Adaptive Systems (825G5)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

On this module, you'll develop an understanding of various processes of adaptation, which operate both in and upon natural and artificial systems.

Through lectures and seminars, you'll focus on the introduction and discussion of how evolution, in biological and artificial contexts, adapts systems to their environments or specified tasks. You'll also learn how self-adapting systems can adapt to cope with changing environments or to acquire new skills.

Topics include:

  • the cybernetic origins of adaptive systems research
  • the central role of feedback in intelligent and adaptive behaviour
  • ultrastable systems
  • self-organised and emergent systems
  • autonomous and evolutionary robotics
  • the free energy principle and active inference.


50%: Lecture
27%: Practical (Laboratory)
23%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 40 hours of contact time and about 110 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.