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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,720 (FT)
£29,390 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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). Students also attend a non-credit bearing workshop in Responsible Innovation.

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 two optional modules and one business module from the following:

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

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
  • Electronic Circuits
  • Entrepreneurship: theory and practice

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


All students undertake two research mini-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 first, 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).

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 accessable.co.uk. 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

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 is being made 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 is now a fundamental underpinning technology for companies both within and 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 such as Huber+Suhner Polatis and VividQ.

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 strong collaborations in research and innovation. Both institutions are amongst the world’s leading research universities and boast academic excellence.

The combined strengths of UCL and University of Cambridge provide a training environment in connected electronic and photonic systems that is hard to beat, worldwide.

The CEPS 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.

This Master's degree aims to create graduates with the skills, confidence and ability to drive future research, development and exploitation in the field of photonic technologies.

As photonics becomes a fundamental underpinning technology in electronics-based systems and applications within communications, sensing, manufacturing and biomedicine, MRes graduates will be well-prepared for a career in this multi-disciplinary field or to conduct powerful, influential research.

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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
30 July 2021

We accept applications from November 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 UCL or University of Cambridge using the standard application form.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems at graduate level
  • why you want to study Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Applications are invited from graduates with a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree (2:1) 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 28 August 2021