Control Systems Engineering

Study mode:Part-time Languages: English Duration:18 months
Local:$ 17k / 1 Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 17k / 1 Academic year(s)  
StudyQA ranking:364

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Control Systems are part of everyday life. They are used in the field of mechatronics and process manufacturing. Steering and controlling of control systems include robotic applications in automation, steering and tracking devices, and high-tech temperature, pressure and volume controllers necessary for chemical processes in industry. Advanced control systems are also applied to sustainable energy-producing installations and sustainable automotive applications.

Applying knowledge to the industrial environment

HAN's Masters course in Control Systems Engineering provides you with cutting-edge knowledge and techniques that can be directly used in an industrial environment.

Complex processes require advanced control systems. This Masters course focuses on advanced regulating systems used in industry, such as optimal and model predictive control devices and multi-variable non-linear control devices. You also learn about the latest methods of statistical analysis. Upon graduation you will be ready for a specialised career in systems engineering.

Cooperation with companies and other universities

Associated large industries and specialised companies all acknowledge the constant need for control systems engineers with a Masters qualification. This is reflected in the support given by companies like Shell, AKZO, IPCOS and OMRON, who share their knowledge by providing trainers and facilitate many of our major projects and excursions.

HAN also cooperates with other institutes and universities, such as Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University, Eindhoven University of Technology and Artemis/Edulab. As a result, teaching and laboratory facilities can be shared and students can benefit from guest lecturers. This also enables the level and content of the course to be continuously monitored. The course is recognised and supported by the Royal Institute of Engineers in the Netherlands.

International focus

This course is unique in the Netherlands in that it focuses on the translation of skills and knowledge taught at university to the real world. Many of our graduation projects are carried out in association with multinational companies and the course itself has a truly international focus with students from all over the world.

Master of Engineering in Control Systems

Students completing the course with a graduation project (thesis) will be awarded the title Master of Engineering in Control Systems (M.Eng.), which is acknowledged worldwide. Completion of the course curriculum (without thesis) will entitle you to a postgraduate certificate.

Full-time or part-time course taught in English

The Masters course in Control Systems Engineering is taught entirely in English. You can combine your work and studies by choosing the part-time option. If you opt for studying full-time in the Netherlands, we will help you find a work placement position

Course overview

HAN's Masters course in Control Systems Engineering is very highly rated by the engineering profession. The fact that many companies have set this course as part of their in-company training shows how highly regarded the course is in the industry. This also explains why student satisfaction is so high. As well as the course's relevance to industry, surveys have shown that students value the quality of teaching, guidance and organisation at HAN University of Applied Sciences.

Part-time or full-time

The full-time version of the course takes 18 months, including the graduation project and summer recess, and is based on a study load of 40 hours a week. If students wish to skip the summer holiday, they can also successfully complete the course plus the graduation project in 16 months. You can also choose to do the course part-time over a period of approximately two and a half years, including the graduation project.

Teaching methods and specialisation

The academic year comprises four terms, during which time you are taught by means of lectures, lab sessions and minor projects. After the taught component of the course, you do a graduation project (thesis). The total study load is 2520 hours (90 EC).

The course is both practical and theoretical (research oriented). There are compulsory and optional subjects (course units), with the optional units allowing you to specialise in the use of control systems engineering in either mechatronics or the process industry.

Control Systems Engineering is a Masters course that is both practical and theoretical in nature. This is reflected in the broad range of units offered during the course. These units are outlined below.

Course units


  • Theoretic modelling, energy or mass balance, model validation
  • Model estimators, ARMA/ARMAX, FIR models, Kalman filters, nonlinear behaviour

Dynamic models

  • MIMO, model transformations, state space, FIR, transfer functions
  • Model reduction, linearisation, covering delays
  • Simulation models, prediction models

Control theory

  • Classical control, pole placement and root locus techniques
  • Optimal control, cost functions, finite/infinite horizon predictors
  • Nonlinear control, phase plane and bang-bang control, anti-windup
  • Robust control, H 2 /H -norm based design
  • Adaptive control, model reference control
  • Fuzzy control


  • Sensors and actuators, control valves
  • PLC, SCADA, real-time soft-PC
  • Mechatronics: vision and motion, servo control (selection programme)
  • Process Industry: process control, batch control, ISA S88/S95 (selection programme)


  • English: scientific literature search, report writing, presentation skills
  • Mathematics: vector algebra, differential equations, frequency behaviour, matrix calculus and singular value decomposition, Laplace and z-transform, homogeneous transformers
  • Software: Matlab/Simulink, Labview
  • Patent and literature study

Minor projects

  • Mechatronics (selection programme)
  • Process Industry (selection programme)
  • Teamwork, Project organisation

Graduation project

After successfully completing all curriculum units, you will finish your course with a graduation project, otherwise known as a Masters thesis. This project represents an application of the principles of Control Systems Engineering to a "real-life" industrial situation.


During a period of four months (study load of 840 hours) you will execute a project in the field of control systems engineering in an industry or research environment.

The project will be supervised by a staff member of HAN University of Applied Sciences and an industrial supervisor from the supporting company. You will present your resulting thesis in an oral examination to a panel, made up of your two supervisors and an external examiner.

You will be required to display and prove your ability to manage a project. You will also be required to demonstrate your skills in communicating, reporting and presenting.

International study opportunities

You can do your graduation project at a company or institution of your choice. You may also opt to complete it within a research setting at HAN or at one of our many partner universities. If a proper assignment and working environment for a graduation project can be provided, and student support is guaranteed, there are no restrictions to where you can do your graduation project.

Successfully implemented graduation projects

A recent graduation project was successfully implemented at the steel manufacturer Tatsteel in the Netherlands. At Corus Ijmuiden, steel slabs are reheated in reheat furnaces prior to hot rolling. It is vital for the rolling process that these furnaces function well. However, the existing control strategy did not fully consider furnace dynamics and planned disturbances. A HAN graduation project concentrated on developing a dynamic model to solve this problem. Simulations showed a significant improvement in production rate and discharge temperature deviations.

Another graduation project was carried out at a STORK manufacturing plant, where a HAN Masters student looked into the efficiency of the inline weighing systems and discovered that the devices being used were not acceptable for most applications. Research into alternative signal processing and filter techniques led to improvements of up to 90% in the error rates of the system.

These are just a few examples of how our Masters graduation projects can be designed to seamlessly fit the demands of the engineering industry, solving complex technical problems and benefiting industrial processes. Having experience in a project of this nature will make you highly sought after in the professional field.

Applicants for this course need a Bachelors degree in Engineering or a related technical discipline, with a GPA of 2.8 or higher based on a 4.0 scale.MathematicsIf you have doubts about whether you possess the required level of mathematics, you can work on some extra mathematics modules at home before the course starts. For more information about these self-study modules, please contact the course coordinator.ExemptionsIf you can demonstrate that you have already covered certain units in the curriculum, you may receive exemption from some of the taught components of the course. All candidates with sufficient academic or field experience may indicate this in their application. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550


Personal scholarships can be obtained from various organisations.

  • Nuffic Grantfinder
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP)
  • StuNed for students from Indonesia
  • Jean Monnet for students from Turkey
  • Contact for students from Mexico
  • Orange Tulip for students from China, Korea, Mexico, Indonesia and Taiwan


NVAO accredited

The HAN Masters courses are NVAO accredited (NVAO is the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organisation). Experienced lecturers are dedicated to maintaining this accreditation by continually updating the courses, thereby ensuring that they are of the highest quality.

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