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Ambient Assisted Living MSc by Research

Learn about the course below
October 2022
January 2022
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£5,100 (UK) *
£14,400 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Juan Augusto

This postgraduate research degree provides the opportunity for students who wish to undertake an Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) research project on any one of a wide range of interdisciplinary disciplines, under the supervision of our team of experts.

Why study the MSc Ambient Assisted Living by Research at Middlesex University?

AAL is one of the major emerging technology markets of the moment, offering the potential to enable and empower citizens in their daily lives using state-of-the-art technologies. Known as 'assistive technologies' in some areas, AAL facilitates everyday activities for people who require care and support, augmenting their quality of life and assisting their independence.

This Master's of Science by Research in Ambient Assisted Living will allow students to understand how this technology works, how data is processed to inform individuals and how these systems can be integrated into society to improve life in general.

Thanks to advances in medicine and improved knowledge of the links between lifestyle and health, a large proportion of the world is living longer. Diseases like Alzheimer's naturally increase proportionally with life expectancy and this has huge implications for those affected, their family, the healthcare sector and society in general. Those using wheelchairs or with conditions such as Parkinson's, autism and Down's syndrome can also benefit from AAL, as these novel technologies can be used to support independence inside and outside the home, when travelling or at work – stimulating socialisation and promoting more positive lifestyles.

One of the most compelling case for AAL is the use of smart homes to support independent living for people of older age, but many other applications exist or are in development. AAL systems provide Intelligent Environments which gather data from individuals through sensors (for example, in a smart phone). This data is then analysed to provide advice, reminders and information which provide support in various circumstances of the users' daily life.

Billions of euros have been invested in the technologies through the European Union's Framework Programmes since 2007, such as the three-year Poseidon project currently supported by Middlesex University. These projects are bringing a proliferation of new systems, requiring a combination of new equipment, software, interfaces, and services.

Possible Projects:

  • The architecture of a space as an enabler for AAL
  • Inclusive design
  • Context-aware reasoning for intelligent environments
  • Software engineering of AAL systems
  • Adaptive AAL systems
  • System personalisation
  • Measuring effectiveness of AAL systems
  • Companion robots
  • Reliable AAL services
  • Security issues
  • Ethics in AAL systems,
  • New areas of application for AAL systems (offices, shopping, leisure, education, etc.)

Partial studentships may be available for strong candidates. Please contact contact Juan Augusto for more details.

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Ambient Assisted Living by Research?

This master's takes the form of independent research work under the supervision of a team of experts. The supervisory team will guide you on a continuous basis so that you become knowledgeable about the research methods to use while developing into an independent researcher.

Alongside your independent study, you will also have tutorial workshops in key areas designed to immerse you in the technical areas of AAL. This will include:

  • Introduction to AAL
  • Technological infrastructure in AAL
  • Software in AAL
  • Ethics in AAL


This degree is an entirely research-based masters programme. The majority of your time will be spent working on your research project in the library, laboratories or elsewhere, under the direction of your supervisors.

You will have regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to review progress and plan future activities. You may also spend brief periods at partner sites, for example where your project involves collaboration with industry.

Full-time students are expected to attend for an average of 35 hours per week and part-time students for an average of 12 hours per week.


Assessment will be based on a final dissertation of approximately 30,000 words. Two independent examiners will be appointed who will read and evaluate the dissertation, following which you will be invited to make an oral defence of your work.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs

How can the MSc Ambient Assisted Living by Research support your career?

Graduates of this masters by research will be able to seek employment in new markets, working in a range of areas related to Ambient Assisted Living.

This could include roles developing AAL systems, designing and developing AAL products, working with AAL users, acting as a consultant to AAL companies or other organisations such as insurance companies. There are also numerous roles in health and social care institutions or with government organisations which require informed decisions when considering the procurement of technology from private providers. In addition to this, students may consider this postgraduate degree as an intermediate step towards a PhD in a related area and a career in academic research.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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