Postgraduate study

Signal Processing and Communications MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

This programme provides graduates and working professionals with a broad training in signal processing and communications, including machine learning and data science.

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

For more information please see the programme website linked above.

Who this programme is for

It is suitable for recent graduates who wish to develop the specialist knowledge and skills relevant to this industry.

It 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.

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
  • Probability, Estimation Theory and Random Signals (PETARS)
  • Engineering Research Methods with Grand Challenge

Semester 2 courses

  • Advanced Wireless Communication
  • Advanced Coding Techniques
  • Machine Learning in Signal Processing
  • Adaptive Signal Processing
  • Array Processing Methods and MIMO Systems
  • Digital Signal Processing Laboratory
  • 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
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

You will 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
  • numerical Bayesian methods

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
  • 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 programme is competitive. A typical offer will normally require a UK first class honours degree, or equivalent, and high grades in fundamentals, such as mathematics, signals and systems, probability and statistics, and communications and signal processing are required.

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

For 2021 entry we will 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 (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section.We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

For 2022 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module).
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 20 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module).
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass 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.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Additional programme costs

MSc students at the School of Engineering are required to pay for their own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

  • £3 to £70, depending on the programme

Most students in the MSc in Signal Processing and Communications do not need any PPE.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact: pgtenquiries@eng.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline,

Applicants who are not made an offer at a specific selection deadline will either be notified that they have been unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme, or if they do not hear then they are still being considered and their application will be carried forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration at that time.

Selection deadlines

Round Application Deadline
1 31 January 2021
2 31 March 2021
3 30 June 2021

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • Postgraduate Taught Student Conversion Officer, Flora Reynolds
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 3565
  • Contact: pgtenquiries@eng.ed.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL