• computing-for-robotic-systems-bsc-1270x420.jpg

Computing for Robotic Systems

BSc (Hons) - single

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Computing for Robotic Systems provides the opportunity to develop highly marketable skills in the key areas that define modern robotics. This course is only offered as a single honours degree to allow for sufficient depth in this coverage of computing, robotic engineering and the integration between them.

Robotics is an emerging field which is moving from a well defined role in industry to a rapidly increasing range of applications in the wider world. The availability of cheaper computing platforms and robotics hardware, is driving this growth and paving the way for robotics to become a ubiquitous technology. 

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years (4 years if work placement is chosen)
  • Part time: up to 8 years

UCAS code

7M23

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • The integration of robotic systems engineering and computing in this course will allow you to become a skilled computer scientist in your own right, but with the essential skills from robotic engineering.
  • You will benefit from modern well equipped workshops, laboratories, computer facilities, media studios, and of course, our state-of-the-art robotic systems that you will study and develop. These include the Baxter research robot and the Nao humanoid robot. We have also custom build robots and Robothespian which is used in our research.
  • The course has been developed in response to the needs and requirements of the emerging robotics market, but are also underpinned by the important work of our strong robotics research group.
  • You will be well prepared to play an important role in an exciting, and rapidly developing area primarily driven by innovation.
  • The link between teaching and research is a high priority at Oxford Brookes University, and our departmental research groups have high national and international reputations, as well as close contacts with major companies.
  • You will be part of a friendly, and inclusive community of staff and students on the Wheatley Campus.
In Year 1, you will start developing the fundamental skills that you will hone and extend during the rest of your degree. You will develop computer science skills through the study of programming, information systems, computer systems and mathematics. Additionally, you will acquire the foundations of robotic systems in the compulsory double module Introductory Robotics. In this module you will be taught using a hands-on project based learning approach, using both real and virtual robots to guide your learning.

In Year 2, you will extend your understanding using modules that will range from further programming, and software development, to foundations of computing, and the social, ethical and legal issues associated with computer science. In the compulsory module Robotic Systems Engineering, you will also intensively investigate the middleware aspects of these systems, which is an important emerging skill requirement. The compulsory double module Advanced Robotics, will enable you to apply the skills acquired in the other modules, and investigate further aspects of robotic systems using project based learning. This will culminate in you designing, developing, constructing, and programming a robot from basic principles.

In your final year, your dissertation is the opportunity to carry out a significant robotics project of your choice, supervised on a one-to-one basis by a member of staff. Alongside this project, you will also study advanced modules in the areas of Security, Machine Learning, Machine Vision, and Cognitive Robotics. These will be supplemented by optional advanced modules, some covering skills specific to robotics, others covering more generally applicable computer science skills. 

The entire course aims to develop you into a skilled robotic system integration scientist, based on a solid computer science bedrock, able to cope with the complexity and innovation requirements of robotic systems development.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those listed here. Most modules are compulsory, with some modules optional.

Year 1

  • Introductory Robotics (double module, compulsory)
  • Professional Computer System Design (double module, compulsory)
  • Understanding Programming (double module, compulsory)
  • Introduction to Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Discrete Mathematics (compulsory)
 

Year 2

  • Advanced Robotics (double module, compulsory)
  • Robotics Systems Engineering (compulsory)
  • Professional Issues and Computer Risks (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Computation (compulsory)
  • Current Research (compulsory)
  • Further Object Oriented Programming (compulsory)
  • Data Structures (compulsory)

Final year

  • Robotics Project (double module, compulsory)
  • Cognitive Robotics (compulsory)
  • Real-time Embedded Robotic Systems (optional)
  • Machine Learning (compulsory)
  • Machine Vision (compulsory)
  • Foundations of Security (compulsory)
  • Software Development with C and C++ (optional)
 

Work placements

We encourage you to take a supervised work placement in the computer industry for 12 months between Year 2 and your final year. More and more students are finding that a placement benefits their final-year studies and career prospects. Possible placement organisations include IBM, Microsoft and PepsiCo.

On returning to university for your final year, the experience you have gained invariably improves your academic performance. In addition, we have an excellent record of students gaining full-time employment on graduation, often with their industrial placement company or organisation.

It is possible to change your programme of study to include or exclude the work placement option up to the end of your second year.

Study abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.
While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards. 

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods vary depending on the topic being studied. The core modules rely on tried and tested methods that include lectures, practical activities, problem-solving classes, and tutorial support. More hands-on modules have a wider range of teaching methods as well, that include problem based learning, where you will intensively study a specific problem or aspect of robotics. These mini-projects will combine in larger study projects on which you will develop a continuous report and feedback portfolio.

Approach to assessment

Assessment methods are varied and reflect the development of academic content as the course progresses, from the practical emphasis of some of the early modules to the more conceptual content that you will encounter later in your programme. 

The modules covering core material are mostly assessed on a combination of coursework and examination. All modules taken during your first year have an element of continuous assessment. Those taken in your second and final years are assessed largely on on the basis of written examinations, although some modules rely solely on coursework.

The robotics specific modules, such as Introductory and Advanced Robotics are assessed by a project based reporting, to practise the research and employment conditions in this field.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £1,380

International - full time: 2017/18: £13,730 2018/19: £14,000

International - sandwich placement fee: 2017/18: £3,840 2018/19: £3,920

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Undergraduate fee levels for 2018/19 have not yet been announced by the government and are therefore yet to be confirmed. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level for new and returning Home/EU students.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088
finance-fees@brookes.ac.uk

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

A-level: BBC

International Baccalaureate: 30 points

BTEC: DDM

We would prefer it if all the above qualifications include science subjects.

For combined honours, normally the offer will lie between the offer quoted for each subject.

A new UCAS Tariff point system is being introduced for students applying to start university in September 2017, which uses  a qualification’s size and grades to calculate total Tariff points under a brand new system. Therefore the Tariff points for 2017 entry look very different from 2016 entry - the 2017 BBC equivalent for this course will be 112 UCAS points for 2017. Please visit the UCAS website for more information.

We are happy to consider all types of entry qualification, so if you don't have one of those mentioned above, do get in touch with us and we can discuss the possibilities. Applications from mature students with few academic qualifications, but who have a substantial history of relevant employment, are also welcome.

Do you accept applications for entry with credit?

Yes, we consider applications, from all parts of the world, for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutor. The minimum amount of time you need to study with us is one year. If you would like more information about whether you are eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree, foundation degree, etc, please contact us.

What if I already have A-level Computing?

Our course covers many topics you will not have seen before, even if you have already taken A-level Computer Studies or a course such as a BTEC Level 3 qualification in a computing subject. Having a pre-university qualification will not be enough to exempt you from taking any first-year modules, because we want to make sure that we give you a quality introduction to all the relevant topics.

What can I do if I don’t have the required entry qualifications?

If you don't have the right qualifications to apply for a place on one of our degree courses, we may be able to consider you for our Computing Foundation course, which has UCAS Code G406. This course, which lasts one year, is an excellent preparation for any of our computing degree courses.

Passing the foundation course allows you to progress directly onto one of our degree courses the following year. The entry requirements for the foundation course are quite flexible, but as a guide we are looking for something like DD at A-Level or the equivalent in another qualification. Again we are happy to discuss individual cases and actively encourage mature students who have been out of the education system for some time.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics and English language at grade C minimum

Do I need to know about computing before I start?

No, our first year modules will quickly get you up to speed. Any previous experience you have might help you to get started more comfortably but even if you think you know a lot about computing already, there will still be many new things for you to learn.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

International and EU applications

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help students meet the academic and English language entry requirements for their courses and also familiarise them with university life.

Find out more about the international foundation pathways we offer and our pre-sessional English language courses.

Country specific entry requirements

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information and local representatives who can help you to apply, please have a look at our country specific information pages.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Full-time students should apply for this course through UCAS.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a hub for UK-based computing and technology firms, so our research partnerships and links with industry are hard to beat. Many computing and media students take up work placements within Oxfordshire-based companies.

Specialist facilities

The department’s facilities are located in purpose built buildings with 24-hour access to computer networks worldwide, and include state-of-the-art laboratories for electronics, software development, and media production such as a TV studio. You will have access to several robots, starting from your first year, including Baxter research robot, Robothespian, Nao and many embedded robotic systems.You will benefit from excellent access to educational and professional software and from the experience of using the latest equipment. 

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Career prospects

Career prospects in computing are excellent and expanding rapidly. Our computing graduates enjoy great success in finding employment in business, industry, research and education.

Careers in robotic systems are growing rapidly with projected employment requirements growing ever more. Career opportunities include all aspects of robotic development, with particularly employment in robotic middleware development growing exceedingly fast.

The field is under continuous evolution with many research prospects and innovation possibilities. New and existing companies are continuously developing new robotic applications for virtually every aspect of a modern society.

Further study

World-class research and superb links with industry come together to make Oxford Brookes one of the best places in the UK to study technology at postgraduate level, whatever your subject interest.

Around 150 students are studying technology master's courses this year. Our courses, taught by leading academics with active research programmes, are designed to meet the needs of modern industry. Our graduates tell us that the relevance of our courses and the skills they've learnt enable them to achieve their goals and build their careers. And our location in Oxford places us at the heart of one of Europe's biggest concentrations of high-tech businesses.