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Robotic Engineering BEng or MEng

BEng (Hons), MEng

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

What you will study
This course has been designed specifically for students wanting to work in robotics. You will learn how robots work and the computing that controls them. With no prior knowledge required, you will build your own robot and develop analytical skills through the study of programming and robotic systems engineering. In year 3 you will study and design complete robotic systems. You can join or contribute to our award winning Formula Student team to work on challenges. We encourage all students to take advantage of course work placements.

What next?
Career options for graduates include programming for robotics, robotics design and manufacture, research and development, technical sales, production engineering and project management. We offer courses in the areas of performance engineering design and motorsport, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics. This course combines our expertise in these subject areas, producing a course that couples excellence in electro-mechanical engineering design with the AI and machine learning. This places our graduates at the forefront of their field. Graduates have been employed by Plextech, BMW, Culham Research amongst many others.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120 UCAS Tariff points for BEng or 128 UCAS Tariff points for MEng, to include A level Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: BEng: 3 years, or 4 years sandwich; MEng: 4 years, or 5 years sandwich
  • Part time: BEng: up to 8 years; MEng: up to 9 years

UCAS code

BEng: H671
MEng: H672

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

Robots used to be science fiction, now they are science fact. The androids of science fiction movies are becoming a commercial reality. In years to come, robots are set to revolutionise the world in which we live, doing more and more for us. Some even believe the advent of conscious robots is near and for the first time, robots will actually think for us.

 

The BEng in Robotic Engineering has been designed specifically for students wanting to work in this exciting field. It offers the chance to learn how the robots and the computing that controls them actually works. There is extensive practical work involved. Your studies begin with learning the tremendous amount of inspired and creative work that humanity has invested in the subject so far. It ends with the opportunity to design and build a robot by joining our team of robot designers as they compete in national and international competitions.

 

In the first year it is not assumed that students have any prior knowledge of robots and there are practical sessions where you will actually make one. There is a module specifically about robots and even in your first weeks with us you will be handling, developing and controlling robots. In the second year, you will learn the complex process of design, where ideas are born and made real through a process of optimisation and analysis. In the third year you will study and design complete robotic systems. You can also join or contribute to our very successful Formula Student team, which is expanding their renowned success into the area of racing autonomous vehicles. In this international competition there are driverless cars that can now compete, a very challenging problem for final year robotics students to tackle. This approach to teaching and learning is excellent. It is the same approach we use for our world renowned Motorsports courses but simply applied to Robotics. For many, this excellent pedagogy is their reason for choosing Oxford Brookes.

 

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical offers world renowned courses in the areas of performance engineering design and motorsport, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics. This course in Robotic Engineering combines our expertise in these subject areas, producing a unique course that couples excellence in electro-mechanical engineering design with the computing threads of AI and machine learning to offer an exceptional course, producing its graduates at the forefront of their field.

 

The degree also offers the opportunity for you to undertake a placement year and you are encouraged to do this. This allows you to gain valuable understanding from real life and to see much better the context of your studies.

In the first year students are introduced to robotics, to the process of robot design and actually make a robot. There are also analytical modules the support the practical work explaining the analysis needed to design complex systems like robots.

In the second year this is much extended and students start in earnest to design for themselves. Again analytical modules support the design theme. Extensive use is made of computing and students learn to develop complex computer simulations of robotic systems.

In the third year student undertake a dissertation in a subject of their choice. This allows students to give their degree a particular focus and is often used to steer the work towards and area where the student wishes to work after graduation. There are also analytical modules and in this year a module dealing with business, management, ethics and energy. This is not only a requirement of the institute of Mechanical Engineers for accreditation but also an important field for competent robotic engineers with ethical issues already becoming an important part of autonomous vehicles.

Study modules

Students follow a prescribed programme of study. The individual modules studied are described below. Together they form a holistic learning experience that results in students able to design complex robotic systems for a wide range of applications.

Year 1

Engineering Mathematics and Modelling I

In this module students learn to produce mathematical analyses and programmes to perform them. All the maths needed for the analysis of complex robotic systems receives introductory treatment. A very modelling based approach is taken.

Robotics & Electro-Mechanical Design & Practice I

This module provides a complete spectrum of both practical and theoretical Engineering skills that are useful across all engineering industries. It is approached from a variety of Engineering subjects, including technical drawing, Computer Aided Design/Engineering (CAD/CAE), modelling, management, and machining. Robotics students study these for robotic systems.

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics

An introduction to the principles used in the analysis of mechanical engineering design from the point of view of equilibrium and motion. The analysis techniques learnt are applied to a range of basic mechanical and robotic components, devices and systems.

Basic Electrical Engineering

An introduction to electrical quantities and parameters and to the operation of electrical and electronic components and circuits of relevance to Electro-Mechanical and Robotics Engineering.

Introductory Robotics

Introductory Robotics provides the core foundations needed to study and develop robots. The essential mathematics and its application to physical robot are studied Additionally, the programming and design of robotics is introduced to the student with the aim of providing an initial comprehension of robotics systems development. The module is taught in a hands-on project based manner, with two major projects to develop over the two semesters.

Years 2 to 4

Years 2 and 3 – BEng. and MEng. Students

Engineering Mathematics and Modelling II

This module explores some of the major themes of engineering mathematics. It provides an insight in selected areas, in which mathematics, and especially calculus, is applied to engineering problems, especially those associated with vibration. Students will also learn to prepare their own mathematical models of engineering systems.

Engineering Simulation, Synthesis and Design

The module address topics of advanced robotics, the focus is on real-time control, including state-estimation and mapping. Applications are made to different types of robotic systems such as drones and augmented reality. Attention is given to a range of input systems and how signals are processed to produce and output strategy.

Electric Machines and Drives

To provide an overview of the electrical machines and drives that are relevant to Electro-Mechanical and Robotic Engineering, with deeper insight where appropriate. Consideration will be given to different prime movers, methods of transferring the drive and to their control.

Control Technology

An introductory study of control technology, covering both digital and analog control using electronic systems, including design using models created in MATLAB and SIMULINK.

Software Development in C & C++

This module covers programming in C and C++. It covers C programming before going on to some of the most widely used features of C++ for good program design and practice. After completing this module, the students are expected to able to write programs in C/C++.

Advanced Robotics

Advanced Robotics builds on the foundations established in the Introductory Robotics module. The focus is on the understanding of integrated robotic systems. By studying existing robots, at varying levels of complexity, the various aspects, such as design, construction, electronics and programming, can be illuminated.

Management, Ethics, Energy and Sustainability

This module aims to provide you with a wide understanding of the broader issues facing business and society, and it will provide an understanding of the three pillars of sustainability in a management context. Business refers to these pillars of sustainability as the triple bottom line, whilst many people view this more holistically as moving towards the circular economy. The principal areas studied in this module are: project management and business leadership; energy and environmental issues; sustainable engineering and whole life cycle assessment; ethics and social aspects of employment.

Engineering Project

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake individual investigative work on a Robotics related topic. It enables students to carry out a detailed study of a realistic engineering problem. The resulting project extends substantially beyond the project work done in any of the taught modules and should enable students to consolidate their knowledge and strengthen skills acquired in taught modules.

Advanced Digital Electronics

This module extends the fundamental knowledge of digital electronics up to Honours level. It enables the student to be able to design and analyse circuits so that projects can be successfully undertaken. Students learn amongst other topics, design of digital systems, simulation of digital systems and the analysis of them.

Sensors & Data Logging

This module covers the operation and use of sensors and data loggers, including their practical limitations, errors, calibration, and how they are actually set-up and connected, and how to process, read and use the data produced.

Machine Learning

The module aims to provide the students with the principles of computer learning and its applications. It covers the fundamentals of machine learning methodologies, implementations and analysis methods appropriate for machine learning applications. The module will enable students to analyse a machine learning problem, critically evaluate the different approaches that are available, and create an effective solution.

Real-time Embedded Robotic Systems

Robotics Systems Engineering addresses the low-level embedded systems aspects of robotic development. Embedded systems are based on small scale controller boards with a variety of input/output mechanisms. The integration of low-level control with actuators and sensors requires the specific understanding of the commonly used controllers and their interfaces.

Year 4

MEng. Students only.

MEng Group Design Project

A group research and development project on a topic relevant to Robotic Engineering. The project may be undertaken in close cooperation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation.

Engineering Business Management

This module provides an understanding of the management skills and knowledge that are important in engineering industries. The areas which are studied are project management, leadership, team building and motivation; legislation etc. Although the emphasis is on the general sectors, many of these areas will cover knowledge and skills that are highly relevant to the robotic engineering industry.

Data Acquisition Systems & Computational Modelling

This module will provide you with an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues relating to data collection and data use, alongside knowledge of advanced modelling techniques and analysis. It covers data acquisition systems, including sensors, conversion, logging, signal processing, data merging, and data analysis, and models are built using programming and Simulink.

Autonomous Intelligent Systems

Autonomous Intelligent Systems are employed in a wide range of environments with different functionalities. These machines need to extract information from different sources about their complex environments, integrate these into a sufficient world awareness for their designed task, and plan the execution of this task. The module will give the student the required understanding of the requirements to achieve sensor fusion, recognition, and planning.

Advanced Robotics Engineering

The module address topics of advanced robotics, the focus is on real-time control, including state-estimation and mapping. Applications are made to different types of robotic systems such as drones and augmented reality. Multi-sensor Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) or similar algorithms are treated and given laboratory time. The overall aim is to give students the knowledge and understanding to deal with a wide range of robotic applications at a high level.

Work placements

Work placements are available to all students on the course. A full-time placements officer is available to assist students wanting to gain a placement which is taken after the second year of study. The placement lasts one year and students who successfully complete the placement graduate with a sandwich degree.

Study abroad

The opportunity to study abroad is not compulsory and students can organise some study abroad if they wish. It is the student’s responsibility to organise this and it may not be possible to offer credit for study undertaken abroad as part of the course

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.

Attendance pattern

Modules are studied throughout the week with lectures and seminars predominantly on Mondays Tuesdays and Thursdays. As much as possible, the School keeps Wednesdays free for sport. Friday in the first year is a day of practical work throughout the year.

Additional costs

First year Engineering students spend some time in laboratory sessions as part of the course for which protective equipment is mandatory. This typically costs around £25-40 although you are able to use your own, if suitable.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods include seminars, lectures, and practical work in the laboratory, at a computer or in a workshop. We emphasise the importance of information technology in modern engineering practice, and in several modules almost all of the teaching is based around computers and engineering software.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 29%71%0%
2 21%79%0%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 18%82%0%
5 14%86%0%
6 (sandwich year)19%81%0%

Approach to assessment

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 the basis of written examinations, although some modules rely solely on coursework.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 51%0%49%
2 44%0%56%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 44%0%56%
5 8%0%92%
6 (sandwich year)28%0%72%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2019/20: £9,250

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £750 per single module

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2019/20: £1,380

International - full time: 2019/20: £14,280

International - sandwich placement fee: 2019/20: £4,000

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.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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 Tariff points: 120 UCAS Tariff points for BEng or 128 UCAS Tariff points for MEng, to include A level Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

A-Level: BBB (120 UCAS Tariff points) for BEng or ABB (128 UCAS Tariff points) for MEng, to include Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points to include minimum grade 5 in Higher Level Maths and Physics

BTEC: A BTEC Certificate or Diploma in an Engineering discipline, typically with at least five distinctions in the final year of study including mathematics;

Advanced Diploma
BEng: Engineering grade B, plus A-level Maths at grade B

 

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

GCSE: English Language grade 4/C minimum

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please see the University's standard English language requirements

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

International applicants

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 great place to be a students studying robotics. The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics offers a unique course in robotics. Our approach is to combine the high level computing needed, for example AI and autonomous learning with precision engineering design. Our student don’t learn either the computing side of robotics or the design side, they learn both. The current state of the art robotic are at the forefront of both fields and this is why our courses are designed as they are.

Support for students studying Robotic Engineering BEng or MEng

The department offers additional support through the Open Support Seminar Programme.  At designated times a member of staff is available to provided tailored support relating to module content within the Engineering building.

Specialist facilities

The School has a collection of robots, its own engineering workshops where student designs can be produced and a collection of excellent computing facilities. There are extensive laboratories and the opportunity to for students to work with advanced materials such as carbon fiber.

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

The expected career destinations for graduates include, programming for robotics, robotics design and manufacture, research and development, technical sales, production engineering, project management.

Further study

Graduates of the course are well prepared for further study, either at the MSc level or PhD.