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Industrial Photonics (MSc)

Course Description

Why this course?

This course will train physicists and engineers in the area of photonics, which is a key enabling technology, underpinning many areas of industry.

You'll have the opportunity to undertake a three-month research or development project based with one of our industrial partners such as M Squared Lasers.

We have a long tradition of cutting-edge photonics research, which supports our courses. Much of this work has resulted in significant industrial impact through our spin-out companies and academic-industrial collaborations.

You'll also have the opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills by taking courses delivered by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

You’ll study

The course is made up of two semesters of taught classes, followed by a three-month research project based with one of our industrial partners. The majority of your classes are delivered by the Department of Physics and cover the following:
-research and grant writing skills, which are valuable in both academic and commercial settings
-project training, including entrepreneurial and innovation skills training and a literature survey preparing for the project in the company
-topics in photonics, covering laser physics, laser optics and non-linear optics
-optical design, where you will learn about advanced geometrical optics and apply this knowledge to the design of optical systems, through the use of modern optical design software
-photonic materials and devices, focusing on semiconductor materials physics and micro/nano-structures
-advanced photonic devices and applications, covering quantum well structures, waveguides and photonic crystals

These classes are complemented by two classes delivered by the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, which look at:
-system engineering and electronic control which forms a key part of modern optical systems
-photonic systems, where fibre optic communications systems and principles of photonic networks are discussed

Work placement

You'll be based with one of our industrial partners for a three-month project placement. This is your opportunity to experience how research and development operate within a commercial environment. It'll also give you a chance to form strong links with industry contacts.

The project is put forward by the company and supervised by both industrial and academic staff. Training on relevant skills and background will be received before and during the project.

Scotland has a world-leading position in optics and photonics industry.Your project will be carried out mainly in the excellent facilities of our Scottish industry partners. Projects elsewhere in the UK and with international companies may also be possible.

Advanced research facilities are also available in:
-the Department of Physics here at Strathclyde
-the Institute of Photonics
-the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics

Our research is strongly supported in equipment and infrastructure. This includes a newly opened 3-storey wing in the John Anderson Building as part of a £13M investment programme in Physics. Furthermore, the IoP and FCAP have recently relocated into the University's Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) which at £90 million TIC is Strathclyde’s single-biggest investment in research and technology collaboration capacity. This new centre will accelerate the way in which researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together in a new specifically designed state-of-the-art building in the heart of Glasgow.

Guest lectures

You'll attend the seminar series of the Institute of Photonics and Fraunhofer Centre of Applied Photonics with distinguished guest speakers giving a first-hand overview of the rapid development in applied photonics research.

Learning & teaching

In semesters one and two, the course involves:
-various assignments including a literature review
-workshops where you'll gain presentation experience

The courses include compulsory and elective classes from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.
Over the summer, you'll undertake a three-month project based on practical laboratory work in a partner company. You'll be supervised by the industrial partner and supported by an academic supervisor.


Assessment methods are different for each class and include:
-written examinations
-marked homework consisting of problems and/or essay assignments

Your practical project is assessed on a combination of a written report, an oral presentation, and a viva in which you're questioned on the project.

How can I fund my course?

Financial support for Scottish and EU students may be available on a case-by-case basis which will be supported by the industrial partners. Selection will be based on an excellent academic record and/or industrial experience and the promise of a successful career in Industrial Photonics.

Please indicate that you apply for such a scholarship in the "Funding" section of the application form. You'll also need to provide a CV and a statement explaining your interests and motivation with your application. This will inform the decision on a possible scholarship.

For more information, just get in touch with the Department of Physics.

Available scholarships:
We currently have a scholarship available for this course.

You must be able to demonstrate academic excellence based on your previous study along with the promise of a successful career in Industrial Photonics. Relevant previous industrial experience will be considered.

The first round of applications closes on 20th May 2016, and a second one will close on the 30th June 2016.

How to apply:
Apply for this scholarship via our scholarship search: https://www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/scholarships/sciencescholarships/physicsscholarships/physicsindustrialphotonicsscholarships/


A degree in industrial photonics can set you up to work in a range of jobs in physics and positions in other industries.

Typically, it can lead you to photonic technologies in industrial corporate research and development units, production engineering and applied academic laboratories.

Work experience is key:
Employers want to know you can do the job so work experience is key.

This course has a strong focus on the relationship between academia and industry. It's a great opportunity to enhance your skills and provides a direct transition from university to the work place.

We have an excellent record of graduate employment in the Scottish, national and international optics and photonics industries.

Doctorate study:
If you're interested in practical work with impact but are also interested in a further academic qualification, you can move on to study an EngD or a CASE PhD studentship. These can lead to a doctorate within industry or in close collaboration with industry.

Job roles:
Our Physics graduates from photonics related courses have found employment in a number of different roles including:

-Medical Physicist
-Optical engineer
-Laser engineer
-Optical and laser production engineer
-Research and production engineer
-Senior Engineer
-Systems Engineer
-Software Engineer
-Spacecraft Project Manager
-Defence Scientist
-Oscar winner

Visit the Industrial Photonics (MSc) page on the University of Strathclyde website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You'll need a first or second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in physical science or electronic & electrical engineering. You'll also need suitable references and acceptance by one of our partner companies to carry out the Master project work with them. Please also provide a CV and a statement detailing your interests and motivation and send these in with your application. Other qualifications may be considered for the MSc, including industrial experience. You may also be invited for an interview. If English isn't your first language, you'll need an IELTS 6.0 with no individual score lower than 5.5.

Course Fees

Scotland/EU: £5,000, Rest of UK: £6,000, International: £17,500

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