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 September 2024, January 2025
Full time 2 years including professional placement Delivered in one-week blocks plus placement year September 2024, January 2025
Part time 2 years Delivered in one-week blocks September 2024, January 2025
Main location Roehampton Vale

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is reviewed by experts from National Instruments, Thales, Atmel, Cadence, Texas Instruments, and the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
  • 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.

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.

Modules

Professional placement

Core modules

Advanced Control Systems

15 credits

This module introduces you to classical control system analysis and design concepts. 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. In addition to the fundamental concepts, the focus of this module is analytical and numerical problem solving, providing you with a set of skills that will enhance your employability. The module promotes creative problem-solving through an emphasis on analytical and numerical problem solving related to control systems. Digital competency is fostered by the use of simulation tools such as MATLAB & SIMULINK. Adaptability is nurtured as you navigate between time and frequency domain design methods and different types of control systems.

Industrial Robotics

15 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. 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 your work on your final project and extra-curricular activities available within the school.

Machine Learning

15 credits

The module introduces fundamental concepts and methods in Machine Learning and discusses their applications in smart mechatronic systems. You are firstly introduced to classical methods before they are taught modern state-of-the-art AI approaches. The module is taught in a practical fashion and therefore some knowledge of a programming language is required. This Machine Learning module, through its practical focus on smart mechatronic systems, empowers students with digital competency and creative problem-solving skills. Engaging with both classical and state-of-the-art AI approaches cultivates a questioning mindset and adaptability. The coursework encourages collaboration and resilience as you tackle complex real-world problems like autonomous driving. Regular feedback promotes self-awareness, and an enterprise mindset is fostered through real-world problem solving.

Design of Autonomous Systems

30 credits

The module introduces you to fundamental concepts and methods in autonomous systems and discusses their applications in smart mechatronic systems. You are exposed to applications related to autonomous systems. Furthermore, the module provides mathematical tools to analyse the dynamic behaviour of a mobile autonomous systems, e.g. a UAV. The module is taught in a project-based practical fashion and therefore some knowledge of a programming language is required.

Research Techniques, Innovation and Sustainability

30 credits

Research Techniques, Innovation and Sustainability equips you with the skills and knowledge required to select and justify a research topic and then to plan and execute that research project. Research is a broad topic covers a variety of activities that range from undertaking a project as part of an academic programme, through research and development in the commercial environment, to acquiring information to inform projects undertaken as part of routine business practice. This module introduces research in these contexts and allows you to develop your own research plan. As part of the module, you will consider setting research questions and determining hypotheses, acquire relevant information and data, apply suitable analytical techniques, and evaluate the significance and potential applications of their research findings. You will also develop your innovation skills through a combination of workshops and team working, resulting in submission of an innovation proposal aimed to address UN Sustainable Development Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The module covers many practical aspects surrounding research in the commercial environment including intellectual property and professionalism, and sustainability is embedded throughout the module both in course content and via development of the innovation proposal.

Dissertation

60 credits

Drawing on previous knowledge and experience, the dissertation module allows you to study an area of interest within your chosen field in significant depth. In undertaking the dissertation, you will develop not only a deeper understanding of your subject area but will also be able to demonstrate a high level of autonomy in terms of project dissertation planning and management. You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and competence in reviewing existing published literature and data and, through your own efforts, apply one or more of a range of research methods to collect and analyse data and draw well-founded conclusions as a result of your research. The main output from the module is a final report but the option is available for you to prepare their work in the format of an article suitable for submission to a relevant conference or journal.

Optional modules

Human Robot Interaction

15 credits

This module provides you with the knowledge of the basic principles of human-robot interaction (HRI), exploring the fundamentals of a new area of research related to robotics, focusing on the physical, cognitive, and social interaction between humans and robots. This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of HRI principles, theories, and practical applications. You will learn to design, evaluate, and implement effective HRI systems that enable seamless communication and collaboration between humans and robots.

Biologically Inspired Robotics

15 credits

This module explores the synergy between robotics and bio-inspired design, deriving design principles from living systems to enhance understanding in key areas such as mechatronic systems and sensor/actuator technologies. You will engage in a comprehensive learning journey encompassing lectures, tutorials and hands-on lab exercises. These formats will facilitate a deep understanding of the adaptability and autonomy present in animal life, and how these principles can be applied to robotics.

Professional placement

Professional Placement

120 credits

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

It is your responsibility 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 your Course Leader prior to commencement to ensure its suitability. You will have access to the standard placement preparation activities offered by the Student Engagement and Enhancement (SEE) group.

Read more about the postgraduate work placement scheme.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Mechanical Engineering at Kingston

Work placement scheme

Many postgraduate courses at Kingston University enable students to take the option of a 12-month work placement as part of their course. Although the University supports students in finding a placement and organises events to meet potential employers, 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. 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.

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. Typically this 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

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

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.

Please note: the above breakdowns are a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Feedback summary

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

Class sizes

­You will be part of an intimate cohort of 20-40 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; you may therefore be taught alongside postgraduates from other courses.

What our students say

The Careers and Employability team has taught me how to rework my CV to industry and UK standards. They've also supported me with strategies that can help me to excel in a work interview, and enhanced my networking skills.

Rachel Olomo

Rachel Olomo, MSc Mechatronic Systems

Formula Student competition

Join this course at Kingston and you too could join the KU e-Racing team and help it 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. It 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 about how the team 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 practise 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 provides three floors of extra space for students and staff at Roehampton Vale, including improved learning and teaching facilities.

Fees for this course

2025/26 fees for this course

Home 2025/26

  • MSc full time £11,400
  • MSc part time £6,270

International 2025/26

  • MSc full time £17,600
  • MSc part time £9,680

2024/25 fees for this course

Home 2024/25

  • MSc full time £10,900
  • MSc part time £5,995

International 2024/25

  • MSc full time £16,900
  • MSc part time £9,295

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.

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student, resident in England and are aged under the age of 60, you will be able to apply for a loan to study for a postgraduate degree. For more information, read the postgraduate loan information on the government's website.

Scholarships 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
  • manufacturing.

Careers and recruitment advice

The Faculty 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 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. 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.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.