MSc Human Robot Interaction (2 years)

The course

Course type
Entry date

Introducing a brand new programme being taught at Heriot-Watt University for the academic year 2018/19.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Heriot-Watt University is recognised as an international leader in robotics with a world-leading expertise in the area of human-robot interaction. This research area exists within the broad domain of artificial intelligence and has been identified as a one of the fastest growing areas for the UK. Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is ranked 6th in Scotland by The Complete University league tables (2021).

This new two year programme offers a rare opportunity for students looking to transition to a new career in Robotics, yet coming from a background outside computing. Whether your experience lies in science, mathematicsm technology or arts, this pathway programme is a timely opportunity to become well-versed in the advanced, innovative field of human-robot interaction.

The programme educates graduates in the discipline of engineering robots that assist human beings in a manner that humans can control and shape. It is designed to meet the increasing demand in industry for experts to design, program, build and maintain robots that interact meaningfully and usefully with us in typical human social settings.

September 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 31 August 2022. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by the 8 August 2022.

Course content

The two year MSc in Human Robot Interaction is a full-time postgraduate programme comprising two stages in two successive years.

Year 1

4 courses are taken in each of 2 semesters in year 1 and normally include all core courses.

Core courses

  • Advanced Interaction Design
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
  • Software Engineering Foundations

Optional courses

  • Data Communications and Networking
  • Databases and Information Systems
  • Knowledge Management
  • Operating Systems and Concurrency
  • Research Preparation in English I and II
  • Robotic Mechanical Systems
  • Software Engineering Master Class

Year 2

4 courses are taken in each of 2 semesters in year 2 and normally include all core courses.

Core courses

  • Conversational Agents and Spoken Language Processing
  • Human Robot Interaction
  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Research Methods and Project Planning

Optional courses

  • 3D Graphics and Animation
  • Big Data Management
  • Computer Games Programming
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Image Processing
  • Project Management
  • Statistical Modelling and Analysis

After semester 2, students continue full-time on the MSc project from May until August. It is assessed by a 15000 word dissertation on a challenging practical problem in this subject area.

Entry requirements

Admission requires a good honours degree at UK 2:2 level (minimum), with evidence of numeracy and familiarity with a programming language.

This programme is designed for students with a non-Computer Science background who would benefit from a foundational year to help them to make a successful transition into HRI and therefore, students will only be recruited into Year 1 of this programme. There is no direct entry into Year 2 of this programme.

English language requirements

Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.0 (with no component under 5.5), we also accept TOEFL (scores of 79 and higher).

Students, who have an IELTS level less than 6.5 will be required to take the 2 research preparation English courses in year 1 in order to bring their English up to the normal postgraduate level.


Additional fees information

Tuition fees for Sept 2022 entry
Status Full-time
UK tbc
Overseas tbc
  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Please note that fees are payable for each year of this two year MSc.

Year 2 - Tuition fees
Status Full-time
UK tbc
Overseas tbc

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.