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EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism (MScR)

Course Description

Research profile

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism addresses the most disruptive challenge faced by the computing industry for 50 years. Driven by performance and energy constraints, parallelism is now crucial to all layers of the computing infrastructure, from smartphones to globally distributed systems.

This EPSRC-sponsored programme tackles the many urgent interconnected problems raised by parallel systems. How do we design programming languages for such systems? How should the architecture be structured? Which theories, tools and methodologies will allow us to reason about the behaviour of this new hardware and software?

We urgently need answers to these questions to maintain the familiar pace of technological progress, and the benefits it brings to so much of modern life. Spanning theory and practice, the centre addresses this "pervasive parallelism challenge", educating the graduates who will undertake the fundamental research and design required to transform methods and practices. As a pervasive parallelism graduate, you will develop not only deep expertise in your own specialism, but crucially, an awareness of its relationships to other facets of the challenge.

These cross-cutting synergies will enable us to unlock the true potential of current and future technologies.

This MSc is the first part of a longer 1+3 (MSc by Research + PhD) programme offered by the School through the EPSRC.

Our supervisors offer internationally leading expertise across all aspects of the pervasive parallelism challenge. These include parallel programming, wireless and mobile networking, reasoning about interaction, models of concurrent computation, energy efficient computing, systems architecture, and performance modelling.

Many more topics can be found be exploring the centre's pages and those of its supervision team and research teams. Most importantly, we believe that key research insights can be made by working across the boundaries of conventional groupings.

Training and support

We offer a four year programme, focused throughout on your development into an independent researcher, under the guidance of an expert supervision team. In the first year, you will undertake a small number of courses, and a large introductory research project, together with a range of sessions on transferable research skills.

Courses are designed to broaden your awareness of pervasive parallelism. Successful students will be awarded a Master of Research degree at this point. From this basis, the subsequent three years will be spent developing and pursuing a PhD research project, under the close supervision of your primary and secondary supervisors.

Our industrial partnerships and engagement programme will ensure that your research is informed by real world case-studies and will provide a source of diverse internship opportunities.

You will have opportunities to take up three- to six-month internships with leading companies in this area, including ARM, Intel, IBM and Microsoft, and to participate in our industrial engagement programme, exchanging ideas and challenges with our sponsor companies at brainstorming and networking events.

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.


You will have access to state-of-the-art facilities from on-chip accelerators including GPGPUs and multicore CPUs to the supercomputer scale systems hosted by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre.

More broadly, 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.

Career opportunities

We intend for our graduates to become the research leaders, both in industry and academia, whose work will lead the way into the era of mainstream parallelism. This vision is shared by our industrial supporters who have indicated their strong desire to find highly qualified candidates to fill roles in this area. We also have outstanding support for entrepreneurial initiatives through Informatics Ventures.

Our component research groups already have excellent track-records in post-graduation destinations, including the research labs of industry-leading companies, and post-doctoral research positions in top tier universities.

Visit the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should have a good first degree in Computer Science, or a related discipline appropriate to the area within which you plan to study.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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