Mechatronic Systems MSc

Why choose this course?

Mechatronics is an exciting, growing field that combines mechanical, electronic and control systems to create a complete device. It mostly relates to the mechanical systems that perform relatively fast and precise motions and therefore require sophisticated electronic devices and control algorithms. This hands-on course will help you develop the multidisciplinary knowledge that the fast-moving industrial, commercial and domestic sectors demand of their technical professionals.

The many applications of mechatronics include: robotics, autonomous smart systems, hard-disk drives, tracking cameras, intelligent actuators in automotive systems, and intelligent prosthetics. You will be able to apply state-of-the-art control and machine learning techniques while working hands-on with robotics, autonomous unmanned platforms and facilities. You will take part in trips to the National Instruments' NIDays conference in London. With an individual project, you may research a subject of interest, with the opportunity to publish your work.

The MSc will meet, in part, the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng(Hons) accredited for CEng, will be able to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Delivered in one-week blocks January 2023 and September 2023
Full time 2 years including professional placement Delivered in one-week blocks plus placement year January 2023 and September 2023
Part time 2 years Delivered in one-week blocks January 2023 and September 2023
Location Roehampton Vale

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is reviewed by experts from National Instruments, Thales, Atmel, Cadence, Texas Instruments, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Royal Aeronautical Society.
  • This course meets, in part, the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a chartered engineer. If you also have a BEng(Hons) accredited for Chartered Engineer (CEng), you will be able to show you have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.
  • You will use equipment from National Instruments, Quanser, Agilent Technology, Rethink Robotics and different microcontrollers.

Accreditation

The MSc will meet, in part, the academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng(Hons) accredited for CEng, will be able to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

It should be noted that graduates from an accredited MSc programme, who do not also have an appropriately-accredited honours degree, will not be regarded as having the exemplifying qualifications for professional registration as a chartered engineer with the Engineering Council; and will need to have their first qualification individually assessed through the individual case procedure if they wish to progress to CEng.

Find out more about Further Learning and discover all accredited degrees by visiting the Institution of Mechanical Engineers website.

Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). 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.

Please check the Engineering Council website for more information.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Engineering council

What you will study

Although mechatronics may be perceived in combination with robotics, as robots are indeed fast and precise mechanical systems, it also has wider applications. These include hard-disk drives for computers, tracking cameras for surveillance applications, intelligent actuators in automotive systems and many other areas, including devices used in the field of healthcare and rehabilitation, such as intelligent prosthetic devices.

The hands-on approach on the course, using our state-of-the art multidisciplinary laboratories with equipment from National Instruments, Freescale, Agilent Technology, Rethink Robotics and many more, adds value to this postgraduate degree. The course dovetails with research activities of the teaching staff, implementing the latest advances in our research. Using applied research, you will have the opportunity to do your own research within an individual industry-relevant 'capstone' project. This includes preparation of a scientific paper, giving an opportunity for that first breakthrough into publishing your work.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments. It is the responsibility of individual students to find a suitable paid placement. Students will be supported by our dedicated placement team in securing this opportunity.

Core modules

Option modules (choose one)

Core modules

Engineering Research Techniques, Entrepreneurship and Quality Management

30 credits

Engineering Research Techniques, Entrepreneurship and Quality Management is a core module for engineering students on various taught MSc programmes. The module is designed to provide the student with the research skills and techniques necessary to select and justify a research topic, plan project execution, use various resources to carry out a literature search and successfully complete the project and other module assignments on the course. It also addresses issues related to presentation of technical reports at MSc. level and for the purpose of wider publication in learned media.

The module further develops the students' knowledge and skills in business and management, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. It supports students in producing proposals for enterprise ideas such as new products or services, or innovations in existing processes or organisations. Concepts of total quality management to enhance quality of products and processes in an industrial setting are presented and application of supporting quality tools and techniques are discussed.

The module content is designed to enhance the students' employability potential in a variety of national and international industrial organisations, or career opportunities in research and development arena. It also equips students with a set of skills to set up their own business in an engineering innovation area should they wish to do so.

Control Systems with Embedded Implementation

30 credits

This module encompasses a range of related fields, such as control and embedded implementation. It introduces classical design and tools for analysis of control systems. Time domain design methods are followed by frequency domain design methods. Although the module mainly deals with continuous-time systems, the discrete-time systems are also discussed. This is followed on by implementation, where sensors and actuators are introduced.

The learning is supported by practical exercises where students design and implement embedded control systems using computer-aided design tools and embedded microcontroller-based systems including real-time industrial computers. In addition to the theoretical concepts, the focus of this module is on implementation, providing students with a set of skills that will enhance their employability. A range of transferable skills gained in this module is aimed to help with the work on the final project and extra-curricular activities available within the School.

Mechatronic Design and Automation

30 credits

This module provides high level view on the design of mechatronic and automation systems. Applications and types of such systems are discussed. Main components of mechatronic design are introduced, including mechanical design through specialised software, sensors and actuators, control design, and software development for real-time implementation. A strong feature of this module is the delivery by the academic staff from the Industrial Control Research Group. Theoretical material is illustrated by practical laboratory sessions on real-time design, using industrial standard, state-of-the-art equipment. A range of transferable skills gained in this module is aimed to help with the work on the final project and extra-curricular activities available within the school.

Engineering Individual Project

60 credits

This is a core module for MSc courses in the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, forming a capstone experience for students on these courses. The module allows you to research and study an engineering topic which is of personal interest, thus allowing you to demonstrate the mastery of your subject, and develop your ability to analyse and evaluate specific areas that may not have been previously covered in-depth in the course.

The vigorous structure of the module provides you with an opportunity to identify an industry-based (or research-focused) project area, establish a feasible hypothesis, find creditable solutions, analyse results and offer recommendations. The module enables you to acquire and appraise new knowledge and apply individual judgement to solve new and often complex engineering problems using cutting-edge technology. It also allows you to demonstrate high levels of responsibility, organisational capability and effective communication with others including the supervisor, wider research community and other stake holders. The module also encourages you to recognise, question and deal with the ethical dilemmas that are likely to occur in engineering professional practice and research.

The project applications can be individually tailored to support your career plan and prepare you to tackle real industrial problems with maturity and rationality hence enhancing your employability potential.

Option modules

Advanced CAD/CAM Systems

30 credits

The module covers advanced CAD/CAM techniques in the conceptual design and manufacture and is heavily focussed on the surface modelling and reverse engineering methods prior to manufacture. Also this module will cover rapid manufacturing methods involving mould design and machining tool path optimisation and full machining simulation verification, and machining collision avoidance.

Advanced Control and Robotics

credits

This module introduces advanced concepts in control design and prepares students for implementation of digital, real-time embedded control systems. The emphasis is on multivariable systems and state-space models. Furthermore, the module provides mathematical tools to analyse the dynamic behaviour of mechanical parts of a robot, eg a robot arm. It is further extended to cover mobile robots workspace exploration. The robot control architecture is discussed and the notion of intelligent robots is introduced. Finally, the robot's communication with external world, sensors and actuators are explored. A strong feature of this module is the delivery by the academic staff from the Industrial Control Research Group, using industrial state-of-the-art equipment.

Digital Signal Processing

credits

Digital signal processing is a pervasive tool in the modern world, though much of its use is embedded within specialist software and hardware. Most modern instrumentation systems will employ DSP algorithms to analyse sensor readings, and in some cases (eg flight control systems) automatically initiate appropriate responses. Mobile phone technology is singularly dependent on the ability of DSP algorithms to extract meaningful information from broadcast signals. DSP algorithms underpin the revolution in the availability of digital video and audio recordings.

This module is a core module in Embedded Systems field and the Digital Image and Signal Processing field, and an optional module in other computing and information system postgraduate fields. It introduces you to the fundamental concepts of digital signal processing and prepares you to understand how to represent, analyse and manipulate digital signals, providing a theoretical background as well as practical work. It also equips you to evaluate, design with and programme digital signal processors, considering their architecture and features and matching these to embedded applications. Practical work covers installing the development tools for a digital signal processor and using them to produce a working application.

Professional Placement

120 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement. It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and develops and enhances key employability and subject specific skills in their chosen discipline. Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future career.

It is the responsibility of individual students to find and secure a suitable placement opportunity; this should not normally involve more than two placements which must be completed over a minimum period of 10 months and within a maximum of 12 months. The placement must be approved by the Course Leader, prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. Students seeking placements will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University allow students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. The responsibility for finding the work placement is with the student; we cannot guarantee the placement, just the opportunity to undertake it. You may find securing a professional placement difficult as they are highly competitive and challenging, but they are also incredibly rewarding. So it is very important to prepare and apply yourself if this is the route you wish to take. Employers look for great written and oral communication skills; and an excellent CV/portfolio. As the work placement is an assessed part of the course, it is covered by a student's Student Route visa.

Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A 2:2 or above honours degree in a relevant area or academic equivalent such as Computer Science, Electronics, Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or Information Technology.
  • Exceptionally, applicants who have substantial working experience in either the computing, electronics or embedded systems areas (without a first degree) may be considered.

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

International

In order to complete your programme successfully, it is important to have a good command of English and be able to apply this in an academic environment. Therefore, if you are a non-UK applicant* you will usually be required to provide certificated proof of English language competence before commencing your studies.

For this course you must pass IELTS academic test in English with an overall score of 6.5, with no element below 6.0, or meet the scores listed on the alternative online tests. Please note that we do not accept Standard XII as proof of Academic English.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

* Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 230 hours

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 1
  • Coursework: 88%
  • Exams: 12%

15% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes, therefore you may be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

Formula Student competition

Join this course at Kingston and you too could join the KU e-Racing team and help them drive for success in Formula Student year after year. It's a great chance to apply theory to a real workplace project, enjoy the thrills of appearing at a major racing circuit - and have something amazing to add to your CV.

About Formula Student

IMechE's Formula Student is the largest annual student motorsport event in the world and is delivered in partnership with key industry players including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Shell, National Instruments and Mercedes AMG Petronas. Ross Brawn OBE (Team Principal, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team) is the patron and the event is entered by 141 university teams from 34 countries across the globe. 

With its real-world bias, Formula Student is viewed by the motor industry as the standard for engineering graduates to meet. In fact, many high-profile motorsports engineers have participated in Formula Student whilst at university including Andrew Shovlin, chief race engineer of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and James Painter, engineering lead of vehicle integration working on the BLOODHOUND land speed record.

KU e-Racing shines at Silverstone

The week after the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel raced at the British Grand Prix, students from around the world competed in their own motorsport event at Silverstone in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Formula Student competition. Kingston University's KU e-Racing proved to be the only UK team with a viable electric vehicle - read how they got on.

You can also see the KU e-Racing car being assembled, the chassis being constructed and the car being transported to Silverstone, as well as glimpses of the business presentation made as part of the University's entry. Produced by students Karam Rajaby and Joseph Bannister (Television and Video Technology BSc(Hons)), Amy Nicole Tinker (Media Technology BSc (Hons)); and Luka Stokic (Automotive Engineering BSc(Hons)).

Watch out for their full-length documentary on Formula Student.

Kingston motorsport

Students on this course can also get involved with the successful Kingston University motorsport team.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

The Department has strong links with industry leaders, including Delphi, Lotus Engineering, MAN and Thales. Many of our innovative, hands on projects involve students as well as academics and receive national and global coverage.

Our applied approach to teaching is supported by dedicated laboratories for mechanical, automotive and motorsport engineering, including wind tunnels, state-of-the-art rapid prototyping and manufacturing machinery, a fully equipped materials lab, engine test cells, an automotive diagnostics lab featuring the latest industrial software packages, and a modern electronics/robotics lab with the recent addition of a robot and electronic equipment from National Instruments.

Our courses encompass applications from all areas of engineering, providing our students with the knowledge and flexibility they need to work across many industries, both in the UK and overseas.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Facilities

Our modern teaching environment

There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Roehampton Vale campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest technology and industry-standard equipment, including:

  • rolling roads;
  • automotive testing facilities;
  • a Lotus Exige; and
  • cars and motorcycles built by engineering students.

We also have a dedicated postgraduate workroom with high spec PCs and a range of software.

The £4 million Hawker Wing, which opened in December 2007, provides three floors of extra space for students and staff at Roehampton Vale, including improved learning and teaching facilities.

Fees for this course

2023/24 fees for this course

Home 2023/24

  • MSc full time £9,860
  • MSc part time £5,423

International 2023/24

  • MSc full time £15,800
  • MSc part time £8,690

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • MSc full time £9,620
  • MSc part time £5,291

International 2022/23

  • MSc full time £15,400
  • MSc part time £8,470

2021/22 fees for this course

Home 2021/22

  • MSc full time £9,430
  • MSc part time £5,187

International 2021/22

  • MSc full time £14,900
  • MSc part time £8,195

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Fees for the optional placement year

If you choose to take a placement as part of this course, you will be invoiced for the placement fee in Year 2. Find out more about the postgraduate work placement scheme and the costs for the placement year.

Funding and bursaries

Kingston University offers a range of postgraduate scholarships, including:

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

We also offer the following discounts for Kingston University alumni:

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

3D printing

It is not compulsory as part of your degree to print projects using the 3D printer. However if you wish to, you will need to pay for the material. Printing costs are estimated by weight (cheapest material is 3p per gram and most expensive material is 40p per gram).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year. A £10 voucher will be supplied to help cover the cost of the safety boots when purchasing with our supplier Activity Work Wear. Safety boots can range in cost between £25 and £100.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

If the placement year option is chosen, during this year travel costs will vary according to the location of the placement, and could be from £0 to £2,000.

After you graduate

The market for mechatronic systems is continually evolving. Graduates from this programme will be prepared for senior technical and management positions in a range of industries, including:

  • automotive engineering;
  • avionics and aerospace;
  • defence;
  • robotics;
  • autonomous systems;
  • telecoms; and
  • manufacturing.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing has a specialist employability team. It provides friendly and high-quality careers and recruitment guidance, including advice and sessions on job-seeking skills such as CV preparation, application forms and interview techniques. Specific advice is also available for international students about the UK job market and employers' expectations and requirements.

The team runs employer events throughout the year, including job fairs, key speakers from industry and interviews on campus. These events give you the opportunity to hear from, and network with, employers in an informal setting.

How we work with industry partners

Our excellent industrial links at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing have developed during many years and throughout many countries. Input from industry experts complements the teaching throughout the course.

We regularly review all our postgraduate courses to make sure that they are up-to-date, reflect industry needs and are comparable to other university courses. This programme is reviewed by an industrial panel, including National Instruments; Thales; Cadence; Texas Instruments; NXP; Atmel; and industrial bodies such as The IET, SEMTA and RAeS.

What this course offers you

  • The Mechatronic Systems course is designed to give you an enhanced view of the subject.
  • It will develop your professional, analytical and management skills, as well as improving your technical skills and knowledge. For example, you will gain communication, teamwork, IT and problem-solving skills.
  • Each module combines a stimulating mix of lectures, practical laboratory work, group work, case studies and presentations.
  • Input from industry experts complements the teaching throughout the course and we regularly review all our postgraduate courses to make sure that they are up-to-date, reflect industry needs and are comparable to other university courses. This programme is reviewed by an industrial panel, including National Instruments; Thales; Cadence; Texas Instruments; NXP; Atmel; and industrial bodies such as The IET, SEMTA and RAeS.
  • You can choose to study the course full-time or part-time to fit in with work commitments. September and January start dates give you extra flexibility plus the programme is modular, with all modules delivered over one week. Professional placement is an option to get work making you more employable.

Current research in this subject

Engineering research at Kingston is organised into three established research centres and three emergent groups:

  • Centre for Fire and Explosion Studies (CFES)
  • Materials Research Centre (MATRC)
  • Sustainable Technology Research Centre (STRC)
  • Industrial Control Research Group (ICRG)
  • Complex Flow Systems Research Group (CFSRS)
  • The Aerospace Research Group (AERG)

These research centres/groups provide focus for our research activities and encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas across different areas of the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. For further details about ongoing research activities, visit the Faculty website.

Engineering research

Many academic staff are engaged in a range of research and consultancy activities funded by the Research Councils, the European Union, the government, trade unions and industry. These activities ensure our staff are in touch with the latest industry thinking and bring best practice to your studies.