The University of Southampton

MSc Photonic Technologies (1 year full-time)

Our world class Masters degree in Photonic Technologies offers access to state-of-the-art facilities in our optical laboratories and clean room complex. This one year course offers core and optional modules including lasers, microfabrication, silicon photonics, metamaterials, nanophonics and plasmonics.

Introducing your degree

This MSc is the first Masters programme within the renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC). It offers students access to an excellent range of photonics equipment and materials technologies within a vibrant community of researchers, led by some of the leading figures in the field of photonics.


The Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has a leading international reputation for its research in Photonics, Metamaterials, and Optical Fibre Communications. This MSc programme offers an advanced postgraduate education covering these Photonic Technologies. You will gain experience of working in research facilities including the Advanced Laser Laboratories, and the

Mountbatten Clean Room on a programme that includes:

  • taught modules
  • practical training in research techniques and modelling
  • four-month project

Working in our state-of-the-art cleanroom complex with access to our extensive range of optical laboratories, you will benefit from integrated transferable skills elements and participation in the ORC's week long Industry Showcase event, where you will work with leading local and national photonics companies, share their views of the current photonics market and see first-hand their products and emerging photonics technologies.

Whether you intend to gain skills and expertise that will enable you to take up a position in a key industrial sector, or to embark on further postgraduate research, you will find that our MSc programme in Photonic Technologies will give you the solid intellectual foundation and hands-on practical and technical skills that you need for a successful professional career in science, engineering and related photonics-based industry.

View the 2017/18 programme specification document for this course

View the 2018/19 programme specification document for this course

Programme Structure

The program consists of eight taught modules over the first two semesters of the year, and a research project in the third semester. 
During each of the first two semesters, three of your four taught modules are compulsory, and the fourth is an option to be chosen from courses within photonics. The compulsory courses cover a range of topics which are central to modern photonics technologies, including lasers, photonic materials, microfabrication techniques, and a course on photonics laboratory techniques. The optional topics available include both photonics specific courses, and related technologies such as nanoscience. The project makes use of the world-class photonics laboratory and cleanroom resources of the ORC.

To Apply

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.

Key Facts

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)

The Guardian University Guide 2018 shows the University of Southampton second in the UK for Electronics and Electrical Engineering

Southampton is ranked in the top 51-100 universities for Electrical and Electronic Engineering in the 2017 QS World Rankings

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree:

Our normal entry requirement is an upper second-class honours degree or higher (or equivalent) in a related discipline such as physics, electronics, engineering, materials science or mathematics.

English Language Requirements:

If English is not your first language, you will be required to pass an approved English test. We normally ask for IELTS 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 in each competency. For information on other accepted English language tests, please visit

International Qualifications:

We welcome applications from international students. For information on applying, visit the International Office website. Please note we are part of the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering (FPSE).

Selection process:

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy.

Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (eg hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.


Career Opportunities

In completing an MSc at the ORC, you will work alongside some of the world’s leading photonics scientists, and spend time conducting novel research in our state-of-the-art facilities, keeping up to date with current research trends in photonics.

Our students receive a solid grounding for their future careers in photonics; over 600 ORC alumni work in strategic positions in the Photonics industry worldwide. MSc students are ideally suited to continuing in research PhD studies, or moving directly into the growing photonics industry, which you will experience during the Industrial Showcase as part of your MSc training.


Through an extensive blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus startup incubator, we also support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build their professional enterprise skills. Discover more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Pre-course Reading List

The course requires knowledge of degree-level electromagnetism,usually as part of a physics or engineering course. Most undergraduate electromagnetism textbooks will give you the background needed. Ideally you would also have some background in solid-state and atomic physics.


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