Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning MSc

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Why Surrey?

If you are intrigued by the acquisition, processing, analysis and understanding of computer vision, this Masters is for you.

The programme is offered by Surrey's Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, recognised for world-leading research in multimedia signal processing and machine learning.

Programme overview

This degree provides in-depth training for students interested in a career in industry or in research-oriented institutions focused on image and video analysis, and deep learning.

State-of-the-art computer-vision and machine-learning approaches for image and video analysis are covered in the course, as well as low-level image processing methods.

Students also have the chance to substantially expand their programming skills through projects they undertake.

Read about the experience of a previous student on this course, Gianmarco Addari.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over 12 months and part-time over 48 months. It consists of eight taught modules and a standard project. 

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The taught postgraduate degree programmes of the Department of Electronic Engineering are intended both to assist with professional career development within the relevant industry and, for a small number of students, to serve as a precursor to academic research.

Our philosophy is to integrate the acquisition of core engineering and scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills (where relevant). To fulfil these objectives, the programme aims to:

  • Attract well-qualified entrants, with a background in Electronic Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Computing and Communications, from the UK, Europe and overseas.
  • Provide participants with advanced knowledge, practical skills and understanding applicable to the MSc degree
  • Develop participants' understanding of the underlying science, engineering, and technology, and enhance their ability to relate this to industrial practice
  • Develop participants' critical and analytical powers so that they can effectively plan and execute individual research/design/development projects
  • Provide a high level of flexibility in programme pattern and exit point
  • Provide students with an extensive choice of taught modules, in subjects for which the Department has an international and UK research reputation

Intended capabilities for MSc graduates

  • Know, understand and be able to apply the fundamental mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles that underpin computer vision, machine learning as well as how they can be related to robotics
  • Be able to analyse problems within the field computer vision and more broadly in electronic engineering and find solutions
  • Be able to use relevant workshop and laboratory tools and equipment, and have experience of using relevant task-specific software packages to perform engineering tasks
  • Know, understand and be able to use the basic mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles associated with the topics within computer vision, machine learning
  • Be aware of the societal and environmental context of his/her engineering activities
  • Be aware of commercial, industrial and employment-related practices and issues likely to affect his/her engineering activities
  • Be able to carry out research-and-development investigations
  • Be able to design electronic circuits and electronic/software products and systems

Technical characteristics of the pathway

This programme in Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning aims to provide a high-quality advanced training in aspects of computer vision for extracting information from image and video content or enhancing its visual quality using machine learning codes.

Computer vision technology uses sophisticated signal processing and data analysis methods to support access to visual information, whether it is for business, security, personal use or entertainment.

The core modules cover the fundamentals of how to represent image and video information digitally, including processing, filtering and feature extraction techniques.

An important aspect of the programme is the software implementation of such processes. Students will be able to tailor their learning experience through selection of elective modules to suit their career aspirations.

Key to the programme is cross-linking between core methods and systems for image and video analysis applications. The programme has strong links to current research in the Department of Electronic Engineering’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing.

Programme learning outcomes

The Department's taught postgraduate programmes are designed to enhance the student's technical knowledge in the topics within the field that he/she has chosen to study, and to contribute to the Specific Learning Outcomes set down by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) (which is the Professional Engineering body for electronic and electrical engineering) and to the General Learning Outcomes applicable to all university graduates.

General transferable skills

  • Be able to use computers and basic IT tools effectively
  • Be able to retrieve information from written and electronic sources
  • Be able to apply critical but constructive thinking to received information
  • Be able to study and learn effectively
  • Be able to communicate effectively in writing and by oral presentations
  • Be able to present quantitative data effectively, using appropriate methods

Time and resource management

  • Be able to manage own time and resources
  • Be able to develop, monitor and update a plan, in the light of changing circumstances
  • Be able to reflect on own learning and performance, and plan its development/improvement, as a foundation for life-long learning

Underpinning learning

  • Know and understand scientific principles necessary to underpin their education in electronic and electrical engineering, to enable appreciation of its scientific and engineering content, and to support their understanding of historical, current and future developments
  • Know and understand the mathematical principles necessary to underpin their education in electronic and electrical engineering and to enable them to apply mathematical methods, tools and notations proficiently in the analysis and solution of engineering problems
  • Be able to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of electronic and electrical engineering

Engineering problem-solving

  • Understand electronic and electrical engineering principles and be able to apply them to analyse key engineering processes
  • Be able to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques
  • Be able to apply mathematical and computer-based models to solve problems in electronic and electrical engineering, and be able to assess the limitations of particular cases
  • Be able to apply quantitative methods relevant to electronic and electrical engineering, in order to solve engineering problems
  • Understand and be able to apply a systems approach to electronic and electrical engineering problems

Engineering tools

  • Have relevant workshop and laboratory skills
  • Be able to write simple computer programs, be aware of the nature of microprocessor programming, and be aware of the nature of software design
  • Be able to apply computer software packages relevant to electronic and electrical engineering, in order to solve engineering problems

Technical expertise

  • Know and understand the facts, concepts, conventions, principles, mathematics and applications of the range of electronic and electrical engineering topics he/she has chosen to study
  • Know the characteristics of particular materials, equipment, processes or products
  • Have thorough understanding of current practice and limitations, and some appreciation of likely future developments
  • Be aware of developing technologies related to electronic and electrical engineering
  • Have comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles of electronic engineering and related disciplines
  • Have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computer models relevant to electronic and electrical engineering, and an appreciation of their limitations
  • Know and understand, at Master's level, the facts, concepts, conventions, principles, mathematics and applications of a range of engineering topics that he/she has chosen to study
  • Have extensive knowledge of a wide range of engineering materials and components
  • Understand concepts from a range of areas including some from outside engineering, and be able to apply them effectively in engineering projects

Societal and environmental context

  • Understand the requirement for engineering activities to promote sustainable development
  • Relevant part of: Be aware of the framework of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety and risk (including environmental risk issues
  • Understand the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering

Employment context

  • Know and understand the commercial and economic context of electronic and electrical engineering processes
  • Understand the contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (e.g. operations and management, technology development, etc.)
  • Be aware of the nature of intellectual property
  • Understand appropriate codes of practice and industry standards
  • Be aware of quality issues
  • Be able to apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints
  • Understand the basics of financial accounting procedures relevant to engineering project work
  • Be able to make general evaluations of commercial risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks
  • Be aware of the framework of relevant legal requirements governing engineering activities, including personnel, health, safety and risk (including environmental risk) issues

Research and development

  • Understand the use of technical literature and other information sources
  • Be aware of the need, in appropriate cases, for experimentation during scientific investigations and during engineering development
  • Be able to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies
  • Be able to extract data pertinent to an unfamiliar problem, and employ this data in solving the problem, using computer-based engineering tools when appropriate
  • Be able to work with technical uncertainty


  • Understand the nature of the engineering design process
  • Investigate and define a problem and identify constraints, including environmental and sustainability limitations, and health and safety and risk assessment issues
  • Understand customer and user needs and the importance of considerations such as aesthetics
  • Identify and manage cost drivers
  • Use creativity to establish innovative solutions
  • Ensure fitness for purpose and all aspects of the problem including production, operation, maintenance and disposal
  • Manage the design process and evaluate outcomes
  • Have wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies and be able to apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations
  • Be able to generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes, to fulfil new needs

Project management

  • Be able to work as a member of a team
  • Be able to exercise leadership in a team
  • Be able to work in a multidisciplinary environment
  • Know about management techniques that may be used to achieve engineering objectives within the commercial and economic context of engineering processes
  • Have extensive knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, and their limitations, and how these may be applied appropriately

Facilities, equipment and support

To support your learning, we hold regular MSc group meetings where any aspect of the programme, technical or non-technical, can be discussed in an informal atmosphere. This allows you to raise any problems that you would like to have addressed and encourages peer-based learning and general group discussion.

We provide computing support with any specialised software required during the programme, for example, Matlab. The Faculty’s student common room is also covered by the University’s open-access wireless network, which makes it a very popular location for individual and group work using laptops and mobile devices.

Specialist experimental and research facilities, for computationally demanding projects or those requiring specialist equipment, are provided by the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP).

Career prospects

Computer vision specialists are be valuable in all industries that require intelligent processing and interpretation of image and video. This includes industries in directly related fields such as:

  • Multimedia indexing and retrieval (Google, Microsoft, Apple)
  • Motion capture (Foundry)
  • Media production (BBC, Foundry)
  • Medical Imaging (Siemens)
  • Security and Defence (BAE, EADS, Qinetiq)
  • Robotics (SSTL)

Studying for Msc degree in Computer Vision offers variety, challenge and stimulation. It is not just the introduction to a rewarding career, but also offers an intellectually demanding and exciting opportunity to break through boundaries in research.

Many of the most remarkable advancements in the past 60 years have only been possible through the curiosity and ingenuity of engineers. Our graduates have a consistently strong record of gaining employment with leading companies.

Employers value the skills and experience that enable our graduates to make a positive contribution in their jobs from day one.

Our graduates are employed by companies across the electronics, information technology and communications industries. Recent employers include:

  • BAE Systems
  • BT
  • Philips
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Logica
  • Lucent Technologies
  • BBC
  • Motorola
  • NEC Technologies
  • Nokia
  • Nortel Networks
  • Red Hat

Industrial collaborations

We draw on our industry experience to inform and enrich our teaching, bringing theoretical subjects to life. Our industrial collaborations include:

  • Research and technology transfer projects with industrial partners such as the BBC, Foundry, LionHead and BAE
  • A number of our academics offer MSc projects in collaboration with our industrial partners

Research perspectives

This course gives an excellent preparation for continuing onto PhD studies in computer vision related domains.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Related programmes

Postgraduate (Taught)

Related departments/schools

Related research areas

Programme leader

Dr Tim Brown

Find out more

General enquiries:

+44 (0)1483 681 681

Admissions enquiries:


Programme facts

Type of programme:


Programme length:

  • Full-time: 12 months
  • Part-time: 60 months

Start date:

Sep 2017

Entry Requirements

An undergraduate degree in electronic engineering, computer science, maths, physics or a related discipline. Computer programming skills C/C++, Python, Matlab or Java. Our minimum entry level is a 2.2 from a good UK university, or overseas equivalent.

Relevant industrial experience will also be considered.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.0 in each component (or equivalent)

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Sep 2017 £9,000 £19,000
Part-time Sep 2017 £1,000* £2,200*

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/2018 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our Masters Programmes


Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught Masters programme fees. Learn more.

For more details

Admissions Information

Our Admissions Policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants

Postgraduate Study Advice

Steps to Postgraduate Study is an official, independent guide for anyone considering a taught postgraduate course. The guide is produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

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Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Our alumni