Imperial College London logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 11.8k / 2015/16 academic year
  • Foreign: $ 31.3k / 2015/16 academic year
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English
  • StudyQA ranking:
  • 1457pts.
  • Duration:
  • 1 year

    Photos of university

    Optics is of key importance to many industry sectors including medic, ICT and high-tech manufacturing.

    Imperial has offered an advanced course in optics for over 80 years and the current MSc in Optics and Photonics draws on our experience as one of the largest centres for optics-based research and application in the UK.

    The course includes substantial laboratory and project work, often based within industry. There is also a chance to undertake a self-study project in an area of your choice. You finish with a four-month, full-time project, which may be in industry, an academic research group or abroad.

    Graduates of this course are well qualified to apply their knowledge in a wide range of industrial contexts, as well as in a research environment. They find employment with a variety of careers in industry and many move on to doctoral studies at leading universities in the UK and abroad.

    Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

    The course lasts one year full-time and begins in October. 

    We offer a wide range of core and optional courses, taught by experts in the field, allowing you to develop specialist knowledge across a wide range of optics.

    The main coursework (i.e. lectures and laboratory work) takes place in the first two terms. The first term consists of foundation courses (80 hours of lectures) and laboratory work. In the second term, you choose a further 80 hours of lectures from the option courses available and there is a laboratory project to design and build a working optical system.

    Laboratory work is recognised as an important element of the course and you will be required to undertake a total of approximately 160 hours.

    Throughout the course, seminars by Imperial staff and industrial specialists will provide examples of both technical/scientific innovation and of entrepreneurship in research and industry.

    A self-study activity in the second term is an introduction to project work (over approximately 50 hours) and is designed to encourage initiative and self-sufficiency in the learning process. It is assessed by a written report and oral presentation. This is one of several activities focused on developing your transferable skills.

    You will spend the months of May to September on a major project, which is often carried out in industry.

    Written examinations are held in January and April/May, whilst the laboratory work is continually assessed during the course. The final project is assessed by oral presentations and a dissertation submitted in September.


    Core modules

    • Imaging
    • Optical communications physics
    • Lasers
    • Optical measurement and devices
    • Laboratory work
    • Self-study project
    • Four-month research project

    Optional modules

    • Biomedical optics
    • Laser optics
    • Laser technology
    • Non-linear optics
    • Fibre technology
    • Optical design
    • Optical design laboratory
    • Optical displays
    • Optoelectronic components and devices
    • Photonics structures
    • Quantum optics

    Note: optional modules are subject to change

    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    The course is suitable for appropriately qualified students with a first degree in physics, mathematics or electrical engineering, or for candidates who show other evidence of appropriate qualifications.

    If your first degree is from a country other than the UK, you may find the guidelines within our Country Index helpful. Please note that these guidelines indicate the College minimum.

    A Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma are not available on this programme.

    Tuition fees (2015–2016):

    • Home/EU Full-time — £9,000
    • Overseas Full-time — £24,000
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