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Postgraduate study
Instrumentation and Control Engineering

Instrumentation and Control Engineering MSc

Instrumentation and control engineers are highly sought after in a range of industries, including oil and gas, petrochemicals, chemical engineering, manufacturing, research, transport and infrastructure.


Course overview


This programme will help you develop your knowledge and skills in instrumentation, electronics and control engineering, and it will help you develop the ability to synthesise information from a variety of sources and make effective decisions on complex instrumentation and control engineering problems.

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Course details

For an MSc award you must successfully complete 120 credits of taught modules and a 60-credit master's research project.

Examples of past MSc research projects:

• effects of particle size on gas-solid flow measurement using dynamic electrostatic meters
• an investigation of self-turning and predictive control with MATLAB
• modelling and control of hot air blow rig PT326
• wireless controlled car with data acquisition
• BCD to 6-3-1-1 code converter design using VHDL
• comparative evaluation of turning techniques for MPC
• digital traffic signal controller design
• proteus control board test site
• design of temperature measurement system
• control system design for stepping motor.

Course structure

Core modules

Data Acquisition and Signal Processing

You are introduced to the theorem, principles and techniques of data acquisition and digital processing including sampling, digital signal analysis in time and frequency domains. You also focus on the impact of digital technologies on the design of modern industrial measurement systems. The industrial software for measurement systems will also be introduced with a series of real measurement applications.

Digital Control Design and Implementation

You develop your knowledge of digital circuit analysis and design as well as an understanding of digital control circuits/systems design methodology and implementation technology. You study a range of methods such as top-down design method, design automation framework and tools, VHDL modelling and rapid prototyping. You gain a technical competence and an appreciation of the capabilities and limitations of modern digital control circuits/systems design and implementation. You study through a series of lectures and labs, that are used to explain theory and discuss applications. Practical sessions involve the use of design tools, modelling of digital components and systems, circuit simulation and implementation.

Electronic Signal Conditioning

This module explores the circuit technologies required to make sensitive and precise measurements. Such systems form the signal-conditioning stages of most industrial, commercial and scientific equipment and have to present the raw signal from the sensor in a suitable format for digital signal processing.

Engineering Research Project

You investigate an area of engineering and work independently to a level recognised to be at the forefront of the discipline. The topic can be in the form of a research project or a design project. Key skills in research and in knowledge application and creation will be developed through keynote lectures and self-managed independent study. You are required to demonstrate the capacity for a comprehensive and objective analysis, and for developing innovative and constructive proposals for the solution to the project topic.

Identification and Model Predictive Control

This module develops, from first principles, the methods and techniques associated with system identification. The module shows how these techniques can be used in the formulation of adaptive and model based Control schemes. Finally, the practical implementation of these control schemes is considered.

The module is delivered through a series of weekly lectures. These are used to explain theory and to discuss applications. Practical sessions supported by MatLab and SimuLink are used to reinforce the lecture material and provide an opportunity to develop the required practical skills.

The module is assessed through a combination of in-course assignment and a computer based end examination using MatLab and SimuLink.

Robust Control Systems

In this module the robust control problem is discussed. The module describes the QFT approach to robust control and how to apply this to typical engineering problems. You then discuss the use of expert systems/fuzzy logic solutions as an alternative. The module is delivered through a series of weekly lectures. These are used to explain theory and to discuss applications. Practical sessions supported by MatLab and SimuLink are used to reinforce the lecture material and provide an opportunity to develop the required practical skills. The module is assessed through a combination of in-course assignment and a computer based end examination using MatLab and SimuLink.


You will investigate how the role of the engineer is becoming more focused on serving society as well as industry and to recognise the impact of engineers’ decisions on society and the environment.

As engineers of the future, you will need to have a sustainable worldview, acknowledging international, cultural, and diversity issues in society. In addition, you will also be expected to solve complex problems with consideration for multi-perspective views, long-term effects, risk, and the impacts of decisions on society.

This module will examine the key topics surrounding sustainability in the context of engineering applications across a range of disciplines and key future challenges such as energy, transport, and construction.

The subjects will be taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will develop key concepts and knowledge. Seminars will allow more focused examinations of important issues and approaches.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Lectures provide the theoretical underpinning while practical sessions give you the opportunity to put theory into practice, applying your knowledge to specific problems.

Tutorials and seminars provide a context for interactive learning and allow you to explore relevant topics in depth. In addition to the taught sessions, you undertake a substantive MSc research project.

How you are assessed

Assessment varies from module to module. The assessment methodology could include in-course assignments, design exercises, technical reports, presentations or formal examinations. For your MSc project you prepare a dissertation.


Entry requirements

You must have a second class (2.2) honours degree (or higher). We consider a wide range of first degree subjects including automation and control engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, electrical engineering, electrical systems, electronic engineering, electronic systems, instrumentation/control engineering, mechatronics, and robotics.

Students with a degree awarded outside the UK must also meet the University's minimum English language requirements.

International applicants who need a student visa to study in the UK should check our web pages on UKVI-compliant English language requirements. The University also provides pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet the minimum English language requirement.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

An instrumentation and control engineer may be involved in designing, developing, installing, managing and maintaining equipment which is used to monitor and control engineering systems, machinery and processes. Graduates can expect to be employed in a wide range of sectors, including industries involved with oil and gas, petrochemicals, pharmaceutical, chemical engineering, manufacturing, research, transport and infrastructure.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: September enrolment: 1 year, January enrolment: 16 months, including a summer break
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: September enrolment: 2 years, including a summer break, January enrolment: 28 months, including two summer breaks
  • Attendance: Typically one or two days a week
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


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Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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