Electrical Engineering

Key information

Duration: 1 year full-time
Start date: October 2018
Location: South Kensington
ECTS: 90 credit

This course is now closed to applications for 2018 entry.


This course will introduce you to the major aspects of control theory and its application to the design of control systems, and you will develop your skills in use of the standard computer packages for control design.

In response to the growing demands of the chemical, oil, aerospace, aeronautical, power and defence industries, control theory has developed into a well established body of knowledge that many engineers need to acquire.

Additional areas of application include:

  • industrial automation
  • robotics
  • mechanical systems
  • biomedical control

Study programme

You study taught modules, both core and optional, in the Autumn and Spring terms (October–April). Modules are taught through a blend of lectures, tutorials and practical laboratories. You will then take written exams on the studied modules between May and June.

You also complete a substantial individual research project, which will be carried out in an area of special interest.

Professional accreditation

Our MSc in Control Systems is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Our accreditation agreement with Institution of Engineering and Technology is renewed every 5 years, and the current agreement runs between 2013 and 2018.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.


Core module

You take the core module below.

  • C1 Lab

Optional modules – Group 1

You choose either eight or nine* optional modules in total, with at least four from Group 1.

Design of Linear Multivariable Control Systems (Spring)

Provides the principles for designing linear multivariable control systems to meet a range of practical applications. Lecturer: Dr Imad Jaimoukha.

Discrete-time Systems and Computer Control (Spring)

Provides a well-rounded exposure to analysis, control and simulation of discrete-time systems. Theoretical techniques for studying discrete-time linear systems with particular emphasis on the properties and design of sampled-data feedback control systems will be introduced and supported by MATLAB simulations. Lecturer: Dr Giordano Scarciotti.

Estimation and Fault Detection (Spring)

Highlights the importance of estimating the state of a dynamic system from measurements (deterministic or noisy), and also to detect the occurrence of faults and abrupt system changes, and to equip them with some of the principal techniques available for this purpose. Lecturer: Prof Thomas Parisini.

Optimisation (Autumn)

Introduces finite-dimensional optimisatiom theory and the basic algorithms for finding minima. Lecturer: Prof Alessandro Astolfi.

Predictive Control (Spring)

Provides an understanding of the fundamental principles in predictive control, which is the most widely used advanced control technique in industry. Lecturer: Dr Eric Kerrigan.

Stability and Control of Non-linear Systems (Autumn)

Introduces the concepts and theoretical techniques needed to study the stability and stabilization of nonlinear control systems, with particular attention being paid to Lyapunov-based analysis and design of control feedback laws. Lecturer: Dr David Angeli.

Systems Identification (Autumn)

Introduces the methods for constructing stochastic models of dynamic systems from measurements of input and output signals, and basic techniques for prediction of unknown quantities basing on available sensor data. Lecturer: Prof Thomas Parisini.

* If you choose nine optional modules, the eight modules in which you achieve the highest mark will be counted toward your final degree grade.

Optional modules – Group 2

You choose either eight or nine* optional modules in total, with at least four from Group 1.

Coding Theory (Autumn)

Covers fundamental knowledge on error correcting codes and finite fields, and to expose the connection between coding theory and other topics. Lecturer: Dr Wei Dai.

Control Engineering (Autumn)

Aims to introduce state-space methods for the analysis and design of control systems. Lecturer: Prof Alessandro Astolfi.

Discrete-Event Systems

Distributed Computation and Networks: a performance perspective (Spring)

Covers network and distributed computation devices and systems (NDCDS) from the perspective of current business, industry, service and societal activities ranging from health care to manufacturing, from commerce to security and defence. Lecturer: Prof Erol Gelenbe.

Game Theory (Spring)

Provides an understanding of how a wide range of decision making problems, arising in control engineering and other areas of systems science, can be formulated as games; to convey the different concepts of solution to a game, and to cover the principal techniques for obtaining these solutions. Lecturer: Prof Richard Vinter.

Information Theory (Spring)

Designed to introduce the main concepts of information theory and to demonstrate its implications to communications. Lecturer: Dr Cong Ling.

Intelligent Data and Probabilistic Inference (Spring)

Module run by the Department of Computing. Lecturer: Dr Duncan Gillies.

Machine Learning for Computer Vision (Spring)

Introduces the concepts, theories and state-of-the-art algorithms for visual learning and recognition. The first half of the module is for formulations and theories of machine learning techniques, focused on discriminative classifier learning. The second half leads to the topics of visual recognition by the machine learning techniques learnt, including object detection, object categorisation, face recognition, and segmentation. Lecturers: Dr T-K Kim and Dr Krystian Mikolajczyk.

Mathematics for Signals and Systems (Autumn)

Aims to present a comprehensive introduction to advanced topics in Linear Algebra as needed in the more advanced literature on Signals, Signal Processing, Systems and Control. The emphasis is on fundamental notions related to vector spaces, inner product spaces, normed spaces, matrix algebras and computations with matrices. Lecturer: Prof Pier-Luigi Dragotti.

Modelling and Control of Multi-body Mechanical Systems (Autumn)

Introduces theoretical approaches for the modelling and control of multibody mechanical systems. Special emphasis is given to the use of computer tools for the modelling aspect. Lecturer: Dr Simos Evangelou.

Pattern Recognition (Autumn)

Aims to introduce the concepts, basic formulations and applications of pattern recognition. The module studies feature representation in a vector form, the concept of machine perception and decision surfaces, and metrics/distances, template matching, model fitting, as basic tools to process and classify data. The learnt topics are illustrated with few of applications including: handwritten digit recognition, face recognition. Lecturers: Dr T-K Kim and Dr Krystian Mikolajczyk.

Power System Dynamics, Stability and Control (Spring)

Electric power network is by far the largest machine built on the Earth. The requirement for round the clock electricity supply can only be met through involved operation, control and co-ordination strategy and protective actions. This module will present mathematical model of important components in the system and the concept of controlling and protecting them under varying operating circumstances. Lecturer: Prof Bikash Pal.

Probability and Stochastic Processes (Autumn)

Provides analytical tools for studying random phenomena in engineering systems. Lecturer: Dr Cong Ling.

Real-time Digital Signal Processing (Spring)

This module brings together some of the theory and understanding you have gained in several other lecture modules and lets you apply that theory in solving the type of problem which might be encountered by a DSP engineer in industry. Lecturer: Prof Paul Mitcheson.

Topics in Control Systems (Spring)

Introductions advanced modern control methodologies. Lecturers: Prof Alessandro Astolfi and Dr David Angeli and Dr Imad Jaimoukha.

Traffic Theory and Queueing Systems (Spring)

Provides the opportunity to develop a conceptual framework for modelling and analysing different communication networks (e.g. circuit-switched and packet-switched networks). The module will show, firstly, how to set up such models and, secondly, how to use them in the performance (e.g. QoS) analysis of communication systems. Lecturer: Dr Javier Barria.

Wavelets and Applications (Spring)

Finding useful information in huge amount of data is as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. The key insight of wavelet theory is that by finding alternative representations of signals, it is possible to extract their essential information in a fast and effective way. Wavelet theory provides the tools to find alternative representations of a signal and then to choose the representation which is more appropriate for the task at hand. Lecturer: Prof Pier-Luigi Dragotti.

* If you choose nine optional modules, the eight modules in which you achieve the highest mark will be counted toward your final degree grade.

Research project

Students also carry out an individual research project: three months part-time (January–March) and four months full-time (June–September).

The project gives you the opportunity to carry out research that deepens your knowledge of an area in which you have a special interest.

It also develops your report writing, presentation and time management skills.

You will have an academic supervisor who will mentor you, and the project is assessed by a written report and poster presentation in September.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

  • Group projects
  • Hardware laboratory
  • Individual projects
  • Industrial placement
  • Lectures
  • Problem solving classes
  • Software laboratory
  • Tutorial sessions

Assessment methods

  • Coursework software or hardware deliverable
  • Oral and poster presentations
  • Reports
  • Written examinations

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (details at the bottom of this page).

Entry requirements

Minimum academic requirement

Our minimum requirement is a first class UK Honour's degree in electrical engineering or a related subject.

The overall degree grade must be at least 75% overall.

International qualifications

The academic requirement above is for applicants who hold or who are working towards a UK qualification.

We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. For guidance see our Country Index though please note that the standards listed here are the minimum for entry to the College.

If you have any questions about admissions and the standard required for the qualification you hold or are currently studying then please contact the relevant admissions team.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for postgraduate applicants.

How to apply

All applications for postgraduate taught degrees are made online via Apply.Imperial.

You can submit one application form per year of entry, and usually choose up to two courses.

How to apply

Making an application

All applicants must apply online.

You can usually apply for up to two courses, although your second choice will only be considered if your first-choice application is unsuccessful.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but popular courses close when they are full, so you should apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Offer holders will need to pay a deposit to secure your place. This will be deducted from the balance of your tuition fees.

For full details on the online application process, or to start your application, please visit the How to Apply section of our website.

Application deadline (2018 entry)

The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering will accept applications to MSc courses up to Monday 30 April 2018.

Please note, MSc Future Power Networks has a different deadline to the other courses in the Department.

ATAS certificate

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Tuition fees and funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation.

For more information on the funding opportunities that are available, please visit our Fees and Funding website.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2018 entry

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2018 entry

Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Except where otherwise indicated, the fees for students on courses lasting more than one year will increase annually by an amount linked to inflation, including for part-time students on modular programmes. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Postgraduate Master's loan

If you are a Home or EU student who meets certain criteria, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Master’s Loan of up to £10,280 from the UK government. The loan is not means-tested, and you can choose whether to put it towards your tuition fees or living costs.


We offer a range of scholarships for postgraduate students to support you through your studies. Try our scholarships search tool to see what you might be eligible for.

There are a number of external organisations also offer awards for Imperial students, find out more about non-Imperial scholarships.

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

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