The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date


  • Contact

    Postgraduate enquiries (EPS)

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 131 451 3023

  • Email

  • Contact

    Xianwen Kong

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 131 451 3688

  • Email


Robots acting independently of human control – which can learn, adapt and take decisions – will revolutionise our economies and societies over the next 20 years. They will work for and with us in diverse industries including oil and gas, defence, marine, renewable energy, healthcare, assisted living, transport, manufacturing, nuclear, space, digital media and education.

The RAIS programme provides a tutor-led and industrially relevant cross-disciplinary programme spanning the disciplines of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. It is designed for graduates with a good first degree in any of these areas, who are looking to develop skills in specific aspects of robotic systems that can be used in a range of end applications.

The programme emphasises both theoretical and practical aspects, aiming to equip students with the knowledge and skills required for international employment in this expanding and economically relevant area and/or further study at the EPSRC Robotics and Autonomous Systems Centre for Doctoral Training at Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.

The themes include:

Students will join a vibrant research environment that combines the strengths of both Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities through EDU-RAS – The Edinburgh Alliance in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

For more information, including a list of potential supervisors, please see

Programme duration

One year (MSc); 9 months (Diploma)

Course content

The mandatory courses depend on the named robotics theme being followed. These include:

Semester 1

  • Linear Control
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Embedded Systems
  • Real Time Imaging and Control
  • Biologically Inspired Computation

Semester 2

  • Critical Analysis and Research Preparation
  • Robotic Mechanical Systems
  • Advanced Interaction Design
  • Image Processing
  • Robotics and Automation

In addition, four further courses from a comprehensive list of options relevant to the theme will be taken.

The contact hours for the taught part of the MSc are in the region of 16 to 20 hours per week with a similar amount of additional self-study and research required.