MSc Human Robot Interaction

The course

Full-time, Part-time
Course type
Entry date
January, September


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Heriot-Watt University is recognised as an international leader in Robotics and its subdiscipline of Human-Robot Interaction. This research area exists within the broad domain of Artificial Intelligence and has been identified as 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).

The leading demand within the robotics market is for consumer and office robots, which has been growing at 17% between 2014 and now; seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots. As far as technological trends are concerned, companies will, in the near future, be concentrating on the collaboration of human and machine, simplified applications, and light-weight robots. Added to this are demands for two-armed robots, mobile solutions and the integration of robots into existing environments.

With this market growth in mind Heriot-Watt University has designed a new MSc programme to educate graduates in the discipline of engineering robots that can assist human beings while having their behaviour controlled and shaped by interaction with human beings.

January 2022 entry

The deadline for applications from Scottish and RUK students is 18 December 2021. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 1 December 2021. Applications from EU and overseas applicants received after this date will be considered, where possible, for September 2022 entry.

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 8 August 2022.

Course content

Full-time students take 4 courses in each of 2 semesters and must normally take 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
  • Advanced Interaction Design
  • Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
  • Big Data Management
  • Computer Games Programming
  • Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Image Processing
  • 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 1st or upper second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent that has imparted reasonable know-how in programming and included some study of mathematics at university level. Suitable candidates are likely to have studied a first degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Robotics.

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 6.5 (with no component under 5.5), we also accept TOEFL (scores of 79 and higher).


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time
UK £9000 £4500
Overseas £20808 £10404


  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.

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.