Postgraduate study

Informatics: IPAB: Robotics, Computer Vision, Computer Graphics & Animation

Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR

Study modes: Part-time, Full-time

Funding available

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 link is vital to areas like bio-mimetic 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.

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.

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

Recent developments include the 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.

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.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent. We would expect most of our entrants to have a degree in a computing or engineering field, with strong programming skills.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

  • School of Informatics Graduate School
  • 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 two references with your application.

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

Further information

  • School of Informatics Graduate School
  • 5 Forrest Hill
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH1 2QL