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Smart Manufacturing - MSc

Do you want to develop your digital skills and become an Industry 4.0 specialist? This MSc Smart Manufacturing course will prepare you to apply digital skills into a dynamic and highly in demand sector, putting you ahead in the graduate job market....

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Course overview

Do you want to develop your digital skills and become an Industry 4.0 specialist? This MSc Smart Manufacturing course will prepare you to apply digital skills into a dynamic and highly in demand sector, putting you ahead in the graduate job market.

Smart Manufacturing is the convergence of Operational Technologies and Information Technologies, to support the operations of the factory of the future. Also known as Industry 4.0 the convergence of manufacturing’s physical aspects and processes with data, sensors, artificial intelligence, cyber security and computer networks enables an increase in efficiency across the value chain of the manufacturing sector.

On this course, you will focus solely on the computing aspects of Industry 4.0, to enable your professional development by filling the skill gap required to understand how data and digital technology transforms and augments the physical aspects of manufacturing and its related areas.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

As a conversion course centred on the digital-led aspects of the smart manufacturing sector, we consider that all students are starting with no experience in the computing and mathematical aspects of the technologies involved in the course.

This MSc is designed to train graduates in courses related to Engineering, Computing and Management or with a background in these areas, to allow them to actively progress into the highly demanded market of the digitally enabled transformation of the manufacturing sector.

This course brings together cutting-edge digital technology by starting with a solid foundation of principles of computing, networking, sensing technologies, security and the digitally enabled value chain that support the development and operation of Industry 4.0.

Some of the core concepts of Industry 4.0 that will be taught are:

  • Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) - The infrastructure behind the factories of the future, the IIoT enables the development of intelligent systems to automate manufacturing processes with high levels of efficiency, accuracy and visibility. You will learn industry standard sensors and platforms and techniques for their implementation.
  • Cybersecurity - As industrial processes move to the digital realm, there is a requirement for the adopting cyber security measures for the adequate protection of valuable information assets to ensure organisations’ operations. You will learn the skills and techniques to identify security gaps, evaluate business risks, and recommend mitigations strategies.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)

    AI is a core component of modern computing systems which involve the development intelligent agents that mimic human’s cognitive capability in learning, reasoning and problem solving. As a student of this MSc, you will develop an in-depth understanding of the potential and scope of applying and evaluating the different forms of ML techniques.

The course is complemented by the study of how digital technologies are impacting the manufacturing value networks and how to best manage these technologies, including: novel visualisation techniques such as Augmented and Virtual Reality; digital ledgers (blockchain); and Digital Twins that link physical systems into the cyber world.

Through a practice-led approach, our course teaches you the underlying digital technologies, tools and techniques supporting the digital evolution of the manufacturing sector into Industry 4.0, by making use of state-of-the-art software and computing hardware tools.

Our research, staff and lab facilities on Smart Systems, High Performance Computing, Future Networks and Machine Learning Cluster will enable your journey to become a highly sought after specialist on Smart Manufacturing at the forefront of the digitally-driven field.

Why Choose Us?

  • Become an Industry 4.0 specialist - this course will prepare you to apply these digital enabled skills into a dynamic and highly demanded sector, putting you ahead in the graduate job market.
  • Leam how to evaluate and manage Industry 4.0 systems - our course teaches you the underlying technologies, tools and techniques supporting the evolution of the manufacturing sector.
  • Industry-standard resources - through our School’s partnerships, our course provides the training for industry-standard solutions, enabling the problem-solving skills required for the current graduate job market. The course is supported by the Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) Research Group themes and the vision of ‘Smart systems’ of the Department of CNS at the School of CDT, with Labs specialising in digital technologies for CPS and their applications for Industry 4.0: Machine Learning cluster; Future Networks Lab (LPWAN + 5G); High Performance Computing

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English language and Mathematics.

In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must have passed an Honours degree at minimum of 2:2 or equivalent in an engineering, computing or business discipline. Work experience in the above disciplines on an interview basis.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £8,800 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £9,700 per year
  • Part Time
  • 20 months
  • TBC

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £13,200 per year
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £14,520 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Module

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

Industrial Internet of Things 20 credits

Digital Supply Chain 20 credits

Information Security Governance 20 credits

Applied Machine Learning 20 credits

Research Methods and Project Management 20 credits

Advanced and Immersive Technologies 20 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed Level 7 project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying and informed by the research strategy of your school, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

Knowledge and understanding are acquired though a mixture of formal lectures, tutor-led seminars and practical activities, with other independent learning activities at all stages.

Emphasis is placed on guided, self-directed and student-centred learning with increasing independence of approach, thought and process.

The course provides access to effective commercial development environments and ensures students have practical awareness of computer systems requirements. You are required to meet strict deadlines, and to manage and plan overall workload.

Knowledge is assessed formatively and summatively, by a number of methods, including seminars, course-work, viva, presentation, and project work.

Assessment criteria are published both at a generic course level and to provide guidance for individual items of assessment.

You will undertake a major project involving research and application of that research in the solution of appropriate systems problems.

Professional Placement option*

The Professional Placement option will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market.  Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement.  The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study.  You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School. 

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course.  All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.


This course is accredited by the following organisations:

Our accreditations from these bodies show employers that you have the level of knowledge and skills they need when you graduate.

Employability

Enhancing your employability skills

We know that employers are looking for graduates who have a good balance between in-depth academic knowledge and technical and practical expertise, which is why our course is geared towards employability.

What you learn on our course will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role. Because you will know how to use sophisticated, industry-standard software, you will be able to demonstrate that you can put into practice your deep theoretical knowledge.

We will also prepare you for a career by equipping you with a range of transferable skills, such as complex problem-solving expertise, the ability to analyse in a careful and considered manner, and working as a team member. We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and, as part of your Advanced Computer Science course, we will invite guest speakers to underpin the subjects taught.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance to network with leading organisations such as IBM, Dignity plc, Mortgage Brain and Griffiths Waite. In addition, our specialist industry links with the Linux Professional Institute, the Oracle Academy, Cisco, and Microsoft, plus our world-class facilities, will mark you out as a highly employable graduate.

This is why our graduates have gone on to pursue computing and software development and designer careers in a wide range of industries, from SME software companies, to industry, government, banking and healthcare. Furthermore, many graduates continue their studies to Doctorate level.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities and Staff

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.

Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.

Computer networking

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.

Software development and computer programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.

Systems laboratories

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.

Electronic Systems

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.

More on our facilities