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Informatics: ICSA: Computer Architecture, Compilation & System Software, Networks & Communication (MScR)

Course Description

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.


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.

Visit the Informatics: ICSA: Computer Architecture, Compilation & System Software, Networks & Communication (MScR) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, typically in an area of Informatics, such as artificial intelligence, cognitive science or computer science. You may also be considered if your degree is in one of the following areas: engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology. You will need to have experience in computer programming.

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