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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....

  • 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

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 oft he factory of the future.

Also known as Industry 4.0 the convergence of manufacturing’s physical aspects and processes with data, sensors, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity 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.

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking

Our brand new £70 million pound building, STEAMhouse, will become the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year.

Find out more

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.
  • Learn 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

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area from our academics.

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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

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £9,000 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £9,900 in 2022/23
  • £1000 per 20 credits
  • Year 1 - 80 credits
  • Year 2 - 100 credits

Fees for Part-time students

This course can be studied on a Part-time study basis. The cost per year of study is based on credit requirements for that year.

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 12 months
  • £16,300 in 2022/23
  • Full Time
  • 18 months with Professional Placement (see below*)
  • £17,930 in 2022/23

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 (IIoT) is the underpinning infrastructure of factories of the future; aimed at developing intelligent systems that accelerate and automate manufacturing processes with a high level of efficiency and accuracy and noticeably lowcost. IIoT is a key enabler for generating industrial big data on a machine’s operation. Data science professionals can use these data to process, analyse, and make decisions to help manufacturers in managing their businesses more efficiently and more effectively. IIoT platforms on the other hand, are essential development tools used to develop innovative industrial applications to automate manufacturing processes to provide smarter and more effective manufacturing processes across various industries.

Many companies are now investing in IIoT platforms to increase their visibility, productivity levels and empowering staff to work smarter. The module provides you with an opportunity to gain experience and to critically reflect on the skills of IIoT within a global context. This module builds on the knowledge and underpinning theory from the networking modules and reviews the requirements for good industrial networks management.

OverviewThe digital enablement of industrial processes has been rapidly accelerating in the past few years. Technologies such as sensors, automation, data collection and data analysis have enabled novel ways of approaching the processes occurring in the modern factories, but equally important those related to their value chain. With systems that aim to automate the production space by learning and adapting, they can enable new productivity paradigms that enhance and optimise the value proposition of the organisations. Leveraging digital tools, digital processes and data, the Digital Supply Network (DSN) is an evolution from the more linear and traditional supply chain into a dynamic and interconnected system that allows full control and visualisation of the end-to-end supply network, involving all its stakeholders and activities.

Security measures for adequate protection of valuable information assets are essential not only to guard business success and reputation but also because it is an obligation to comply with legal requirements, appropriate standards and relevant domain regulations. This module provides students with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the concepts, methods, processes, tools and practices underlying good information security management.

This module covers the concepts and techniques of applied artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on the machine learning applications in practice. It provides the underpinning principles on the design and development of AI to address emerging challenges in the cyber world. A range of machine-learning schemes are examined, including identification of anomalous situations that alter data reliability and integrity. In addition, the students will develop related analytical and practical skills that can be applied in designing AI for data processing applications.

This module gives you the necessary research and project management background which will enable you to better understand scientific research, the demands of academic writing, and project management. These skills are useful across the different modules of the school of computing’s masters programmes, crucial for the very important masters project module, and relevant to your future professional life as scientific research and project management are commonplace and rigorous writing is an important professional skill.

Advanced and immersive interface systems, for example Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs), Eye Trackers, and depth sensors are becoming commonplace within the field of human computer interaction. These systems present innovative and exciting design paradigms, but also introduce many challenges to their successful adoption. Having a mastery in the design and development of experiences using these novel systems and understanding the potential they hold for future user experience design is paramount.

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.

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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

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 & Staff

Our Facilities

As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.

We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.

Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.

Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Computer Labs

System Labs

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:

  • Schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) design software – ORCAD
  • Analogue and digital circuit design and simulation software – PSpice
  • Graphical microcontroller software – Matrix Multimedia Flowcode
  • Microcontroller development board – PIC Microchip
  • E-block microcontroller training kit
  • FPGA & CPLD development board
  • Robotics design and development
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:

  • Software development environments for modern programming languages - Visual Studio
  • Computing programming languages – Python, C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Unity
  • Operating systems – Linux, Windows and macOS
  • Database management systems – MySQL
  • Neural network simulators
  • Computer architecture simulators – RISC
  • Application development software – iPhone, Android Studio
  • Integrated development environments – Netbeans / FPGA /CPLD
  • JAVA programming – BlueJ.
Network Labs

Our industry standard kit can be accessed by students who are at home or anywhere on the globe – remote access – 24/7 (NETACAD)

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), Security technologies, Forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity and software Defined Networking including NFV.

Forensics Room 

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.

Industry standard forensic hardware and software is available for analysis of PC’s and mobile phones.

Some of the features of the lab includes: fingerprint readers and recognition software development kits, facial recognition cameras and software development kits and more.

Games Lab

Our state-of-the-art computer games lab is home to a PS4 Development Kit and has Xbox One Console Development ability. We have a Nintendo Switch Development Kit in procurement and HTC Vive, Oculus CV1 and VR development facility.

The Games Lab is a key feature during our Games Jam and society events. All students can join our computer games societies and use our facilities if interested in gaming.

Digital Technology Facilities

We operate well-resourced high-spec computer labs which are fully equipped with up-to-date, industry standard software for the design and development of advanced multimedia applications.

Our facilities include: Sophisticated graphics software packages for image manipulation and editing; these provide a full range of drawing, editing and image composition tools. Web animation and Rich Internet Application development tools. 3D software for Rendering, Modelling, Games and Animation, and design and graphics software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Sound Studios in Millennium Point

The Orchard

The Orchard is a 40-seat mac lab designed to support teaching of audio and mac-specific software. The lab features a recording booth as well as high quality audio monitors and video projector.

Sound Studios

Our studio facilities feature mixing consoles by manufacturers such as SSL and Audix, monitoring by PMC and Genelec, and a host of software and outboard hardware effects commonly found in high-end commercial recording studios. As well as acoustically designed spaces to record and mix, we have a dedicated mastering suite featuring the acclaimed PMC IB1S monitors.

In the live rooms you will find a useful range of stock instruments including drums and cymbals, guitars, basses, a tuned piano and a range of instrument amplifiers.

Mix Rooms

Our mix rooms are smaller rooms, useful for one or two students to work on projects that do not require the space afforded by our larger studio facilities. These include a Foley studio for recording of footsteps and other sound effects that are added to media. We also have a room where live desks can be set up, allowing students to explore workflows outside of a gig setup.

Microphones

We pride ourselves on an extensive microphone collection that any commercial studio would be proud of. From the classic Neumann U87, Royer 121 or Coles 4038 to staples like the AKG C414 or C451, you will find a very usable range of sounds to explore.

Live Sound Equipment

Students have access to an extensive set of live sound equipment with mixing consoles by Midas, Digidesign and Yamaha and a range of PA systems including a D&B Audiotechnik line array. Backed up with an excellent set of microphones chosen for their success in the live environment, and other production equipment such as lighting, the gear is used in a variety of destinations around the university or offsite at gigs and festivals.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility is the first of its kind in the digital age and is the perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary.

Featuring 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space, it offers unrivalled opportunities for our students. The audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and to allow students to experiment with new technologies.

Read more about the Conservatoire of the Future

Curzon Street Studios

Curzon Street Studios has a number of world-class TV studios suitable for shooting commercials, films and video productions, both big and small.

Studio B boasts the largest fixed green screen in the UK, with a three wall infinity cove. The studio has been used for filming TV commercials, TV promos, music videos, web presentations and the live-streaming of online entertainment shows. Studio B offers pre-rigged lighting for green screen as well as access to the lighting rig with a hoist controller at ground floor level.

Black cyclorama and matting are also available to create a black studio. The green studio also houses our MILO motion control rig which is the most used motion control rig in the world, the Milo’s versatility, portability and high accuracy makes it the ideal choice for live action shooting and table top work.

Curzon Street Studios boasts six digital radio studios. All studios have been acoustically designed to provide ideal recording environments for both live and pre-recorded audio production and are fully soundproofed.

Our post production system has been designed to enable content to be produced, managed and distributed digitally. We offer a custom built central technical area that allows seamless interaction between all our studios and edit suites.

Learn more about what Curzon Street Studios has to offer

Makers Space

The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students find support in building their electronic projects (i.e. Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards based).

The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.

This space is widely used by students, including first year students who use the space to help build their gadget ready to be presented at Innovation Fest. Experienced technicians are on hand to provide support. The support extends to all other levels including Final Year, Ph.D., and KTP projects.

Student have access to high spec laptops with the latest media software for all their module needs, making the level 4 Makers Space the ideal area for the development of their project. Computer enthusiasts will enjoy our mini collection of vintage Apple computers.


Computing and Digital Technology facilities

Our staff

Dr Waldo Cervantes

Senior Lecturer

Dr Waldo Cervantes has over 20 years of experience in tech, industry, and academia. Full Profile

More about Waldo