Heriot-Watt University
MSc Artificial Intelligence with Speech and Multimodal Interaction
Department of Computer Science
Edinburgh castle at night from Calton hill

MSc in Artificial Intelligence with Speech and Multimodal Interaction icon 360 degree view of robotics and interaction labs

This programme imparts the understanding and skills to develop intelligent software applications, such as those involving evolutionary computation and learning, but with a specialist emphasis on developing interactive multimodal and spoken interfaces.

Students will acquire detailed understanding and skills in mainstream artificial intelligence research areas while also learning the techniques and skills needed to develop conversational agents and other kinds of interactive multimodal interfaces. The specialist emphasis will expose students to methods from various disciplines, such as multi-modal system engineering, data-driven machine learning techniques, experimental design, natural language processing and social interaction.

This full-time programme starts in mid September and lasts one year. Admission requires a 1st or 2nd class honours degree or its overseas equivalent with a substantial academic component of computing or IT.

The F2A1 MSc programme can also be taken part-time over two years or as a 9 month F2A2 Postgraduate Diploma. Last year's timetables can be found here.

Data Lab funding is available for home and EU students to study full-time on this MSc.

Full time students take 4 courses in semester 1 and 4 courses in semester 2 and must normally take courses in bold.

Semester 1
F21GA 3D Graphics and Animation
F29AI Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
F21BC Biologically Inspired Computation
F21DL Data Mining and Machine Learning
F21DV Data Visualisation and Analytics
F21SC Industrial Programming
F21SA Statistical Modelling and Analysis
Semester 2
F21AD Advanced Interaction Design
F21BD Big Data Management
F21GP Computer Games Programming
F21CA Conversational Agents and Spoken Language Processing
F21DP Distributed and Parallel Technologies
F21RP Research Methods and Project Planning


After semester 2, students continue full time on the MSc project F21MP until the programme ends in August.

Various schemes are available for financing study on this programme. Applications are made to the programme Admissions Officer at the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

This MSc programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of IT (BCS) and should fulfil its further education requirements for a Chartered IT Professional. It also partially fulfils membership requirements for the CEng and CSci professional bodies.

English Requirements

Non-native English speakers are expected to be proficient in English at the CEF level of B2 (upper intermediate). This can be established by an IELTS Academic English score of 6.5 or in other ways. English language training courses can be taken at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh during the summer before postgraduate study begins.

Postgraduate Diploma Programme

The 8 taught courses can also be studied over 9 months as part of a Postgraduate Diploma programme with the same title. Students who perform at MSc level on the Postgraduate Diploma programme may transfer when it ends to the MSc programme and complete their project F21MP for an MSc.

Candidates holding a little less than a 1st or second class honours degree or its equivalent may be admitted to the Postgraduate Diploma programme and are eligible for transfer to the MSc programme under the normal conditions.

Part-time Study

Part-time study for the MSc over two years is also possible by special arrangement with the programme director. A typical arrangement would be for students to take 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the first year, 2 courses in semesters 1 and 2 in the second year and split the research and implementation of the MSc project over 2 years.

Programme Requirements

To qualify for an MSc or Postgraduate Diploma, students must successfully complete 8 lectured courses at the appropriate level. The assessment of these courses is by examination and course work.

MSc students must also complete the project course F21MP at MSc level.

Further Information

For further information on the programme or to arrange a visit to the Department contact the admissions officer.

The Department reserves the right to modify the list of courses and may not run every course every year. It may not be possible to take all combinations of courses, students must satisfy the prerequisites of any courses and any course choice must be made in consultation with the programme director.