Control Systems

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 12.9 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 35 k / Year(s) Deadline: Apr 30, 2025
11 place StudyQA ranking:5788 Duration:1 year

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The MSc in Control Systems is designed to

  • teach the theoretical basis of classical and modern control theory with associated modelling and design methods, together with associated algorithms
  • produce graduates equipped to pursue careers that might involve classical and modern control concepts, theories and methods in industry, finance and the public sector
  • enable graduates to recognise and tackle problems to which control can be applied
  • offer students from a variety of mathematics-based disciplines, or who have been at work for some time, the opportunity to learn and/or refresh and/or deepen their knowledge and understanding of control
  • provide a background that will: enable graduates to update their knowledge after they leave by reading the professional literature; and assist graduates wishing to under take research in or involving control.

During the Autumn (October-December) and Spring (January-April) terms you will take four core modules, and four optional modules in the areas of modern theory of linear control systems, nonlinear systems, mathematics and optimisation, on-line control using optimisation, stochastic modelling and control, modelling and control additional topics. The modules include coursework and laboratory work.  You will take eight written exams, on the modules you have studied, in the Summer term (May-June).

You can also take a non-examinable, revision course in control systems.

You will also undertake an individual research project which will occupy three months part-time (January to March) and four months full-time (June to September).  Your  project is carried out within the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, and supervised by staff from relevant areas, principally from the Control and Power Research Group, but also from other research Groups subject to approval by the Course Director. Your project will be assessed by a dissertation and oral presentation. Your report will be read and marked by two academic staff, and vetted by the external examiner.


We regularly review our courses in an effort to continuously improve and update them. Therefore, the course content summaries may be amended so be sure to check for any changes.

Modern theory of linear control systems

  • Control engineering (for revision)
  • Design of linear multivariable control systems
  • Discrete-time systems and computer control

Non-linear systems

  • Stability and control of non-linear systems
  • Discrete-event systems

Mathematics and optimisation

  • Mathematics for signals and systems
  • Optimisation

On-line control using optimisation

  • Predictive control

Stochastic modelling and control

  • Probability and stochastic processes
  • Systems identification and adaptive control
  • Estimation and fault detection

Modelling and control

  • Modelling and control of multi-body mechanical systems
  • Power system control, measurement and protection

Additional topics

  • Topics in control systems (a course covering five topical subjects)
    • Wavelets and applications
    • Coding theory
    • Intelligent data and probabilistic inference
    • Distributed computation and networks: a performance perspective
    • Information theory

The optional modules come from the areas of:

  • Modern theory of linear control systems
  • Non-linear systems
  • Mathematics and optimisation
  • On-line control using optimisation
  • Stochastic modelling and control
  • Modelling and control
  • Other additional topics

The modules include both coursework and laboratory work, with students taking eight or nine written exams on the studied modules in January and May–June. 

Our academic entry requirement is the equivalent of a UK 1st class honours degree in Electrical Engineering or a related subject.  We would usually be looking for a high 1st class honours with a final year mark of 75%+.   

Students also need to met Imperial College's English language requirement. 

Overseas applicants If you are an studying outside the UK you should read the general guidance for overseas applicants to see the equivalence of overseas degrees to UK degrees.  Note that the information provided is for the equivalent of an upper second class honours degree, so in most cases we would be looking for higher marks than stated.

Chinese applicants:  As a result of the high number of very good applications we receive from Chinese students, we will only consider applications from students studying in China at:

  • Chinese universities that are either C9 or Project 985
  • Beijing University Posts and Telecommunications/Queen Mary University of London joint degree course
  • Xi'an Jiatong Liverpool University
  • Sino-British College (University of Shanghai Science and Technology and Liverpool John Moores University)
  • The Chinese campus of a UK university, such as Nottingham Ningbo

We will also consider applicants from

  • all UK universities - including all 2+2 programmes
  • all other universities

If you are studying at a Chinese university we would be looking for an overall degree averagel of 85%+.  If you are studying on a 2+2 programme we would be looking for a 1st class degree with a final year mark of 75%.

If you are not studying at one of these universities we cannot consider your application. 

The Imperial College Master's Support Scheme provided financial assistance totalling £1.5 million to academically excellent Home undergraduate students or recent Home graduates who might otherwise have been deterred from postgraduate study because of financial constraints.

Successful applicants in their final year as an undergraduate or recent graduates with a strong desire to undertake a taught Master’s programme at a world class institution, were selected to receive support for tuition fees and, in some cases, a stipend to help with living expenses. Self-funded students on MRes courses were also eligible.

Value of the award

Successful candidates with a household income of £25,000 or less will receive full tuition fee support up to £10,000 and a £5,000 stipend.

Successful candidates with a household income of between £25,000 and £42,611 will receive full tuition fee support up to £10,000.


To be considered for this Scheme applicants had to:

  • Hold an offer, as a Home fee paying student, to study a full time taught Master's degree starting in October 2014 in the Faculties of Natural Sciences, Engineering or Medicine.

  • Have been assessed as eligible for a government maintenance grant (e.g SFE, SLC, NHS, etc.) in the final year of their undergraduate study in one of the following years: 2011/12, 2012/13 or 2013/14.

How to apply

Apply to study in the normal way following the standard application process.

Evidence of government maintenance grant eligibility was required as described above:

  • Imperial College undergraduate or graduate, were required to notify the Student Financial Support team of their intention to apply for this scheme. We liaised with the relevant funding authority (e.g. Student Finance England) to confirm their household income level. 

  • Undergraduates or graduates from any other university, were required to send a copy of their Final Notification Letter provided by their funding authority to the Student Financial Support team. 

  • Applicants in their final year and awaiting final degree classification, were required to send confirmation of their final degree classification to the Student Financial Support team as soon as they receive it from their institution. 

Selection process

Successful scholars will have a household income of less than £42,611 and will be selected based on academic excellence.

When should I expect a decision on my scholarship application?

Successful scholars were notified by email by 31 August 2014.

Please note that one of the conditions of this funding from the government is that the College collates feedback from successful scholars about the impact of provision of this financial support has had on their decision to participate in postgraduate study. The Financial Support Office wrote to successful scholars to collect this information later in the academic year.

This award is for students starting a course in October 2014 and cannot be deferred for any later start date.

Terms and conditions
Both scholarships and bursaries are sources of funding offered by Imperial. In general, undergraduate scholarships are for those who are both academically excellent and/or in financial need, whereas postgraduate scholarships are primarily awarded based on academic excellence.

Bursaries are awarded based solely on financial circumstances.

Before applying

  1. You must quote your College Identifier (CID) number when corresponding with the College.

  2. The scholarships we offer are limited and highly competitive. You must have sufficient funding in place before enrolling on your course.

  3. Unless otherwise stated, the scholarships advertised are only available to prospective students applying for full-time courses.

  4. The award period will generally commence on the first day of the academic year which you have applied for (e.g. 1 October 2012).

  5. Scholarship applications will only be considered following an offer of admission. Only if you fulfil all the eligibility criteria (that is, if you meet the requirements) of the scholarship, will you be considered.

  6. If there is no separate scholarship application form to be submitted, we will use your admission application form and references provided. These documents may therefore also be passed to stakeholders involved in the selection process.

  7. Please do not send in supporting documents unless the scholarship application process specifically asks you to do so.

  8. Funding deadlines are strictly adhered to and any application received after the closing date will not be accepted.

Successful award recipients

9. Agreeing to these terms and conditions and supplying your UK bank details

a) All scholarship and bursary payments will be made to the UK bank account details held on your Student e-Service account. You are able to log into your Student e-Service account and make changes to your bank details at any time after you’ve accepted your admissions offer.
b) By submitting your bank details via the Student Funding tab in Imperial’s Student e-Service portal, and/or bursary form, you are confirming that you agree with the terms and conditions of the award.
c) It may take a few weeks to set up your bursary payments and your UK bank account (if applicable); therefore you should bring sufficient funds to cover your living expenses during this time. Initial payment dates may vary; it is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of when payments will be made.
d) The award is subject to you fulfilling any outstanding conditions of admission.
e) Funds will only be released in line with your registration at College and you will need to ensure your bank details are up to date.
f) Payment Dates: Payments are normally made on the 7th day of each month; bank details should be updated before the 24th day of the preceding month to ensure payment is not delayed. Undergraduate payments will commence from 7th November. Postgraduate payments will commence on the 7th of the month following your registration.

10. Please make sure that you have completed all the steps necessary to register for the academic year in which you wish to receive payment. Please note that new award holders will also need to have fulfilled all of their conditions of offer before they are able to register.

11. All Imperial scholarships are subject to satisfactory academic progression. If the duration of your scholarship is longer than 12 months, it will be renewable annually.

12. Awards will not generally be made to those already holding a full scholarship from another source; please inform Student Financial Support, and/or any other department which has offered you an award, immediately if you are granted more than one award, even if you have already accepted our award. If you wish to hold several partial awards concurrently, this will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

13. Scholarships are not generally awarded to students who are writing-up.

14. Applicants wishing to study at UK partner institutions are not eligible for Imperial College London scholarships.

15. Undergraduate Financial Support / Imperial Bursary Package

a) To be eligible to receive an Imperial Bursary you must have been assessed for means tested funding from Student Finance England (or equivalent funding authority) and have a household income below the Imperial household income threshold for your cohort. You must contact us if this is not the case. Any previous study may affect your entitlement.
b) The College reviews household income information (which it receives from Student Finance England, etc.) on a continuous basis. A change in your household income may result in a change in your Imperial Bursary. Any overpayments will be reclaimed.
c) The Imperial Bursary is available for each year of your course excluding repeat years of study and NHS funded years for Medical courses. If you change from a 3 year to a 4 year course at Imperial you will be awarded a further year’s bursary. You should contact us about any course changes as soon as possible.
d) Students on paid placements might not be eligible for the Imperial Bursary.
e) To be eligible for the Imperial Bursary, we must receive your household income from the Student Loans Company by 1 May following the start of your academic year.

16. If you have been offered funding by the Research Councils, please ensure that you have read the most up-to-date postgraduate funding guide; you will need to adhere to the terms and conditions laid out there.

17. Deferrals, withdrawals and interruption of studies

a) You must inform the Student Financial Support team immediately of any interruptions to your study, particularly if they are likely to affect your attendance and registration status at College.
b) If you withdraw from your course or take an interruption of study (IOS) you must notify us immediately by contacting us here. If you take an IOS your bursary will be postponed until you re-register.
c) Bursaries and scholarships are not transferable. If you transfer to another institution or withdraw from the College, any payments due to you will be cancelled and any overpayments are recoverable.
d) We will not provide scholarship or bursary support for any period of repeat study.
e) Awards cannot be deferred.

18. Student Financial Support may at any time, at their discretion, withdraw or recover an award for breach of any of the above conditions.

19. The College reserves the right to place a limit on financial support where a student is in receipt of other funding.

20. Information on students is shared within the Imperial College community and donors (where applicable and relevant to your award) in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

a) Where awards have specific eligibility criteria (e.g. satisfactory academic progression), supporting evidence may be shared with named donors in order to verify continued eligibility.
b) Award recipients may be expected to meet with donors.

21. If you are in receipt of an award to study that is restricted to students on the basis of nationality or residency; please note that, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010, you must not intend to exercise in Great Britain skills you have obtained as a result of your training at the College and you must not be ordinarily resident in an EEA state.

22. These terms and conditions are the formal rules which regulate centrally funded awards. As such, there are no appeal procedures associated with funding from the Student Financial Support team.

If you are applying for an Imperial College Scholarship, you should submit your application for MSc at least 8 weeks before the scholarship deadline. If you are applying for scholarships from other organisations you should submit your application at least 8 weeks before the scholarship reply deadline.

Here at Imperial we recognised that studying can be a challenge, especially if you have a disability, specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, or long-term physical or mental health related issued.  Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity and access.  The Disability Advisory Service provides a variety of support initiatives in order to enable you to access your studies and achieve your full potential.

If you require extra support you are invited to contact the Ph D Admissions Tutor to discuss suitable arrangements for your studies.

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