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MSc Intelligent Robotics

Push the boundaries of the intelligent robotics discipline, bit by bit.

Year of entry: 2021 (September)
Show year of entry: 2022


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Robots are on the rise. They're present in many areas of everyday life including autonomous transportation, farm machinery, medical and environmental applications and logistics. 

Developing robots that are capable of adapting and learning from experience is a significant driver in the robotics industry and is at the cutting edge of research development. This course will provide you with the tools and skills necessary to become a leader in these expanding areas. 

We'll prepare you for employment in robotic and autonomous systems, related industries, and equip you to pursue further research into intelligent robotics. 


Accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Research excellence

In the latest REF assessment (2014), 87 per cent of our research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

We place a strong focus on practical implementation, both in hardware and simulation. Your course will culminate in a large research project focused on collective robotic systems, ranging from ground-based units to flying robots and new mechanisms at variable scales for manufacturing. You will work in a state of the art, dedicated robotics laboratory. 

Through lectures and hands-on experience, you'll learn about the development of mechanisms, control systems, algorithms that can learn and adapt, and swarm systems (multiple robots working together). You'll get to experience the liveliness of this exciting field first hand.

We take care to ensure our courses are relevant to your future career. Our Professional Development Framework, designed in consultation with expert external advisors, will help to prepare you for industry, research or further study.


Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.

Research project

This project will immerse you in a life like scenario; a group of engineers developing a large scale multiple robotic system. As a group you will design, construct and implement the control of a robotic system. You'll gain practical experience of project management and team skills. The system you design will include both software (such as individual and collective robotic control, and low-level programming) and hardware (such as hardware design or customisation) components. The project will culminate in the design and realisation of a multiple robotic system that will undergo various test scenarios in the robotics laboratory.

For the project you will typically be working in a group of four to six students. You'll be assigned a target system to design, be given a budget, and then prepare the design presentation that your group will follow. Working together, you'll develop detailed system specifications and establish initial prototypes.

Throughout the project you'll be able to make full use of the Robotics Laboratory and you'll spend the vast majority of your time working on robotic systems, attempting to develop an innovative solution to the problem given. Full technical support is available in the laboratory.

The final presentation of your group will take place in September, where you'll provide physical demos of your system. Your group will also produce a presentation on the work to which everyone will have contributed. Finally, you will submit group documentation along with an individual report.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Conduct research and development in intelligent robotics design, theory and practice to advance the state of knowledge in intelligent robotics.
  • Extract and critically evaluate literature and other data about complex robotic systems from simulations and hardware deployment using analytical, statistical, and computational methods.
  • Create innovative and optimised designs to address intelligent robotics research problems involving hardware and/or software by synthesising novel ideas into practical solutions.
  • Apply professional skills of programming, control and design to independently address challenging research-based problems of intelligent robotic systems.
  • Communicate, debate, and contextualise information in a succinct and technically accurate manner for engineers and non-technical audiences, and to write and interpret technical documentation.
  • Proficiently manage themselves, teams and complex projects in preparation for technical careers as leaders in intelligent robotics.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £9,730£23,300

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

All course text books and materials are available in the library or via the VLE. Depending on how you work, you may wish to print off notes and other material. You receive a free, £15 credit for printing and photocopying when you join the department, but you'll have to pay for any printing beyond this.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

We offer some departmental scholarship opportunities for our taught MSc courses.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

This course offers a perfect balance of taught theory, practical experimentation and self-study. The department has excellent facilities and great people. The lecturers are experts in their field and very approachable. Whether you plan to move into industry or to pursue an academic research career in robotics, York is the place for you. I highly recommend applying.
Len, MSc Intelligent Robotics, 2017

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): changes to courses

We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.

Teaching format

You'll be taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practicals and workshops. 


You will have access to a dedicated area in the 4th floor of the Electronic Engineering building equipped with modern electronics bench equipment and various fabrication tools, and also the purpose-built York Robotics Laboratory on Campus East. This will provide you with a space to programme, design, fabricate, assemble, and test your designs.

Teaching location

The Department of Electronic Engineering is based on Campus West. The majority of teaching takes place within Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed via a combination of exams, coursework, presentations, demonstrations and reports.

Careers and skills

This course will prepare you for employment in robotic and autonomous systems related industries or to pursue further research into intelligent robotics. After graduating from this MSc, you will be significantly more attractive to a wider range of employers due to a more comprehensive portfolio, experience from running and managing a team project, and system integration skills.

Career opportunities

Example careers in the rapidly expanding field of robotics include:

  • service industries
  • manufacturing
  • automation
  • logistics
  • the entertainment industry.

Transferable skills

  • Problem solving
  • Designing innovative solutions
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Management
  • Research 
  • Digital literacy
  • Project management
  • Presenting

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Computer Science, Computer Science/Mathematics joint honours, Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. We are willing to consider applications from students with lower qualifications, particularly if you have high marks in relevant modules or appropriate industrial experience.
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 169, minimum 162 in each component
Duolingo 100, minimum 90 in all other components
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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Susie Beckham and Helen Smith (Enquiries)

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Department of Electronic Engineering

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