Robotics and Autonomous Systems


This multidisciplinary program adapts to emerging industry trends and bridges knowledge gaps in the field of robotics and autonomous systems. It will teach you key knowledge and skills to thrive in this progressive sector of engineering.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Entry requirements

One year

Start date

Course overview

The UK Government has identified Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) as one of the 8 Great Technologies that support UK industrial strategy. Robotics and autonomous system technologies and industries are growing fast along with the development of artificial intelligence. The way we manufacture, travel, live, work and play is being revolutionised as evidenced by the advent of Industry 4.0 and autonomous driving.

We have developed this MSc course to meet the demand for the corresponding engineering professionals and to maintain UK’s leading position in the sector. RAS involves smart sensors and control systems, power electronics and electric drives, vehicle automation and connectivity, robot software, applied industrial robotics, autonomous system design, machine learning and much more.

Designed in collaboration with The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology this course will help you understand and develop in the promising field of robotics and autonomous systems.


"Studying Robotics and Autonomous Systems has taught me a lot about new technologies like self-driving cars and robots used in various industries and everyday life, such as manufacturing, space exploration, the military, and travel. I'm excited to use this knowledge in manufacturing and other fields to help develop autonomous vehicles and robots for an amazing future".

Rajath Umashankar
MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems
current student

Why Robotics and Autonomous Systems at Aston University?

Industry Led Knowledge
Tailored to incorporate robotic technologies and autonomous systems for the future
Book and pen
Hands on Learning
Gain hands-on experience through CDIO & project-based learning, student centred learning, and lectures from industrial partners
Academic Expertise
Be taught by an expert faculty in the field working with industry on projects worth millions of pounds across Europe

Course description

You'll engage with a dynamic curriculum where you will explore cutting-edge expertise, industry relevance, and a dynamic learning environment preparing you for future innovation.

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What we will provide
We’ll teach you the relevant knowledge and skills needed to thrive in robotics and autonomous systems and you’ll develop your ability to propose solutions to future challenges in robotics and autonomous systems by utilising the major concepts of mathematics, physics and engineering. With an emphasis on hands-on experience, you’ll have the opportunity to integrate your knowledge and develop an autonomous system from scratch by a CDIO (Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate) approach through the core module of Autonomous System Design. The transferrable skills you learn through the course will prepare you for future challenges as you develop your career.

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What you will provide
We are looking for students preferably from a computer science or engineering background, who are eager to make an impact towards the future of robotics and autonomous systems. We want you to be able to demonstrate a practical hands-on approach and be open-minded and willing to learn new technologies.

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What skills we teach
We are bridging the gaps to teach skills and knowledge in the growing sector of robotics and autonomous systems and this course will provide you with the latest expertise and advancements within this industry. You will have the opportunity to engage in real-life projects, industry case studies, and current research integration enhancing your practical skills and communication skills. We have strong industry connections to Aurrigo which has supplied Aston University with it’s own autonomous Auto-Pod. You will be able to take advantage and work and gain experience through this partnership.

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Professional Practice Year
If you meet satisfactory academic performance and have secured a suitable professional experience, you will have the option to be transferred onto our MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems  including Professional Practice programme. Taking the Professional Practice route allows you to extend the duration of your Masters to 22 months and gain valuable working experience to support your career aspirations. The placement commences after the completion of your MSc dissertation and can be paid work, study abroad exchanges or unpaid research projects or even a mix of these options. You will return to Aston the following May for an intensive period on campus to draw all your learning together and finalise the assessments.

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Career prospects
You will be well equipped to develop your career within the automobile industry, robotics industry,  aerospace, defence and others. There is a huge demand in industry for robotics and autonomous systems

How you will learn

You’ll undertake a combination of project based work as this course is a good blend of practical and theory. Practical hands-on work is embedded into the curriculum to apply your knowledge to real-world work.

The course modules will be delivered through a mixture of classroom, online and practical projects. There will be a focus on multidisciplinary group work, collaborating with students across engineering disciplines, where the academic will act as a facilitator to enhance your learning through interactive sessions through lab sessions and lectures.

Here at Aston University, we are passionate about supporting our students. You will have a personal tutor throughout your studies to provide support and guidance alongside access to technicians who will support you in design, 3D printing and prototyping. The Learning Development Centre is there to provide maths support, and bespoke academic writing development, advice, and strategies for managing your studies. 

What you will learn

This programme is designed with the primary focus of embedding robotics and autonomous systems deep within the mindset of those from an engineering or computing background. The main subject areas explored and skills developed throughout the postgraduate programme are:

  • Robot Software
  • Smart Sensors and Control Systems
  • Autonomous System Design
  • Applied Industrial Robotics
  • Power Electronics and Electrical Drives
  • Machine Learning
  • Vehicle Automation and Connectivity


Aston University invests in state-of-the-art facilities, providing you with the essential tools for your academic journey. Our facilities and equipment have been designed to enhance your learning and allow you to conceive, design, implement, and operate device prototypes, giving you the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career in robotics and autonomous systems. During your study, you will have access to cutting-edge laboratory facilities such as Sawyer and Universal robot, Kinova robotic arm and gripper, Auto-Pod autonomous car, Jackal UGV, Turtlebot3, DJI drone, unmanned surface vehicle and other equipment.

Following a multi-million pound investment, we are now home to extensive engineering facilities. From an entire engineering model shop and exclusive Maker Lab to specialist computer labs and more. You will also have access to the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology located on our campus, this powerhouse for advanced manufacturing and engineering and is home to a Cyber-Physical Manufacturing Rig.

Course objectives

  1. Bridge the multidisciplinary knowledge gap required by modern industry through covering topics such as electrical, electronic, computer science and mechatronic engineering as applied to robotics and autonomous systems.
  2. Provide the skills required to analyse industrial problems and propose and critique innovative solutions by using robotics and autonomous system engineering techniques underpinned by engineering principles.
  3. Provide the opportunity to practice professional planning and communication with a large audience.
  4. Enable students to use state-of-the-art engineering tools to identify and integrate actuators, sensors and controls, predict system performance and design components and subsystems within the context of robotics and autonomous system engineering.
  5. Enable students opting for Professional Placement to enhance their career preparation through a period of structured professional industrial training.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage, you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Robot Software15
Smart Sensors and
Control Systems
Autonomous System
Applied Industrial
Research Project15
Power Electronics
and Electric Drives

Select one optional module for below:

Module TitleCredits
Vehicle Automation
and Connectivity
Machine Learning15


Dissertation stage modules


Module TitleCredits

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Propose solutions to the future challenges in the field of robotics and autonomous systems by utilizing the major concepts of mathematics, physics and engineering.
  • Evaluate typical multi-physics engineering problems by employing a range of sensing, control and automation techniques.
  • Formulate strategies for predicting the performance of industrial system using latest software and hardware tools to tackle the challenges in the field of robotics and autonomous systems.
  • Evaluate the requirements of commercial and industrial problems identifying user needs, business needs, environmental regulations and industry standards, and implied ethics and social issues.
  • Design advanced robotic and autonomous systems for wide range of industries such as manufacturing, transport and biomedical.
  • Work effectively within a team, practicing personal responsibility as a contributing team member or leader, work effectively with non-technical teams and communicate with wider audiences.
  • Critically evaluate techniques and technologies from diverse industrial sectors and select appropriate methodologies to synthesis creative solutions to industrial problems by using robotics and autonomous system engineering techniques.

Entry requirements

You will need to have obtained a second-class Honours Degree from a UK academic organisation or an equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University. You must also provide two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee, and a completed application form.

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

See international student information below for international equivalent information.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway Programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

Masters Foundation programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.



Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 09.30am-4.30pm)

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£11,150

International students

Annual tuition fees:£21,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Automatic Revolutionary Technologies Scholarship 

Emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, and smart manufacturing are rapidly changing the world around us. From the way we travel to the way we work, these technologies have the potential to transform our lives.

We are offering automatic scholarships of £5,000 to students wishing to study MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems. 

If you also accept your place and pay your deposit before your deadline you can also claim your automatic £3,000 Early Acceptance Discount, bringing the total fee reduction to £8,000. If you are eligible for the Automatic Merit Scholarship you will be awarded the Revolutionary Technologies Scholarship as it is the higher value award.


The course is assessed through a diverse range of methods, including coursework examinations and practicals. The assessment methods will reflect the most effective and relevant way to review your performance for each module. Therefore, each module will be assessed in a variety of ways to reflect your knowledge from that module and how you would apply it in the real world.

Career prospects

MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems forms the basis for jobs within all kinds of technology and service companies such as in the Manufacturing, IT, Logistics, Healthcare, Transportation, Energy, Automobile, Aerospace, military and other emerging engineering sectors as R&D engineers, automation engineers, process engineers, robotics engineers, and other multidisciplinary roles. The students can also choose to continue their studies for PhD programmes or become self-employed and start their own business within the vibrant fields of Robotics and AI.


Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why should international students choose Aston University?

Study at Aston University and you will be part of a multi-cultural community located at the heart of the dynamic city of Birmingham. Our courses are practical, inspired by industry and many have internationally recognised accreditations. Renowned for our employability prospects and connections to business and industry, we provide outstanding career support, advice and placement opportunities.

For those interested in working in the UK after they have graduated, the UK Government has created a new post-study work visa.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

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