Taught course

Signal Processing and Communications

University of Edinburgh · School of Engineering and Electronics

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, typically in electrical engineering with a specialisation in signal processing and/or communications. Applications from related fields such as computer science, physics or mathematics will also be considered. If English is not your first language, you must provide an English language certificate as evidence of your spoken and written English. IELTS Academic, TOEFL-iBT, PTE (A), CAE and CPE are all accepted. Entry into this high-level programme is competitive and high grades are expected in fundamentals such as mathematics, signals and systems, probability and statistics and communications and signal processing.

Months of entry


Course content

Signal processing and communications provide the theoretical foundations for any application which generates, processes, transmits or stores any type of signal. Practical examples are computers and smart phones, and the Internet, DVD players, radar and wireless systems, sensor networks, medical images and digital cameras.

The course is unique in Europe as the curriculum covers both signal processing and communications with an emphasis on basic concepts common to both disciplines. We teach fundamental principles and use real-world system examples to demonstrate their practical application.

The course will appeal to graduates who wish to pursue a career in a range of industries such as communications, radar, medical imaging and wherever signal processing is applied. It is suitable for graduates who wish to develop the specialist knowledge and skills relevant to this industry and as advanced study in preparation for research work in an academic or industrial environment, or in a specialist consultancy organisation. All lecture courses are at the cutting edge of research in this field.

During the academic year students study compulsory taught courses, which include formal lectures, laboratory demonstrations, and practical exercises. Following the end of semester two, MSc students will complete a research project, which will normally be based upon a real-world problem posed by academic staff. The project is reported by a thesis. The taught courses in semester one start with fundamental theory followed by more advanced courses in semester two, and teaching of theory is supported by one MATLAB based course with experimental work. The project will build on the theory taught and the topic will usually be based on the current research at the Institute for Digital Communications (IDCOM).

Information for international students

With 94% of our research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2015), Edinburgh is the UK powerhouse in Engineering. You will be immersed in a research intensive, multidisciplinary environment. To find out about the support offered to international students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

To find out about the funding opportunities offered through the University of Edinburgh and the School of Engineering, please visit Scholarships and Student Funding Services at www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/student-funding/.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months


part time
24 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment67

Course contact details

MSc Adminstrator
+44 (0)131 651 3565