Autonomous Systems

Autonomous Systems


This master programme is closed for intake from 2019, but you might be interested in other AAU-programmes within the subject area:

Currently enrolled students continue the programme as planned.

create the industry of the future

Technologies are continuously digitalising and automating our world, which is changing the nature of many industries. To stand out in fierce competition, companies and organisations have to improve their efficiency and adaptability on a global scale, specifically by re-designing or upgrading their systems to make good use of data in decision making, and to automate and optimise complex operations. In other words, systems need to become more intelligent and require less human involvement, moving upwards at autonomy levels. Fortunately, the latest advances in artificial intelligence, sensing, optimisation, information technologies, and systems engineering can help systems move in this direction.

Imagine fleets of smart robots that collaborate in manufacturing facilities, advanced warehouse logistics solutions such as the Amazon warehouses, crew-less cargo ships, smart grids, or interconnected smart home appliances. Those are just a few examples of what we call autonomous systems.

The Master’s programme in Autonomous Systems aims at providing graduates with competences to solve complex problems related to the design and deployment of autonomous systems, exploiting the latest advances in artificial intelligence, big data analysis, digitization, sensing, optimisation, information technologies, and systems engineering. The program has been developed to build both theoretical understanding and practical experience of students, applicable to Industry 4.0, robotics and autonomous logistics, among other application areas.

The Master’s programme in Autonomous Systems enables you to handle modern day production complexity by using latest technological tools and concepts. You learn how to analyse, model and develop intelligent autonomous solutions. You will be trained to deploy autonomous systems and assess their operational performance within relevant industry and business environments.

This is a full-time study programme, which is characterised by problem based project work in groups. You will be working closely with other students most of the time, and you are required to be present at the university on a daily basis and spend a vast majority of your day there.

The Master's programme entitles you to the designation Master of Science (MSc) in Engineering (Autonomous Systems).

autonomous systems

The Master’s programme in Autonomous Systems aims at providing graduates with competences to solve complex problems related to the design and deployment of autonomous systems and has been developed to build both theoretical understanding and practical experience of students enrolled in the programme. The programme focuses on topics as: systems engineering and validation, modelling and control of mechatronic systems, optimisation scheduling and routing, sensing and perception, machine learning and Big Data, and networks of autonomous systems. These topics can be applied across industrial sectors in order to provide flexible autonomous solutions to problems ranging from classical manufacturing to service production.

The programme gives you the opportunity to specialise within specific areas of autonomous systems; ranging from e.g. autonomous solutions in automation and robotics to autonomous operation of logistics systems.

The programme is based on a combination of academic, problem oriented and interdisciplinary approaches and is structured in modules and organised as a problem-based study. A module is a programme element or a group of programme elements which aim to give students a set of professional skills within a fixed time frame specified in ECTS credits, and concluding with one or more examinations within specific exam periods defined in the curriculum.


The Master’s programme in Autonomous Systems is offered internationally, and all teaching is therefore conducted in English. During the third semester, you have the opportunity to define your own semester. You may acquire industrial experience via a traineeship in an international company, study at a foreign university or specialise within a specific area through your project work.

Brochure for Autonomous Systems (previously named Global Systems Design) (pdf)

as a student at aau you encounter …

PROBLEM based learning (PBL)

Aalborg University is famous for its problem based learning where you work in a team on a large written assignment often collaborating with an industrial partner. This study method is also called “The Aalborg Model for Problem Based Learning”. The method is highly recognised internationally, and the university is host to a successful UNESCO chair in Problem Based Learning in Engineering Education and a Centre for PBL and Sustainability approved by UNESCO.

The problem based project work at Aalborg University gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice when you work to solve real-life problems, and you will be well prepared for your future career. Learn more about PBL.


When doing project work, you work closely in groups with other students. This gives you the opportunity to cooperate, share knowledge and to explore larger and more complex academic problems than what you would have been able to do on your own. Furthermore, the groups serve a social purpose and make it easier for you to get to know your fellow students and feel more at home at the university. Learn more about teamwork at AAU.


Aalborg University works closely with the business community. This means that as a student you will work with real issues from companies and organisations. Thus, while you are studying, you already have the opportunity to enhance your academic competences with a business-oriented and practical angle.


At Aalborg University teaching is research based. This means that your lecturers are doing research within the same academic field as he or she is teaching. You thus have access to the latest knowledge and dedicated teachers who are passionate about what they teach. The teaching material not only includes books but may also consist of, for example, current academic articles from journals.


The laboratories at Aalborg University are of the highest standard, and they play an important role in teaching. You will work under the best laboratory conditions with access to the latest technology, which is vital for your benefiting from the teaching.


AAU Copenhagen is a part of Aalborg University and is located at Sydhavnen (South Harbour) near the city centre. Therefore, students at AAU CPH have access to the city’s wide range of cultural and leisure activities. AAU CPH is a relatively new campus with an international focus, an innovative learning environment and close collaborations with businesses, of which many are located on the campus area. Overall there are close to 3,700 students enrolled in AAU CPH’s exciting bachelor’s and master’s programmes. Learn more about student life in Copenhagen.


Aalborg University is rated for excellence in the QS-ranking system. Aalborg University has received five stars certifying the world-class position of the university based on cutting-edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty.
Within Engineering and Technology, Aalborg University ranked as number 76 in 2015/2016.


More about the programme


  • English


  • Copenhagen


  • Not open for enrollment in 2019

See the Curriculum