Quantum technology has been selected by the UK Government as a key area of innovation, moving science into real-world applications. The first phase of the UK National Quantum Technology initiative has received £350 million of government funding to create a flourishing industry in this area in the UK.
Four Quantum Technology Hubs have been established as flagship projects in this program. This postgraduate training programme is aligned with the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology, an £80 million collaborative effort led by the University of Birmingham in partnership with the Universities of Glasgow, Nottingham, Southampton, Strathclyde and Sussex, the National Physical Laboratory and over 70 companies.
The MRes programme offers a unique opportunity for students to undertake a research-based Masters degree in a multi-disciplinary environment between science, engineering and industry. Students benefit from participating in both the technology translation and applied research activities carried out within the UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology, and from the educational programmes offered by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. The programme comprises classroom taught quantum physics-oriented modules for students with engineering backgrounds; technology-orientated modules for students with physics backgrounds; and an independent research project that is documented in a substantial thesis.
The research project consists of a team element; all students will organise themselves to present a technical demonstration at a national or international conference. There is also an individual research element, which takes place in industry or in relation to a participating company.
It will include 70 credits of classroom taught modules and a research project worth 110 credits, consisting of team and individual elements.
The team element of the research project teaches technical, team working, project management, communication and presentation skills with an emphasis on responsible research and innovation. The individual element of the research project focuses on problems relevant to industry and will be carried out in close collaboration with industry partners.
The Birmingham led UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors and Metrology is a cross-disciplinary centre, involving staff from the Schools of Physics, Civil, Electrical and Materials Engineering, as well as staff from a number of other Schools across the University. It will translate fundamental science and applied research in quantum sensors and metrology based on atomic probe particles, providing high level educational opportunities in these fields.
The Hub’s research activities include research in the development of sensors for gravity, magnetic fields, rotation, electromagnetic fields and time. It also researches their applications in a diverse range of sectors including aviation, communication, construction, defense, energy, finance, healthcare, oil and mineral exploration, transport and space.
The Translational Quantum Technology programme aims at preparing students for the challenges in translating quantum sensors and metrology devices based on atoms as probe particles into real-world applications. After the programme, students should understand the underpinning science and technology; the needs of end-user applicants; and the impact of these quantum technology devices on society. They should be able to move seamlessly between academia and industry, and translate scientific outcomes into technology.
The programme will create a strongly networked cohort of students with practical experience in academia and industry. It aims:
This programme is a unique opportunity to acquire translational skills, including specific skills of relevance to the emerging quantum technology industry. The UK National Quantum Technology Hub in Sensors is actively engaged with a growing number of industry partners, currently standing at 70 companies from various sectors of the economy. Industry secondments to our partners will foster career prospects.
The Robotics MSc allows you to gain specialist knowledge relating to robotics and automation applications by examining the integration of mechanical devices, sensors, electronics and ‘intelligent’ computer-based controllers. You will also explore the latest developments in robotics while completing research and development work for your individual research project. You will complete the course in one year, studying September to September and taking a combination of required and optional modules totalling 180 credits, including 60 credits that will come from an individual project of 15,000 words. You will study robotic systems, computer vision, sensors and actuators, real-time systems and control. There are also opportunities to explore a broad range of optional modules allowing you the freedom to develop your study pathway to reflect your interests.
Robotics is a multi-disciplinary activity dealing with the integration of mechanical devices, sensors, electronics and ‘intelligent’ computer-based controllers. The programme is therefore built around core modules such as Robotic Systems, Computer Vision, Sensors and Actuators, Real Time Systems and Control, which are complemented by a wide range of optional modules. The final part of the programme is an individual project that is closely linked with the Department’s research activities.
For graduates in engineering or a related scientific discipline, from this programme you will gain an awareness of the latest developments in Robotics while completing research and development work for your individual research project. This will provide valuable preparation for a career in research or industry.
We use lectures, seminars and group tutorials to deliver most of the modules on the programme. You will also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study.
You are expected to spend approximately 150 hours of effort (i.e. about 10 hours per credit) for each module you attend in your degree. These 150 hours cover every aspect of the module: lectures, tutorials, lab-based exercises, independent study based on personal and provided lecture notes, tutorial preparation and completion of exercises, coursework preparation and submission, examination revision and preparation, and examinations.
Assessment methods will depend on the modules selected. The primary methods of assessment for this course are written examinations and coursework. You may also be assessed by practical laboratory examinations, laboratory reports and oral presentations.
Via the Department’s Careers Programme students are able to network with top employers and obtain advice on how to enhance career prospects. Our graduates have continued on to have very successful careers in industry and research, working areas such as manufacturing, automotive and aerospace. Recent employers include Cummins Inc. and Transport Alstom.
The Institute for Bioengineering (IBioE) connects Engineering, Physical Sciences, Biology and Medicine, for innovative diagnostic and therapeutic biomedical devices and technologies.
Research themes include:
Synthetic Biology - to design and construct (e.g. to ‘engineer’) biological devices and systems, often at cellular level. Applications range from therapeutic to environmental.
Tissue Engineering - the production of 3D or 2D scaffolds or guidance cues for biological cells. Applications are largely therapeutic and also include new forms of lab-on-chip technology.
Biomedical Modelling and Measurement - understanding biological materials through modelling and measurement for applications in, for example, prosthetics, prediction of failure in blood vessels and the behaviour of bone with ageing. We also study the behaviour of biological materials experimentally and in most cases, non-invasively (e.g. via Raman and CARS spectroscopy).
Biomedical Devices and Sensors - working with colleagues in chemistry, we develop sensors on silicon for simple biological parameters (e.g. oxygen concentration) along with sensors of specific biomarkers of disease and therapy.
The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.
Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.
Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.
Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes
Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.
This programme comprises a major research project and six taught modules, four compulsory and two optional.
The research project can be taken full-time or part-time and can be carried out in the University or by industrial collaboration with a company.
This programme can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. This one-year Course (full-time) comprises a major research project (two-thirds of the year) and six taught modules (one-third of the year), which are taken intermittently throughout the year.
Students with an appropriate technical background (a Materials Science first degree) can start the course at any time. Students without a background in Materials Science are required to take the Introduction to Materials module (see module section), and must start the MRes Course at the beginning of the academic year, in September.
The programme is currently delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, project-based and laboratory-based teaching and learning methods.
Examples of MRes in the Science and Engineering of Materials Research Projects
University Careers Network
Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.
Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.
If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.