Postgraduate study

Computer Science

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

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.

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

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.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in informatics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, mathematics, philosophy, physics or psychology, plus experience in computer programming.

You must have a sufficient mathematical and informatics background for your chosen area of study.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 with at least 20 in each section
  • PTE(A): total 61 with at least 56 in each of the Communicative Skills scores
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 5 Forrest Hill
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QL

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5194
  • Email: ito@inf.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Informatics Teaching Organisation
  • 5 Forrest Hill
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QL