Postgraduate study

High Performance Computing MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: High Performance Computing

You will study at EPCC, the UK’s leading supercomputing centre and a Centre of Excellence within the University's College of Science and Engineering. EPCC is a major provider of high performance computing (HPC) training in Europe with an international reputation for excellence in HPC education and research.

Our staff have a wealth of expertise across all areas of HPC, parallel programming technologies and data science.

This MSc programme has a strong practical focus and provide access to leading-edge HPC systems such as the UK national supercomputing service, currently ARCHER (118,000 processing cores), although it is possible during academic year 2019/20 that you will also receive access to its successor system.

HPC is the use of powerful processors, networks and parallel supercomputers to tackle problems that are very computationally or data-intensive. You will learn leading-edge HPC technologies and skills to exploit the full potential of the world’s largest supercomputers and multicore processors. This is a well-established programme that has been successful in training generations of specialists in parallel programming.

The MSc programme takes the form of two semesters of taught courses followed by a dissertation project.

Your studies will have a strong practical focus and you will have access to a wide range of HPC platforms and technologies. You will take six compulsory courses, which provide a broad-based coverage of the fundamentals of HPC, parallel computing and data science. The option courses focus on specialist areas relevant to computational science. Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examination.

Taught courses

Compulsory courses: *

  • HPC Architectures (Semester 1)
  • Message-Passing Programming (Semester 1)
  • Programming Skills (Semester 1)
  • Threaded Programming (Semester 1)
  • Software Development (Semester 2)
  • Project Preparation (Semester 2)

Optional courses (at least 4 of): *

  • Numerical Algorithms for High Performance Computing (Semester 1)
  • Design and Analysis of Parallel Algorithms (Semester 1)
  • Advanced Parallel Techniques (Semester 2)
  • Advanced Message-passing Programming (Semester 2)
  • Parallel Design Patterns (Semester 2)
  • Performance Programming (Semester 2)

Optional Extension Courses (maximum two of, access may be subject to meeting individual course prerequisites):

  • Fundamentals of Data Management (Semester 1)
  • Data Analytics with High Performance Computing (Semester 2)
  • Extreme Computing (Semester 1)
  • Compiler Optimisation (Semester 2)
  • One SCQF Level 11 course from the College of Science and Engineering

Dissertation

After completing the taught courses, students work on a three-month individual project leading to a dissertation.

Dissertation projects may be either research-based or industry-based with an external organisation, with opportunities for placements in local companies.

Industry-based dissertation projects

Through our strong links with industry, we offer our students the opportunity to undertake their dissertation project with one of a wide range of local, national and even international companies.

An industry-based dissertation project can give you the opportunity to enhance your skills and employability by tackling a real-world project, gaining workplace experience, exploring potential career paths and building relationships with industrial partners.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHigh Performance Computing1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

Our graduates are employed across a range of commercial areas, for example software development, petroleum engineering, finance and HPC support. Others have gone on to PhD research in fields that use HPC technologies, including astrophysics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, informatics and materials science.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject. You must also be a competent programmer, for example in C, C++, Python, Fortran, or Java.

We will also consider your application if you have equivalent work experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • 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 Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScHigh Performance Computing1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScHigh Performance Computing3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipHigh Performance Computing9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • MSc Programmes Officer, Ben Morse
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3398
  • Contact: msc@epcc.ed.ac.uk
  • EPCC
  • The Bayes Centre
  • 47 Potterrow
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD

Applications for our postgraduate taught programmes can be submitted at any time during the year, and will be evaluated as they are received. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but please do not be concerned if you do not hear initially as offers are regularly made in batches.

If you have any concerns please contact: msc@epcc.ed.ac.uk.

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • MSc Programmes Officer, Ben Morse
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3398
  • Contact: msc@epcc.ed.ac.uk
  • EPCC
  • The Bayes Centre
  • 47 Potterrow
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD