MSc Electronic Smart Systems Engineering

Available with optional placement year

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Smart technology is the future. Machines that talk to each other, learn from their surroundings and respond accordingly – think driverless cars – are the shape of things to come. With our MSc Electrical Smart Systems Engineering, you’ll put yourself at the centre of these exciting technological developments, working at the forefront of Industry 4.0.

Focusing on applied skills, this new course is a unique opportunity to develop your knowledge in this specialist engineering field. You’ll study nine core units, taking in the key technological foundations of Industry 4.0. That includes two project management units, helping you learn the principles behind the delivery of successful projects. It’s a rounded approach that means you’ll cover both design and implementation.

You’ll then be ready to tackle an in-depth engineering research project. In our high-tech facilities, you’ll learn to use the modern tools and equipment you’ll come across in the workplace.

Throughout it all, you’ll be supported by highly experienced teaching and research staff, who’ll ensure that what you’re learning is 100% relevant to industry. And, with both technical and project management skills, as well as a proven ability to apply critical thinking to real-world problems, you’ll leave us ready to play a constructive role in shaping the future.

Optional placement year

This course is available with an optional industrial placement year, giving students the chance to tailor their knowledge to suit a specific industry or skill set. This is an excellent opportunity to put theory into practice and gain transferable workplace skills, providing a real boost to your CV when you graduate.

See Course Details for more details.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Practical, independent thinkers with both technical expertise and a strong grasp of modern management techniques are in high demand across the industry. So, with this masters under your belt, you could be looking to move into a role at the operational level of a company, implementing lean, best-value manufacturing.

You’ll be able to apply for jobs in a wide range of industries, including the production, process, transport, power, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors. If you decide to continue with your studies, you’ll also be well placed to enter a PhD or an Engineering Doctorate programme.

Careers support is available from the moment you join us, and for up to three years after you finish your course. Dedicated careers and employability advisors in the Department of Engineering and the University Careers Service will help you find the role that’s right for you.  

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Entry requirements

You’ll need a good UK honours degree – at least a 2:2 – or the international equivalent, in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) or design-based subject with lab or practical components.

IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5

Course details

You’ll study nine core units, covering areas including Cyber-Physical Systems, Smart Systems for Industry 4.0 and Management of Projects, as well as an in-depth masters project.

Core units:

  • Smart Systems for Industry 4.0
  • Cyber-Physical Systems
  • Power Electronics and Drives
  • Engineering Design for Innovation
  • Systems Engineering for Industry
  • Engineering Sustainability
  • Management of Projects Fundamentals
  • Management of Projects Professional Practice
  • Individual Research Project

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Management of Projects Fundamentals

The aim of this Unit is to develop student knowledge in the fundamentals of project management and the management of projects through the Body of Knowledge (APM) and Book of Knowledge (PMI).

Management of Projects Professional Practice

The aim of this Unit is to develop student knowledge in the management of projects in a professional practice setting via problem based learning. Students will be expected to analyse, critique and recommend solutions for an existing project.

Using a problem based learning approach, with a case study provided by an industrial partner, students will explore the management strategies, processes and stakeholders involved in the project, and develop communication and coordination plans to monitor and control the project information.

Smart Systems for Industry 4.0

Sensors gather the data for smart management of the systems that define Industry 4.0. Components, machines, production lines, whole factories and distribution systems all contribute data to optimise the entire value-creation chain. Effective specification, design and deployment of sensors require access to multidisciplinary expertise including artificial intelligence, control systems, and communication technologies and protocols.

Students will gain practical experience of working with programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and learn about the latest innovations in condition monitoring and other sensing applications, such as RFID, barcode scanning, image processing, automation & control, etc.

Cyber-Physical Systems

Cyber-Physical Systems are complex networked systems of physical and computational components that interact with each other. Such systems will drive the future of robotics, smart power grids, autonomous vehicles and aircraft, advanced clinical monitoring systems and manufacturing processes.

Students will develop their understanding of Cyber-Physical architectures with reference to the design of sub-systems and several key components and enabling technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), embedded systems, control and automation systems, and communication systems.

Power Electronics and Drives

Innovation, improved performance and efficiency in the energy generation and transport industries depends on the effective management of energy storage and control.

Students will develop their understanding of control theory and how power electronics systems manage and monitor the component parts of electric powertrains, such as battery and alternative storage technologies, drives, motors, and renewable energy sources such as regenerative braking.

Engineering Design for Innovation

The success of Industry 4.0 depends on innovative, sustainable and fully fit-for-purpose designs for new and existing products, which exploit the latest technological advances in engineering. Effective designs depend on a structured and holistic approach to the design process.

Students will learn about the different stages of the design life cycle, and associated techniques and methodologies, such as Quality Function Deployment (QFD), concept ideas and selection, materials and manufacturing methods, and full life-cycle analysis, with reference to applicable legislation and standards, marketplace, environmental and sustainability factors.

Systems Engineering for Industry

A range of interdisciplinary skills in systems thinking and systems analysis will be required to support the delivery of new engineering products, enterprise and services for Industry 4.0.

Students will learn how analysis and decision making during the operational and developmental phases of the system life cycle for complex systems is supported by hierarchical models of the system’s structure and its functional and physical building blocks.

Engineering Sustainability

A resilient and sustainable economic future depends on engineering products and processes that use resources and energy at a rate that does not compromise the natural environment, or the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Students will learn about the latest developments in harvesting energy from natural resources, such as wind, solar, bioenergy, hydrogen fuel cells, gaseous and liquid biofuels, etc. and about what informs business decision-making when evaluating sustainable plant performance and materials selection.

Individual Research Project

Inspired by the learning from the other units on their programme, the research and enterprise activity of the teaching team, and possibly by relevant workplace experience, students will use this unit to develop a deep theoretical and practical understanding of a subject field within their engineering area of study. 

A supporting directed programme of study will introduce students to research methods and practical guidance for proposing, developing, implementing and reporting a research project.

Students will work with a supervisory team to identify an area of study that is within the disciplinary scope of the award, and one that will have sufficient breadth and depth to meet the unit and programme learning outcomes. A range of themed challenges will be offered, for example Industry 4.0, Transport, Energy and the Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Project Management and Water.

Optional Postgraduate Industry Placement Year

Strengthen your skillset by spending time in real-life situations, applying the skills you’ve learned throughout your academic studies in a practical industry environment. This course is available with an optional industrial placement year, giving you the opportunity to tailor your knowledge to suit a specific industry or skillset. Learning things that can’t be taught or experienced in a classroom, you’ll gain hands-on experience and an inside knowledge of industrial practice. This is an excellent opportunity to put theory into practice and gain transferable workplace skills, providing a real boost to your CV when you graduate.

The University’s Careers Service will assist in finding suitable placements. There will also be plenty of help and advice from staff in the Department of Engineering. After finding a placement, your tutors will be on hand to ensure this is the right choice for you and your career aspirations, to make sure that you get the most from your time in industry.

Following completion of the academic credits for your MSc award, the industry placement allows you to gain additional practice credits by working for a minimum of 36 weeks and maximum 42 weeks (excluding paid and statutory holidays) in an industry setting, relevant to your studies. The placement provides the opportunity to develop a professional career development plan and to apply academic knowledge in the workplace, as well as acquiring additional specialist expertise and transferable skills through responsibilities and contributions to the employer’s business.

A placement fee of £1,850 applies.

Placement options

Strengthen your skillset by spending time in real-life situations, applying the skills you’ve learned throughout your academic studies in a practical industry environment. This course is available with an optional year 2 industrial placement year, giving you the opportunity to tailor your knowledge to suit a specific industry or skillset.

A placement fee of £1,850 applies.

Department of Engineering

Our Department of Engineering comprises more than 60 academic staff and post-doctoral researchers, supported by an experienced technical team and a wide range of specialist equipment and resources.

The department strives to align their research to the needs and challenges of industry and society, ensuring that research has a wide impact. Teaching and learning in the department are employability-focused, with a focus on practical skills and knowledge that reflects what students will do in engineering roles when they graduate.

More about the department

Taught by experts

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.

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UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £8,500 to £9,250 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Non-EU international and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 for books and printing. Total optional cost: £400

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

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 postgraduate 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.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

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. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

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