MSc in Control Systems
This continually evolving MSc course has been running for over 40 years and attracts the strong support of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Control systems is a multidisciplinary subject and attracts graduates from many scientific disciplines. Our MSc Control Systems programme is most suited to graduates with good first degrees in engineering, mathematics or science, and for those working in the area who wish to adopt the systems approach to control or information related topics, or to update their skills.
We will provide you with the broad analytical and practical skills and experience to apply control and systems concepts in a variety of professional environments.
Course content reflects the breadth of expertise and research excellence of the Department.
Course Structure and Modules
The modules studied on the course cover ideas which are central to systems thinking. They also demonstrate the application of these ideas in various fields. All the material necessary for real problem solving is thus presented in a coherent and natural way.
Modular structuring is ideal not only for the full-time students, but also for those seeking continuous professional development short courses. Modules can be studied individually, providing a valuable resource for research students and people working in industry who need speedy coverage of a particular subject.
The MSc Control Systems year is split into two parts: the first part consists of lectures, tutorials and case studies, with written examinations usually held in January and April.
The second part of the full time course is entirely project based. Projects comprise a mix of theoretical, practical, and industry-related work. You can choose an area which interests you or which, if you are seconded by your employer, is of particular value in your job (subject to academic approval of your project). Indeed, if appropriate facilities are available, arrangements can be made for you to do your project at your work-place. The Industrial Liaison Committee of the Department plays an active role in the initiation of industry-related projects.
|Module code, title and summary||Number
|ACS6101: Foundations of Control Systems
The module ACS6101 provides all students with appropriate pre-requisite knowledge for future modules. It also gives students a broad exposure to the fundamentals of systems modelling, classical control systems analysis and design and simulation.
|ACS6102: State-space, Optimal Control and Nonlinear Systems
The module ACS6102 introduces basic and advanced concepts of state space analysis and design together with topics in optimal control systems theory. Provides tools and methods for analysis of non-linear systems and introduces some recent global method in non-linear systems theory. Rigorous mathematical exposure to topics such as calculus of variations and Pontryagin's Maximum Principle is dealt with in parallel to the use of computer-based MATLAB toolboxes for state-space design.
|ACS6103: Signal Processing and Estimation
The module ACS6103 introduces students to the concepts and methods of systems identification, signal processing and estimation. It shows the practical application of the methods to several industrial case studies, provides background theory and practical methods for the design of discrete filters, and demonstrates the main ideas of low-level image processing.
|ACS6110: Embedded Systems & Rapid Control Prototyping
This module covers rapid prototyping of control systems on real hardware and how the eventual control system can be implemented as a real time embedded system using hardware and software. The prototyping hardware consists of a miniature three degree-of-freedom helicopter, connected to a PC via a National Instruments myDAQ data acquisition unit. This hardware is used to introduce data acquisition and leads on to the development of a robust control system design. The embedded systems part consists of a range of individual hardware components which are used to implement an embedded system for a control systems problem. Aspects such as component interfaces, communication protocols and control mechanisms are covered from both a hardware and software perspective, together with Real Time Operating Systems. Both sets of hardware are sufficiently low-cost, portable and robust to provide individual students with a `take-home lab', thus enabling the student to benefit from experiential based learning in a more flexible fashion than is otherwise provided by traditional laboratory classes.
|ACS6116: Advanced Industrial Control
This module comprises concepts of active noise and vibration control (ANVC) and predictive control. The unit on ANVC introduces the basic concepts of analysis and design of active control systems using both mechanical vibration and acoustic signals as real-world examples. This unit on predictive control addresses control design techniques based on prediction, usually denoted model based predictive control (MPC).
|ACS6117: Intelligent Systems
This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of machine learning and data modelling, and to fuzzy logic within a control and systems engineering context. We will look at the underlying principles of machine learning, data modelling and fuzzy logic, the advantages and limitations of the various approaches and effective ways of applying them in systems and control engineering, with the aim of making students appreciate the merits of the various technologies hence introduced.
|ACS6118: Robotics and Multi Sensor Systems
This module covers topics in the closely related disciplines of robotics and multi-sensor systems. The module initially covers robotic systems with an emphasis on case study driven material on the technical and theoretical aspects of robotics. Multi-sensor systems are now a common feature of many engineering applications including robotics. The second part of the module will introduce multi-sensor systems and approaches to data fusion.
|ACS6200: Control Systems Project and Dissertation
The project and dissertation is a substantial piece of work carried out under the supervision of a member of the academic or academic related staff.
Are you considering undertaking a PhD after your MSc? If so this department is an ideal place to further your research career. Take a look at our PhD programme's wide range of exciting projects: PhD Projects
You may also be interested in finding out about the research scholarships that are available. These are listed in the PhD programme scholarships web page: PhD Scholarships.
Please note in particular The Harry Nicholson Postgraduate Research Scholarship for ACSE MSc Graduates which covers the cost of tuition fees as well as providing an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend of £8,000 and is especially reserved for applications from our own MSc students.
Careers and future prospects
By taking advice from our industrial contacts, we ensure that all of our graduate taught courses remain relevant and produce graduates whose skills meet the needs of industry.
Our graduates find employment with, and we have strong industrial links with, a large variety of companies and organisations. Examples include Rolls-Royce, British Aerospace, Institute for Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering, Royal and Sun Alliance, Jaguar, Corus and more.
Systems Engineer: Best Job
Career prospects for Systems Engineers remain very good. There is a worldwide demand for Systems engineers: http://research.stevens.edu/index.php/arthur-pyster-systems-engineers and systems engineers are highly regarded.
Number 1 Best Job, CNN Money article: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2009/snapshots/1.html
Examples of salary surveys are also encouraging. See: http://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/average-systems-engineer-salary and http://www.prospects.ac.uk/manufacturing_systems_engineer_salary.htm
A view from an MSc(Eng) Control Systems graduate
"What ACSE does fits in with what Rolls-Royce or Aero Engine Controls want. That's probably why it's quite easy for them to go and pick people from Sheffield, because they've already got the knowledge and the skills."
System Design Team Lead, Airframe Interfaces, Aero Engine Controls
MSc(Eng) Control Systems