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Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation MSc

2024-25 (also available for 2025-26)

This course is eligible for Master's loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

16 September 2024

6 January 2025


1 year full-time

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. Knowledge – Learn from our team of professional engineers and technicians with experience in the engineering manufacturing industry. 
  2. Research – Our team will support your research interests, with very flexible routes to a PhD and laboratories professionally equipped for control, electrical, electronic and communications projects. 
  3. Accreditation – For those pursuing a Chartered Engineer (CEng) status, the course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).  

Grow your confidence as an engineering manufacturing professional with an MSc at The University of Huddersfield. Our Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation programme enables you to acquire the key skills to operate effectively in a modern engineering manufacturing environment.

This advanced course is ideal for you if your study or research interests include:

  • The manufacture or use of machine tools and automated equipment for the production of precision engineering components
  • Process control systems and measurement instrumentation
  • Manufacturing control, measurement control and computer aided engineering applications.

You can look forward to honing your development and project management skills so you can step into roles in technical design, controls systems and instrumentation and more.

Why study Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation at Huddersfield?

Our Engineering Control Systems and Instrumentation MSc enables you to learn and grow as an engineering professional, developing your technical and management skills for future work in the area of engineering manufacturing.

A vibrant town surrounded by beautiful countryside, Huddersfield is a friendly and diverse place from which to study, offering lots of things to do between lectures. Have a coffee with friends from your course, or tuck into lunch at one of the town’s many restaurants.

Course detail

Core modules

Process Measurement and Control

You will be studying the principal types of process plant and associated control equipment used in the process industries. Models of process plant systems are developed for optimising control system performance. You will get familiarised with the principal types of computer control systems, including PLCs, Direct Digital Control (DDC) systems, SCADA systems and Distributed Control (DCS) systems. Further on, you will get experience of working with instrumentation systems for the measurement of such as, temperature, pressure, level and flow. You will get familiarised with the real-time imaging systems for monitoring multiphase flows in pipes (e.g. oil-water or solids-water flows).

Manufacturing Systems Automation

This module will provide you with an understanding of the hardware and computer control systems used in modern manufacturing. You will consider how to define appropriate sensors and instruments to be able to automate a process safely and how to break an automation challenge into logical steps. This will develop your ability to automate any such processes through design and programming of PLC control systems. The workshop sessions will give you practical understanding of control systems used in machine tools, industrial robots, automated part handling, and inspection.

Signal Analysis and Processing

This module is concerned with the main fundamental frequency and time-frequency transforms, which form the basis of modern signal processing. In this module you will gain an understanding of the classical, advanced and novel signal processing techniques for characterising and processing digital signals and learn how these techniques can be used in various industrial signal processing applications; fundamental concepts, related to digital signals; the Fourier transform and the power spectral density; the advanced time-frequency transforms: the short-time Fourier transform, the short time chirp Fourier transform and the wavelet transform; classical and advanced digital filters; and the advanced and novel higher order spectra. This module is applicable to a wide range of industrial sectors: aerospace, oil and gas, transport, power generation, construction industry, communication, including cell phone industry, food industry, healthcare and many others.

Project and Finance Management

This module aims to develop your understanding of the strategic aspects of programme and project management and its role in adding competitive advantage to an organisation. The module enables you to gain a firm grounding in the principles, processes, tools and techniques that underpin programme and project management. It also aids you to develop a systematic understanding of the purposes and uses of financial information, together with the ability to use quantitative skills to improve performance management and decision making within an organisation. Emphasis is placed upon the need for competence in project planning and control. Team-working, communication and risk management skills are developed by means of group activity. Extensive use is made of project management and simulation software.

Advanced Technical Project

The project provides the opportunity required within an MSc to undertake and manage a major programme of advanced independent work. The aim of this module is to give you the ability to apply your knowledge and skills to conceive and deliver a creative solution to a technical challenge at the forefront of your discipline. Where possible the project is carried out in collaboration with an industrial company and takes place at the company. Your academic supervisor will be based within one of the research centres or institutes within the Department of Engineering and Technology. The project is the opportunity for you to show your ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively and to show originality in tackling and solving problems. You will be allocated a project supervisor(s) who will help guide you through this process. The project will allow you to display the qualities needed for employment in circumstances requiring sound judgement, personal responsibility and initiative in complex and unpredictable professional environments.

Professional Development and Research Methods

This module will develop your professional skills such as team working, organisation and leadership. You will also get the opportunity to explore a range of research methods and understand how they can be used in your own area of interest. There will be the opportunity to learn about professional registration in Engineering and how you can begin on that journey. You will learn through self directed study of online material supported by interactive seminars and workshops, this will give you ownership of your own learning and help you develop skills for life long learning and continued professional development. The assessment for this module will enable you to put these skills into practice in coursework which challenges your professional development and research skills whilst focussing on broadening your understanding of contemporary challenges in the sector.

Optional modules

Choose one from a list which may include:

Virtual Instrumentation

This module will provide you with knowledge of hardware and software aspects of virtual instrumentation (VI). You will acquire skills in modelling, designing, processing and simulating a range of analogue and digital systems. The practical elements of this module will equip you with an ability to implement a virtual instrument on a PC using graphical programming. You will deploy industry standard LabVIEW software tools in designing and simulating real systems.

Computers in Control

This module provides a critical review of the hardware and software aspects of microcontroller interfacing. You will develop an understanding of embedded systems concepts through the use of various peripherals. You will explore various aspects of microcontroller based systems such as support programs, design environment, memory utilization, compilation, and modularization. This module will extend your design skills in both software and hardware in implementing microcontrollers in embedded systems.

Optional modules

Choose two from a list which may include:

Parallel Computer Architectures Cluster and Cloud Computing

Many existing and future computer-based applications impose exceptional demands on performance that traditional computer systems cannot offer. Hence, there is a need for High-Performance Computing, Cluster and Cloud Computing which are driving scientific, technological and social innovation. In this module you will gain in-depth knowledge of Cluster and Cloud Computing technologies. The practical exercises will give you experience of building a computer cluster using laboratory hardware or in a cloud; parallel programming and applications.

Modelling of Electromechanical Systems

The module equips you with the qualities and transferable skills necessary to design, model and simulate electromechanical systems, for example, servo motion control applications in machine tools, robotics and automated production equipment, "more" electric actuation in transportation and industry. You will explore the linkage of sub-components into a complete system and the interaction of sub-components under steady and dynamic operation.

Wireless Communications for LANs, PANs and the IoT

The module is concerned with the principles of modern communication systems and their application in wireless communication networks, in particular the Internet of Things. You will begin with a basic overview of communications techniques as used in wireless applications. Then you will review existing wireless sensor, and related, technologies such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, NB-IoT and LoRaWAN comparing their performance metrics and application areas. The role of wireless communication technologies in the Internet of Things and similar application areas will be discussed.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally:

  • An Honours degree (2:2 or above) in Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering or similar, or in a closely related science subject area such as physics or mathematics or an equivalent professional qualification.

You are also encouraged to apply if you have other qualifications and/or experience and can demonstrate that you are equipped with knowledge and skills equivalent to Honours degree level.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Why study with us?

Hear from our academic staff and students to discover what it's like to study as a Postgraduate Student at the University of Huddersfield.

Enhance your career

Previous graduates from courses in this subject area have gone on to work in a variety of roles such as control systems engineer, electronic engineer, junior control and instrumentation engineer, and validation and verification engineer in organisations including Bentley Motors, Spirax Sarco, Changan UK Ltd and Nespak.**

*  Percentage of graduates from the School of Computing and Engineering who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 19/20, UK domiciled graduates)

** Source: LinkedIn


Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Computing and Engineering, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Support Office: A one stop shop for students studying within the School. The team deal with every aspect of student life from enrolment, module queries, timetabling, exams, assessments, course-related committees and graduation. They are the first place to go with any query, and they can also signpost to other support networks.

Student Guidance Office: Students can book an appointment with a Guidance Adviser at any time during their studies; we are here to help with navigating any challenges they may face while studying. Our Advisers are skilled in providing advice and guidance to students on a range of issues including personal circumstances and academic issues and can help students to understand University regulations. The Guidance Team also offer study skills appointments to support with developing academic skills, such as; research and project planning, referencing and paraphrasing, essay writing, critical thinking, understanding assessments and to develop Maths skills. The team also encourage students to develop effective study habits such as good time management to meet deadlines by supporting with planning and organising work schedules.

Technical Support: technicians support our students across each department. Based in our labs with different specialisms and knowledge they are on hand to provide support, guide and advise where students can access our technician’s expertise/knowledge during lectures and seminars as well as during self-study. An IT Support Helpdesk is also available to all students within the School of Computing and Engineering to help troubleshoot any computer issues/problems or to loan hardware and software.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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