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Course content

Why this course?

The course explores the versatile field of optical technologies which supports many aspects of modern society. Optical technologies are expected to be a key enabling technology of the 21st century.

The course is based on the strong record of optical technologies across research divisions in the department of physics and the collaborating institutions:

You can choose classes relevant to your career interests from a wide range of topics including:

  • photonics and photonic materials
  • nanosciences
  • optics at the physics-life sciences interface
  • laser-based plasma physics
  • quantum optics and quantum information technology

You’ll put the knowledge gained in the taught components to use in a cutting-edge research project.

The course gives you the opportunity of exploring and mastering a large range of optical technologies. It enables you to put devices in the context of an optical system and/or application.

Who’s the course suitable for?

It’s suitable for those with a science or engineering background wanting to gain a vocational degree or to obtain a solid foundation for an optics-related PhD programme.

It’s also appropriate for those who’ve worked in industry and want to consolidate their future career by further academic studies.

You’ll study

The course consists of two semesters of taught classes followed by a three- month research project.


This course is run by the Department of Physics. The department’s facilities include:

  • well-equipped optical labs for semiconductor photonics, semiconductor spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime analysis.
  • the Ultrafast Chemical Physics lab with state-of-the-art femtosecond laser systems for multi-dimensional IR spectroscopy
  • cutting edge high power laser research with SCAPA, the highest power laser in a UK university
  • a scanning electron microscopy suite for analysis of hard and soft matter
  • access to top-of-the-range high-performance computer facilities
  • industry standard cleanroom in the Institute of Photonics

Learning & teaching

Our teaching is based on lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory experiments, and research projects.


The assessment includes written examinations, coursework, presentations and a talk, oral examination and report presenting and defending the research project.


The course gives you a thorough basis for a successful job in the photonics, optical and life sciences industries. It provides the basis to excel in more interesting and challenging posts.

The course can also be an entry route into an optics-related PhD programme.

Over the years, many of Strathclyde’s optics and photonics graduates have found successful employment at the large variety of local laser and optics companies as well as with national and international corporations.

Visit the Optical Technologies MSc/PgDip page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!




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