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MSc Intelligent Robotics

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

Year of entry: 2019


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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. Through lectures and hands-on experience, you will 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.

At York, we place a strong focus on practical implementation, both in hardware and simulation. Your course will culminate in a large research project focussed 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 for some modules and the final project (see the York Robotics Laboratory website for more details). We provide excellent support for low level skills, such as programming, to high level skills, for example problem identification and solution development.

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

Research excellence

In the latest REF assessment (2014), 87% of our work was assessed as world leading or internationally excellent

Course content

You'll study a total of 120 credits spread over the year, as well as undertaking a project worth an additional 60 credits. All the modules are compulsory. 

As a taught MSc student in the Department of Electronic Engineering, you will also gain access to our carefully designed Professional Development Framework which has been developed in consultation with our Departmental External Advisory Board and key contributors from industry, research and academia. The aim of the framework is to equip you to graduate as a more effective, better prepared and well rounded potential employee, ensuring that you will stand out from the crowd. 


Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Research project

You will undertake a 60 credit group project as part of this course. 

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

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 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£8,580£21,640

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

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 any printing you do beyond this you will have to pay for. 

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

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

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

Home/EU students

International students

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. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You will be taught via 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. Skills you will gain which will make you more attractive to employer include

  • Undertaking group projects which simulate project work within a company - you'll be working and problem solving in a team
  • Experience of working with industry standard tools
  • Training in research methods and project management
  • Opportunities to develop your presentation skills and report writing
  • Exposure to cutting edge methods from acknowledged experts

You will also receive:

  • Visits and careers talks from our industrial contacts
  • Lifetime support from the University Careers Service

Career opportunities

Example careers in the rapidly expanding field of robotics include:

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

Transferable skills

  • The ability to analyse complex problems
  • The ability to design innovative solutions, and have the practical technical ability to bring novel ideas into being
  • Communicate effectively your questions, analysis, findings and solutions to a variety of audiences via a variety of media.
  • Become an effective team-player, adaptable to working alone or in different sized teams for a variety of different purposes
  • Gain technical skills in this field
  • Develop interpersonal skills
  • Increase management skills
  • Research skills 
  • Digital literacy

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer

You will need to have the equivalent of a 2:1 honours degree, or above, from a university recognised by the University of York. This degree should either be 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.

Other qualifications

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability


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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Department of Electronic Engineering

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