The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.
In choosing this BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Degree you'll immerse yourself in the inter-related commercial disciplines used to create artificial systems. In addition to the core training of Programming, Operating Systems, Software Design and Computer Architecture you'll also specialise in the theory of artificial intelligence and robotics, the development of practical applications, and exposure to the tools that assist development. Current and emerging applications of AI and Robotics include home robots, intelligent industrial robots, agent-based supply chain management systems and medical robots. Upon successful graduation you'll have the skills and attributes necessary to start to carve out a career; skills and attributes you've built upon heavily in your final year projects. You can also study this degree as GH76 over three years.
Artificial Intelligence and Robotics involves the development of artificial systems, and is becoming increasingly relevant in commercial and domestic life. Examples of current and emerging artificial systems include home robots (for entertainment or assisting those with special needs), supply chain management systems, robots used in medical practice, robots in space, on land and at sea. Researchers from Aberystwyth have been active in all these areas. On this course, you will participate in a fascinating and commercially important field of computing that is based on an active research area at Aberystwyth.You will gain a firm foundation in computing skills such as programming, software design, and computer architecture, and will learn specialised skills in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence, and interaction with related areas of study, such as intelligent agents in games programming and mobile computing.
Why study Artificial Intelligence and Robotics with a year in industry at Aberystwyth?
The Artificial Intelligence and Robotics degree allows you to study all the general Computer Science core modules, while also focusing specifically on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. You will have little choice in your modules, since you will be required to take all the modules in second and third year that relate specifically to Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. In addition, your final year project, on which you spend a third of your time, will be in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and will be supervised by a member of staff whose research is in this area. There is considerable opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular activities, such as the Sailbot challenge which has attracted a team from Aberystwyth for several years.
A year-long paid industrial placement (with substantially reduced fees simply to cover supervision and marking) is an incredible boost to your CV. You will come back for your final year clearer about your goals and with an improved set of skills and some money in your pocket. The department helps you to obtain a placement in several ways: in the first year you work on producing a professional quality CV that can be further tuned by the careers service, one of our administrators contacts employers to organise advertisements and interview opportunities, and a second year weekend away gives you the opportunity to practice interview with real employers. Many students find that their industrial year employer offers them a position after graduation.
Since your degree will cover the main areas of Computer Science, you will be eligible for general jobs in the IT industry as well as those specifically targeted at artificial intelligence and robotics.
Computer Science at Aberystwyth
Our computer science degrees are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) on behalf of the Engineering Council, which means that they meet industry standards and requirements, giving you a head start when you enter the competitive jobs market.
The Department is also designated a Centre of Excellence by the Welsh Assembly Government’s Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks and in the most recent Research Excellence Framework comparison (REF2014) the Department produced more world-leading (4*) and internationally excellent (3*) research than any other university in Wales. REF 2014 also assessed the impact of research on society, industry and government policy and the Department delivered 100% of its research impact at the top 3* and 4* level, demonstrating that our research makes a real difference in the world outside academia.
We are particularly proud that Times Higher Education (THE) ranked the Aberystwyth Computer Science department as 11th in the UK and 1st in Wales based on an analysis that takes into account both the research quality profile and the proportion of staff submitted. This is a good indicator of the research activity in a department irrespective of its size and with 99% of eligible staff submitted, this indicates that you will be taught by staff who are working at the frontiers of their disciplines. Many staff also have significant experience in industry, often working in co-operation with major international companies, so you can be confident that you will be learning the very latest concepts and working with cutting-edge technologies.
95% of our 2014 Computer Science graduates were in employment or further study 6 months after graduating, a 7 percentage point increase on the previous year. 92% were in professional work or graduate level education, compared with a UK average of 70% (DLHE 2014). This reflects our investment in innovative and strategic, student-focused employability initiatives which encompass all our academic institutes and which we firmly believe are likely to improve our employability ratings still further.
The 2015 National Student Satisfaction survey results show overall satisfaction rates, at 86% with the quality of the teaching they received and their access to IT resources, four percentage points higher than the UK average for the subject.
As you would expect from a major research department, you have access to excellent facilities. In addition to Windows PCs across campus for everyone, students in our department have access to dedicated Linux and Mac OS X laboratories and central servers. The Department has a range of equipment and simulation environments used primarily for research, which are available to final year students who choose projects in these areas. These include mobile and aerial robots, vision and motion tracking systems, micro-controller systems and laser scanners.
The department also prides itself on the employability of our graduates. Students may take a year in industry as part of their course. All students participate in a fun-packed activity weekend away from Aberystwyth in the first year which helps to develop important team-building and team-working skills. This will not only make you more attractive to employers, but will also pave the way for working on group projects later in your course.
Almost all of the Department of Computer Science Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are qualified to PhD level, and those who are not have considerable research or industrial experience. All new Lecturers and Teaching Fellows are required to obtain the PGCTHE, and hence are Senior Fellows or Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. The department also employs a number of part time demonstrators and tutors and some student demonstrators, who are selected from our undergraduate and postgraduate students. Research fellows and research assistants (mostly PhD qualified) may also be involved in delivering occasional teaching when it is appropriate.
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Core (60 Credits) The following modules are core
Introduction To Computer Infrastructure CS10220
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules
Year 2 Core (80 Credits) You must take the following modules:
Year 2 Options You MUST take ONE of the following modules
Year 3 Core (120 Credits) On your compulsory Sandwich year your registration will be as follows
Final Year Core (50 Credits) You must take the following modules:
Professional Issues In The Computing Industry CS38220
Final Year Options You MUST take ONE of the following projects:
Final Year Options 30 credits as advised by the Department.
Final Year Electives This module is available as an Elective. As advised by the Department.
Your degree will provide you with a range of skills and experiences that will equip you for the world of employment. Your year in employment will give you a significant advantage over other graduates, demonstrating your ability to apply your skills and knowledge in a work environment. Alongside the skills necessary for most typical jobs in the software industry, your degree will give you an advantage in fields such as intelligent robotic design and programming, medical robotics, industrial robotics requiring a degree of artificial intelligence, and programming of softbot applications for commercial problems. In addition, you will acquire the transferable skills, such as communication and problem-solving abilities, needed for success in a wider range of careers. The Department also provides you with a number of opportunities to improve your employability. The first year activity weekend will help you to develop your problem-solving and team-building skills, and the second year careers event will provide guidance on how to write a CV and give presentations, and there will be the opportunity to hold mock-interviews with people in the software industry. Throughout your degree there will be a number of lectures given by the Careers Advisory Service, on topics including psychometric tests, writing a CV, and giving presentations. In addition, the Personal Development Portfolio: a process of reflection, self-appraisal and planning for the future, will help you to track your progress throughout the degree, and will help you to decide which career or further study will be suitable for you in the future.
The Department’s dual focus on teaching and research creates a vibrant, welcoming environment in which to study. Teaching is delivered through lectures and practical studies, supplemented by smaller tutorials, and assessment is made through both coursework and examinations. The first year will introduce you to the fundamental tools of the degree, such as the use of different operating systems, software development, the use of Java, and the mathematical understanding needed for the later years. In the second year you will be introduced to robotics and artificial intelligence, and the practical challenges presented by their use in the real world. You will also embark on a detailed group project; the design, implementation and operation of a large software system, under the conditions of an industry enterprise. Your third year will be spent in employment in industry. The Department and the University's Careers Service will provide assistance to help you find a suitable placement and to develop your interview skills and CV. By the end of your second year you will already have enough knowledge and understanding to make a substantial contribution in the workplace, and we find that our students return from their industrial year with improved skills and a greater sense of motivation. In the fourth year you will undertake more specialised study, in areas such as space robotics and machine learning, and you will embark on a longer individual project. Examples of recently completed final-year projects include a four-legged robot, a post-delivering mobile robot and a heart-rate monitor. The staff are friendly and approachable, and committed to equipping you with the skills needed for success during and after your studies. Throughout your time in Aberystwyth, you will have the chance to meet regularly with a personal tutor, who can provide assistance with any difficulties you might have with the degree or with university life.
AI & Robotics is great because it not only gives you the most concrete feedback that what you're doing works - by a robot moving how it's supposed to, or even just a single sensor or motor behaving properly - it also feels the most creative, because you're creating something that can respond to any kind of environment or input, and even learn how to respond to things it's never seen before. Mathew Hathaway