Students have access to well-resourced teaching laboratories which allow hands-on experience to explore a wide range of laser devices and optoelectronic technologies.
The programme is offered in collaboration with Heriot-Watt University and run by schools known for pioneering work in lasers and optoelectronics.
The School helps students to find a summer placement usually with a photonics company, which can allow students to gain vocational training in the optoelectronics and laser industry alongside their studies.
Students take modules at St Andrews in Semester 1 and Heriot-Watt in Semester 2, followed by approximately 3.5 months working on a project, which is usually with an optoelectronics company.
Teaching comprises lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Lecture classes are relatively small, with typically around 20-30 students in a class. Lecture modules are assessed largely through examinations at the end of each semester whereas the laboratory work is assessed continuously. The lecture and lab modules develop important skills and knowledge that can be used in the summer project. The project is an on-the-job investigation or development of some aspect of photonics, often in a commercial setting.
Well-equipped teaching laboratories allow you to explore the science of photonics and interact directly with academic staff and the School’s early-career researchers. Teaching staff are accessible to students and enjoy explaining the excitement of physics and its applications.
Students are also encouraged to attend relevant research seminars and departmental discussions given by research staff from other universities and specialists from the industry.
The lecture modules in this programme are delivered through lectures combined with tutorials, discussions and independent study; they are assessed through examinations and, in some cases, coursework. In the two lab modules, which are continuously assessed, students explore practical photonics for three afternoons a week.
For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.