Autonomous Robotic Intelligent Systems

MScAutonomous Robotic Intelligent Systems

Why this course?

This MSc focuses on state-of-the-art technologies for autonomous control and machine learning with applications in robotics, sensor networks, big data analytics, and autonomous agents.

Emphasis is given to topics that support a new emerging generation of self-sustaining and intelligent devices created for the Internet of Things, Ubiquitous Computing, and Industry 4.0 environments.

This degree is designed to provide a wide-ranging background in autonomous technologies that can be applied in a variety of disciplines. 

UK growth in the global robotics market is expected to be £13 billion by 2025.

In addition to traditional technologies related to robotics, embedded systems, design, and control, students will be exposed to system-level design methods and state-of-the-art theory behind some of the newest and most promising fields of artificial intelligence.

Applications include autonomous mobile systems, digital manufacturing, Big Data analytics, Internet of things device engineering, and artificial intelligence programming.

The MSc is delivered jointly by the Departments of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, and Design, Manufacture & Engineering Management.

This ensures you have access to academic leaders in the fields of machine learning, autonomous systems, digital manufacturing and design engineering.

You’ll study

You’ll take two semesters of compulsory and optional taught classes. These are followed by a three-month research project in your chosen area. Opportunities exist to do the project through the departments' competitive MSc industrial internships.

The internships are offered in collaboration with selected department industry partners. You’ll address real-world engineering challenges facing the partner, with site visits, access and provision of relevant technical data and/or facilities provided, along with an industry mentor and academic supervisor.


We’ve a wide range of excellent teaching spaces including interactive flexible learning spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities. Our Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC) is home to a number of world class labs where students will have an opportunity to undertake research projects in relevant areas. The University is also home to some key and relevant industry engagement research centres, including:

Industry engagement

Interaction with industry is provided through our internships, teaching seminars and networking events. The departments deliver monthly seminars to support students’ learning and career development.

Xilinx, Texas Instruments, MathWorks, and Leonardo are just a few examples of the industry partners you can engage with during your programme of study.

Course content

Compulsory classes

Autonomous Sensing, Learning, & Reasoning

This module aims to provide background education and experience in machine intelligence and autonomous system design from the algorithm level. Students will learn the basics of the predominant data analysis, machine learning, and decision-making algorithms in use today as well as applying their knowledge to a set of simple automation tasks for both real and virtual robotic platforms in the laboratory and on their own computers.

Digital Manufacturing Concepts

The aim of the module is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the key concepts for Digital Manufacturing, current practices, tools and processes and possible future development routes. Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge that covers and integrate areas including features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of the sector; critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the subject; apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a range of specialist skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are at the forefront of or informed by forefront developments. The module will cover the topics of current state of digital manufacturing and digital manufacturing developments.

Manufacturing Automation
This class aims to enable you to grasp the reasons for using manufacturing automation, to understand the basic technology, to be able to select suitable applications for automation, and to be able to specify the type of automation to be used in specific cases.
Design for Industry 4 & Smart Products

The aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the key concepts for the Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products, current practices, tools and processes, and possible future development routes.

Mechatronic Systems Design Techniques

This class aims to :

  • introduce design techniques at advanced level
  • enable you to understand the application of advanced product design engineering techniques in product development, in particular in mechatronic systems
  • provide opportunities for you to develop technology focused products or systems within the class supervised environment, including partial system evaluation and prototyping
Robotics: Systems & Control

This class will provide you with an overview of robotic engineering in the broadest possible sense, and will enable you to understand some of the important principles in the design, control, construction and use of robots in different environments and tasks.

It'll also provide hands on experience in dealing with some of the design and control issues associated with robot mechanisms.

Assignment & Professional Studies

The aim of this class is to provide you with support for your general academic and professional development.

You'll undertake an advanced investigation of an electronic or electrical engineering topic of your choice, to enhance your learning, and develop presentation and communication skills.

Elective classes

Strategic Technology Management
This class aims to provide you with a high-level understanding and knowledge of the role of technology in business strategy for maintaining market competitiveness.
Product Modelling & Visualisation
This class aims to enable you to understand the concepts of multi-perspective product modelling and techniques used to visualise better products before they are fully designed and manufactured.
Design Methods
This class aims to enable you to select and apply appropriate design methods as a part of the design process.
Systems Thinking & Modelling
The objective of this class is to introduce you to the theories and principles behind systems thinking. The class will also introduce you to the methods, tools and techniques for modelling, analysing, improving and designing systems in a variety of organisations, including industrial, commercial and public sector.
Micro- & Nano-Manufacturing

This class aims for you to acquire:

  • knowledge of the fundamentals of micro- and nano-products and of the manufacturing of such products (MEMS, micro-fluidic devices, micro-medical devices, micro-motors, micro-robots, MOEMS, etc), size-effects, material/interface behaviour at the micro-/nano-scale, challenges to manufacturing at low length-scales etc
  • knowledge of micro-/nano-materials processing methods, techniques, industrially-viable processes etc
  • experience and skills in the design/selection of micro-/nano-manufacturing processes, tools and equipment for real-world products
Advanced Forming Technology Systems

This class aims:

  • to educate you in the fundamentals of the advanced forging/forming of materials, especially those used in the latest generation of automotive and aerospace components
  • to help you in gaining knowledge of advanced forming processes and manufacturing systems
  • to guide you in gaining experience in die/tool design, press design and die-fabrication
Advanced Materials & Production Technology

This class aims:

  • to educate you in the fundamentals of advanced materials and processing methods and advanced surface engineering
  • to help you gain knowledge of advanced machining processes and technologies, rapid tooling and rapid-manufacturing
  • to educate you in the principles and practices of green manufacturing and manufacturing sustainability
Advanced Microcontroller Applications
Provide advanced competence in the use of industry standard microcontrollers programmed in low and high level languages in real time applications.
Image & Video Processing
To provide an introduction to the techniques relevant to digital images and video.
This includes techniques both to process images and video and also to efficiently compress and communicate them.
The class will give you a comprehensive understanding of various image and video processing and coding standards. You'll also study some key applications of these standards.
Control Principles

This class will introduce you to the basic concepts, mathematical tools and design methods of classical control theory. It will enable you to use analysis and design tools used in control engineering and appreciate the industrial applications of control systems.

You'll also learn to analyse and design closed loop control system specifically using industrial three-term (PID) controllers. Through an introduction to advanced control methods, you'll gain a basic understanding of a time-domain approach to control analysis and design of industrial processes.


Advanced Digital Signal Processing
Develop the necessary skills that will allow you to analyse, design, implement and simulate advanced DSP techniques and algorithms for a variety of communications and general engineering problems.
Embedded Systems Design

This class provides hands-on experience in translating Digital Signal Processing concepts into real-time embedded systems applications.

Through a combination of lectures, up-to-date technical discussions and hardware programming, you'll learn to design and implement real-time embedded systems through familiarisation with Digital Signal Processors and FPGAs. 

Design Management
To provide a structured introduction to the Design Management process, issues and tools.
Knowledge Engineering & Management For Engineers
This class aims to give you an understanding of the types of knowledge, techniques and systems used in building knowledge based systems and to discuss the application of these techniques.

Summer (June to September)

MSc Research Project / Internship

The aim of the research project is to provide you with an opportunity to bring your knowledge and skills together and deploy them in a significant practical investigation, using relevant engineering literature, and where relevant, initial experiments or simulations.

Learning & teaching

We use a blend of teaching and learning methods including interactive lectures, problem-solving tutorials and practical project-based laboratories.

Our technical and experimental officers are available to support and guide you on individual subject material. Each module comprises approximately five hours of direct teaching per week.

To enhance your understanding of the technical and theoretical topics covered in these, you're expected to undertake a further five to six hours of self-study, using our web-based virtual learning environment (MyPlace), research journals and library facilities.

The teaching and learning methods used ensure you'll develop not only technical engineering expertise but also communications, project management and leadership skills.


A variety of assessment techniques are used throughout the course. Each module has a combination of written assignments, individual and group reports, oral presentations, practical lab work and, where appropriate, an end-of-term exam.

Assessment of the summer research project consists of four elements, with individual criteria:

  1. Interim report (10%, 1,500 to 3,000 words) – The purpose of this report is to provide a mechanism for supervisors to provide valuable feedback on the project’s objectives and direction.
  2. Poster Presentation (15%) – A vital skill of an engineer is the ability to describe their work to others and respond to requests for information.  The poster presentation is designed to give you an opportunity to practise that.
  3. Final report (55%) – This assesses the communication of project objectives and context, accuracy and relevant of background material, description of practical work and results, depth and soundness of discussion and conclusions, level of engineering achievement and the quality of the report’s presentation.
  4. Conduct (20%) - Independent study, project and time management are key features of university learning. The level of your initiative & independent thinking and technical understanding are assessed through project meetings with your supervisor and your written logbooks.

Entry requirements

A first or good second-class UK Honours degree or equivalent overseas qualification in electronic, electrical, communications or design manufacture engineering, or a science-related subject from a recognised academic institution.

Candidates whose first language is not English or who have not undertaken their undergraduate course in the UK must possess a recent UKBA-recognised English qualification.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding


All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.


  • £8,100

Rest of UK

  • £9,250


  • £20,050

How can I fund my course?

Students are eligible for a range of scholarships offered by the Departments, University and external organisations. View our scholarship search for more information.

Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship (FEES) for International Students

If you're applying for an MSc course you'll be eligible to apply for a Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship offering up to £3,000 towards your tuition fees.

The scholarship is available for application to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee paying students holding an offer of study for an MSc programme in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying.

You must start your full-time MSc programme at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2019-20).

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

International students

We have a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.


Job titles include:

  • Graduate controls engineer
  • Graduate software engineer
  • Lecturer
  • Roboticist
  • Data analytics programmer

Employers include:

  • Xilinx
  • Texas Instruments
  • MathWorks
  • Leonardo
  • Siemens
  • Jaguar/Land Rover

Contact us


Autonomous Robotic Intelligent Systems

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Autonomous Robotic Intelligent Systems NCEPU

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Autonomous Robotic Intelligent Systems SUEP

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2019, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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