Skip to section
- Mode of delivery
- Delivery type
- Start date
- September, January
- 1 year
The UK's National Robotarium is located on Heriot-Watt's Edinburgh campus and makes us an international centre for excellence in robotics. Study MSc Robotics with us to develop advanced knowledge in modern robotics and apply your learning to industry.
MSc Robotics at Heriot-Watt University provides you industry-relevant training in core elements of modern robotics and autonomous systems.
This one-year postgraduate masters degree in Robotics is linked to the UK's National Robotarium and will equip you to work in industry and wider society in areas where robots can be used to improve productivity, transform transportation, work in extreme environments, and improve quality of life.
Studying MSc Robotics will allow you to:
- be introduced to core robotics techniques, from basic kinematics to robot control, robot navigation, robot planning and human-robot interactions
- receive an extensive training in robot programming (especially ROS) and practical implementation of solutions on real robots
- apply skills in various applications through major robotics projects, relevant to research and industry, and involving systems such as autonomous robots (cars, subsea vehicles), humanoid robots, advanced manipulators for compliant control and novel robot designs
- obtain access to staff from leading research groups to mentor their development and guide their research projects
On this degree you will be offered flexibility in the courses you study so that you can specialise in specific domains of robotics application. Check the course details section below for more information.
Why study Robotics?
Robotics and AI are seen as key technologies for the future and the subject of massive commercial investment.
There is a rapidly growing worldwide demand for graduates with the technical skills and industry awareness to create an innovation pipeline from academic research to global markets in the field of robotics. Key application areas include manufacturing, assistive and medical robots, offshore energy, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, defence, and support for the aging population.
Apple, Google, Uber, Amazon and Facebook all have major ongoing research programs in robotics. In the UK, Dyson, 5AI and a plethora of SMEs and start-ups are trying to grasp the huge market opportunity that is foreseen. Predictions of the worldwide economic impact of Robotics and Autonomous Systems range from US$1.7 trillion to US$4.5 trillion by 2025.
A centre of excellence in Robotics
Heriot-Watt University is an international centre of excellence in Robotics. Our MSc Robotics draws on a well-established programme in postgraduate study.
The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (CDT-RAS) is leading in the UK effort to realise the potential of Robotics and AI technology, by producing a new generation of highly skilled researchers, trained to take a central role through technical skill coupled to industry and market awareness.
Heriot-Watt hosts the UK National Robotarium, a place for interactions between research and teaching where the upskilling of existing workforce and the provision of new graduates in the field of robotics and AI will be prominent. The multimillion pound hub, being built in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, opened on Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh campus in 2022. It is the UK's leading innovation hub for robotics and autonomous systems, delivering leading-edge research and support for business creation and growth, as well as data skills.
The full-time course lasts one year. The course can also be taken as a 9 month Postgraduate Diploma.
January 2024 entry
The application deadlines for January 2024 entry are the 1 December 2023 for EU and overseas applicants and the 17 December 2023 for UK applicants. We guarantee to consider any completed applications received by the appropriate date. Unfortunately, we will not be able to consider any applications received after these deadlines for our January intake.
September 2024 entry
The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.
Robotics and healthcare
In this episode of our podcast series 'A Future Made' we discover how robot chitchat is being used to distract patients from the stress of hospital waiting rooms. Stepping into the Heriot-Watt University Robotics labs, they meet robots Pepper and Miro, and humans, who are together breaking new ground in 'Robotics in Healthcare'.
- Robotics Systems Science
- Intelligent Robotics
- Embedded Systems
- Sensors, Actuators and IoT
- Biologically Inspired Computation
- Data Mining and Machine Learning
- Human Robot Interaction
- Scalable Inference & Deep Learning
- Multi-Disciplinary Group Project
- Robotic Mechanical Systems
- Embedded Software
- Critical Analysis and Research Preparation
- Conversational Agents and Spoken Language Processing
- System Thinking & Analysis
- Image Processing
- Scalable Inference and Deep Learning II
- Research Methods and Project Plan
- MSc Project
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.
Fees and funding
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.
A first class or upper second honours degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, and computer science or other relevant disciplines with a numerate background and sufficient computer programming experience. Equivalent overseas qualifications will also be considered.
English language requirements
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 or equivalent. We offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your masters programme:
- 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
- 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
- 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
- 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)
"There is not a place like the Edinburgh Centre of Robotics, joint centre of Heriot-Watt and University of Edinburgh. They have so much expertise, so many robots and facilities. I could learn a bit of everything - from AI, foundation of robotics, Internet Of Things to, most interesting for me, social robotics."
Sara Cooper, MSc Robotics
Robotics Software Engineering PAL Robotics, Spain
A world-leading centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, creating innovative solutions to global challenges. Pioneering research moves rapidly from laboratory to market, developing skilled visionaries and delivering substantial benefits for society
At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!
Living on our beautiful Edinburgh campus is a great way to meet others from all over the world. Our student accommodation is within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sports facilities, catering venues and the Student Union
At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!
Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.
There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.
Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.
Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability
Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.