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Computer Science×

University of Edinburgh, Full Time MSc Degrees in Computer Science

We have 16 University of Edinburgh, Full Time MSc Degrees in Computer Science

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Programme description. This MSc will give you specialist knowledge in the design, implementation and use of computing systems ranging from the components of a single processor to computer networks as vast as the internet. Read more

Programme description

This MSc will give you specialist knowledge in the design, implementation and use of computing systems ranging from the components of a single processor to computer networks as vast as the internet.

You will gain a solid foundation in theoretical understanding and learn a wide variety of practical techniques that you could use in varied career settings.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

You will choose a 'specialist area' within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses. The specialist areas are:

  • Analytical and Scientific Databases
  • Computer Systems, Software Engineering, and High Performance Computing
  • Programming Languages
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Cyber Security and Privacy

Compulsory courses:

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

There are more than 50 optional courses to choose from, such as:

  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning
  • Extreme Computing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Networking
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Parallel Architectures
  • Parallel Programming Languages and Systems
  • Software Architecture, Process and Management
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and its Applications
  • Computer Algebra
  • Computational Complexity

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.



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Research profile. Established 25 years ago, the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS) continues to lead the way in the development of mathematical models, theories and tools that probe the possibilities of computation and communication. Read more

Research profile

Established 25 years ago, the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS) continues to lead the way in the development of mathematical models, theories and tools that probe the possibilities of computation and communication.

Our students benefit from being part of one of the largest and strongest groups of theoretical computer scientists in the world.

Our research is aimed at establishing deep understanding of computation in its many forms. Using advanced mathematical principles, we create theories and software tools allowing fundamental capabilities of computation to be explored, as well as designing languages that can be used to construct safe and effective programs.

Areas of interest within LFCS include verification, semantics, concurrency, process algebra, algorithms, logic and complexity.

While the results of our research can be applied to any one of a large number of diverse fields, biological modelling is of particular interest. Advances in experimental techniques mean that cell biologists need innovative tools and software to understand the vast quantities of data that are being generated.

Other areas where our research is applied include:

  • computer security
  • database systems
  • software analysis
  • programming language design
  • performance analysis.

Training and support

As a research student at LFCS, you will have access to our highly respected academic staff community, which includes Fellows of the Royal Society and a winner of a Blaise Pascal medal. Our students regularly receive ‘best paper’ awards at conferences.

You will 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.

Facilities

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

Our graduates are in high demand for postdoctoral academic roles. In addition, the skills you will graduate with can be applied to roles in industry, particularly finance, software development and consultancy.



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Informatics is the study of how natural and artificial systems store, process and communicate information. Read more

Informatics is the study of how natural and artificial systems store, process and communicate information.

Edinburgh has a long-standing tradition of world-class research and teaching in informatics, a discipline central to a new enlightenment in scholarship and learning, and critical to the future development of science, technology and society.

This is our most sought-after taught MSc. We offer a wide choice of courses, spanning established disciplines such as cognitive and computer science as well as emerging areas such as bioinformatics.

The programme takes full advantage of our expertise in research and teaching, including specialisms unique to Edinburgh.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

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

You will choose a ‘specialist area’ within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses:

  • Analytical and Scientific Databases
  • Bioinformatics Systems and Synthetic Biology
  • Cognitive Science, Computer Systems, Software Engineering and High Performance Computing
  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Agents, Knowledge and Data
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Neural Computation and Neuroinformatics
  • Programming Languages
  • Theoretical Computer Science

There are 100 optional courses available to MSc Informatics students, including courses within specialist areas unique to the programme.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are well regarded by potential employers worldwide. Many go on to work in the technology industry as software engineers, IT consultants, programmers and developers, and may work with the software and hardware giants that have become household names. Others go on to further study and research.



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Research profile. The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB) focuses on how to link computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds, in theory and in practice. Read more

Research profile

The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB) focuses on how to link computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds, in theory and in practice.

This covers domains such as visual perception, dynamic control of robot systems, active sensing and decision making, biomimetic robotics, computer-based generation of external phenomena, such as images, music or actions, and agent-based interaction within computer games and animation.

Supported by the dynamic research culture of IPAB, you can develop robots that learn their own motor control, mimic animal behaviours, or produce autonomous and coordinated team actions. Or you can work with systems that interpret real images and video, or generate complex behaviour in animated characters.

We aim to link strong theoretical perspectives with practical hands-on construction, and provide the hardware and software support to realise this vision.

Training and support

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.

Facilities

Our robotics labs contain a range of mobile platforms, robot manipulators, humanoid robots, and custom-built sensor and actuation systems that attract continuous interest from funders, industry and members of the public.

Recent developments include the UK's only NASA Valkyrie robot platform, application of robotic hardware to prosthetics and assisted living, and a team that competes in the international robot soccer league.

Our new Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR) brings collaboration with Heriot-Watt University to expand the range of facilities and applications we can explore, and to fund research training.

The machine vision lab has facilities for 3D range data capture, motion capture and high-resolution and high-speed video, and the high performance computing needed for graphics is well supported, including hardware partnerships with companies such as NVIDIA.

Career opportunities

While many of our graduates go on to highly successful academic careers, others find their niche in commercial research labs, putting their knowledge and skills to use in an industry setting.

Several of our recent graduates have set up or joined spin-out robotics companies. Our graphics researchers have strong connections to the media and games industries.



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Programme description. This MSc is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for artificial intelligence, which remains one of the best in the world. Read more

Programme description

This MSc is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for artificial intelligence, which remains one of the best in the world.

Our research draws on neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, statistics and psychology to span knowledge representation and reasoning, the study of brain processes and artificial learning systems, computer vision, mobile and assembly robotics, music perception and visualisation.

We aim to give you practical knowledge in the design and construction of intelligent systems so you can apply your skills in a variety of career settings.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

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

You will choose a 'specialist area' within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses:

  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Agents, Knowledge and Data
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing

You can choose from a variety of optional courses including:

  • Advanced Vision
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and Its Applications
  • Computer Animation and Visualisation
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Robotics: Science and Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software Architecture, Process and Management
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

Career opportunities

Our students are well prepared for both employment and academic research. The emphasis is on practical techniques for the design and construction of intelligent systems, preparing graduates to work in a variety of specialisms, from fraud detection software to spacecraft control.



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Research profile. Robots have the potential to revolutionise society and the economy, working for us, beside us, and interacting with us. Read more

Research profile

Robots have the potential to revolutionise society and the economy, working for us, beside us, and interacting with us. This EPSRC-sponsored programme will produce graduates with the technical skills and industry awareness to create an innovation pipeline from academic research to global markets.

The robotics and autonomous systems area has been highlighted by the UK Government in 2013 as one of the eight Great Technologies that underpin the UK's Industrial Strategy for jobs and growth. Key application areas include manufacturing, assistive and medical robots, offshore energy, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, defence, and support for the ageing population.

The University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University are jointly offering this innovative four-year PhD training programme, which combines a strong general grounding in current theory, methods and applications with flexibility for individualised study and a specialised PhD project.

Robotics and autonomous systems are increasingly studied beyond the range of classical engineering. Today robots represent one of the main areas of application of computer science and provide challenges for mathematics and natural science.

It is impossible to imagine transportation, warehousing, safety systems, space and marine exploration, prosthetics, and many other areas of industry, technology and science without robots. Robots are used in theoretical biology and the neurosciences as a model of behaviour.

Areas of interest specific to the center include: movement control, planning, decision making, bio- and neurorobotics, human-robot interaction, healthcare applications, robot soccer, neuroprosthetics, underwater robotics, bipedal walking, service robots, robotic co-workers, computer vision, speech processing, computer animation realistic simulations, and machine learning.

Many more topics can be found be exploring the Centre’s web pages, particularly the personal web pages of the Centre supervisors:

Training and support

Our four-year PhD programme combines Masters level coursework and project work with independent PhD-level research.

In the first year, you will undertake four or five masters level courses, spread throughout robotics, machine learning, computational neuroscience, computer architectures, statistics, optimization, sensorics, dynamics, mechanics, image processing, signal processing, modelling, animation, artificial intelligence, and related areas. You will also undertake a significant introductory research project. (Students with previous masters-level work in these areas may request to take less courses and a larger project.)

At the end of the first year, successful students will be awarded an MSc by Research by the University of Edinburgh. 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. The PhD will be awarded jointly by the University of Edinburgh and the Heriot-Watt University.

You will have opportunities for three to six month internships with leading companies in your area, and to participate in our industrial engagement programme, exchanging ideas and challenges with our sponsor companies.

Throughout your studies, you will participate in our regular programmes of seminars, short talks and brainstorming sessions, and benefit from our pastoral mentoring schemes.

Our user partners in industry include companies working in offshore energy, environmental monitoring, defence, assisted living, transport, advanced manufacturing and education. They will provide the real world context for research, as well as opportunities for reciprocal secondments, internships and involvement in our industrial engagement programme.

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.

Facilities

You will have access to the outstanding facilities in the Edinburgh Robotarium, a national facility for research into robot interaction, supporting the research of more than 50 world-leading investigators from 17 cross-disciplinary research groups.

Research groups at the Edinburgh Robotarium include humanoid movement control, underwater, land and airborne autonomous vehicles, human robot interaction, bio- and neuro-robotics, and planning and decision making in multirobot scenarios.

In addition, our research groups contain a diverse range of compute clusters for compute and data-intensive work, including a large cluster hosted by the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility.

Career opportunities

Our aim is to produce innovation-ready graduates who are skilled in the principles of technical and commercial disruption and who understand how finance and organisation realise new products in start-up, SME and corporate situations.

We intend for our graduates to become leaders in the globally emerging market for autonomous and robotic systems that reduce risk, reduce cost, increase profit and protect the environment. This vision is shared by our industrial supporters, whose support for our internship programme indicates their strong desire to find highly qualified new employees.

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.



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Research profile. Data science is the study of the computational principles and systems for extracting knowledge from data, for maintaining data, and for ensuring its quality. Read more

Research profile

Data science is the study of the computational principles and systems for extracting knowledge from data, for maintaining data, and for ensuring its quality. Large data sets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society and commerce.

This EPSRC-sponsored programme tackles the question: how can we efficiently find patterns in these vast streams of data?

Many research areas in informatics are converging on the problem of data science. Those represented in the School include machine learning, databases, data management, optimization and cluster computing; and also the unstructured data issues generated in areas such as natural language processing and computer vision.

Our programme will allow you to specialise and perform advanced research in one of these areas, while gaining breadth and practical experience throughout data science.

A short sample of our research interests includes:

  • machine learning applied to problems in biology, astronomy, computer science, engineering, health care, and e-commerce
  • database theory and technology for managing unstructured data and for maintaining trust in data
  • big data and management of streaming data
  • management of unstructured data, including natural language processing, speech processing, and computer vision

Many more topics can be found by exploring the Centre’s web pages, particularly the personal web pages of the Centre supervisors:

You will be supervised by one of our 45 world-renowned faculty. You will also benefit from interacting with a group of 35 leading industrial partners, including Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

This will ensure your research is informed by real world case studies and will provide a source of diverse internship opportunities. Moreover we believe that key research insights can be gained by working across the boundaries of conventional groupings.

Training and support

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

Our four-year PhD programme combines masters level coursework and project work with independent PhD-level research.

In the first year, you will undertake six masters level courses, spread throughout machine learning, databases, statistics, optimization, natural language processing, and related areas. You will also undertake a significant introductory research project. (Students with previous masters-level work in these areas may request to take three courses and a larger project, instead of six courses.)

At the end of the first year, successful students will be awarded an MSc by Research. 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.

You will have opportunities for three to six month internships with leading companies in your area, and to participate in our industrial engagement programme, exchanging ideas and challenges with our sponsor companies.

Throughout your studies, you will participate in our regular programmes of seminars, short talks and brainstorming sessions, and benefit from our pastoral mentoring schemes.

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.

Facilities

Our research groups contain a diverse range of compute clusters for compute and data-intensive work, including a large cluster hosted by the Edinburgh Compute and Data Facility.

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 in data science. This vision is shared by our industrial supporters, whose support for our internship programme indicates their strong desire to find highly qualified new employees.

You will be part of a new generation of data scientists, with the technical skills and interdisciplinary awareness to become R&D leaders in this emerging area.

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.



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Programme description. Data science is the study of the computational principles, methods, and systems for extracting and structuring knowledge from data; and the application and use of those principles. Read more

Programme description

Data science is the study of the computational principles, methods, and systems for extracting and structuring knowledge from data; and the application and use of those principles. Large data sets are now generated by almost every activity in science, society, and commerce - ranging from molecular biology to social media, from sustainable energy to health care.

Data science asks: how can we efficiently find patterns in these vast streams of data? Many research areas have tackled parts of this problem: machine learning focuses on finding patterns and making predictions from data; ideas from algorithms and databases are required to build systems that scale to big data streams; and separate research areas have grown around different types of unstructured data such as text, images, sensor data, video, and speech. Recently, these distinct disciplines have begun to converge into a single field called data science.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses

  • Informatics Research Review
  • Informatics Research Proposal
  • Dissertation

You are also required to take a breadth of courses in data science, with at least one in each of the following areas:

  • Machine Learning, Statistics and Optimization
  • Databases and Data Management
  • Applications

You can take up to two courses from other schools.

Learning outcomes

The School of Informatics' MSc in Data Science is designed to attract students who want to establish a career as a data scientist in industry or the public sector, as well as students who want to explore the area prior to further training such as in our CDT in Data Science.

The learning objectives of the degree are to foster:

  • A breadth of knowledge across the data science areas
  • An advanced technical background in at least one of the data science areas
  • An appreciation for real-world problems involving the use of data in industry, science, and the public sector
  • Research experience in one of the data science areas.

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.



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Research profile. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism addresses the most disruptive challenge faced by the computing industry for 50 years. Read more

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.

Facilities

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.



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Research profile. 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. Read more

Research profile

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:

  • natural language processing and computational linguistics
  • spoken language processing
  • dialogue and multimodal interaction
  • information extraction, retrieval, and presentation
  • computational theories of human cognition
  • educational and assistive technology
  • visualisation

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:

Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR)

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.

Human Communication Research Centre

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.

Training and support

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.

Facilities

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

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.



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Research profile. The Institute for Computing System Architecture (ICSA) will provide you with academic resources and industry links that are among the best in the world. Read more

Research profile

The Institute for Computing System Architecture (ICSA) will provide you with academic resources and industry links that are among the best in the world.

We are home to the UK’s largest group of PhD researchers in the field, and host a Centre of Excellence in partnership with ARM, the world’s largest microprocessor intellectual property provider. We are also a member of the European Network of Excellence on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation.

Our current research is focused on the areas of:

  • compilers and architectures
  • parallel computing
  • wireless networking
  • processor-automated synthesis by iterative analysis.

Our wireless communication group is particularly strong, and presently working on expanding wireless reach within Scotland.

While the scope for research is wide, each area is underpinned by our fundamental aims:

  • to extend understanding of existing systems
  • to improve current systems
  • to develop new architecture and engineering methods

Training and support

You’ll be supported in your research by award-winning academic staff – including four Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering. They and other research colleagues have contributed to what is an enviable publications portfolio, featuring some of the most prestigious publications in the field.

You’ll graduate with more than an intensive knowledge of your field: you’ll also have established academic and personal links that will last a lifetime.

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.

Facilities

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

Our students see their degrees as a launchpad for their careers, and many have established themselves as world-class researchers and developers. By joining their ranks, you will be able to make your mark on the next generation of technological innovations.

Academic and business employers actively recruit ICSA graduates, many of whom are now designing the next generation of products for major software developers, or taking the lead in other entrepreneurial ventures.



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You will study at EPCC, the UK’s leading supercomputing centre. EPCC is the major provider of high performance computing (HPC) training in Europe with an international reputation for excellence in HPC education and research. Read more

You will study at EPCC, the UK’s leading supercomputing centre. EPCC is the major provider of high performance computing (HPC) training in Europe with an international reputation for excellence in HPC education and research.

Our staff have a wealth of expertise across all areas of HPC, parallel programming technologies and data science.

This MSc programme has a strong practical focus and provide access to leading- edge HPC systems such as ARCHER, which is the UK’s largest, fastest and most powerful supercomputer, with more than 100,000 CPU cores.

HPC is the use of powerful processors, networks and parallel supercomputers to tackle problems that are very computationally or data-intensive. You will learn leading-edge HPC technologies and skills to exploit the full potential of the world’s largest supercomputers and multicore processors. This is a well-established programme that has been successful in training generations of specialists in parallel programming.

Programme structure

The MSc programme takes the form of two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation project.

Your studies will have a strong practical focus and you will have access to a wide range of HPC platforms and technologies. You will take seven compulsory courses, which provide a broad-based coverage of the fundamentals of HPC, parallel computing and data science. The option courses focus on specialist areas relevant to computational science. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

Taught courses

Compulsory courses:

  • HPC Architectures (Semester 1)
  • Message-Passing Programming (Semester 1)
  • Programming Skills (Semester 1)
  • Threaded Programming (Semester 1)
  • Software Development (Semester 2)
  • Project Preparation (Semester 2)
  • HPC Ecosystem (Semester 2)

Optional courses:

  • Fundamentals of Data Management (Semester 1)
  • Parallel Numerical Algorithms (Semester 1)
  • Parallel Programming Languages (Semester 1)
  • Advanced Parallel Programming (Semester 2)
  • Data Analytics with High Performance Computing (Semester 2)
  • Parallel Design Patterns (Semester 2)
  • Performance Programming (Semester 2)
  • Courses from the School of Informatics, Mathematics or Physics (up to 30 credits)

Dissertation

After completing the taught courses, students work on a three-month individual project leading to a dissertation.

Dissertation projects may be either research-based or industry-based with an external organisation, with opportunities for placements in local companies.

Industry-based dissertation projects

Through our strong links with industry, we offer our students the opportunity to undertake their dissertation project with one of a wide range of local companies.

An industry-based dissertation project can give you the opportunity to enhance your skills and employability by tackling a real-world project, gaining workplace experience, exploring potential career paths and building relationships with local companies.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are employed across a range of commercial areas, for example software development, petroleum engineering, finance and HPC support. Others have gone on to PhD research in fields that use HPC technologies, including astrophysics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, informatics and materials science.



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Research profile. This programme is for students who have a background in digital media, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, interaction design, composition, architecture and art or design practice, and wish to extend their study through a series of practical, research-led projects. Read more

Research profile

This programme is for students who have a background in digital media, human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, interaction design, composition, architecture and art or design practice, and wish to extend their study through a series of practical, research-led projects.

Students work in collaborative contexts to develop skills in conceptualising and implementing creative projects that make extensive use of digital technologies.

The compulsory element of the course is Digital Studio Practice, which is supported by postgraduate research methods training and a series of optional, lecture-based courses, reading courses and a final dissertation.

On completion of the degree graduates will be able to contribute knowledgeably and critically to practice-led research that involves advanced technologies. The programme provides an opportunity for you to test your aptitude for PhD study in the area.

Programme Structure

The core of the course is Digital Studio Practice (40 credits in semester 2), supported by Postgraduate Research Methods (P00487 in semester 1) and a series of optional lecture-based courses, reading courses and a final dissertation. The MSc in Digital Studio Practice also provides an opportunity for students to test their aptitude and interest for PhD study in the area.

Training and support

All of our research students benefit from ECA’s interdisciplinary approach and all are assigned two research supervisors. Your second supervisor may be from another discipline within ECA, or from somewhere else within the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences or elsewhere within the University, according to the expertise required. On occasion more than two supervisors will be assigned, particularly where the degree brings together multiple disciplines.



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You will study at EPCC, the UK’s leading supercomputing centre. EPCC is the major provider of high performance computing (HPC) training in Europe with an international reputation for excellence in HPC education and research. Read more

You will study at EPCC, the UK’s leading supercomputing centre. EPCC is the major provider of high performance computing (HPC) training in Europe with an international reputation for excellence in HPC education and research.

Our staff have a wealth of expertise across all areas of HPC, parallel programming technologies and data science.

This MSc programme has a strong practical focus and provide access to leading- edge HPC systems such as ARCHER, which is the UK’s largest, fastest and most powerful supercomputer, with more than 100,000 CPU cores.

Data science involves the manipulation, processing and analysis of data to extract knowledge, and HPC provides the power that underpins it.

You will learn the multidisciplinary skills and knowledge in both HPC and data science to unlock the knowledge contained in the increasingly large, complex and challenging data sets that are now generated across many areas of science and business.

Programme structure

This MSc programme takes the form of two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation project.

Your studies will have a strong practical focus and you will have access to a wide range of HPC platforms and technologies. You will take seven compulsory courses, which provide a broad-based coverage of the fundamentals of HPC, parallel computing and data science. The option courses focus on specialist areas relevant to computational science. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

Taught courses

Compulsory courses:

  • Fundamentals of Data Management (Semester 1)
  • Message-Passing Programming (Semester 1)
  • Programming Skills (Semester 1)
  • Threaded Programming (Semester 1)
  • Data Analytics with High Performance Computing (Semester 2)
  • Software Development (Semester 2)
  • Project Preparation (Semester 2)

Optional courses:

  • HPC Architectures (Semester 1)
  • Parallel Numerical Algorithms (Semester 1)
  • Parallel Programming Languages (Semester 1)
  • Advanced Parallel Programming (Semester 2)
  • HPC Ecosystem (Semester 2)
  • Parallel Design Patterns (Semester 2)
  • Performance Programming (Semester 2)
  • Courses from the School of Informatics, Mathematics or Physics (up to 30 credits)

Dissertation

After completing the taught courses, students work on a three-month individual project leading to a dissertation. Dissertation projects may be either research-based or industry-based with an external organisation, with opportunities for placements in local companies.

Industry-based dissertation projects

Through our strong links with industry, we offer our students the opportunity to undertake their dissertation project with one of a wide range of local companies.

An industry-based dissertation project can give you the opportunity to enhance your skills and employability by tackling a real-world project, gaining workplace experience, exploring potential career paths and building relationships with local companies.

Career opportunities

Our graduates are employed across a range of commercial areas, for example software development, petroleum engineering, finance and HPC support. Others have gone on to PhD research in fields that use HPC technologies, including astrophysics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, informatics and materials science.



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Research profile. Read more

Research profile

The Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) brings together researchers from integrated-circuit design, system-on-chip design, image-sensor design, bioelectronics, micro/nano-fabrication, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), micromachining, neural computation and reconfigurable and adaptive computing.

Research interests include low-level analogue, low-power, adaptive and bio-inspired approaches, system-on-chip computing and applications from telecommunications to finance and astronomy. There is also a research focus on integrating CMOS microelectronic technology with sensors and microsystems/MEMS to create smart sensor systems. We also have a strong and growing interest in applications relating to life sciences and medicine, with particular focus on bioelectronics, biophotonics and bio-MEMS.

IMNS has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including an advanced silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources. The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.

Training and support

The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.

Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.

Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.

Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes

Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Facilities

The Institute has laboratory facilities that are unique within the UK, including a comprehensive silicon and MEMS micro-fabrication capability coupled with substantial design and test resources.

The Institute has an excellent reputation for commercialising technology.



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