Study Robotics: A Comprehensive Subject Guide

Welcome to the exciting realm of robotics education. In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, the study of robotics has emerged as a dynamic and promising field. Whether you’re a prospective student looking to delve into this fascinating subject or a curious enthusiast seeking to deepen your knowledge, our comprehensive guide is your key to understanding the multifaceted world of robotics. Join us as we navigate through the educational avenues, career opportunities, and the intriguing possibilities that robotics has to offer.


Table of Contents

What is Robotics?

Robotics is the interdisciplinary field of science and engineering that deals with the design, construction, operation, and use of robots. Robots are autonomous or semi-autonomous machines or devices that can perform tasks or operations either autonomously or under the control of human operators. These tasks can range from simple, repetitive actions to complex, decision-making processes.

The primary goal of robotics is to create machines that can automate tasks, often in situations where it may be dangerous, impractical, or inefficient for humans to perform. Robotics combines elements of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence to design and develop robots capable of various functions, such as manufacturing, healthcare, exploration, and more.

Robots come in various forms, from industrial robots used in manufacturing to autonomous drones, self-driving cars, and even humanoid robots designed to interact with humans. The field of robotics continues to advance, with ongoing research and development pushing the boundaries of what robots can achieve in a wide range of industries and applications.

Why Study Robotics?

Studying robotics offers a multitude of compelling reasons, and here are some key ones:

  1. Innovation and Advancement: Robotics is at the forefront of technological innovation. By studying robotics, you gain insights into cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and more. This knowledge allows you to contribute to the development of groundbreaking solutions that can shape the future.

  2. Problem Solving: Robotics presents complex challenges that require creative problem-solving skills. As a robotics enthusiast or professional, you’ll constantly encounter new problems to solve, enhancing your analytical thinking and engineering abilities.

  3. Automation and Efficiency: Robotics plays a pivotal role in automating repetitive and labor-intensive tasks. This not only increases efficiency but also reduces the risk of human error. 

  4. Global Challenges: Robotics can be applied to address pressing global challenges, such as environmental conservation, disaster response, and healthcare. Studying robotics equips you to contribute to solutions for these critical issues.

  5. Personal Fulfilment: For those with a passion for technology and a curiosity about how things work, studying robotics can be personally rewarding. It allows you to engage in hands-on projects, experiment with innovative ideas, and witness tangible results.

  6. Future-Proofing: With the increasing integration of robotics and automation in various sectors, investing in robotics education can future-proof your career. It positions you to adapt to evolving job market demands.

Best Universities for Robotics in the UK

Here is a list of the top UK universities in this field according to the latest QS World University Rankings:

5University of Bath
6Imperial College London
7Loughborough University
20University of Sheffield
22University of Leeds
26University of Glasgow
29University of the Arts London
35University of Abderdeen
39Aberystwyth University
44Heriott-Watt University
45University of Lincoln
50University of Sussex
53Queen Mary University of London
57Edge Hill University
61Falmouth University
64University of Plymouth
67Bristol, University of the West of England
68University of Brighton
71Cardiff Metropolitan University

Entry Requirements for a Robotics Degree

Entry requirements for a robotics degree in the UK can vary depending on the university and the specific programme you’re interested in. However, I can provide you with a general overview of the typical entry requirements you might encounter:

  1. Academic Qualifications: Most universities offering robotics degrees in the UK will require candidates to have completed their secondary education or equivalent. You will typically need A-levels or equivalent qualifications in relevant subjects. These subjects may include mathematics, physics, computer science, engineering, or electronics.

  2. A-levels or Equivalent: The specific A-level or equivalent subject requirements can vary, but mathematics and physics are often essential for robotics and engineering programmes. Some universities may also require further mathematics.

  3. Entrance Examinations: Some universities may require applicants to take specific entrance examinations, such as the UK’s Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) or the Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) for mathematics.

Jobs for Robotics Graduates

Here are the career prospects for graduates in this field:

  • Robotics Engineer
  • Automation Engineer
  • AI/Machine Learning Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Control Systems Engineer
  • Research Scientist
  • Data Scientist
  • Robotics Technician
  • Product Manager
  • Consultant
  • Teaching and Education
  • Robotics Entrepreneur
  • Robotics in Healthcare

Salary for Robotics Graduates

Check out the average salary for graduates in this field: 


Topics for Robotics Dissertation

Below, we present a diverse array of research areas, each offering an opportunity to delve into the complexities of robotics and make a significant contribution to its advancement:

  1. Human-Robot Interaction: Explore how robots can better interact with humans, whether in social settings, healthcare, or education. Investigate topics like natural language processing, emotion recognition, and non-verbal communication between robots and humans.

  2. Autonomous Navigation: Focus on developing advanced algorithms and technologies for robots to navigate autonomously in challenging environments, such as underwater, in forests, or in disaster-stricken areas.

  3. Robotics in Healthcare: Examine the role of robots in healthcare, including applications in surgery, patient care, and telemedicine. Consider topics like robot-assisted surgery, robotic prosthetics, and healthcare robotics ethics.

  4. Swarm Robotics: Explore how groups of robots can work together in a coordinated manner, mimicking swarm behaviour found in nature. Investigate applications in search and rescue, agriculture, or environmental monitoring.

  5. Soft Robotics: Investigate the emerging field of soft robotics, where robots are constructed from flexible and deformable materials. Study how soft robots can adapt to complex and dynamic environments, such as in minimally invasive surgery or exploration of delicate ecosystems.

  6. Humanoid Robotics: Focus on the design and development of humanoid robots that can mimic human movements and actions. Consider applications in research, entertainment, and assistance for people with disabilities.

  7. Bio-Inspired Robotics: Explore how robotics can draw inspiration from nature to solve complex problems. Investigate topics like bio-inspired locomotion, swarm intelligence, and biomimetic design.

  8. Robotic Learning and Adaptation: Research methods for robots to learn from their experiences and adapt to changing environments. Study reinforcement learning, transfer learning, and lifelong learning in robotic systems.

  9. Robotics in Space Exploration: Explore the role of robots in space exploration, including topics like autonomous navigation in space, planetary rovers, and the use of robots for resource extraction on other celestial bodies.

  10. Robotic Art and Creativity: Investigate how robots can be used as tools for creative expression and artistic endeavours. Explore robotic art installations and the intersection of robotics and the arts.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in the UK

One of the most important things to consider is how much the degree is going to cost. Here is a general guide for 2023/2024:

  • For home students in England, universities can charge up to a maximum of £9,250 per year for an undergraduate degree.
  • In Wales, institutions can charge up to £9,000 for home students. However, Welsh students can apply for a fee grant to cover some of the cost of their tuition fees. This grant is currently not repayable or income-assessed.
  • Northern Irish universities will charge up to £4,275 for home students and may charge up to £9,250 for students from elsewhere in the UK.
  • Scotland does not charge home students fees at the undergraduate level; however, students from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland are expected to pay up to £9,250 per year. International students from outside of the UK will pay significantly more to study in Scotland.
  • International students can expect to pay between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £58,600 per year. As for postgraduate degrees, the average cost is estimated to be around £17,109 per year.
Besides the tuition fees, there are also several other cost considerations such as food, accommodation, phone bills, books, social life, memberships, and others. Remember to check out our free student budget calculator

How many female robotics engineers are there?

Currently, only 7% of robotics engineers are female engineers, while the vast majority are male engineers. According to Zippia, there is also an apparent gender pay gap in this field. The average male engineer earns $96,561 while the average female engineer earns $93,446. In other words, female engineers earn 97 cents for every dollar male engineers earn. Although there has been a visible improvement over the years, there is still much room for improvement. 

Other Subjects to Consider

Given that you are interested in this subject area, you might also want to consider the following options: 

  1. Electrical Engineering
  2. Mechanical Engineering
  3. Computer Science
  4. Computer Engineering
  5. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  6. Control Engineering
  7. Biomedical Engineering
  8. Software Engineering
  9. Aerospace Engineering
  10. Industrial Engineering
  11. Materials Science and Engineering
  12. Physics
  13. Mathematics
  14. Environmental Science
  15. Human-Computer Interaction

Frequently Asked Questions

Consider your interests, passions, and career goals. Research various degree programmes and their content to see which aligns best with your aspirations.

While earning potential is important, it’s also crucial to select a degree that you’re passionate about and suits your skills. A balance between your interests and potential career prospects is ideal.

Location can impact your overall university experience. Consider factors like cost of living, proximity to industry hubs, and personal preferences.

Evaluate tuition fees, available scholarships, and potential for part-time work. Create a budget to ensure you can manage your finances during your studies.

Consider combining your passions with practical skills. For example, if you love art but want job security, explore fields like graphic design or digital marketing.

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