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MRes Automated Planning for Autonomous Systems

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Our world is becoming increasingly complex: more and more sophisticated systems - robots, automatic production facilities, power networks, new generation electrical generators, fly-by-wire aircraft, telecommunication networks, mobile devices, software facilities - are being engineered to make our environment more efficient, more convenient and more capable. However, the effective control of these systems is a major challenge.

Delivered by the Strathclyde Planning Group


A technology that is rapidly moving to centre stage in the search for new ways to increase our ability to manage these complex systems is autonomous intelligent control. Autonomous control relies on intelligent software to make decisions. A key component of this intelligent decision-making is the ability to plan. Planning is the problem-solving heart of the job of managing resources, time and energy, to achieve the objectives of an autonomous controller for a complex system.

The Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde is the home of a research group with an international reputation for excellence in the area of automated planning. This group is using its expertise to offer a new Masters by Research degree in Automated Planning for Autonomous Systems. This new course is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of a technology that is expected to play a pivotal role in the next generation of automated systems. Automated planning is already finding application in autonomous spacecraft, satellites and driverless vehicles. Areas such as assistive technologies, robots, survey systems, security systems, condition monitoring and supply systems all require autonomous planning, control and execution layers to exploit their potential.

The course is a one year, intensive Masters course. It consists of a taught component that covers the most recent advances in the field, providing the foundations in a range of AI techniques that are used in planning research, followed by a project that is designed to offer direct experience in the deployment of AI Planning and autonomous systems. The course has been designed with advice from industries that represent current or future users of this technology and is intended to provide a basis for those who want to act as technical ambassadors, technology leaders or researchers in this field.

Admission Requirements

The aim of the MRes is to prepare specialists in planning and constraint reasoning in support of autonomy, from the development of core technologies through the selection and deployment of solutions integrated within autonomous controllers. The course will cover the core areas of research in planning, putting students in an excellent position to apply their advanced knowledge of the field in industrial or academic sectors or to continue to a research degree.

2011/12 Curriculum

The course prepares students for a research-oriented career, either directly pursing research (typically by following a PhD) or managing or leading applications of research. It develops skills in critical reading and assessment of forefront research literature. The course develops practical skills in the implementation and deployment of planning systems pursued through laboratory sessions, practicals, tutorials and problem-classes.

Class syllabus information:

Graduates will be well-suited to careers in academic and industrial research and development, especially in the areas of advanced robotics engineering.

Length & Requirements

MRes : 12 months

6 full scholarships are available for UK applicants. Fees only scholarships are also available to EU applicants.

Further Details

t: +44 (0)141 548 3305
f: +44 (0)141 548 4523

PDF Download Automated Planning for Autonomous Systems leaflet

Recruiting Companies:

Automated planning is a key technology in autonomy. As examples of the potential end-users of this technology, the following companies are currently, or have recently been, actively recruiting in this area:

The European Space industry (including SciSys UK)

Asimo Intelligent Robot