Postgraduate study

Signal Processing and Communications MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-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. 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.

For more information please see the programme website linked above.

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

*(Revised 20 May 2020 to add/remove course options.)

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 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 2020 entry 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 (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.
  • 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.

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.

*(Revised 21 February 2020 to remove PTE Academic from 2021 entry requirements. Revised 21 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition in 2020 and 2021 entry requirements.)

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:

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.

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:

  • 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 this programme will close for applications at 4pm (UK time) on Friday 31 January 2020. No applications will be accepted after this deadline.

*(Revised 23 January 2020 to insert application deadline information.)

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