Welcome to the School of Informatics

In the age of information, computing technology is changing the ways we work and play. Informatics is changing the way we think.


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

It is a discipline central to a new enlightenment in scholarship and learning, and critical to the future development of science, technology and society.

Research in informatics promises to take information technology to a new level, and to place information at the heart of 21st century science, technology and society.

Our Vision

Our vision at the School of Informatics is to retain and strengthen our position among the top five world-leading centres of research and teaching in computation, information and cognition.

The School

Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh.

The School provides a fertile environment for a wide range of studies focussed on understanding computation in both artificial and natural systems.

With over 450 academic and research staff and over 850 students, the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is the largest in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

Studying informatics at Edinburgh

We offer a flexible choice of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and degrees in:

  • Informatics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering

Excellence in Research

In the UK, the higher education funding bodies carry out a Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) to enable them to distribute public funds for research, on the basis of quality. This assessment is carried out for all higher education establishments in the UK by subject area. For the last two assessments, Edinburgh has come top for Computing Science and Informatics in the UK.

How we are rated in the most recent RAE (2008):

  • Delivers more world-leading (4*) research than anyone else in the UK - 69% more than our nearest competitor.
  • Contributes 10% of the UK’s world-leading research in Computer Science and Informatics.
  • Delivers more internationally-excellent (3*) or world-leading (4*) research than any other UK University.

The research draws on concepts from:

  • computer science
  • artificial intelligence
  • linguistics
  • cognitive science
  • neuroscience
  • psychology
  • biology

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

In 2013, the University won share of a £350million investment in UK science and engineering postgraduate training. As part of this investment the School now hosts two Centres for Docotral Training and co-hosts a further centre along with Heriot Watt University.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science

Data science is an emerging area that focuses on the principles, underlying methods, software, and systems for extracting actionable knowledge from data. The Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Science will train a new generation of data scientists, comprising 50 PhDs over five intake years, with the technical skills and interdisciplinary awareness necessary to become R&D leaders in this emerging area.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism

Parallelism has become an essential component of mainstream computer systems, pervasive across all scales, from system-on-chip to cloud computing. The new Centre for Doctoral Training in Pervasive Parallelism will seek to develop the research leaders of the future across these areas.The programme, which involves industrial partnerships and engagement, will ensure that research is informed by real world case-studies as well as providing a source of diverse internship opportunities.

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

The new EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems in Edinburgh will be run in partnership with Heriot-Watt University. It will look to address key challenges for managing interactions between robots and their environments, between multiple autonomous systems, and between robots and humans.

Business Development

The commercialisation of academic research adds significant value to the UK economy.

Here at the School of Informatics we approach this through our business development team who help to translate our world-leading research into industrial collaborations, new products and new companies.

Our experienced and dedicated business development team is there to liaise with industry, connect them to the right academics and foster relationships through a number of activities:

  • Consultancy
  • Licensing
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
  • Studentships
  • Centre of Innovation
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Networking Activities and Events

Business creation: Start ups and spin outs

In addition to attracting investment into the School through business development activity, the School has also been highly successful at encouraging start ups and spins outs from within its research community, with 61 start ups and spinouts created in the past six years alone.

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Informatics Forum Attrium

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