This programme provides graduates and working professionals with a broad training in signal processing and communications. It is suitable for recent graduates who wish to develop the specialist knowledge and skills relevant to this industry and is also suitable as advanced study in preparation for research work in an academic or industrial environment or in a specialist consultancy organisation.
Engineers or other professionals wishing to participate in the MSc programme may do so on a part-time basis.
Our students gain a thorough understanding of theoretical foundations as well as advanced topics at the cutting edge of research in signal processing and communications, including compressive sensing, deep neural networks, wireless communication theory, and numerical Bayesian methods.
The MSc project provides a good opportunity for students to work on state-of-the-art research problems in signal processing and communications.
This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.
Semester 1 courses
Semester 2 courses
With our excellent employability record and internationally respected reputation, the University of Edinburgh is a reliable choice for developing your engineering career.
This programme will appeal to graduates who wish to pursue a career in an industry such as communications, radar, medical imaging or anywhere else signal processing is applied.
Digital signal processing (DSP) is at the core of the communications revolution. Research is constantly being carried out to develop new DSP algorithms, allowing mobile broadband services, ‘Internet of Things’ applications and other technologies to be delivered to a growing number of users.
This programme will give you a thorough understanding of different aspects of DSP and as it relates to the communications landscape, as well as specialist knowledge from your choice of optional modules.
Our DSP lab will give you hands-on experience using the DSP technology that can be found in computers, cellular phones, GPS and other technologies, and you’ll learn from expert researchers at the forefront of their fields.
You’ll also benefit from specialist industrial lectures, allowing you to relate the theoretical and design aspects of communications and signal processing to practical problems and real-world constraints.
Our School is an exciting and stimulating environment where you’ll learn from leading researchers in specialist facilities. These include our Keysight Technologies wireless communications lab, as well as labs for embedded systems, power electronics and drives, ultrasound and bioelectronics.
There’s also a Terahertz photonics lab, class 100 semiconductor cleanroom, traffic generators and analysers, FPGA development tools, sensor network test beds. We have facilities for electron-beam lithography and ceramic circuit fabrication – and a III-V semiconductor molecular beam epitaxy facility. The Faculty is also home to the £4.3 million EPSRC National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems, set to make us a world leader in robot design and construction.
Throughout the year you’ll study a set of core modules that give you an in-depth understanding of DSP, wireless communications, different optical communications networks and the complex issues around network security. If you don’t have any experience of c-programming you’ll also take a module that develops these skills; alternatively, you can choose between this module and another on software development.
You’ll also select optional modules that are tailored to your own interests or career plans – you could focus on embedded microprocessor systems, high-speed internet architecture or other topics. To build your understanding of the global electronics industry, you’ll also complete a dissertation. This could take the form of a business, manufacturing or outsourcing plan, a proposal for research funding or an essay on a specific aspect of the industry.
Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Communications and Signal Processing module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.
Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.
The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Recent projects on the MSc in Communications and Signal Processing include:
On completing this course, you will have obtained the skills that will lead to employment in any area of the communications/signal processing industry including optical networking, DSP design and implementation, cellular mobile, RF planning, broadband systems and general communications research and development.
Graduates from our School have gone on to work for organisations such as the National Grid, Ericsson Telecommunications, Cisco Systems, AECOM, Deep Sea Electronics, Huawei, Intel Corp., the Technology and Strategy Board and many more.
This course is also an excellent base from which to pursue a PhD and possibly an academic career.
This intensive programme offers an exciting opportunity to learn from world leaders in both informatics and linguistics. Drawing from our cutting-edge research, the programme’s content covers all areas of speech and language processing, from phonetics, speech synthesis and speech recognition to natural language generation and machine translation.
This flexible programme provides research or vocational training and can be either freestanding or lead to PhD study. The modular nature of the programme allows you to tailor it to your own interests.
Taught by leading researchers from Linguistics & English Language, the Centre for Speech Technology Research and the School of Informatics, this programme combines elements of linguistics, computer science, engineering and psychology.
You will develop up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of areas in speech and language processing and gain the technical expertise and hands-on skills required to carry out research and development in this challenging interdisciplinary area.
You study two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.
Most core compulsory courses have both computational and mathematical content. A few optional courses need a stronger mathematical background. Courses in the second semester can be tailored to your own interests and abilities.
Option courses may include:
This programme aims to equip you with the technical knowledge and practical skills required to carry out research and development in the challenging interdisciplinary arena of speech and language technology.
You will learn about state-of-the-art techniques in speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language processing, dialogue, language generation and machine translation.
You will also learn the theory behind such technologies and gain the practical experience of working with and developing real systems based on these technologies. This programme is ideal preparation for a PhD or working in industry.
This programme will provide you with the specialised skills you need to perform research or develop technology in speech and language processing. It will also serve as a solid basis for doctoral study.
Image and signal processing affect our daily lives in an ever-increasing way. Participate in designing this fascinating technology and shape IT‘s future function in business and society. Today‘s networked devices for image and signal generation provide a historically unmatched volume of raw data for automated decision making and control systems. The demands are high: How can we design new tools and software in order to best distil useful information? A lot of interesting research and development projects in the private and the public sectors are calling for your expertise. Alternatively, this degree will open career tracks in universities and research labs.
The international Joint Degree Master Programme„Applied Image and Signal Processing“ is conducted in English. The standard period of study is four semesters. The full program is worth a total of 120 points according to the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). The academic degree of „Master of Science in Engineering“ (MSc) will be awarded upon successful completion of the programme.
From Theory to Practice (Curriculum)
The first semester is devoted to a concise study of the theoretical basis, the mathematical models and the algorithms used in image and signal processing. The second semester additionally focuses on geometric modelling, audio processing and digital media formats. Starting with the third semester, specific application scenarios are discussed and corresponding technologies are investigated in a number of elective courses.
Choose your Elective Courses
The elective courses comprise medical imaging, platform specific signal processing, data science, biometric systems, media security, computational geometry and machine learning.
Apply your Scientific Knowledge
In the third semester, students also start research on their master thesis and acquire profound IT-project management skills. The fourth semester is dedicated to the completion of the master thesis. An accompanying master seminar provides a forum for presenting and defending one‘s approach to a solution and the results obtained, i.e., for scientific discourse with faculty and peers.
Modules & Competences
This Joint Degree Master Programme is designed to provide students with an in-depth professional and scientific training. Based on appropriate prior bachelor studies, this programme offers a thorough technical training in conjunction with research-driven teaching. It will make the participants familiar with introductory and advanced-level topics in the fields of image and signal processing, their formal and methodical basics, and with diverse fields of application. The sound knowledge and skills acquired in this programme qualify the alumni for diverse practical challenges in their professional work and empower them to contribute to future innovations in image and signal processing. A master thesis serves as a documentary proof of the student‘s ability to tackle scientific problems successfully on his or her own and to come up with a result that is correct with regards to contents and methodology. Furthermore the publication of Master Thesis is intended. Thus, this programme also paves the road to subsequent work in science and technology.
This course gives you the skills you need to start a career as a food processing engineer. This is a role much in demand in the food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the UK.
You learn practical techniques and work with food manufacturers on real projects that prepare you for your career. You also visit factories including • AB World Foods • Burtons Biscuits • KP Snacks • Premier Foods • Thornton's.
The course is designed to be flexible to help you study around your other commitments.
What you study
During the course you gain an overview of engineering principles and key sector issues, giving you a range of knowledge across the food sector. Your learning is based around examples and assessments relevant to the food processing industry.
You undertake a group project to develop a new food product and its processing. This involves working with students from different courses, giving you experience in a multi-disciplinary food processing environment. You explore ethics, sustainability, health and safety and intellectual property rights, as well as business and marketing strategies related to the food industry.
You also study material flow characteristics, which is a core discipline in food processing. Using food materials to illustrate key characteristics, you learn techniques to analyse the rheology and flow of food products through food processing equipment, including understanding the thixotropic behaviour of tomato ketchup.
You then choose two further optional modules, allowing you to focus on your key areas of interest.
The course also gives you the opportunity to take modules on • food • food safety • the management of food production • food processing • food manufacturing techniques • engineering processes.
Level one modules
Level two core modules
Level two optional modules
Choose two from
The course leads to career opportunities in the food and drink sector, where there is a high demand for scientific and technically qualified individuals. Example roles and potential salaries include • engineering manager (£55,000) • maintenance manager (£40,000) • production area controller (£28,000) • project engineer (£40,000) • site engineering manager (£55,000).
The National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering has extensive contacts with national and multi-national food and drink companies including • Nestle • PepsiCo • Mondelez • Greencore • Premier Foods • Kellogg’s • William Jackson Food Group. The Centre support students to progress to roles with companies in this significant industrial sector.
This programme is structured around topics in systems and signal processing, with specialisms in control and systems theory, image processing and machine learning. Skills developed are sought after by industry (biotech, financial services, systems engineering, medical imaging, etc) and the academic research community. The modules have a high mathematical content and much of the material is computationally based, developing strong transferable skills in algorithmic development and programming.
Semester one: Signal Processing; Control System Design; Machine Learning; Computer Vision.
Semester two: Advanced Systems and Signal Processing; Digital Control System Design; Applied Control Systems; Biological Inspired Robotics; Advanced Computer Vision; Image Processing; Advanced Machine Learning; Computational Finance; Computational Biology; Biometrics.
Plus three-month independent research project culminating in a dissertation.
Strongly interdisciplinary in nature, the Institute for Language, Cognition and Communication (ILCC) is dedicated to both basic and applied research in the computational study of language, communication, and cognition, in both humans and machines.
As technology focuses increasingly on language-based communication tools, research into the automation of language processing has become vital. ILCC offers you the broadest research scope in the UK, and a strong computational focus.
Our primary areas of research are:
Much of our research is applied to software development, in areas as diverse as social media, assisted living, gaming and education.
You may find yourself working closely with other departments of the University, particularly the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences.
Many of our researchers are involved in two cross-disciplinary research centres:
The Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR) is an interdisciplinary research centre linking Informatics and Linguistics. Founded in 1984, it is now one of the world's largest concentrations of researchers working in the field of language and speech processing.
CSTR is concerned with research in all areas of speech technology including speech recognition, synthesis, signal processing, acoustic phonetics, information access, multi-modal interaction and dialogue systems.
The Centre is home to state-of-the-art research facilities including specialised speech and language-orientated computer labs, a digital recording studio, perception labs and a meeting room instrumented with multiple synchronised video cameras and microphones. There is also access to high-performance computer clusters, the University storage area network, a specialist library, and many speech and language databases.
The Human Communication Research Centre (HCRC) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow that brings together theories and methods from several formal and experimental disciplines to understand better how this happens.
We focus on spoken and written language; we also study communication in other visual, graphical and computer-based media.
You carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
The award-winning Informatics Forum is an international research facility for computing and related areas. It houses more than 400 research staff and students, providing office, meeting and social spaces.
It also contains two robotics labs, an instrumented multimedia room, eye-tracking and motion capture systems, and a full recording studio amongst other research facilities. Its spectacular atrium plays host to many events, from industry showcases and student hackathons to major research conferences.
Nearby teaching facilities include computer and teaching labs with more than 250 machines, 24-hour access to IT facilities for students, and comprehensive support provided by dedicated computing staff.
Among our entrepreneurial initiatives is Informatics Ventures, set up to support globally ambitious software companies in Scotland and nurture a technology cluster to rival Boston, Pittsburgh, Kyoto and Silicon Valley.
While many of our graduates pursue an academic career, others find their skills are highly sought after in the technology industry. A number of our students serve internships with large UK and international software developers, while others take up positions with major social media companies.