MSc in High Performance Computing


EPCC is a Research Institute within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh. We are one of the leading supercomputing centres in Europe, managing an extensive collection of HPC systems including HECToR, the UK’s £115 million national supercomputing service.  HECToR, a 44,000-processor Cray XE6 system, is the UK’s largest, fastest and most powerful supercomputer.

Students taking the MSc in High Performance Computing (HPC) learn the fundamental techniques required to program these large machines and have access to leading-edge HPC platforms and technologies. In addition to the national supercomputer, these include multicore, FPGA and GPU-based machines and the University’s central compute clusters.

The same HPC techniques that are used to program large supercomputers can also be used to exploit the full potential of multicore desktops and laptops; HPC techniques are now essential for any software developer who wants to take full advantage of modern multicore processors and compute clusters. Parallel programming is also the key technique required to use graphics processors for general numerical computing.
Degree Programme

The MSc includes a number of core courses which will provide you with a broad-based coverage of the fundamentals of HPC and parallel computing. There are also a range of optional courses that will give you the opportunity to focus in-depth on more specialist areas that are relevant to computational science as a whole. After successful completion of the taught courses you will work on a 3-month research project. This may be research or work-based, with opportunities for placements in the host organisation.

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The School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh offers up to two Master’s scholarships in High Performance Computing for the 2013-2014 academic session. Each scholarship covers Tuition Fees and Additional Programme Costs and is tenable for one academic year.

Details are available on the programme website.


The skills learnt are applicable both to academic computational science research and to a wide range of careers in science, engineering, industry and commercial software development. Previous graduates have gone on to PhD research in fields that utilise HPC technologies, including astrophysics, biology, chemistry, geosciences, informatics and materials science. Others have gone directly to employment in a range of commercial areas, including software development, petroleum engineering, finance and HPC support.

Entry requirements & how to apply

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