In compulsory modules you’ll study lasers, optical fibres, optical fibre sensors and fibre telecommunication systems. You can also pursue your own interests by choosing from a range of specialist optional modules. These are drawn from photonics, physics and electronic engineering, and include both fundamental and applied photonics topics. You could explore microsensor technologies, nanoscience or silicon photonics, for example, or learn about microfabrication techniques.
With small class sizes and plenty of support from your personal academic tutor and PhD student mentor, we’ll help you to settle in and make the transition to masters-level study.
View the 2019/20 programme specification document for this course
View the 2020/21 programme specification document for this course
Hands-on research experience
In the Photonics Laboratory and Study Skills module you’ll undertake experiments in the photonics lab – for example, you’ll build and characterise a small laser, and examine the properties of optical fibres. These experiments will teach you fundamental photonic engineering concepts, while giving you experience of using optical fibre and laser equipment.
This practical training will help prepare you for your research project, which is an opportunity to investigate an aspect of optical fibre or photonic engineering that interests you. Many projects involve working in the cleanrooms, for example to fabricate an optical fibre or a silicon photonic optical circuit. You’ll work within one of the ORC’s research groups alongside PhD, postdoctoral students and academics, giving you a taste of life as a researcher. For some of our masters students, the research project has led to the publication of their first scientific paper.
Previous project titles include:
- Integrated photonics at the tip of a fibre
- Silicon thermal spectrometers for on-chip sensing
Real-world industry insights
You’ll take part in our Industry Showcase week, which is just for our MSc Optical Fibre and Photonic Engineering students. During the week you’ll visit photonics companies and meet entrepreneurs and company executives. As well as gaining an insight into current trends in this fast-moving industry, you’ll see the role of both research and business in making new technologies a reality. In a follow-up exercise you’ll examine the strategic and commercial considerations facing these companies, such as which technologies they should invest in for the future.
Throughout the course you’ll also benefit from your lecturers’ extensive industry knowledge, which enables them to keep students up to date with the latest sector trends. Academics have close ties to industry through research collaborations and their own enterprise activities – ORC researchers have formed 11 spin-out companies, creating a ‘Light Valley’ of successful photonics companies in the Southampton area.
You’ll undertake project work in the ORC’s advanced optical fibre and laser research laboratories and in our £120m cleanroom complex – the largest multidisciplinary cleanroom of its type in the UK. We are one of a handful of universities with optical fibre production facilities, giving you a rare opportunity to see first hand how fibres are made.
You’ll take eight taught modules across semesters one and two – six compulsory modules and two optional modules. In the third semester you’ll work on your research project and take part in the Industry Showcase.
You can apply for the programme through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. Visit our how to apply pages for more information. Please note that we belong to the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).
The deadline for new applications to this course is 31 July each year.
A world leading institute for photonics research, achieving £15m of grant income annually
Research from the Optoelectronics Research Centre was included in the University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering research entry in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014)
We lead the UK for the volume and quality of Electrical and Electronic Engineering research (REF 2014)
97% of our Electrical and Electronic Engineering research outputs are rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)
Awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of our world-leading expertise in photonics and fibre optics
Largest, state-of-the-art cleanroom complex in Europe