• Program Detail

M.Sc. in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Design

Due to the explosive growth of the industry, unmanned aircraft systems designers are in high demand. This course has been created to provide graduate engineers with the skills and knowledge needed to design unmanned aircraft systems. 

You will be taught by leaders in the field. The University has a strong reputation in autonomous systems with many world firsts including: SULSA, the first 3D printed plane and the first low-cost maritime surveillance UAV, 2SEAS. 

Practical learning is a fundamental part of this one-year course. You will design, build and fly your own unmanned vehicle as part of a group design project. Visit the Design Show website to see examples of students' projects. We provide you with access to world-class facilities to put your design through mission validation including: a UAV test pilot base and dedicated flying site, state-of-the-art wind tunnels and rapid prototyping labs. You will also have the opportunity to study for a pilot’s licence. 

Your core modules will give you a solid foundation of aerospace control systems and avionics. You will master design methodologies and put these into practice. Each semester, you can select specialist modules that are aligned to your interests. 

The emphasis of the course is on the design of the vehicle, rather than the wider systems such as ground station and software associated with navigation and communications. The course will explore civil and commercial applications of unmanned systems. Although some of the teaching material may reference military technology, the course will not cover military, defence or weapon-specific systems. 

In addition to group work, you will undertake an individual research project. Previous examples include the development of a hybrid vehicle and a multi-rotor automated Li-Po battery changer. Our students also benefit from our many industry partnerships and external contributors, including QinetiQ and Rolls-Royce.