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European Master of Science in Photonics Engineering

Course Description

About the programme

The Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Photonics is an international English-taught course programme with a duration of 2 years set up in the context of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Union since 2006. This master programme is offered by three leading European universities in the field of photonics: Ghent University (acting as coordinator), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium) and St-Andrews University (UK). Furthermore the consortium has added Associated Academic Partners (NTU - National Taiwan University, Taiwan, EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, DTU - Technical University of Denmark, Denmark - Royal Institute of Technology - KTH, Stockholm (Sweden) and UPV - Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain) to the programme to offer all students a thesis in their field of specialization.

Core and advanced photonics courses

Two universities in Belgium (Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Universiteit Gent, programme coordinator), two in Scotland (St.-Andrews University and Heriot-Watt University) and one in Sweden (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Stockholm) have jointly organised the Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Photonics since September 2006.

This Master offers:

- A specialization in photonic materials, components and systems. Lasers and LED's, optical fibres and liquid crystals, optical sensors and detectors will reveal all their secrets to you.
- A wide variety of elective courses in ICT, electronics, business aspects of photonics, multimedia etc.
- An industrial internship which will give you the opportunity to get in touch with the Photonics Industry
- A multi-disciplinary training in Photonics and Photonics-related subjects, organized
by four European universities that are all at the top of the innovative world of Photonics
- The opportunity to broaden your knowledge and skills in other domains, such as ICT, biosciences, physics and chemistry of materials, industrial management etc.

The graduates of this programme receive a joint UGent-VUB Master of Science degree in Photonics


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.

International opportunities

This Master's programme offers both EU and non-EU students the opportunity to enroll in an international programme and to spend a year in two of the three countries mentioned above. It’s a multi- disciplinary programme covering electrical engineering, basic physics, material technologies, electronics and applications in different fields.

Contact with different European cultures and languages:
In addition, they will be brought into contact with several European cultures and languages and will get the chance to live in different European capitals (Brussels and Stockholm) and/or European cities (Gent, Edinburgh and Saint Andrews), cities with a rich cultural heritage.

For your master thesis you can travel to the following EMMP partner institutions who excel in photonics research:
- Overseas partnership: National Taiwan University (R.O.C. Taiwan)
- Associated European partners: Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark), École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain)


Available on http://studiegids.ugent.be/2013/EN/FACULTY/E/MABA/EMEMMP/EMEMMP.html

Admission requirements

Visit the European Master of Science in Photonics Engineering page on the Vrije Universiteit Brussel website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Alvaro Casas Bedoya

2843.png “I can describe the UGent-VUB Master in Photonics as the perfect mixture between high educational levels, cultural interchange and excellent management; these links prepare professionals in the photonics field with high performance capabilities. Surprisingly for me, the researchers, who are writing the science right now, were my professors; I had access to facilities and experiments which are related with the photonics industry everyday this experience is simply indescribable in just few lines. After this program the opportunities are huge. We as scientist/engineers are always looking new possibilities to do research or where to apply our knowledge, i.e. sources of job or PhD studies. In my opinion is just matter of being organized enough to take the right train. The UGent-VUB Master in Photonics is surely one of the best options for any photonics aspirant...”

(Student Profile)

Hamdam Nikkhah

2844.png "Studying and living in Belgium, the heart of Europe, for two years of my Master program was an interesting experience in my life. The program contains good fundamental courses which gave me a strong and solid knowledge in photonics which was needed to be successful in the next steps of my study. The joint program between VUB and UGent makes the program more interesting, as students have the opportunity to experience two universities during their Master studies. Different events help the students feel more comfortable and have a close and friendly relation with their classmates. Studying in Belgium in Photonics program taught me many things and made me stronger toward achieving my goals."

(Student Profile)

Tanbir Hasan

2845.png "VUB and UGent’s distinct niche in the frontier of photonics research and education encouraged me to apply to this master program in photonics. Availability of rich and diverse course curricula, state-of-the-art lab facilities, and professors with pioneering research experiences in photonics, in fields ranging as diverse as from photonic integrated circuits to biophotonics, has made this program singular on its own merits. Having mingled with some of the best minds dedicated in advancing the photonics, this program prepared me to understand, not only the subtlety of the subject matter, but also how industries view the role of photonics in shaping their business. These proved quite invaluable later when I joined the development & engineering department of ASML, a leading provider of optical lithography in the world. I feel proud to be part of this program."

(Student Profile)

Aaron Kaplan

2846.png “Besides the fact that the courses prepare the students for both an academic career as a career in Photonics industry, the greatest asset gained was the growth of my professional network. The professors recognize that success in industry relies just as much on who you know, as what you know.”


EMSP Excellence Grant - 4 Awards

The EMSP Program Board awards grants on a competitive basis among all accepted EMSP students. All students who apply for this program are therefore eligible to be awarded a EMSP Excellence Grant (no separate application procedure is required).
Both the Photonics Research Group (Ghent University) and the B-Phot research team (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) finance one or more EMSP Excellence Grants. The candidates who receive the Excellence Grant must commit themselves to do a MSc. thesis at the group who finances the grant.

Value of Scholarship(s)

from 1,000 EUR/year to 5,000 EUR/year


4 Entry Grants will be awarded, worth 1000 Euro, at the beginning of the first semester (this allows students to cover the tuition fee and the first costs of living).
4 Continuation Grants will be awarded, worth of 1500 Euro, at the start of the second semester to the top 4 students according to the academic performance after semester 1.
2 Excellence Grants will be awarded, worth 5000 Euro, at the start of the the second year of the MSc. to the top 2 students according to the academic performance after year 1.

Application Procedure

All students who apply for this program are therefore eligible to be awarded a EMSP Excellence Grant (no separate application procedure is required).

Further Information



Belgian Technical Cooperation Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The Belgian Technical Cooperation Agency (BTC) grants scholarships to nationals from its 18 partner countries (see for full list http://www.btcctb.org/en/countries-and-themes).
Duration: from 1 to 2 academic years
The scholarships includes:
- a tuition fee waiver
- insurance
- one return flight
- family supplement
- accommodation allowance,
- indirect travel costs,
- installation allowance,
- didactic allowance,
- mailing allowance.

Value of Scholarship(s)

~10,000 EUR/year


Nationals of:
Algeria Mozambique Belgium Niger Benin Palestine Bolivia Peru Bolivia (ES) Perú (ES) Burundi Rwanda DR Congo Senegal Ecuador South Africa Ecuador (ES) Tanzania Mali Uganda Morocco Vietnam

Application Procedure

The BTC has a delegation in each of its partner countries. This delegation, usually based at the Belgian Embassy, handles the application and selection procedure. The application procedure and overall requirements vary per country. For further information, please contact the delegation in your country:http://www.btcctb.org or diplomatie.belgium.be

Further Information


Entry Requirements

the applicant needs to be in possession of a bachelor degree in Electrical engineering, in (Applied) Physics, Materials Science or an equivalent of this to be directly admitted to the program. Students in their last year of such a programme will however also be considered.Students in possession of another bachelor degree might need to follow a preparatory program. The educational board will make the final decision whether to accept the application or not. In order to be admitted, you need to be proficient in English.

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Recipient: Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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