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Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices MSc

Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices MSc

Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Particle Physics

Course type


Course Summary


The photonics research groups in the physics departments of Heriot-Watt and St. Andrews Universities are internationally renowned, and have many links with industrial and university groups around the world. Major activities are based around optoelectronics, laser development, semiconductor physics, materials technology, ultra-fast phenomena, modern optics, and instrumentation. This expertise is brought to the teaching of our one-year taught MSc course.

Previously called Optoelectronic and Laser Devices, this MSc course has been updated and enhanced, recognising the explosive growth of the UK and global photonics industry, fostered by the world-wide expansion in the exploitation of optical in telecommunications.

Students spend one semester at each university, and then undertake a three-month research project, normally in a UK company. Companies participating in recent years include Bookham Technologies, BAE Systems, Edinburgh Sensors, Cambridge Display Technology, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Indigo Photonics, Intense Photonics, Kamelian, Nortel, Renishaw, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Thales, Sharp and QinetiQ.

Students will also achieve PGDip and PGCert awards in this course.

Different course options

Full time | Edinburgh Campus | 1 year | SEP-20

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



The module aims to develop a working knowledge and conceptual understanding of important topics in contemporary laser physics at a quantitative level. A key objective is to enable the student to undertake quantitative problem-solving relating to the design, performance and applications of lasers through thereby acquiring an ability to put such knowledge into practice by way of numerical calculations. The aim throughout is to provide a thorough grounding in basic principles and their application, so that by the end of the module the student will have acquired a range of essential skills and knowledge required by a practitioner of laser physics and engineering. Such knowledge of the basics will be of enduring value and relevance. It will enable the student to innovate, design and analyse laser devices and systems at a quantitative level.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants for the course are expected to have a first or second class honours degree in physics, applied physics, electronic engineering, or equivalent qualifications. Lesser qualifications combined with relevant industrial experience may also be suitable.

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