across two semesters. In semester one, you will explore automation, robotics and interactive visualisations. As you progress to semester two, you'll explore mobile robotics and artificial intelligence. You'll also complete your dissertation research project.
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
From cyber security to biomedicine to architecture, our expanding suite of multidisciplinary courses shapes the next generation of scientists, engineers, consultants and conservationists. Through advanced research, we’re pioneering robotics and AI, smart environments and the appliance of data. With a team of over 200 dedicated academic, technical and administrative staff, you’ll experience a supportive, professional environment where you can realise your potential.
Selected as the site of the National Advanced Robotics Research centre in 1987, Salford is equipped with advanced, specialist, aeronautics, robotics and control systems facilities:
The Aerodynamics Lab features low speed and supersonic wind tunnels. Typical experiments determine the aerodynamic properties and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag. The Control and Dynamics Lab features flight simulators and programmable control experiments. Typical experiments study damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration and controller performance.
The 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 labs also contain conveyor belt systems based on industry versions, plus a selection of wheel and leg-based mobile robot platforms.
Postgraduate Staff Profile
Dr Samia Nefti-Meziani
Dr Samia Nefti-Meziani is the Head of the Computational Intelligence and Robotics Research Group. She is a leading international expert in artificial intelligence and cognitive robotics. For over 20 years, her research has furthered the development of cognitive models for information processing, decision support systems and robotics.
Samia has published and edited extensively, with regualr appearances 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.
What about after uni?
Course graduates can expect to find employment in a range of industries. Robotics and automation are continuously developing fields and this presents emerging opportunities in areas such as robotic design, control systems integration and design, factory automation, and engineering management.
Some of our graduates progress to postgraduate and doctoral research in our Salford Innovation and Research Centre (SIRC). The Centre aims to build on our world-class research and provide industry with guidance and expertise in the advancement of the 21st-century technology for business success and economic growth. Research at the Centre is supported by EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission funding, as well as direct investment from industry.
Our Autonomous Systems and Advanced Robotics (ASAR) centre has internationally recognised research excellence in Robotics & Artificial Intelligence (RAI). It was appointed the home of the National Advanced Robotics Research Centre in 1987, and was the founding member of the Northern Robotics Network, which became the National Robotics Network (NRN). ASAR is a spoke of the EPSRC Future AI & Robotics for Space Hub, a UK national centre of research excellence in space robots and AI funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
Research opportunities are available in a range of sectors, including automotive and aerospace manufacturing, nuclear decommissioning, space exploration, food production, agriculture and in health and social care.
Salford has strong links with industry covering companies that span robotics and automation indsutries. These links have developed through collaborative research and development projects, or via the commercial testing of products/components. The knowledge gained through these engagements all feed into teaching and learning, and help to connect 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 a long history of providing training and now hosts the largest international industrial sponsored postgraduate programme in robotics and automation in the UK (approx. 100 students). It also provides degree apprenticeships training for Siemens.
What you need to know
English Language Requirements
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 - Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
International students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin study. To comply with Home Office regulations, you must obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK. Please refer to your offer conditions.
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).
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home/EU||2019/20||£7,776per year|
|Full-time international||2019/20||£14,310per year|
|Part-time||2019/20||£1,296 per 30 credit module|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£7,920per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£14670per year|
|Part-time||2020/21||£1,320 per 30 credit module|
You should consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International students 2020/21
To celebrate the University of Salford's expertise and industry links in Computing and Engineering, high achieving international students may be eligible for our Computing, Science and Engineering International Excellence Scholarship of £3,500.
For more information go to International Scholarships.