The global manufacturing industry is being transformed by the recent advances in technology and their integration driven by the 4th Industrial Revolution. This has led to the need to develop new type of engineers for integrating such technologies. Much of this relies on high level of skills in discrete technologies but what makes them more useful is their integration.
The interdisciplinary nature of mechatronics leads the way to a variety of career options in areas such as automotive, advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation, nanotechnology, systems integration, aerospace, bio-engineering and healthcare, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy.
Mechatronics is one of these disciplines where several core engineering disciplines are blended together using systems engineering approach. This approach defines the MSc Mechatronic Systems Engineering programme and prepares graduates for the wealth of opportunities available in industry that relies on smart technologies on a global stage.
The programme has been designed in collaboration with strong industry partnerships and has been developed to replicate the latest industrial practices.
The main focus of the MSc Mechatronic Systems Engineering is developing competent and highly sought after engineers with broad academic knowledge and practical skills in mechatronic system development to work in high-tech industries.
The course will suit graduates who aspire to work as mechatronic systems engineers in high-tech organisations working in sectors such as automotive, advanced manufacturing, robotics and automation, nanotechnology, systems integration, aerospace, bio-engineering and healthcare, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy.
The course is directly supported by companies such Siemens, Festo, ABB, National Instruments, Altium and WorldSkills UK.
The course also benefits from the department being a member of:
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The programme is formed of three academic terms, each of 12 seeks of duration. Term 1 will be devoted to drives, sensors and controllers, robotic applications and their programming techniques, software modelling of mechatronic systems and additive manufacturing technologies along with AR and VR applications.
Term 2 will feature a group project where the knowledge and skills developed in term 1 will be applied to a systems integration project along with further study in Machine Learning and AI application in robotics. There will also be further input into PLM solutions and how organisations could use these to manage their products and services as well as technologies that make up the Industry 4.0 and their applications.
Term 3 will be an individual project that can be proposed by the student or selected from a choice of projects offered by our research centres or industry partners.
This module will cover latest techniques in digital product modelling applied to manufacturing systems. The module also will also cover modelling of components, assemblies and systems including their physical behaviour in virtual space. There will also be visualisation techniques (VR, AR etc.) of such systems as well as design strategies for digital manufacture, including additive manufacturing.
This module equips students with knowledge of fundamental concepts of robot manipulators, such as coordinate systems, transformations, kinematics, motion planning. Students will put the knowledge of these principles into practice by modelling, simulating, programming and operating robot arms. They will gain experience of specialised software frameworks for robotic manipulation.
This module focuses on methods for controlling sensors and actuators in robotic and related systems, exploring different control techniques and their relevance to the development of robotic/mechatronic devices and their integration with their environment. The module also introduces the student to tasks and skills related to academic research techniques and writing at graduate level.
This module introduces a systems approach to designing and integrating mechatronic systems. The module will explore mechatronic applications in various contexts and look at approaches to designing and implementing such integrated solutions, which will include various sub-systems. In doing so, the module will expose the student to a number of different technologies making up complex mechatronic systems.
This module is designed to familiarise students with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques that are widely used in robotics and similar systems. The module will cover different types of autonomous robots and devices. Students will learn about machine learning methods and algorithms, and how these are applied to real-life robotic applications and autonomous systems. The students will make use of their own development of AI/ML systems in robots and will explore theoretical issues in AI and robotics.
The module will introduce Product Lifecycle Management and how this can be implemented in a product based organisation to add value to the business. The module will also cover Industry 4.0 technologies and how these relate to an organisation’s PLM environment.
This module consolidates the knowledge and advanced skills gained in the preceding part of the programme, and provides students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate mastery in undertaking projects on their own. Students will be required to use a systematic, effective and efficient research and development processes employing formal project management techniques in executing a practical project to prepare them for their future employment. The module aims to develop advanced skills and practical experience in research methods, project planning, problem solving, written and oral communication on projects within the scope of the programme.
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
The programme is designed to be taught using practice-led teaching and learning approaches and is intended to replicate the current practice in industry. The sessions are delivered in labs and workshops supplemented by guest lectures with speakers from industry on a weekly basis. The labs and workshops are in blocks of 3-hour sessions, providing ample opportunity to gain practical skills in the subject’s natural environment.
As the programme pedagogy is based on practice-led approaches, this then follows an appropriate assessment strategy based on project work, demonstrations and presentations. Some coursework elements will include technical report writing as well as multimedia content such as blogs and video recordings. Developing a repository of online content will be highly encouraged as this will also help with employment opportunities. The programme does not contain any traditional written examinations.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning over recent years and we will be using these.
For 2023 entry and beyond, we've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week.
You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2022/23
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
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.
Start: October 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start: September 2023, January 2024
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start: September 2023
Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time