BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

Aberystwyth Experimental Planetary Rover

In choosing this BSc Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Degree (GH76) 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 GH7P over four years.

Overview

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 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.

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 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.

Our Staff

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.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

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

Semester 1

Introduction To Computer Infrastructure CS10220

Semester 2

Problems And Solutions CS10720

Web Development Tools CS15020

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 1

Datblygiad Proffesiynol A Phersonol CC18010

Professional And Personal Development CS18010

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 2

Rhaglennu Gan Ddefnyddio Iaith Gwrthrych-gyfeiriadol CC12320

Programming Using An Object-oriented Language CS12320

Year 1 Options You MUST take one of the following modules

Semester 1

Cyflwyniad I Raglennu CC12020

Introduction To Programming CS12020

Year 1 Electives Up to 10 credits as advised by the Department.

Semester 1

The Mathematics Driving License For Computer Science CS10410

Functional Programming CS12510

Computational Thinking CS12910

Chaos, Communications And Consciousness PH19510

Year 2 Core (80 Credits) You must take the following modules:

Semester 1

C And C++ And Environments CS23820

Modelling Persistent Data CS27020

Semester 2

Robotics And Embedded Systems CS26020

Artificial Intelligence CS26520

Year 2 Options You MUST take ONE of the following modules

Semester 1

Dylunio Rhaglen, Strwythurau Data A Algorithmau CC21120

Program Design, Data Structures And Algorithms CS21120

Year 2 Options You MUST take ONE of the following modules

Semester 2

Cylch Bywyd Datblygiad Meddalwedd CC22120

Software Engineering CS22120

Final Year Core (50 Credits) You must take the following modules:

Semester 1

Ubiquitous Computing CS35710

Machine Learning CS36110

Space Robotics CS36510

Semester 2

Professional Issues In The Computing Industry CS38220

Final Year Options You MUST take ONE of the following projects:

Semester 2

Prosiect Hir CC39440

Major Project CS39440

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.

Employability

Career Prospects

Your degree will provide you with a range of skills and experiences that will equip you for the world of employment. 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 transferable skills, such as communication and problem-solving abilities, needed for success in a wider range of careers.  

Transferable Skills

Studying for a degree in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will equip you with a range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. These include:

• research and data analysis skills
• enhanced mathematical and computational skills
• effective problem-solving and creative thinking skills
• the facility to deal with abstract concepts
• a thorough grounding in information technology skills
• the ability to work independently
• time-management and organisational skills, including the ability to meet deadlines
• the ability to express ideas and communicate information in a clear and structured manner, in both written and oral form
• self-motivation and self-reliance
• team-working, with the ability to discuss concepts in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement

Year in Employment scheme (YES)

The University operates a Year in Employment Scheme (YES), which offers you a fantastic opportunity to take a year out between your second and third year to work in an organisation in the UK or overseas. YES provides a very rewarding and worthwhile experience, both personally and professionally, and can help you to stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The University’s Career Service will help you to explore your options and secure a suitable work placement.

GO Wales

GO Wales is administered by the University’s Career Service, working with local businesses to create paid work placements of a few weeks’ duration for students. It gives you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience which will enhance your CV and make you more attractive to potential employers.

Personal Development Plan

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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 examination. 

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 second and third 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. Examples of recently completed third-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. 

Your personal tutor

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.

Student Views

Your degree will provide you with a range of skills and experiences that will equip you for the world of employment. 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 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 mode of further study will be suitable for you in the future.

Key Information Set