Manchester Metropolitan University


Industrial Communication and Automation

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • Gain industry recognised qualifications and be a certified PROFIBUS engineer; certified PROFINET engineer; certified PLCopen engineer; certified AS-I engineer. These qualifications are recognised worldwide in the automation industry giving you an extra edge in the UK or the global job market.
  • Close industry collaboration: the School of Engineering's Automation Systems Centre hosts the Competence Centre for PROFIBUS International in the UK.
  • Excellent laboratory facilities with the latest commercial software and engineering tools.
  • You will gain knowledge and skills that are highly sought by employers as the course incorporates latest commercial software and engineering tools.
  • Research in the School of Engineering was rated 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework (2014).
  • The main student intake is in September but it is also possible to begin studying in January.

About the course

Our engineering Masters programmes are designed to meet the needs of an industry which looks to employ postgraduates who can learn independently and apply critical thinking to real-world problems. Many of the staff who teach in the School also have experience of working in industry and have well-established links and contacts in their industry sector, ensuring your education and training is relevant to future employment.

This course starts in September 2017 and January 2018. Please note that January starters will have a course duration of approximately 15 months.

Our Research in Engineering and Materials

We focus on a wide variety of research in the general areas of engineering and materials’ science. Researchers in the Engineering and Materials Research Centre are a mix of full and part time staff, postdoctoral researchers, research degree students and visiting fellows and professors from academia and industry.

Our research was rated ‘internationally recognised’ in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Recent research awards from the UK Research Councils, EU Horizon2020, InnovateUK and industry partners include £630k for next generation energy storage devices via 3D printing of graphene, £600k to develop smart communication systems and £100k for an award-winning novel cardiovascular bypass graft.

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

This course can be taught full-time over 1 year, or part-time over 2 years. If taught full-time all units will be taken within 1 year.

Core units

  • Industrial Communication Systems
  • MSc Engineering Project

Option units

  • Embedded Systems and Systems on Chip
  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Smart Technologies for Power Management
  • Advanced Control and Instrumentation
  • Computer Engineering and CPU Design
  • Sustainable Energy Systems
  • Advanced Control and Instrumentation
  • Sensing and Imaging
  • Management Practice
  • Rail Infrastructure and Engineering Strategy
  • Manufacturing Systems Management

Optional units listed in the following curriculum structures are all approved for delivery, but may not all run/be available in any one academic session.

Click below for unit information.

Core Units
Industrial Communication Systems

This unit will develop the learner’s understanding of digital communication systems used within the automation industry. It will enhance the learner’s skills in the design, development and evaluation of fieldbus and Ethernet based communication systems, so dominant in modern industry. It engages the learner in good engineering practice in installing, testing and maintaining networked automation systems. The unit incorporates the required assessment to allow the learner to achieve Certified PROFIBUS, Certified PROFINET Engineer and Certified PLCopen Engineer qualifications, giving them an edge in the job market.

Industrial Control, Automation and Communication

The unit contains three parts:

  • Fieldbus system architecture, components, protocols, and operation principles. State of the art engineering and diagnostic tools: their applications to system configuration, design and life-cycle maintenance. Design of production and machine networks (PROFIBUS systems and AS-i systems, etc).
  • Industrial Ethernet Systems. Industrial Ethernet systems architecture, components, protocols, and operation principles. State of the art engineering and diagnostic tools: their applications to system configuration, design and life-cycle maintenance. Design of PROFINET systems.
  • Object-oriented Automation Programming. Latest developments in automation programming: languages, engineering tools and integration with industrial communication systems. Design of a networked automation system using PROFIBUS and/or PROFINET.

MSc Engineering Project

This is a core unit for all MSc programmes within the School of Engineering. In their MSc project, the learner will develop a deep theoretical and practical understanding of a subject field within the engineering area of study.  The learner will be supervised and supported by active research staff within the School of Engineering. The aim of the MSc project is to prepare the learner to take key positions in industry or to go on to further research based posts/studies within the Higher Education sector.

Likely Optional Units
Computer Engineering and CPU Design

This unit provides an understanding of new and emerging technologies in high-performance computer systems and allows the learner to gain an appreciation of likely new developments in the area.  It covers design and appraisal of computer systems based on modern multicore, GPGPU and FPGA technologies along with advanced concepts in instruction level parallelism, and thread level parallelism. The unit provides current industry practice to promote employment in various computing algorithm applications especially relating high-performance computing systems.

Digital Signal Processing (30 credits)

This unit describes the application and implementation of digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms, and details emerging DSP technologies.  It provides an understanding of theory and application of ADC/DAC conversion, sampling theorem, Fourier analysis, FFT, Wavelet analysis, signal compression, digital filters and DSP hardware implementation strategies. DSP is a core subject in electrical and electronic engineering. The learner will acquire not only the theoretical knowledge of such techniques but also the ability to implement them within a practical setting.

Embedded Systems and Systems on a Chip

This unit develops the learner’s understanding of the latest technology in Embedded Systems Design and System on Chip (SoC) methodology. The technology underpins modern IT, social media and the Internet of Things, that shape our communities and societies.  This unit will develop the learner’s skills in mastering Verilog Hardware Description Language, commonly used FPGAs, latest development tools and advanced microprocessors including ARM. An in-depth knowledge of this material is highly sought after in the engineering sector.

Embedded Systems Development

Application oriented embedded system development using industry standard microcontrollers, FPGAs and system-on-a-chip methodology.

Management Practice

The unit introduces some key aspects of management practice, developing the ability to assimilate and apply some basic concepts, tools and frameworks in organisational development, marketing, accounting and finance.

Manufacturing Systems Management

This unit enables the learner to demonstrate a practical and conceptual understanding of manufacturing systems tools and techniques. Learning to appreciate the value of management science in tacking complex decision making problems and develop conceptual knowledge on the development of product-service systems.

Rail Infrastructure and Engineering Strategy

This unit develops a student’s understanding and viewpoint of the rail industry. It engages student’s ideas of current rail standards and regulations and allows critical evaluation of engineering ethics and industry strategy. The unit provides relevant industry knowledge to promote employment in various engineering disciplines within the rail sector. 

Sensing and Imaging

This unit is about the operation and application of imaging and sensing technologies. You will learn how the properties of the electromagnetic spectrum are used in sensing technologies and how to analyse the technological requirements and implementation strategies for imaging and sensing. You will learn how to apply sensing and imaging technologies to data acquisition in industry and academia.

Smart Technologies for Power Management

This unit focuses on intelligent and sustainable power management technologies both on the electrical grids and in buildings. Looking at the global energy consumption and the implications of the increased consumption on the environment, it discusses electrification of transport, communication systems, Internet of Things, M2M (Machine to Machine), smart metering, and other emerging technologies, and their role in sustainable energy management. The unit develops the learner’s knowledge in the design and practical aspects of sustainable power systems. It prepares the learner for a career in the power industry.

Sustainable Energy Systems

This unit focuses on the design of sustainable and renewable energy systems. It will enable the learner to understand the structure, operation and applications of various renewable power systems; wind to energy converters, photovoltaic (solar), energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells and the design of hybrid renewable energy systems. It also provides them with the knowledge and design tools required for today’s renewable energy industry.

Sustainable Integrated Power Systems

This unit covers design and practical aspects of renewable power systems. Energy conversion technologies and the design of hybrid renewable energy systems are also covered. Reliability issues and life cycle calculation for the studied systems are also included.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

You will be assessed through a combination of written reports, oral presentations, practical assignments and written examinations.

Additional Information About this Course

Due to professional body requirements, this course differs from standard University Assessment Regulations in that a minimum pass mark is required for each element of assessment.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

Typical entry requirements

A minimum of 2:2 UK Honours degree in Physics, Mathematics, or a branch of Engineering is normally required. Equivalent EU/international qualifications are also accepted.  Other professional qualifications or unclassified degrees in Engineering or Science disciplines may be considered on merit and/or with relevant professional experience.

International students please see

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

If you are unable to apply online, you can apply for full- and part-time taught courses by completing the postgraduate application form. There are exceptions for some professional courses – the course information on our on-line prospectus will give you more information in these cases.

Please note: to apply for this course, you only need to provide one reference.

Career options after the course

You will be able to apply your advanced systems and industrial IT skills to a range of industries, including the power, petrochemical and water industries. Graduates from this course may enter a wide variety of engineering and automation careers, for example a ‘chip’ engineer, software engineer or project engineer.

You will also be well placed to pursue an employment position with partners or further study through a PhD or an Engineering Doctorate.

Careers support is available from the moment you join us, throughout your time here, and for up to three years after the completion of your course. We have a range of services available through the School of Engineering and the University Careers Service including dedicated careers and employability advisors.


The School of Engineering hosts two commercial companies: ASCent (Automation Systems Centre) which provides support and training in instrumentation and control for local and national industry in the form of short courses, consultancy, feasibility studies and software development for control systems; and STATUS (Specialist Transport Advisory and Testing Utility Society) which was founded as a result of a number of collaborative ventures between the School of Engineering and companies in the specialist vehicle field.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.