MSc Imaging, Vision and High Performance Computing

Key information

Mode of delivery
Delivery type
Start date
1 year


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A pioneering degree combining Heriot-Watt University's world leading expertise in Signal and Image Processing with the University of Edinburgh’s globally respected capabilities in High Performance Computing.

The MSc Imaging, Vision and High Performance Computing is a newly developed programme of study for graduates of science, engineering, or computing backgrounds.

This degree will place you at the cutting-edge of science and technology, with skills in computational imaging algorithms and computer vision, as well as in High Performance Computing (HPC) hardware and software technologies. It is a programme of study which, for the first time, brings together the world-leading expertise of Heriot-Watt University in Signal and Image Processing with the University of Edinburgh's globally respected capability HPC.

You will graduate simultaneously from both the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University.

Six reasons to study MSc Imaging, Vision and HPC in Edinburgh

  1. Data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts are among the most sought-after careers and Edinburgh is intended to be the Data capital of Europe, with strategic Data-Driven Innovation Hubs such as the Bayes Centre, the National Robotarium, and the Edinburgh International Data Facility.
  2. Scientists and Engineers with dual competence in Imaging/Vision and HPC are highly sought-after in both the academia and industry, and Edinburgh is also host to the Imaging Alliance, a geographic cluster of companies from both industry & academia, who share their technological skills & research expertise to stimulate new ideas. 
  3. You will acquire unique interdisciplinary knowledge at the interface between the foundations of Imaging and Vision, based on optimisation, machine learning, graph theory, and imaging technologies, and associated high-performance computing hardware and software technologies. 
  4. You will be exposed to specialised applications in computational imaging and computer vision in a variety of domains, ranging from astronomy to medicine, and from computer graphics to autonomous systems. 
  5. You will have access to advanced HPC systems available at EPCC, including Cirrus and ARCHER2.
  6. Our programme is run by international leaders in their field from both Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh.

A Partnership of World-Leading Departments 

The School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is renowned for world-class research in imaging and vision. The School's Signal and Image Processing Lab is a leading centre for computational imaging and computer vision, both nationally and internationally. 

The School of Informatics at University of Edinburgh is one of the most renowned in the world. It provides academic governance to EPCC, the UK's leading supercomputer centre, which has a global reputation for innovative and leading-edge HPC research and training.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2021), which assesses the quality of research of UK higher education institutions, the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University were jointly ranked first for Engineering research in Scotland, and third in the UK. The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh and EPCC have obtained similarly impressive results in Computer Science research, being ranked first in Scotland and sixth in the UK in REF2021.

Postgraduate Masterclass Series

We’re running a series of free online masterclasses throughout July and early August to showcase our postgraduate taught study options. Take a look at the exciting topics our academic experts will be speaking about and book to attend.

Book your place

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Optimisation and Deep Learning for Imaging and Vision I - 15 credits
  • Foundations of Learning and Computer Vision - 15 credits
  • Threaded Programming - 10 credits
  • High Performance Computing Architectures - 10 credits
  • Message-Passing Programming - 10 credits

Semester 2

  • Optimisation and Deep Learning for Imaging and Vision II - 15 credits
  • Graph Methods for Imaging, Vision and Computing - 15 credits
  • Advanced Parallel Techniques - 10 credits
  • Performance Programming - 10 credits
  • Machine Learning at Scale - 10 credits

Semester 3

  • Dissertation in Imaging, Vision and HPC - 60 credits

Students will choose a project with primary supervisor in one of the institutions (Heriot-Watt University or University of Edinburgh), and a secondary supervisor in the other. Collaboration with industry is possible and encouraged. The explicit project phase in semester 3 will build on compulsory preliminary activities in semesters 1 and 2 focussing on research methodologies and project preparation.

Alternative courses: If you have studied any of the Semester 1 or Semester 2 courses previously as a student of Heriot-Watt University or the University of Edinburgh then you may be eligible to study alternative courses as agreed with the programme director. 

Go Global

Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact for further information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Additional fee information

Status Full-time
UK £15,200
Overseas £33,300
  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.

Entry requirements


First or strong upper second-class honours degree (or its overseas equivalent) with strong competence across signal and image processing and programming (C, C++, Fortan, Java, or Python). Suitable candidates are likely to have studied a first degree in electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics, or physics.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we will need to see evidence of your English language ability. The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS (score 6.5 or higher overall, with 6.0 in each element) or an acceptable equivalent.

Why Heriot-Watt?

National Robotarium

A world-leading centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, creating innovative solutions to global challenges. Pioneering research moves rapidly from laboratory to market, developing skilled visionaries and delivering substantial benefits for society

Computer Science facilities

Computer Science students can access facilities including specialist teaching labs, the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics' Robotics Laboratory, and parallel and high performance computing platforms

Computer Science Society

The Computer Science Society is a student run community active across Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia. The society gives students a platform to discuss everything computer science and attend regular social events with like-minded individuals.

Clubs and activities

At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

Edinburgh campus accommodation

Living on our beautiful Edinburgh campus is a great way to meet others from all over the world. Our student accommodation is within easy reach of the teaching buildings, sports facilities, catering venues and the Student Union

Edinburgh Campus facilities

At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

Health and wellbeing

Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

Heriot-Watt Student Union

There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

Living in Edinburgh

Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

Sport facilities

Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

Your career

Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

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