Postgraduate study

Speech & Language Processing

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Programme website: Speech & Language Processing

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.

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.

Taught by leading researchers from Linguistics & English Language, the Centre for Speech Technology Research and the School of Informatics, this programme combines elements of linguistics, computer science, engineering and psychology.

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.

You study two semesters of taught courses, followed by a dissertation.

Most core compulsory courses have both computational and mathematical content. A few optional courses need a stronger mathematical background. Courses in the second semester can be tailored to your own interests and abilities.

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:

  • Introduction to Phonology and Phonetics
  • Automatic Speech Recognition
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Machine Translation
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Simulating Language
  • Speech Synthesis

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
MScSpeech and Language Processing1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2017/18

This programme aims to equip you with the technical knowledge and practical skills required to carry out research and development in the challenging interdisciplinary arena of speech and language technology.

You will learn about state-of-the-art techniques in speech synthesis, speech recognition, natural language processing, dialogue, language generation and machine translation.

You will also learn the theory behind such technologies and gain the practical experience of working with and developing real systems based on these technologies. This programme is ideal preparation for a PhD or working in industry.

This programme will provide you with the specialised skills you need to perform research or develop technology in speech and language processing. It will also serve as a solid basis for doctoral study.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in linguistics, computer science, engineering, psychology, philosophy, mathematics or a related subject.

We do not require a high level of computing or mathematical ability, but we do expect you to be willing to learn and to have done some preparation before the programme begins.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Email: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD

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.

MSc Speech & Language Processing operates a gathered field approach to applications. You may submit your application at any time. All complete applications which satisfy our minimum entry requirements will be placed on a shortlist and held until the next batch processing deadline, at which point applications will be ranked and offers made to the top candidates. Exceptionally well-qualified applicants may occasionally be made an immediate offer, without entering the shortlisting process.

Applications are processed in batches:

Round Application deadline Places awarded
1 30 November 2017 21 December 2017
2 28 February 2018 30 March 2018
3 30 April 2018 31 May 2018

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

Applications received after the final batch deadline will still be considered on an individual case-by-case basis, for as long as there are places remaining. There are typically up to 40 places available on the programme each year.

You must submit two references with your application.

References

You will be asked to add contact details for your referees. We will email them with information on how to upload their reference directly to your online application. Alternatively, they can email their comments to:

Personal statement

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a personal statement detailing the background of your interest and why you are attracted to the programme. We expect you to have a good understanding of the field you propose to study.

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

Further information

  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5002
  • Email: pplspg@ed.ac.uk
  • PPLS Postgraduate Office
  • Dugald Stewart Building
  • 3 Charles Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AD