MSc Sensor and Imaging Systems

MSc Degree Programme: 

This programme, run jointly by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow provides students with the fundamentals of Sensor and Imaging Systems. It focuses on the principles, methods, techniques and technologies that underpin a vast range sensor enabled products spanning from devices right through to complex sensor systems.

MSc Sensor and Imaging Systems online flyer

Prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. Please see further information below in 'Fees and Funding'.

Sensing systems are quickly becoming an essential part of a great number of industries, spanning a whole range of applications such as environmental monitoring, precision metrology and health care. In this industry-focused programme, students will be given the skills and knowledge to contribute to sensor related opportunities in companies working with sensor technology and applications.

Sensing and sensor systems are essential for advances across all fields of engineering, physics and chemistry and can be enhanced when multiple sensing functions are combined into arrays to enable imaging. Industrial applications of sensor systems are ubiquitous: from mass-produced sensors found in modern smart phones and cars to the state-of-the-art, specialist high-value sensors routinely used in aerospace, scientific equipment, machine tools, medical equipment, environmental monitoring and the oil industry. This MSc course will equip students to meet the challenges associated with sensors across a broad range of applications.

The Sensor and Imaging Systems MSc is backed by CENSIS and is designed to train the next generation of sensor system experts. CENSIS is a centre of excellence for Sensor and Imaging Systems (SIS) technologies and enables leading industry innovators and world-class university researchers to collaborate at the forefront of market-focused SIS innovation, developing products and services for global markets.


Degree Structure: 

The programme comprises a mix of core and optional courses. The curriculum you undertake will be flexible and tailored to your prior experience and expertise, your particular research interests, and the specific nature of the extended research project topic provisionally identified at the beginning of the MSc programme. Generally, courses taken in the first semester will focus on skills, understanding and knowledge in the fundamentals of sensor and imaging systems, while courses taken in the second semester will provide training in more specialist aspects. The first semester of this programme is completed in Glasgow, the second semester is completed in Edinburgh and the third semester allows for the possibility of a placement in industry to complete the MSc project.

Semester 1

Semester 1 is delivered at the University of Glasgow.

Core courses:

  • Circuits & Systems
  • Fundamentals of Sensing and Measurement
  • Technology and Innovation Management
  • Research Project Preparation

Optional courses:

  • Digital Signal Processing
  • Lasers and Electro-Optic Systems 4
  • Microelectronics in Consumer Products 4
  • Nanofabrication
  • Waves & Diffraction

Semester 2 

Semester 2 is delivered at the University of Edinburgh.

Compulsory courses:

  • Application of Sensor and Imaging Systems
  • Research Project Preparation

Optional courses:

Plus 40 credits of the following courses:

  • Biophysical Chemistry Level 11
  • Advanced Materials Chemistry
  • Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship
  • Analogue Circuit Design
  • Image and Visual Computing
  • Bio-Inspired Engineering
  • Lab-on-Chip Technologies
  • Solar Energy & Photovoltaic Systems
  • Technology and Innovation Management

Semester 3

Semester 3, the project component of this degree, is undertaken at either the University of Glasgow or the University of Edinburgh.

Funding and Finance: 

Prestigious Scottish Funding Council Awards are available to high calibre applicants for this programme. The SFC has selected this programme in recognition of the high demand for students with such qualifications. The awards cover all tuition costs plus a monthly bursary towards living costs; Normally only those UK/EU students who have been resident in the UK for the preceding three years are eligible for a full award. For some awards, candidates who are EU nationals and are resident in the UK may be eligible for a fees-only award; for further information on funding see:

Teaching Staff: 


Globally, the market for sensor and imaging systems (SIS) is valued at £500Bn with an annual growth rate of 10%. The Scottish sensor systems market is worth £2.6Bn pa. There are over 170 sensor systems companies based in Scotland (large companies and SMEs), employing 16,000 people in high-value jobs including product R&D, design, engineering, manufacturing and field services. Sensor systems are spearheading the next wave of connectivity and intelligence for internet connected devices, underpinning all of the new "smart markets", e.g., grid, cities, transport and mobility, digital health and care and big data.

The Sensor and Imaging Systems MSc will prepare students for careers in a number of fields including renewable energy, subsea and marine technologies, defence, automotive engineering, intelligent transport, healthcare, aerospace, manufacturing and process control, consumer electronics, and environmental monitoring.