Postgraduate study

Signal Processing and Communications

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

This programme provides graduates and working professionals with a broad training in signal processing and communications, including machine learning and data science. It is suitable for recent graduates who wish to develop the specialist knowledge and skills relevant to this industry and is also suitable as advanced study in preparation for research work in an academic or industrial environment or in a specialist consultancy organisation.

Engineers or other professionals wishing to participate in the MSc programme may do so on a part-time basis.

Our students gain a thorough understanding of theoretical foundations as well as advanced topics at the cutting edge of research in signal processing and communications, including compressive sensing, machine learning and deep neural networks, wireless communication theory, and numerical Bayesian methods.

The MSc project provides a good opportunity for students to work on state-of-the-art research problems in signal processing and communications.

This programme is run over 12 months, with two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project leading to a masters thesis.

Semester 1 courses

  • Digital Communication Fundamentals
  • Discrete-Time Signal Analysis
  • Image Processing
  • Digital Signal Processing Laboratory
  • Probability, Estimation Theory and Random Signals (PETARS)

Semester 2 courses

  • Advanced Wireless Communication
  • Advanced Coding Techniques
  • Machine Learning in Signal Processing
  • Adaptive Signal Processing
  • Array Processing Methods and MIMO Systems
  • Pre-Dissertation Project in Signal Processing and Communications
  • Signal Processing & Communications: Project and Thesis

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
MScSignal Processing and Communications1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2019/20

With our excellent employability record and internationally respected reputation, the University of Edinburgh is a reliable choice for developing your engineering career.

This programme will appeal to graduates who wish to pursue a career in an industry such as machine learning, data science, communications, radar, medical imaging or anywhere else signal processing is applied.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, typically in electrical engineering with a specialisation in signal processing and/or communications.

We will also consider your application if you have a background in a related field, such as computer science, physics or mathematics.

Entry into this high-level programme is competitive, so we expect high grades in fundamentals, such as mathematics, signals and systems, probability and statistics, and communications and signal processing.

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:

MSc students at the School of Engineering are required to pay for their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). These costs can range from £3 to £70, depending on the programme.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

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

Find out more about scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL

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 Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL