UCL Graduate degrees


Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems MRes

The MRes in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems is taught at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training, a joint centre with UCL and the University of Cambridge. Students study at both universities and benefit from the combined strengths and academic excellence of two institutions. The MRes degree is awarded by the university at which the student is registered. This degree was formerly known as MRes in Integrated Photonic and Electronic Systems.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£5,555 (FT)
£28,530 (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

The MRes degree aims to train students in the skills needed to produce connected electronic and photonic systems for information, sensing, communications, manufacturing and personal healthcare systems. Students can choose from a programme of specialised modules including electronics, biotechnology, circuits and sensors, quantum and nano-technologies, machine learning and the internet of things.

As well as developing a solid foundation in photonic systems and advanced research skills, students will also gain a good understanding of the industry. On successful completion of the MRes students should be equipped to embark on their PhD with confidence.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

Students take two compulsory research projects (90 credits), one transferable skills module (15 credits), three optional modules (45 credits), one business module (15 credits) and one elective module (15 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MRes in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Optional modules

Students choose three optional modules from the following:

  • Radio frequency systems
  • Embedded System for the Internet of Things
  • Electronic sensors and instrumentation
  • RF circuit and systems
  • Photonic systems
  • Optical fibre communication
  • Optical transmission network
  • Telecommunication business environment
  • Management of Technology
  • Radio Frequency Systems
  • Advanced Photonic Devices
  • Photonic subsystems

Elective modules

Students choose a further two elective modules from the list below:

  • Nanotechnology
  • Analogue integrated circuits
  • Computer vision
  • Advanced information theory and coding
  • Flexible and stretchable electronics
  • Devices for high frequency electronics and biosensing
  • Image processing and image coding
  • Physics and optics of nanostructures
  • Broadband technologies and components
  • Broadband communication lab
  • Applied machine learning
  • Software for network and services design
  • Internet of things

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment. Module content and availability is subject to change. 

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.


All students undertake two research projects; one part-time (45 credits) and one full-time (45 credits).

Both projects culminate in a dissertation/report of up to 10,000 words each. An oral presentation is also required for the part-time project.

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, a presentation and design work).

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


EPSRC funded studentships are available for UK and EU students who meet residency requirements.

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
£15,000 (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


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 research and commercialisation activity where electronics, photonics and wireless converge in information, sensing, communications, manufacturing and healthcare systems.

Photonics has become a fundamental underpinning technology for companies outside the conventional photonics arena. These companies require employees (graduates and researchers) with a much greater degree of interdisciplinary training; to be experts in both photonics and related fields.


Our students are highly employable and have the opportunity to gain industry experience during their MRes year through placements in large technology and communications companies such as Toshiba and Microsoft and through projects with other industry partners.

The CDT organises events which provide an excellent opportunity for students to network with senior technologists and managers interested in recruiting photonics engineers.

Recent roles our graduates have undertaken include a fibre laser development engineer, a patent attorney, a computational physicist, a development scientist, a senior photonics engineer and postdoctoral researchers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL and the University of Cambridge have established an exciting Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS), leveraging their current strong collaborations in research and innovation. Both UCL and University of Cambridge are amongst the world’s leading research universities and boast high levels of academic excellence. The combined strengths of the two institutions provides a training environment in connected electronic and photonic systems that is hard to beat, worldwide.

The CDT 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.

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

Department: Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This MRes is ideal for students from a range of science, engineering and physics backgrounds 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.

Student who successfully complete the full four-year programme (1yr MRes + 3yr PhD) students will not only have expert knowledge in the area of photonic systems development but also the teamwork, communication, leadership, project management and problem solving skills highly prized by industry.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

We accept applications from October for the following academic year.

Competition for places is high so students are advised to apply as early as possible for pre-screening (ideally apply before May for September intake). We may close the application window before the above deadline if all available places are allocated.

Candidates should submit a pre-application screening form at: https://www.ipes-cdt.org/join/pre-application-form

This does not constitute a formal application but allows the centre to assess a candidate’s suitability before making a formal application.

Suitable candidates will be invited to interview, and if successful encouraged to make a formal application to the University of Cambridge or UCL using the standard application form.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

Applications are invited from graduates with a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant science or engineering discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Applicants with other relevant qualifications or extensive relevant industry experience who can show evidence of a scientific and engineering research capability may also apply.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020