MSc Robotics

The field of Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) has long attracted special interest from industry and governments alike.

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RAS is promising to deliver a step change in the way we live, work and interact on a day-to-day basis in this new era dominated by information and intensive data exchanges. For instance, governments across the globe are encouraging industries to focus on the long awaited fourth industrial revolution, the so-called Industrie 4.0, where cyber-physical systems, including RAS, the 'internet-of-things' and cloud computing will play a significant role. The challenge then will be to translate academic research and training in RAS into applications that will satisfy the required criteria for such a revolution. These applications will be multidisciplinary and will impact on manufacturing, defence, healthcare, finance, and the service industries.

We are now moving beyond traditional approaches to robotics that focused principally on automation and are entering a new phase of autonomous robotics and systems that requires advanced knowledge, understanding and skills and an interdisciplinary perspective across a broad range of disciplines. As a result a new generation of robotics and autonomous systems engineers is needed, who can think differently and have the creativity and ingenuity to match the potential for RAS to change our lives.

Our new MSc will provide you with the opportunity to translate and develop your existing knowledge, understanding and skills to become experts in RAS. You will develop the multidisciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary skills needed to become one of the next generation of RAS engineers.

The course will have an interdisciplinary flavour and will be delivered by world-leading experts in Engineering and Science drawn from several Sheffield University Departments including the Departments of Automatic Control & Systems Engineering (Leading Department), Computer Science, Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Psychology.

MSc Key Facts

Duration: 12 months

Entry requirements: First or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

Alternatively you might be an experienced professional, thinking about updating your knowledge of the subject.

Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 (6 in each competency)

Fees: UK/EU: £10,970 International Students: £20,470

Application procedure: See How to apply


Want to find out more about the MSc Robotics?

Join us for a webinar on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at 14:00 (GMT). The webinar will cover various aspects of life at ACSE, including the course structure, industrial focus, career prospects, the Department, The University of Sheffield and living in the city. We hope this webinar will provide you with the information you need to make this important decision.

If you would like to attend this session, please let us know by emailing


Who should take this course

You will be passionate about the potential for robotics and autonomous systems to transform the way we live and have the ambition to become a research or industrial leader, helping to ensure the RAS sector meets its potential.

Our students will be looking to specialise in robotics and have the ambition to either pursue a research or industrial career in this area. Students with a broad background in engineering, mathematics and numerate science undergraduate degrees will develop the knowledge and skills necessary for a career in robotics.

The MSc is aimed at engineering, mathematics and numerate science graduates with a minimum 2.1 (or equivalent) degree from a recognised university or be an experienced professional who can demonstrate a commensurate background.

Career Opportunities

The breadth and depth of the MSc will represent the ideal preparations for both students aiming to move onto a PhD and research career or those aiming to move into the growing number of industrial opportunities in RAS. The MSc will cover the technical knowledge, understanding and skills together with wider professional skills such as critical thinking, independence, initiative, reflection, project management and communication in order for graduates to excel in their chosen career.

What will you learn

Students will undertake a broad spectrum of modules related to robotics, autonomous systems, engineering and computational intelligence, including underpinning modules in robotics, as well as advanced topics in vision, speech, neural networks, mobile robotics and computational neuroscience. The course is taught over a 12 month period starting in September.

During the course you will develop a broad knowledge and understanding across the key pillars of RAS: sensing and perception, cognition and autonomy, control (action) and robotic devices. You will take four core modules covering key aspects of the subject area. You will also be able to specialise in depth in one or more aspects of RAS, taking modules to allow you to develop an advanced knowledge and understanding in areas of your choice. This range of choice to focus on your own particular interests will then lead into your advanced project.

You will apply your detailed knowledge and understanding acquired in the taught modules, working on an industrial or research problem under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Depending on the specific nature of your project, you will further develop theoretical, experimental, computational and simulation skills. You will also develop professional and research skills to best prepare you to undertake this project and for future careers. You will be expected to demonstrate initiative, creativity, independence together with high levels of critical thinking and analysis during the project. These will further enhance your employability in a range of careers.

How we teach

Lectures and Seminars are presentations to a class of students by a lecturer. The purpose of a lecture is to motivate interest in a subject, to convey the core concepts and information content succinctly and to point students towards further sources of information. Lectures are interactive and students are encouraged to ask questions at suitable points. Students are expected to take notes during lectures, adding detail to published course materials (which should be printed and brought to the lecture, when provided in advance on electronic media).

The transition to self-motivated learning is encouraged through specialist teaching materials such as lecture handouts or copies of lecture slides, supplied via MOLE. Set course texts and background materials are available through the University libraries, at bookshops and also via the Internet. Active learning is fostered and promoted through engagement in practical work, such as exercises, assignments and projects.

Practical/Laboratory classes introduce experimental methods and provide opportunity for developing team working and communication skills. Students gain essential practical skills in the use of equipment, design and conduct of experiments, and use of appropriate analysis tools and includes computer laboratories where students learn to work with computers, programming, software engineering or use of software tools. Laboratories also reinforce lecture material and demonstrate theoretical concepts in a practical context and subject to limitations and uncertainty.

Tutorials and Problem-Solving classes are sessions conducted by a lecturer with a class of students, in which exercises are completed interactively and solutions are provided within the period. The purpose of such a class is to help students engage with, and assimilate the material presented in lectures, start to apply this knowledge and develop problem solving skills. These classes also provide students with the opportunity to resolve issues with their understanding of the lecture material.

Coursework Assignments can be individual or connected exercises in which the student is tasked with conducting a study, the design and implementation of a software system to perform a given task or the researching of a body of information. The results of this work are evaluated by the student and a report submitted of the work carried out.

Design Classes enable students to work on ‘open-ended’ and often loosely-defined problems related to real engineering situations. They also provide good opportunities for developing team-working and communication skills as well as individual skills. Individual Investigative Project is an individual research and/or industrial project at the frontier of engineering. It is completed under the supervision of a member of academic staff and provides an excellent opportunity for a student to pull together every aspect of their development during the degree. Students will be expected to demonstrate initiative, creativity and a wide range of technical knowledge and understanding and skills appropriate to the project.