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Course content

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.

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses:

  • Accelerated Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Programming for Speech and Language Processing
  • Speech Processing
  • Univariate Statistics and Methodology Using R

Option courses may include:

  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Automatic Speech Recognition
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Machine Translation
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Simulating Language
  • Speech Synthesis

Learning outcomes

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.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Speech & Language Processing (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

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