Postgraduate study

Sensor & Imaging Systems

Awards: EngD

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

Programme website: Sensor & Imaging Systems

Sensor and imaging systems (SIS) are central to modern life, and appear in fields as diverse as transport, biomedicine, agriculture and environmental monitoring.

Academically equivalent to a PhD, the EngD focuses on sensor research in a commercial environment, supplemented by Masters-level technical training and MBA-style business courses.

Projects all have an industry sponsor and you will spend up to 75% of your time working on-site with that company, under the direction of an industrial supervisor and an academic supervisor from the University.

You will undertake two semesters of research-focused training, delivered by internationally renowned academic staff. The first semester is based in Glasgow and the second in Edinburgh.

The curriculum has a substantial overlap with that of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrative Sensing & Measurement and much of the training involves working together as a cohort or in smaller groups. It includes:

  • the fundamentals and applications of sensor and imaging systems
  • focused practical courses on laboratory skills
  • creativity, dissemination, advocacy, enterprise and transferable skills

This is followed by a 40-month research project, based in a sponsoring company, and business and management courses offered by Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Business School.

You will normally be matched with a company and project when your offer of a place is made. Projects reflect varied applications of sensing and measurement, across a range of sensing modalities – physical, chemical, mechanical, optical and more.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant science or engineering discipline.

Entry is competitive, so we would prefer a UK first class honours degree, or its international equivalent, in engineering, physics, chemistry or another relevant physical science.

We may also consider your application if you have other qualifications or experience, or a background in another field.

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:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Scholarships covering fees and a stipend are available for suitably qualified, eligible applicants. There are normally four scholarships, awarded competitively, each year. Awards cover all tuition costs. Self-funded applicants will also be considered. Four EngD scholarships are awarded annually.

See Scholarships and Student Funding Services for other funding opportunities:

  • Scottish Microelectronics Centre
  • School of Engineering
  • Alexander Crum Brown Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FF

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

  • Scottish Microelectronics Centre
  • School of Engineering
  • Alexander Crum Brown Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FF