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    School of Informatics Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Computer Science

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Course Fees

    Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.

  • Last Updated

    26 November 2018

Programme Description

Edinburgh's expertise in core computer science is recognised internationally, and spans the range from computer architecture through theoretical computer science. This MSc offers you the opportunity to obtain specialist knowledge in the design, analysis, implementation, and use of computer systems ranging from the components of a single processor to computer networks as vast as the Internet. You can also pursue a more theoretical direction by choosing courses in areas such as algorithms, programming languages, or cryptography.

The programme provides a solid foundation in theoretical understanding and a wide variety of practical techniques applicable in many career settings.

Programme structure

You will follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments. During this time you will also learn research methods to prepare for your final project and dissertation, which is completed during the summer.

Compulsory courses:

  • Informatics Research Review
  • Informatics Project Proposal
  • Introduction to Java Programming (for students who do not already meet the programming requirements for the taught masters)
  • Dissertation

In addition, about half your taught course credits must be chosen from areas in core computer science (foundations and systems). Course offerings follow the main research areas of our staff, which include parallelism and distributed systems, security and privacy, theoretical computer science, and programming languages. Example courses offered recently in computer science foundations and systems include:

  • Advanced Databases
  • Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers
  • Computational Complexity
  • Computer Networking
  • Distributed Systems
  • Internet of Things: Systems, Security, and the Cloud
  • Introduction to Quantum Computing
  • Parallel Programming Languages and Systems
  • Secure Programming

For your remaining courses, you may choose further options from foundations and systems or from a wide range of courses offered in other areas of Informatics, including artificial intelligence, software engineering, and social and biological computation. Guidance is provided to help you choose a set of courses that work well together, giving you specialised expertise in your chosen area.

Please note: This degree has flexible course options. Students are only admitted onto the degree if they will have a viable set of options, but not all courses on offer are appropriate for all admitted students. The School of Informatics offers a wide selection of courses, but not all optional courses are guaranteed to run every year, and a few high-demand courses may limit enrolment to students on the most relevant degree(s).

  • The degree description and structure given here reflect changes being made for 2019 entry based on feedback from recent graduates. These changes aim to improve the student experience by providing a more focussed set of course options and a clearer structure. Degree programme information provided to current students (e.g., the 2018-19 MSc Handbook) should not be taken to fully reflect the nature of the programme starting in 2019.

Career opportunities

Through this programme you will develop specialist, advanced skills in the development, construction and management of advanced computer systems. You will gain practical experience and a thorough theoretical understanding of the field making you attractive to a wide range of employers or preparing you for further academic study.

Recent graduates are now working in a variety of computing roles such as software or systems, developers and engineers, analysts and applications developers for companies including Cisco, Toshiba, Microsoft, Athlon, Skyscanner, Amazon, BT, Total, Honeywell and JPMorgan Chase


Visit the Computer Science (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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