Social Robotics

Are you interested in how social robots can be implemented in daily life, for example in education, in healthcare and in hospitality? Do you want to come up with innovative solutions for longtime societal problems? And do you think robots can be part of these solutions? Then this exchange programme is designed for you!

Welcome to HU

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Students sitting on the grass at HU Campus

Using the theoretical concepts regarding human-robot-interaction (HRI) you will design and eventually validate a social robot for a specific purpose. You will gain relevant knowledge on HRI-principles, design methods and research skills on how to complete a research project related to social robots.

Useful to know

Start September, February
Number of ECTS 30 Dutch Education System
Programme level Minor
Programme code TICT-MSR-19
Language of instruction English
Year of study Year 3 or 4
Practical Matters Housing and Immigration
Location Utrecht Science Park

Course content

What do you need to enter this programme? And what can you expect when you apply? In this section you'll find all you need to know!

During the programme, you will work in a multidisciplinary research team. You and your teammates come from various fields such as: psychology, social work, education, healthcare, engineering, media, IT, communication and business. All of you will bring the specific knowledge from your field and together you will find creative ways to utilise these skills. Combining your strengths will give you the opportunity to come up and design new solutions in the field of social robots.

The Social Robotics programme focuses on the interaction between robots and humans in education, healthcare and hospitality. You will learn how people interact with robots, how to design social robots and how to do good research. Later you will use this knowledge in a large research project. Projects of recent years include:

  • The robot as a teacher assistant
    Students researched how robots can support primary school teachers and increase the learning outcomes of children. Watch the video Stel je voor: een robot die de leerkracht helpt in de klas (in Dutch only).

  • Healthcare robots
    We also developed robots for a children’s hospital (Wilhelmina Kinderziekenhuis) in the Netherlands. These robots stimulate children to exercise, increase children’s involvement in sport and play, and distracted them from being sick. Watch the video Studenten programmeren robots voor WKZ- Hogeschool Utrecht (in Dutch only).

Would you like to know more about this programme or do you have a specific question? Please contact the programme coordinator, Sam Leewis.

The programme takes place during one semester with a total of 30 ECTS. You will be assessed using several assessment methods such as exams, presentations and a paper.

In our course guide you can find all relevant information about the programme in one practical document. Download it here for your convenience.

To enter this programme, you need to have a strong interest in social robots. Furthermore, you are expected to have attained English language skills at CEFR level B2. If you are unsure about your level, you can do a (free) written and spoken assessment. Contact the programme coordinator for more information.

English CEFR level B2

Please note: You may be asked to take a language assessment test before the start of the programme. If your English language skills are below the required level, you may not be able to enter the course, as you need to be able to actively participate in (parts of) the programme. In all cases, the programme manager makes the final decision.

Practical information

When you move to a different country to study, there are lots of things to arrange. For instance, where will you live, how much are the costs? Visit our practical information page to help you prepare your stay. It is also important to start arranging a living space as soon as possible. Our housing pages will help you on your way. A student living in the Netherlands needs about € 800 - 1000 a month to cover living expenses, such as housing, food and transportation. This includes insurances – health insurance is mandatory.

Find out how to apply

Ready for an international adventure?

Why choose HU?

  • Vibrant university city Utrecht

    Beautiful Utrecht has lots of young people and excellent facilities for student life. It has a mediaeval city centre which is small enough to explore by foot or bicycle.

  • Benefits of the Utrecht Science Park Campus

    On Utrecht Science Park (USP) you'll find the universities' buildings, student housing, cafés, a sports centre, and much more. With excellent transport links to Utrecht city centre and beyond.

  • Inspiring international setting

    HU supports your ambitions. During your time in Utrecht, you will meet students from all over the world and make connections to last a lifetime.

A student looking at a small robot

Interested in our Social Robotics programme?

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