Is there a difference between automated tests and test automation?
If so, what are the main goals of the individual tests?
Some linguistic analysis might also help clarify:
Automated Tests - in this case, "Tests" is a noun; the test is a thing. "Automated Tests" are particular types of tests; ones whose execution has been automated via some kind of code so that a person does not have to manual execute the test. You can have 1, 2, 3.... hundreds of automated tests.
Test Automation - this can be a noun as in the subject of "Automation" with "Test" indicating the type of automation. But, it is also refers to an activity; the activity of automating a given test or set of tests. As said previously; "Test Automation" is a broader concept than "Automated Tests".
Hope this helps.
Automated tests are tests that can be run automated, often developed in a programming language. In this case we talk about the individual test cases, either unit-tests, integration/service or end-2-end tests.
Test automation is a broader concept and includes automated tests. From my perspective it should be about the full automation of test cycles from check-in up-to deployment. Also called continuous testing.
This is a combination of making automated tests by developers or testing engineers and DevOps people automating deployment.