MSc Speech & Language Processing

Combining elements of linguistics, computer science, engineering and psychology

This intensive programme offers an exciting opportunity to learn from world leaders in both informatics and linguistics. Drawing from our cutting-edge research, the programme’s content covers all areas of speech and language processing, from phonetics, speech synthesis and speech recognition to natural language generation and machine translation.

The programme is co-taught by faculty from Linguistics and Informatics, both of which are the best in the UK and world leading in their fields. This programme draws on the combined expertise of these subject areas to deliver a broad range of courses, all informed by current research being conducted at Edinburgh.

This flexible programme provides research or vocational training and can be either freestanding or lead to PhD study. The modular nature of the programme allows you to tailor it to your own interests. You will develop up-to-date knowledge of a broad range of areas in speech and language processing and gain the technical expertise and hands-on skills required to carry out research and development in this challenging interdisciplinary area.

For more information watch the recorded session from our Postgraduate Virtual Open Day:

Why study Speech & Language Processing at Edinburgh?

  • We're ranked 4th in the UK and 5th in the world for linguistics (QS World University Rankings by subject 2024).
  • You will be part of a learning community which includes one of the largest concentration of language scientists in the UK.
  • You will be taught by world-class experts in Linguistics, Informatics, Psychology and other related subject areas at the University.

Showcasing Language Sciences at Edinburgh

Programme structure

You study two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation. Most core compulsory courses have both computational and mathematical content. Courses in the second semester can be tailored to your own interests and abilities.

The dissertation is performed under the supervision of an expert member of the teaching or research staff, often assisted by postdoctoral research fellows.

Examples of recent dissertation topics include:

  • Large Scale Speech Synthesis Evaluation
  • Digital Microphone Array - Design, Implementation and Speech Recognition Experiments
  • Further Investigation of MDS as a Tool for Evaluation of Speech Quality of Synthesized Speech
  • Dae ye ken me? Speech synthesis in the Gorbals region of Glasgow
  • Exploiting linguistically-enriched models of phrase-based statistical machine translation

Course options

Compulsory courses:

  • Accelerated Natural Language Processing - Computer Programming for Speech and Language Processing
  • Speech Processing - Univariate Statistics and Methodology Using R

Option courses may include:

  • Natural Language Understanding, Generation, and Machine Translation
  • Automatic Speech Recognition
  • Speech Synthesis
  • Machine Learning in Signal Processing
  • Simulating Language
  • Phonetics and Laboratory Phonology

When to apply

We operate a gathered field approach to applications for MSc Speech and Language Processing. You may submit your application at any time.

All complete applications that satisfy our minimum entry requirements will be placed on a shortlist and held until the next batch processing deadline. Applications will then be ranked and offers made to the top candidates.

Find out more about the degree programme and how to apply:

Connect with us

If you have any programme-specific enquiries please get in touch with the programme director:

Professor Simon King (Programme director)

Feel free to get in touch with our friendly Postgraduate Team with any questions you might have about academic or English language requirements, course information, enquiries about your application and information on arriving at the University.

Postgraduate Team enquiries:


How to apply and fees & funding information:

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