School of Informatics

Master of Science (MSc)

We offer seven taught masters (MSc) programmes at the School of Informatics.

Our Programmes

MSc Video

About our Informatics, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, Computer Science and Data Science Programmes

Each programme contains a number of courses. Some of these courses are compulsory but the majority are optional so students can pick and chose what they would like to study. We offer around 50 courses at masters level, grouped into the following specialist areas:

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

All successful candidates will enrol on our taught MSc programme in September. Full time students spend the first nine months participating in a series of taught modular courses, typically involving attendance at four to six lectures a week, with a range of additional tutorials and laboratory sessions dependant on your course choice.

These courses can be assessed in a variety of ways, although are likely to involve some combination of coursework assignment submissions, an end of year examination and self-conducted background reading.

Students spend the final three months of the course concentrating on a major individual research dissertation, supported by an academic supervisor. The final dissertation contributes towards a third of your overall degree.

MSc programmes are also available part-time, over either two or three years.

Flexibility is a key aspect of our MSc programmes, encouraging students to choose from a wide range of courses delivered, taught both within and outwith the Informatics subject area. Students will be given unlimited access to a specialist area advisor who can help with the construction of a viable selection of compatible courses.

About our Design Informatics Programmes

Our Design Informatics and Advanced Design Informatics programmes are both new for 2013. They are run in conjunction with Edinburgh College of Art and aim to provide students with an understanding of how to build computational systems as well as teaching them the relevant principles of design thinking and making.

Through case studies of real life products, students apply their knowledge in a practical way, thus developing an understanding of what it takes to create, design and take a product to market.

The MSc in Design Informatics

A one year programme where students attend lectures, tutorials and group practicals and acquire the theoretical foundation to enable them to engage in independent research. Students are also involved with the preparation of case studies and team projects. Students complete the degree by undertaking a major individual research project on which they write a dissertation. The project is normally supervised by a member of academic staff, with assistance from his/her research team.

The MSc in Advanced Design Informatics

A 21 month programme, this has a similar context to the one year MSc but with a summer commercial or public sector placement. The defining feature of this MSc is that it combines a theoretical exploration of Design Informatics with a practical understanding of how to deliver a product. Our students will work on individual projects, and in teams, with entrepreneurs and companies, and latterly, they will lead a team of year-1 students.

Further Information

Detailed information about all our courses, including timetables, lecture notes, past exam papers and examples of previous student dissertations, is available on the MSc programme website.

Related Masters Programmes

We also collaborate on the following MSc programmes:


Taught by the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC), one of the leading supercomputing centres in Europe, these two MSc programmes have a strong practical focus and provide access to leading-edge HPC systems such as ARCHER, the UK national supercomputer. They will appeal to students who have an interest in programming and would like to learn more about HPC, parallel programming and Data Science.


The School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences offer a one year MSc in Speech and Language Processing.


The University also offers online distance learning courses in Imaging.