MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems

Lincoln was awarded Gold – the highest standard possible - in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017, an independent assessment of teaching quality in UK higher education. This award reflects our exciting teaching methods, great support for students and excellent employment outcomes.

The Course

The MSc Robotics and Autonomous Systems is designed to equip students with the advanced knowledge and skills to develop the innovative solutions required by the rapidly emerging global industry in Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS).

The programme aims to provide the opportunity to enhance and apply students' existing knowledge of computer programming and mathematical frameworks through laboratory workshops, lectures, debates and independent research.

The course assumes a familiarity with programming concepts and the supporting mathematical framework, while presenting advanced concepts relating specifically to the computing domain.

The University of Lincoln is to launch world's first Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded £6.6m for the new Centre which will see a massive influx of high-level robotics expertise at a vital time for the agri-food industry. The CDT will provide funding and training for at least 50 doctoral students, who will be supported by major industry partners and specialise in areas such as autonomous mobility in challenging environments, the harvesting of agricultural crops, soft robotics for handling delicate food products, and ‘co-bots' for maintaining safe human-robot collaboration and interaction in farms and factories.

Applications for studentships at the Centre for Doctoral Training can be made via:

Students on this programme can experience a blend of different teaching and learning approaches. The programme aims to enable the development of skills through practical workshops in the laboratory, and academic knowledge through debate, lectures, discussion and personal research.

Modules assume a familiarity with programming concepts and the supporting mathematical framework, while presenting advanced concepts relating specifically to the computing domain.

Each module consists typically of 12 weeks of study. This time includes a supporting lecture programme, a series of supported laboratory sessions and time for the completion of assignment exercises and examinations. Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study.

The programme is supported by online access to lecture material and related information.

Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two - three hours in independent study.

For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

Advanced Artificial Intelligence (Core)
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Advanced Artificial Intelligence (Core)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical applications of decision-making, problem-solving and learning abilities in software agents.

Search is introduced as a unifying framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI), followed by key topics including blind and informed search algorithms, planning and reasoning, both with certain and uncertain (e.g. probabilistic) knowledge. Practical exercises in AI programming will complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems.

Advanced Robotics (Core)
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Advanced Robotics (Core)

This module focuses on advanced concepts in robotics. Students are introduced to navigation and state estimation for mobile robots and discuss optimality principles and relevant algorithms for path planning, trajectory optimisation and control for robot manipulators. In the second part of the module, there will be a discussion of data-driven approaches that can learn from human teachers and interaction with the environment. To deepen the understanding of the introduced mathematical concepts, practical examples will be discussed in the lectures as well as implemented in the workshops.

Computer Vision (Core)
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Computer Vision (Core)

This module aims to explore current methodologies in the field of computer vision, covering a range of aspects in capturing, processing, analysing and interpreting rich visual content.

The aim is to offer students with a deep understanding and to allow an exposure to the latest developments in computer vision, equipping them with knowledge in practical depth. The module will also provide the opportunity for training in programming skills (e.g. Matlab), tools and methods that are necessary for the implementation of computer vision systems.

The module will also cover applications of computer vision in various fields, such as in object recognition/tracking, medical image analysis, multimedia indexing and retrieval and intelligent surveillance systems, allowing the students the opportunity to establish a full awareness to the technology advance in this rapidly evolving field.

Foundations of Robotics (Core)
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Foundations of Robotics (Core)

This module introduces the mathematical and practical foundations of robotics which underlie most advanced systems. Mathematical foundations include relevant engineering mathematics, dynamics and kinematics, probability and elementary control, while practice includes understanding sensors and actuators used in real-world systems.

Frontiers of Robotics Research (Core)
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Frontiers of Robotics Research (Core)

This module provides an introduction to cutting-edge topics in robotics and autonomous systems research, including both theory and practical applications. The module will follow a research seminar format, involving input from staff across the robotics research team at Lincoln and guest lectures from industry representatives and leading international researchers in the field.

Industrial applications such as robotics for agriculture and food production will naturally be covered as part of this module. Students can further benefit from opportunities to discuss possible research topics with potential project supervisors and clients, and production of a research proposal and literature review leading into the Research Project.

Machine Learning (Core)
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Machine Learning (Core)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical application of machine learning algorithms, including supervised, unsupervised, reinforcement and evolutionary learning. Practical programming exercises complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems such as data mining.

Research Methods (MSc Computer Science) (Core)
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Research Methods (MSc Computer Science) (Core)

This module is designed to cover the fundamental skills and background knowledge that students may need to undertake research related to the title of the award being studied, including: surveying literature; selecting and justifying a research topic; planning of research; selection of appropriate research methods; evaluation of research; presentation and reporting of research; and legal, social, ethical and professional considerations.

Research Project (Core)
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Research Project (Core)

This module gives students with the opportunity to carry out a significant project, focusing on an area of particular personal and professional interest, through the development of a dissertation and substantive software implementation.

The research project is an individual piece of work, which gives students the chance to apply and integrate elements of study from a range of modules, centred on a specific research question. Students are expected to undertake work that is relevant to the ongoing research in one of the established research centres within the Lincoln School of Computer Science and will work closely under the supervision of a member of that research centre.

Students are required to undertake the development of a software artefact that is non-trivial in scale and goals, and is supported by best-practice application of appropriate theoretical frameworks.

Robot Programming (Core)
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Robot Programming (Core)

This module focuses on practical and aspects of software development and engineering for robotics. It aims to equip students with an in-depth understanding of the specific programming requirements in the domain, such as (soft-) real time processing, coordination & orchestration of robotics systems and different communication paradigms of integrated robotic systems.

Students can engage in practical assignments, programming robots in simulation and the real world. Different components of robotic systems (examples comprise perception, localisation, path planning, mapping, search & learning) will be taught and appraised, facilitated by lectures and guided learning in workshops. Students have the chance to develop and understanding of the fundamentals of robotic frameworks and middlewares, enabling them to program and orchestrate complex robotic systems in practice.

Students may have the opportunity to work on tasks informed by state-of-the-art robotics research challenges and competitions. Where feasible, students will be given the opportunity to work towards specific tasks in such internationally recognised challenges, with the potential to qualify for participation.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

The programme is assessed through a variety of means, including in-class tests, coursework, projects and examinations. The majority of assessments are coursework based, reflecting the practical and applied nature of computer science. The final stage research project provides the opportunity to specialise and to complete a piece of work of significant complexity.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

 2019/20 Entry*
Home/EU £7,400

(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

International £16,000
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
 Part-time Home/EU £41 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A new system of postgraduate loans  for Master's courses has been introduced in the UK. Under the new scheme individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,609 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £38, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2280.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

Other Costs

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for travel and accommodation will be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional, you will normally be required to pay your own transport, accommodation and general living costs.

First or second class honours degree in Computer Science or a related discipline. This could include Engineering, Maths and other Science and Technology subjects involving a significant element of computer programming.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. . These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

Professor Tom Duckett

Programme Leader

Tom leads the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems. His research interests include autonomous robots, artificial intelligence and machine perception, with applications including agri-food and service robotics. He worked previously at the Centre for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems, Orebro University, Sweden, where he led the Learning Systems Laboratory. Contact:

Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This course aims to develop the skills required for employment in the emerging Robotics and Autonomous Systems industry, and across many other sectors where these skills are applicable. These can include agri-food, automation, industry 4.0, healthcare, logistics, military, nuclear, security and transport. Some graduates may choose to continue research at doctoral level.


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

Technical resources for Robotics and Autonomous Systems include research facilities and laboratories, a computer engineering workshop, workstations with flexible development software platforms and equipment. This also includes a fleet of diverse mobile and social robots, advanced compliant robotic manipulators, a swarm of micro-robots and state-of-the-art agricultural robots.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.