Research degrees

School of Informatics offers you a wide range of PhD, MPhil and MSc research programmes.

Edinburgh is one of the best informatics research centres in the world. The breadth of research in the School means that we can accommodate a vast range of research topics.

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Research Topics

The following list of topics is meant to serve as a source of ideas, and is neither exhaustive or complete  and you are welcome to propose a novel topic.

Research students are hosted within one of our six research Institutes. You will need to know which Institute you are applying to. We have given an overview of the main research areas associated with each Institute in the table below. Explore the Institute websites for more specific suggested topics, you can also use the our research explorer. 

Edinburgh Research Explorer

List of Informatics projects which have grant-funded scholarships available for PhD candidates.

Informatics Institutes

Institute Main research areas Website Subgroups
Artificial Intelligence and Its Applications Institute
  • Knowledge representation and reasoning
  • Automated and interactive theorem proving
  • Decision making in autonomous agents and multi-agent systems
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Facilitating collaboration in data-intensive research
  • AI for privacy, fairness, and ethical reasoning
AIAI website  
Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation (ANC)
  • Cognitive or Computational Neuroscience
  • Machine learning
  • Bioinformatics

ANC website

Suggested topics

Institute for Language, Cognition and Computation (ILCC)
  • Computational approaches to language, communication, and cognition
  • Natural language processing and computational linguistics
  • Information extraction, retrieval and presentation
  • Educational and assistive technology
  • Visualisation
  • Spoken language processing
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Social media analysis
  • Knowledge graph

ILCC website

Suggested topics

Centre for Speech Technology Research (CSTR)

Institute for Computing Systems Architecture (ICSA)
  • Compilers and architecture
  • Parallel computing 
  • Wireless networking  

ICSA website

Suggested topics

Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB)
  • Computer Vision and Graphics
  • Robotics

IPAB website

Suggested topics

Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science (LFCS)
  • Theory and foundations of computer science
  • Formal models and methods for design, verification, and performance analysis
  • Database theory and practice
  • Algorithms and computational complexity theory
  • Logic, semantics, and programming languages
  • Cyber Security and Privacy, foundational and applied

LFCS website

Prospective students

Suggested topics in Security and Privacy


Related links

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

Potential supervisors in the School of Informatics

Postgraduate (Research) Funding

Contact us