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  • Emphasis on feedback control, robotics, flight control and discrete event manufacturing control
  • Real opportunities for career progression in to the automation industry
  • Programme designed using Engineering Council benchmarks
  • Part-time study option
  • International students can apply


Enrich your first degree and previous relevant experience by developing a focused, integrated and critically aware understanding of underlying theory and current policy and practice in the field of control systems engineering.

The specialist postgraduate degree course blends control systems theory with a practical exploration of range of control applications, including industrial control (SCADA), intelligent control, flight control and robotic control. This control system approach provides continuity in learning throughout the course.

The course content is designed using Engineering Council benchmarks. It is awarded accredited status by both the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the exemplifying academic benchmark for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for students who also hold an accredited BEng Honours degree. 


This MSc programme is delivered over one year full-time, or two years part-time. The course consists of four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project module. A nine-month PgDip pathway is also available.

In trimester one, you'll explore automation, robotics and control. In the second trimester, you'll study mobile robotics, and choose to study either artificial intelligence or flight dynamics. In trimester three, you'll bring together all of your learning to conduct high-level coordinated academic and practical work to form your final dissertation assessment.

On completion, you'll have a critical awareness and understanding of current problems in control engineering, techniques applicable to research in the field of control systems and how research and enquiry techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge in control systems. You will also gain confidence in dealing with complex issues, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate your conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialists.


Teaching and learning is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops and laboratory activities. You will benefit from high-quality teaching materials and software. Interaction is face-to-face wherever practical, but we also use web-based learning support packages (databases of materials, discussion boards etc.) and there is a strong focus on guided self-learning.


  • 35% examinations
  • 65% coursework (labs, reports, dissertation)


Mechanical Lab – This lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Aerodynamics Lab – Contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels – typical laboratory experiments would include determining the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Composite Material Lab – This lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections. The facility is particularly utilised for final year project work.

Control & Dynamics Lab – Contains flight simulators (see details below) and programmable control experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration due to rotating imbalance, and understanding the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Flight Simulators

  • Merlin MP520-T Engineering Simulator    
  • This simulator is used to support engineering design modules, such as those involving aerodynamics and control systems by giving a more practical experience of aircraft design than a traditional theory and laboratory approach. As a student, you'll design and input your own aircraft parameters into the simulator before then assessing the flight characteristics.
  • The simulator is a fully-enclosed single seat capsule mounted on a moving 2-degree of freedom platform which incorporates cockpit controls, integrated main head-up display and two secondary instrumentation display panels.
  • An external instructor console also accompanies the simulator and is equipped with a comprehensive set of displays, override facilities and a two-way voice link to the pilot.
  • Elite Flight Training System    
  • The Elite is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator used for flight operations training and is certified by the CAA as a FNPT II-MCC Multi-Crew Cockpit training environment. It has two seats, each with a full set of instrumentation and controls, and European Visuals, so you see a projection of the terrain that you're flying through, based on real geographic models of general terrain and specific airports in Europe.

Visit the Advanced Control Systems (MSc/PGDip) page on the University of Salford website for more details!




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