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This Masters in Sensor and Imaging Systems (SIS) focuses on the technologies and techniques that underpin a vast range of societal, research and industrial needs. It is delivered and awarded jointly by the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Sensing and sensor systems are essential for advances in research across all fields of physics, engineering and chemistry and are enhanced when multiple sensing functions are combined into arrays to enable imaging. Industrial applications of sensor systems are ubiquitous: from mass-produced sensors found in modern smart phones and every modern car to the state-of-the-art, specialist high-value sensors routinely used in oil and gas recovery, scientific equipment, machine tools, medical equipment and environmental monitoring. This is an industry-focused programme, designed for people looking to develop skills that will open up opportunities in a host of end applications.

Why this programme

  • This is a jointly taught and awarded degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, developed in with conjunction with CENSIS, the centre of excellence for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
  • CENSIS helps organisations innovate and overcome technology barriers to achieve business transformation and reach global markets. As one of Scotland’s Innovation Centres, it is focused on creating sustainable social and economic benefit in the Scottish economy.
  • This programme will allow you to benefit from the combined resources and complementary expertise of staff from two top ranking Russell Group universities, working together to offer you a curriculum relevant to the needs of industry.
  • The Colleges of Science and Engineering at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh delivered power and impact in the 2014 Research Excellent Framework. Overall, 94% of Edinburgh’s and 90% of Glasgow’s research activity is world leading or internationally excellent, rising in Glasgow’s case to 95% for its impact.
  • Find out more about CENSIS.

Programme structure

The programme comprises a mix of core and optional courses. The curriculum you undertake is flexible and tailored to your prior experience and expertise, your particular research interests, and the specific nature of the extended research project topic provisionally identified at the beginning of the MSc programme.

Graduates receive a joint degree from the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Programme timetable

  • Semester 1: University of Glasgow
  • Semester 2: University of Edinburgh
  • Semester 3: MSc project, including the possibility of an industry placement

Core courses

  • Circuits and systems
  • Fundamentals of sensing and measurement
  • Technology and innovation management
  • Research project preparation.

Optional courses

  • Biomedical imaging techniques
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Biosensors and instrumentation
  • Chemical biology
  • Digital signal processing
  • Electronic product design and manufacture
  • Electronic system design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Lab-on-chip technologies
  • Lasers and electro-optic systems
  • Microelectronics in consumer products
  • Microfabrication techniques
  • Nanofabrication
  • Physical techniques in action
  • Waves and diffraction.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

You will gain an understanding of sensor-based systems applicable to a whole host of markets supported by CENSIS.

Career opportunities are extensive. Sensor systems are spearheading the next wave of connectivity and intelligence for internet connected devices, underpinning all of the new ‘smart markets’, e.g., grid, cities, transport and mobility, digital healthcare and big data.

You will graduate with domain-appropriate skills suitable for a range of careers in areas including renewable energy, subsea and marine technologies, defence, automotive engineering, intelligent transport, healthcare, aerospace, manufacturing and process control, consumer electronics, and environmental monitoring.

Globally, the market for sensor systems is valued at £500Bn with an annual growth rate of 10%. The Scottish sensor systems market is worth £2.6Bn pa. There are over 170 sensor systems companies based in Scotland (SMEs and large companies), employing 16,000 people in high-value jobs including product R&D, design, engineering, manufacturing and field services.


Visit the Sensor and Imaging Systems (MSc) page on the University of Glasgow website for more details!

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