MSc
2022 start September 

Computer Science With Speech and Language Processing

Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Engineering

Learn skills that will change lives from experts in the fields of speech technology and natural language processing.
Three Computer Science postgraduates at table

Course description

Speech and language technology graduates are in demand in areas like machine translation, document indexing and retrieval, and speech recognition. Our world-leading speech and language research staff will help you to develop the skills you need.

Applying for this course

We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now

Accreditation

Accredited by the British Computer Society.

Modules

The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Text Processing

This module introduces fundamental concepts and ideas in natural language text processing, covers techniques for handling text corpora, and examines representative systems that require the automated processing of large volumes of text. The module focusses on modern quantitative techniques for text analysis and explores important models for representing and acquiring information from texts. You should be aware that there are limited places available on this course 

15 credits
Speech Processing

This module aims to demonstrate why computer speech processing is an important and difficult problem, to investigate the representation of speech in the articulatory, acoustic and auditory domains, and to illustrate computational approaches to speech parameter extraction. It examines both the production and perception of speech, taking a multi-disciplinary approach (drawing on linguistics, phonetics, psychoacoustics, etc.). It introduces sufficient digital signal processing (linear systems theory, Fourier transforms) to motivate speech parameter extraction techniques (e.g. pitch and formant tracking). You should be aware that there are limited places available on this course. 

15 credits
Machine Learning and Adaptive Intelligence

The module is about core technologies underpinning modern artificial intelligence. The module will introduce statistical machine learning and probabilistic modelling and their application to describing real-world phenomena. The module will give you a grounding in modern state-of-the-art algorithms that allow modern computer systems to learn from data.

15 credits
Professional Issues

This module aims to promote an awareness of the wider social, legal and ethical issues of computing. It describes the relationship between technological change, society and the law, emphasising the powerful role that computers and computer professionals play in a technological society. It also introduces the legal areas which are specific and relevant to the discipline of computing (e.g., intellectual property, liability for defective software, computer misuse, etc) and aims to provide an understanding of ethical concepts that are important to computer professionals, and experience of considering ethical dilemmas.

15 credits
Scalable Machine Learning

This module will focus on technologies and algorithms that can be applied to data at a very large scale (e.g. population level). From a theoretical perspective it will focus on parallelisation of algorithms and algorithmic approaches such as stochastic gradient descent. There will also be a significant practical element to the module that will focus on approaches to deploying scalable ML in practice such as SPARK, programming languages such as Python/Scala and deployment on high performance computing platforms/clusters.

15 credits
Team Software Project

This industrially-led project aims to provide insights and wider context for the more practical aspects of the taught modules, and to provide you with experience of working in teams to develop a substantial piece of software. Industrial involvement will help ensure the projects remain current and relevant.

15 credits
Speech Technology

This module introduces the principles of the emergent field of speech technology, studies typical applications of these principles and assesses the state of the art in this area. You will learn the prevailing techniques of automatic speech recognition (based on statistical modelling); will see how speech synthesis and text-to-speech methods are deployed in spoken language systems; and will discuss the current limitations of such devices. The module will include project work involving the implementation and assessment of a speech technology device. You should be aware that there are limited places available on this module.

15 credits
Natural Language Processing

This module provides an introduction to the field of computer processing of written natural language, known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). We will cover standard theories, models and algorithms, discuss competing solutions to problems, describe example systems and applications, and highlight areas of open research.

You should be aware that there are limited places available on this module. The maximum number of students allowed on the module is 160.

15 credits
Dissertation Project

This is a research-led project that is supervised by a member of staff. In order to ensure best use of the summer study period, project preparation and planning is carried out in semester 2, which is separately assessed. Project activities take place during the summer period using Departmental facilities and you are exposed to the latest methods and ideas in the area of your project. There is scope for you to demonstrate your critical skills and topic-related knowledge to a high level.

60 credits

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.

Teaching

We use lectures, tutorials and group work.

Assessment

Assessment is by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.

Duration

1 year full-time

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 honours degree in a relevant field such as computer science, engineering, linguistics, mathematics or psychology.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

Pathway programme for international students

If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Apply

We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now

Contact

msc-compsci@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 1800

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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