Smart Manufacturing MSc

This programme will embed technological revolution deep within the mind-set of engineers and teach you the skills enabling you to design and develop new technologies that embrace the challenges of future manufacturing.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time

Course format

No placements

Duration

12 months full-time

UCAS code(s)

n/a

Start date

Overview
Why explore Smart Manufacturing at Aston University

Smart Manufacturing at Aston

Hear from our Programme Director Muftooh about our new MSc Smart Manufacturing course at Aston University.

Working with GBSIoT

 

The GBSIoT Hub in Birmingham houses the largest Cyber Physical Manufacturing Rig in Europe.

Professor Yuchun Xu

Professor Yuchun Xu, who teaches on this programme, is Chair of Manufacturing, Head of the Smart Systems and Manufacturing group, and leader of two interdisciplinary research themes Digital Engineering, and Circular Economy at Aston University. Pro Xu' research expertise include Digital Manufacturing, Life Cycle Engineering, Remanufacturing, Life Cycle Cost modelling & economic benefit analysis, and Circular Economy. His research has close link with industry.
 

Professor Yuchun Xu

Professor Yuchun Xu, who teaches on this programme, is Chair of Manufacturing, Head of the Smart Systems and Manufacturing group, and leader of two interdisciplinary research themes Digital Engineering, and Circular Economy at Aston University. Pro Xu' research expertise include Digital Manufacturing, Life Cycle Engineering, Remanufacturing, Life Cycle Cost modelling & economic benefit analysis, and Circular Economy. His research has close link with industry.
 

Course outline and modules

Smart manufacturing is of tremendous significance in the field of manufacturing and is a way to the future. The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Aston University has developed this course as the market of smart manufacturing is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.4% from 2020 to 2025.

Factors that drive the growth of the market include the growing adoption of the fourth industrial revolution, government involvement, complexities in supply chains, and industrial automation in manufacturing, and software systems that reduce time and cost to the market. If you want to be at the forefront of technological growth, this course is for you. 

We are working alongside The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Institute of Technology, which is a prestigious institution known for its focus on technology and innovation. It offers advanced programs and collaborates with industry leaders to prepare students for careers in engineering, digital technology, and advanced manufacturing. GBSIoT is dedicated to shaping the future workforce and driving economic growth and technological advancements locally and globally.

We are also involved in the EU-funded project called "Re-manufacturing and Refurbishment Large Industrial Equipment" RECLAIM. RECLAIM is a groundbreaking effort focused on resource-efficient manufacturing, perfectly aligning with the MSc Smart Manufacturing program. It mirrors the core principles of sustainable, data-driven manufacturing that the MSc program emphasizes by creating innovative approaches for recycling and reusing materials in the manufacturing process. This collaboration offers students a unique chance to delve into cutting-edge sustainable production methods, enhancing their education with practical experience in smart manufacturing and reinforcing their role as future leaders in promoting resource-efficient, environmentally conscious industrial practices.

Aston University is also a participant in the EU-funded initiative known as "Advancing Hydrogen (H2) Technologies and Smart Production Systems to de-carbonise the Glass and Aluminium SectorS" (H2GLASS). Situated at the intersection of sustainable technology and industrial innovation, H2GLASS synergizes effectively with the MSc Smart Manufacturing program. This project, aimed at transforming the glass industry through hydrogen-based decarbonization, offers an exceptional opportunity for students in the MSc program to actively engage in leading-edge research and practical applications of smart manufacturing principles. This hands-on experience allows students to directly contribute to the development and adoption of advanced technologies, perfectly aligning with the program's mission to prepare future leaders in the fields of smart manufacturing and sustainable industry practices.


What you’ll learn

The aim of the programme is to teach you a wide range of hands-on skills in smart manufacturing so you can innovate solutions for complex manufacturing problems through developing state-of-the-art technologies.

This programme will embed the technological revolution deep within the mindset of engineers and teach you the skills to design and develop new technologies that embrace the challenges of future manufacturing.

With an emphasis on practical experience, you’ll have the opportunity to design innovative and cost-effective smart manufacturing solutions using artificial intelligence techniques to solve complex manufacturing problems currently faced by the manufacturing industry such as production scheduling, equipment fault diagnostics, and predictive maintenance.

Digital Twin, which is a digital replica of a physical system, is used in manufacturing to improve efficiency by simulating production processes, identifying potential bottlenecks, and optimizing equipment performance. The program will teach you how to use digital twin technology to improve production scheduling, predict equipment failure, and optimize maintenance strategies. You will then plan, implement, test, evaluate and document your solutions, preparing you for future challenges as you develop your career.

 

 

Core Modules
  • Industry 4.0
  • Advanced Manufacturing Processes 
  • Digitalisation of Manufacturing Systems
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Machine Learning
  • MSc Major Dissertation
Optional Modules
  • Smart Sensors and Control Systems 
  • Robot Software
  • Applied Industrial Robotics
  • Design for Manufacturing and Assembly

Speak to our Admissions Team

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

Email: pgadmissions@aston.ac.uk

Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Entry requirements

  • We expect applications from graduates of Bachelors in Engineering in any of the following fields: Mechanical, Manufacturing, Production, Industrial or related disciplines with a qualification equivalent to UK 2:2 or higher.
     
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements. For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.


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.

Learning, teaching and facilities

Learning will include lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as practical projects and presentations. You will develop and practice management skills and apply engineering principles to your own work, as a member and/or leader in a team, and learn how to manage smart manufacturing projects. 

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.

As part of the program, you will have the opportunity to apply Digital Twin technology in a real-world manufacturing setting at the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) located on our campus. GBSIoT is a leading centre for advanced manufacturing and engineering and is equipped with a state-of-the-art Cyber Physical Manufacturing Rig. Additionally, you will have access to Aston University's advanced 3D printing facility to further enhance your learning experience.

Our facilities and equipment have been designed to enhance your learning and allow you to conceive, design, build, and operate device prototypes, giving you the skills and knowledge needed for a rewarding career in smart manufacturing.

During your time at Aston, you will learn how to Communicate your research findings to a wide audience from different backgrounds in the form of reports, research papers and posters. The course will be assessed through a combination of exams, coursework and practicals.

The Programme Director for this course:

Muftooh Siddiqi

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: £11,150

International students (2024/25)

Annual tuition fees: £21,500

Tuition fees 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. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

UK postgraduate loans available 

If you’re starting a masters course on or after 1 August 2022, you can apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with course fees and living costs. Find out more.

Scholarships

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. Find out more about our UK student scholarships here. Find out more about our international student scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship

Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees. As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study Smart Manufacturing at Aston?

Smart Manufacturing is an incredibly fast growing and exciting sector with a huge demand for people with specialist skills. This course will give you both the knowledge and skills as well as the practical experience to build an interesting career across a range of industries. One of the key technologies you will learn about is Digital Twin, which is a digital replica of a physical object or system that can be used to simulate its real-world behaviour, analyse data, and predict outcomes. You will learn how to implement and use Digital Twin technology in a manufacturing setup and apply it to solve complex manufacturing problems.

What will I be doing on the Smart Manufacturing course at Aston?

You’ll learn in a range of ways, with a focus on the practical application of your solutions. The aim of the programme is to transfer wide range of hands-on skills of smart manufacturing to the students so they can innovate solutions for complex manufacturing problems through developing state-of-the-art technologies.

These are all important skills for developing your future career and will ensure you’re ready for the workplace challenges you’ll face. 

 

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