This MSc covers the key technologies required for the physical layer of broadband communications systems. The programme unites concepts across both radio and optical communication to give students a better understanding of the technical challenges they will face in engineering the rapid development of the broadband communications infrastructure. There is exceptionally strong industry demand for engineers with this skill base.
This MSc provides training in the key technologies required for the physical layer of photonic, wireless and wired communications systems and other applications of this technology, ranging from THz imaging to radar systems. The programme encompasses the complete system design from device fabrication and properties through to architectural and functional aspects of the subsystems that are required to design and build complete communication systems.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
Students choose three of the following:
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of formal lectures, laboratory and workshop sessions, seminars, tutorials and project work. All of the programme lecturers carry out leading research in the subjects they are teaching. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examination, coursework, design exercises and the dissertation.
Rapid growth of the internet and multimedia communications has led to an unprecedented demand for broadband communication systems. There is exceptionally strong industry demand for engineers with this skills base and a clear shortage of supply. Recent graduates have moved into roles as electrical and technical engineers at companies including Société Générale and Ericsson.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The programme provides a broad package of knowledge in the areas of wireless and optical communications networks, from devices to signal processing theory and techniques, network architecture, and planning and optimisation. Students are expertly equipped to pursue careers as engineers, consultants and system architects in wireless and optical communications. A considerable number of graduates also stay in the education sector undertaking research and teaching.
UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering is one of the most highly rated electronic engineering research departments in the UK. It is the oldest in England, founded in 1885 with Professor Sir Ambrose Fleming (the inventor of the thermionic valve and the left-hand and right-hand rules) as the first head of department.
Our research and teaching ethos is based on understanding the fundamentals and working at the forefront of technology development. We cover a wide range of areas from materials and devices to photonics, radar, optical and wireless systems, electronics and medical electronics, and communications networks.
Accreditation: Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.
The European MSc. in Photonics is an English-taught multidisciplinary programme of two years (120 ECTS) which leads to a joint degree from Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The first year you can develop your skills in laser engineering, optical communication, optical materials, microphotonics and optical sensors. The first semester is devoted to the fundamental basics of photonics, while the second focuses on engineering skills and photonics applications. As this master is organised by two leading universities in Belgium, you have the possibility to follow courses entirely at VUB or to choose specific courses at UGent.
The second year opens the international gateway. Enrich your experience by choosing one of the international exchange tracks to follow courses, take up an internship or do a master thesis at an international partner.
Core and advanced photonics courses:
The first year will be devoted mainly to a programme of core photonics courses with essentially the same content at all institutes, complemented by a number of advanced photonics courses as well as several courses in related disciplines and transferable skill courses.
Move to another location:
In the second year you will move to another location where you will continue to take advanced photonics, multidisciplinary and transferable skill courses and where you will carry out your master thesis (30 ECTS) in a photonics sub-field of their choice. In addition to the regular courses, all students will attend a two-week summer school at the end of the first and second year of the programme.
The second year contains a mandatory external mobility component. You can spend one semester or do your master thesis abroad. Alternatively, you can do both thesis and courses abroad during two semesters, or do a 12-week industrial internship in the photonics industry or a research institute. You choose one of the four mobility tracks, allowing you to define the extent of your stay abroad. It allows you to benefit from the enriching expertise of our partner universities.
The European MSc. in Photonics has all the right ingredints to prepare you for a bright future. The valuable internships with industry and research institutes abroad enhance your employability significantly.
As consultant, engineer or researcher you might find yourself in the driver seat working domains as life sciences, biotechnology, telecommunications, sustainable energy, agrifood or Industry 4.0.