BSc (Hons) Systems Automation

  • Studying Abroad Option Available
  • Sandwich Year Option Available
  • International Students Can Apply
  • Work Placement Opportunity

Overview

UCAS Code:I101
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time, Typically 4.5 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2020
Department:Department of Computer Science
Location:Edge Hill University
Example Offers:BBB (A Level) or DDM (BTEC)
View full entry criteria

Please note, the first intake to this programme is for September 2020 entry. 

For details of Computing, IT and Web Development programmes which are open to applications for academic year 2019/20, please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/studycomputing.

  • Gain specialist skills and knowledge in the executive design, development, control and monitoring of automated systems;
  • Immerse yourself in programming, robotics, industrial automation, visualisation and modelling;
  • Develop a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers, from research and data analysis, to problem-solving, creative thinking and team work.

Systems automation is a multi-disciplinary subject with applications across a wide range of industrial sectors, particularly in IT, manufacturing and production. It combines the diverse and rapidly expanding disciplines of automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), control, mechanics, software and signal processing. This programme equips you with comprehensive skills, knowledge and understanding of classical and modern control theory, as well as robotics, design and simulation, industrial automation and systems analysis. You will gain the expertise required to meet the industrial strategies of UK government and beyond, while learning how to design and exploit automation and robotic systems in a range of IT, manufacturing and industrial applications.

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In Depth

What will I study?

In Year 1 you will study a common set of modules that will provide a solid foundation for the second and third years of your degree. You will study a balanced range of current computing topics, from the fundamentals of analysis and construction of systems, to the foundations of computer science. These subjects are focused on the key conventions of computation and programming, as well as the mathematical principles which underpin computer science and engineering.

The Year 2 curriculum provides a more specialised focus. You will explore the foundations of robotics and artificial intelligence, virtual reality and systems automation, while also considering the practices and application behind the associated quality assurance, security threats and risk management processes. A work placement enables you to relate theory to practice and build your transferable skills.

Year 3 provides opportunities to develop advanced knowledge and skills relevant to the development of smart digital autonomous technologies, the programming of microcontrollers, and the application of artificial intelligence to the gaming industry. You will also complete a research and development project which can take the form of either the creation of an appropriate piece of software or hardware or the writing of an academic paper. The emphasis at this level is on the development of independent study and learning.

How will I study?

Teaching methods are designed in consultation with leading employers in the region. Many classes are based in computing labs, focusing on student activity as a means of learning. Theoretical concepts will be introduced by building on concrete practical activity.

Classes are highly interactive, with practical application of concepts a key factor, as well as cases drawn from real-life. Workshops, seminars, group tutorials and practical exercises provide opportunities for you to work with your peers and develop the essential people skills to complement your technical ability.

On a full-time basis, you will be required to attend classes for up to four days a week.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of practical exercises, reports, essays, presentations and examinations. We want you to develop the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team, therefore assessment includes some group activities, though the emphasis is strongly on individual work.

Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by academic staff who are highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic leaders in their fields.

The Department of Computer Science provides a research-active environment where the programme team contribute to academic conferences and journals, regularly engage within the wider business and academic environment, and feed research directly into their teaching. You will learn about the latest developments in subjects while gaining the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of the IT industry.

Guest lectures also form part of the programme. These will be delivered by industry experts and academics from other disciplines to equip you with a wide range of knowledge, experiences and different perspectives.

A Great Study Environment

Two students with rucksacks walk in front of the Tech Hub.

The Department of Computer Science is based in the state-of-the-art £13m Technology Hub. This purpose-built development offers highly contemporary suites of outstanding facilities for Computer Science students.

Our modern computer laboratories are equipped with high-specification computers, high-resolution screens and the latest hardware and software.

A four-screen CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment) provides a super immersive 3D virtual environment, enabling users to immerse themselves in a virtual room and experience real life scenarios in 4K resolution.

There are also specialist laboratories for networking and games programming, in addition to a specialist research laboratory, open access laboratory, a Harvard style lecture theatre, and ‘The Hatchery’, a working space for new business ideas.

Learning resources include robots and a robotics simulator, wired and wireless networking hardware, graphics software, web development tools, software development environments, big data servers, eye trackers, giant 3D interactive teaching screens, and other specialist software required for studying forensics and internet security techniques.

The department has strong links with industry and the curriculum is kept current and highly relevant through input from our Employer Advisory Panel.

A dedicated Enterprise Projects Team and Web Factory social enterprise initiative recruit students to paid work on a range of commercial projects. This provides you with the opportunity to gain experience in a commercial environment. You will also be actively supported in developing solutions for local businesses through your coursework.

Competitions including ‘University Technology Challenge’ and ‘Hackathon’, organised in collaboration with companies such as Barclays, the BBC and Talk Talk, allow you to show invention and initiative through, for example, inventing new apps and presenting a business case in a highly competitive environment.

An annual employability conference and specialist careers fair prepare you for employment. You can also engage with research through the ‘INSPIRE’ initiative, with some of our students having papers published at international conferences.

Modules

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Year 1

CIS1107Foundations of Computer Science (20 credits)

Foundations of Computer Science introduces you to the concepts and practices of problem solving through a series of innovative class seminars and individual experiments.  You will learn to identify a problem, analyse it, and produce a structured solution. Exploring common issues within computing, you will also see how all of the separate areas merge, overlap and depend on each other in order for a robust computing system to be developed.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS1108Digital World: Information Systems and Design (20 credits)

Digital World: Information Systems and Design explores how the world of the 21st century is underpinned by computing technology. The module will develop your understanding of the essential concepts of systems analysis, including identifying systems processes, understanding business needs and presenting appropriate IT solutions. You will then apply this knowledge of systems analysis and design methods to make suggestions for improvement of a business, its processes and information systems.


Assessment: Coursework: 80%, Practical(s): 20%.

CIS1109Digital World: Computer Architecture and Networks (20 credits)

Digital World: Computer Architecture and Networks explores how the world of the 21st century is underpinned by computing technology while challenging you to envision your future developments as a Computing professional. The module discusses how current and modern computer architectures operates. It also analyses the technology on which computer architecture depends, starting with current central processing units (CPUs) and their instruction sets and progressing to the principles of modern multitasking operating systems that are supported by the underlying hardware architectures. An important aspect of modern computer technology is networking. The module introduces and covers basic principles of networks, their interconnecting components and protocols used in enabling reliable communications.


Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Written Exam(s): 30%.

CIS1111Programming: Concepts to Construction 1 (20 credits)

Programming: Concepts to Construction 1 provides a practical introduction to the fundamentals of an object-oriented approach to software development. You will be introduced to the analytical techniques and processes that are essential for specifying, designing and implementing applications.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS1112Programming: Concepts to Construction 2 (20 credits)

Programming: Concepts to Construction 2 provides a practical introduction to the fundamentals of an object-oriented approach to software development. You will explore and develop object-oriented modelling techniques and receive an introduction to programming through event-driven program design and graphical user interfaces.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

You will select one of the following modules:

SUG1021Mathematical Proof and Logic (20 credits)

Mathematical Proof and Logic presents the opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of reasoning and proof, exploring rich mathematical situations and solving problems. Mathematical logic and proof is fundamental to the foundations of mathematics. You will be challenged to use the methods taught in the module to explore and solve problems in geometry, numeracy and algebra. The mathematics required to engage with the problems will be fixed at a level appropriate to your knowledge to allow you to demonstrate learning around the key aspects of proof and logic.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

SUG1023Understanding Continuous Functions (20 credits)

Understanding Continuous Functions allows you to use a mixture of numerical and analytical techniques to help you to achieve a deeper understanding of key features of continuous functions. The module also extends the range of continuous functions you are likely to have met in previous study. An understanding of continuous functions is a key area of mathematics, used both in pure mathematics and most importantly in a variety of applications.


Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Written Exam(s): 50%.

Year 2

CIS2162Employability (20 credits)

Employability simulates, as accurately as possible, what it’s like to work in a given Computer Science specialism. You will be introduced to the “world of work” via a simulated work environment, as part of a team representing a fictional company but which need to produce real products or engage in realistic work-related activities. A 15 day placement will also enhance essential employability skills and provide you with the opportunity to relate theory to practice, build on your transferable skills and evaluate your learning.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS2171Foundations in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)

Foundations in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence recognises exciting innovations are being built which increasingly automate our world. The foundations of the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence have roots in the work of Alan Turing investigating the boundary between human intelligence and computers. This module examines how artificial intelligence techniques and principles from biological systems can be applied to robots to control behaviour and sense environments. You will develop an understanding of the theoretical problems, for example behaviour and basics of learning techniques, inherent in robotics and use pre-built robots to design, implement and test different control and perceptual systems. You will develop your expertise in various aspects of robotic programming, including using multi-sensors to collect environmental measurements, designing control strategies and making smart decisions by finding optimal solutions.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS2172Applied Industrial Automation (20 credits)

Applied Industrial Automation develops your expertise in various aspects of robotic programming in industrial applications, including using multi-sensors to collect environmental measurements, designing control strategies and making smart process decisions by finding optimal solutions. Furthermore, you will gain a practical understanding of the key concepts of robotic programming including its hardware, architecture and software solutions.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS2174Virtual Realisation of Systems (20 credits)

Virtual Realisation of Systems recognises that virtual reality (VR) is becoming the universal display medium of the 21st century. Virtual engineering leverages VR for the collaborative modelling, development, simulation and realisation of complex systems. You will be able to apply your skills to the virtual realisation of systems ranging across embedded microprocessors, communication, industrial control, and robotics and automation. Graduates who have an in-depth background in this rapidly advancing interdisciplinary field are well placed for interesting and rewarding careers at the interface of engineering and computing.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS2175Process Automation (20 credits)

Process Automation is a general technology term that is used to describe any process being automated by computers and computer software. Industry is increasingly reliant on automation to provide speed of production, consistency of standards and the ability to be productive in challenging environments.  This module enables you to understand the fundamentals of automation from modelling the process to scheduling, as well as managing the ability to orchestrate and integrate tools, people and processes through algorithms and modelling workflow in complex IT environments.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS2176Quality Assurance, Security and Risk Management (20 credits)

Quality Assurance, Security and Risk Management explores the practices and application behind the quality assurance, security threats and risk management in systems automation. Such approaches are utilised to achieve economically efficient quality assurance and risk detection/mitigation. You will gain an in-depth understanding of automated analysis using bug pattern and risk analysis tools to automatically find defects and risks. The module also examines the processes which ensure that the quality of a product or process is sufficient to meet the needs of stakeholders.


Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Written Exam(s): 30%.

Year 3

CIS3139Autonomous Systems (20 credits)

Autonomous Systems equips you with the theoretical foundations and practical skills relevant to the development of smart digital autonomous technologies. You will be introduced to advanced computational methods, such as agent-based modelling and machine intelligence for automated decision-making and planning, that underpin the implementation of intelligent autonomous systems. The practical aspects of the module will enable you to design, develop and evaluate real-world autonomous systems using relevant programming platforms.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS3140Research and Development Project (40 credits)

Research and Development Project provides you with the opportunity to show individual creativity and originality and apply appropriate knowledge and skills taught throughout the programme. The module requires you to demonstrate investigative, problem-solving, communication, management and other transferable skills as you undertake an individual  project. You will conduct in-depth work on a substantial problem. This will include researching and analysing the problem and identifying and achieving a solution.


Assessment: Coursework: 25%, Practical(s): 75%.

CIS3146Embedded Systems (20 credits)

Embedded Systems introduces you to the principles of embedded systems as essential tools for enabling many other advanced technologies that we see or experience around us. The basics of the hardware and software unique to microcontrollers, as core components of embedded systems, are introduced. You will have the opportunity to program a microcontroller and apply this skill to communicate with, or control, external devices.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS3156Intelligent Systems (20 credits)

Intelligent Systems focuses upon the artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that are embedded within many games to add greater depth and challenges to players. The module explores the theory behind AI programming and provides the opportunity to develop your skills in writing AI code, using a range of techniques and theories which are relevant to the gaming industry, among others. You will be introduced to paradigms which facilitate the creation of AI routines and enable you to integrate these concepts into gaming code.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

CIS3161Research and Development Methods (20 credits)

Research and Development Methods prepares you to undertake a software development project or dissertation. The module will enhance your ability to manage an individual project and act autonomously with limited supervisor guidance. You will be introduced to the main methods of research and the contexts in which they are conducted and enhance your understanding of the principles and perspectives of research. Building your practical experience and confidence in using a range of research methods, the aim is to demystify research and recognise the everyday skills and techniques which are involved.


Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

Timetables

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

Typical offer 120 UCAS Tariff points, for which no specific subjects are required, plus GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve 120 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

  • A Level: BBB;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications): Distinction, Distinction, Merit (DDM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3, for example 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as the Welsh Baccalaureate and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

English Language Requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

Systems Automation graduates possess the essential skills to enter a career in computing with a broad choice of career paths, thereby enhancing their employability potential.

You will have the necessary expertise to work as a software automation engineer, control engineer and control system engineer. You will also be well placed to embark upon a career in areas such as the automotive industry, aerospace, automation and control, process and petrochemical, biomedical, manufacturing and energy.

Our dedicated Employability team, who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre, can help support you to find highly skilled employment. You will also benefit from timetabled employability sessions, ongoing support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.

How can I enhance my employability?

It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.

Optional, additional activities may be available on this degree which could help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:

  • Sandwich Years – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement, usually as the third year of a four year degree, and gain highly relevant work experience;
  • Erasmus+ and Study Abroad – you may have the opportunity to apply to spend time studying or working abroad, usually as the third year of a four year degree, enabling you to immerse yourself in a different culture;
  • Learning a Language – you may be able to participate in Language Steps classes, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as additional study.

Please note, the availability of these additional activities cannot be guaranteed for all students. Depending on availability and the number of students wanting to participate, there may be a competitive application process for sandwich year placements or studying abroad opportunities or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.

Finance

Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2020/21, tuition fees are still to be announced. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21 are £12,250 per annum.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2020/21 can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK and EU students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Further details of financial support arrangements for eligible UK and EU  students joining this programme in academic year 2020/21 are still to be announced. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

Scholarships

Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

Additional scholarships, which you may qualify to receive, reward outstanding grades and are available to eligible UK and EU students.

To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.

Apply

How to Apply

If you wish to study full-time, apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com. Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.

If you wish to study part-time, apply directly to Edge Hill University at www.edgehill.ac.uk/apply-part-time.

Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

Course Changes

Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

27th June 2019 - Withdrawal of Module

It is no longer possible to study a Language module as an integrated part of this degree. You can still learn a language as additional study, however, through our Language Steps classes.

11th June 2019 - Change of Module

SUG1021 Mathematical Proof and Logic (20 credits) replaces CIS1110 Web Design and Development (20 credits) as an optional module in Year 1.

23rd January 2019 - Change to Entry Requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points are required to join this programme with effect from September 2020 entry.