Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems MRes

The Photonics Systems Development MRes, taught at the University of Cambridge and UCL Doctoral Training Centre in Photonics Development, aims to train students to PhD level in the skills needed to produce new photonic systems for applications ranging from information display to ultra-fast communications and industrial materials processing.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • Overseas Full-time: £20,900

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme offers a wide range of specialised courses, including electronics and biotechnology. Students gain a foundation training in the scientific basis of photonics and systems, and develop a good understanding of the industry. They are able to design an individual bespoke programme to reflect their prior experience and future interests.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

The University of Cambridge and UCL have recently established an exciting Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Systems Development, leveraging their current strong collaborations in research and innovation.

The centre provides doctoral training using expertise drawn from a range of disciplines, and collaborates closely with a wide range of UK industries, using innovative teaching and learning techniques.

This Centre, aims to create graduates with the skills and confidence able to drive future technology research, development and exploitation, as photonics becomes fully embedded in electronics-based systems applications ranging from communications to sensing, industrial manufacture and biomedicine.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (45 credits), one option (15 credits), two research skills modules (30 credits) and two research projects (90 credits).

Core Modules

  • Foundation Course: Trends in Photonics Systems (not credit bearing)
  • Bio-physical Technology
  • Photonics
  • Innovation and Business


  • Solid State Devices and Chemical/Bio Sensors
  • Electronic Sensors and Instrumentation
  • Computer Vision and Robotics
  • Image processing and image coding
  • Optical Transmission and Networks
  • Nanotechnology and Healthcare
  • RF Circuits and Sub-Systems
  • Building an Internet Router


All students undertake two research projects. An independent research project (45 credits) and an industry project (45 credits).

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, projects, seminars, and laboratory work. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination and coursework (written assignments and design work).

Further details available on subject website:


A number of competitive EPSRC studentships are normally available for candidates liable to pay fees at the UK/EU rate.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology also awards competitive scholarships for postgraduate study; for further details please visit

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Fleming Scholarship

The Fleming Scholarship is named after the first head of our Department here at UCL, Sir John Ambrose Fleming,who is often known as the 'father of modern electronics' for his invention of the thermionic valve. The scholarship is awarded to the student entering the department with the best school/college examination performance, who qualifies for UK/EU fees status.

GREAT/UCL Scholarship

This is a joint programme part funded through GREAT funds and through contributions made by UK Universities. GREAT is a part of the UK Government’s campaign to show to the world the best of the UK, and UCL has 8 master's courses which are eligible for inclusion. No separate appliction is required; all eligible students will be assessed by their department.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014. We accept applications from November for the following academic year, and students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places.

We expect competition for places and funding to be highly competitive and all potential applicants should submit the pre-application screening form, found at the following location: Please note that this does not constitute a formal application. Following initial consideration of your pre-application, successful candidates will be invited to make a formal application to Cambridge or UCL using the standard application form.

Who can apply?

This MRes is ideal for students from a range of backgrounds including engineering and physics, who wish to continue their research to PhD level. It is designed as a foundation year in a four-year programme, and the outcome of the first year will determine progression to the PhD degree.


Dramatic progress has been made in the past few years in the field of photonic technologies. These advances have set the scene for a major change in commercialisation activity where photonics and electronics will converge in a wide range of information, sensing, display, and personal healthcare systems. Importantly, photonics will become a fundamental underpinning technology for a much greater range of companies outside the conventional photonics arena, who will in turn require those skilled in photonic systems to have a much greater degree of interdisciplinary training, and indeed be expert in certain fields outside photonics.


Our students are highly employable and have the opportunity to gain industry experience during their MRes year in large aerospace companies like Qioptiq, BAE Systems, Selex ES; medical equipment companies such as Hitachi; and technology and communications companies such as Toshiba through placements based both in the UK and overseas. Several smaller spin-out companies from both UCL and Cambridge also offer projects. The Centre organises industry day events which provide an excellent opportunity to network with senior technologists and managers interested in recruiting photonics engineers. A recent 2012 graduate is now working as a Fiber Laser Development Engineer for Coherent Scotland.

Next steps


Electronic Engineering

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7300


Electronic & Electrical Engineering

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Staff View

"Through UCL I’ve benefited from access to an internationally leading research community and from interaction with exceptional students."

Dr Tony Kenyon

Reader in Photonic Materials

Student View

"I am beginning a training placement at Addenbrooke’s Hospital as a Trainee Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics. I'm so excited and would not have got the job without having done the programme at UCL."

Jessica Johnson

Degree: Physics and Engineering in Medicine – Medical Physics MSc

Subject: Medical Physics and Bioengineering, Faculty: Engineering Sciences