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Photonics at Imperial College

Imperial College London offers a postgraduate course in Photonics. The college provides stimulus learning environment where students are encouraged to obtain thorough understanding of their subject. The degree course in Photonics has been recognized as a major enabling science in various important academic disciplines and industries such as telecommunications, life sciences and as a research priority for the college. The Department of Physics has a rich and successful research record in photonics and imaging. It is a twelve-month MRes course, which builds upon a solid grounding of photonics.

It is expected that this course shall generally form the first year of an extended MRes and PhD study programme. The programme shall become compulsory for students who get on research in photonics group and who do not earlier have an appropriate specialist Master's level qualification. The MRes course runs October to September every year.

The course provides an excellent opportunity to students who wish to enhance their research interest and skills in photonics. It also provides students an extensive experience of undertaking a project, major, individual and reporting the results in a full scientific presentation and report. The course trains students in appropriate research methods, develop their oral and written communication skills for specialized and non-specialized audiences, offers students further academic study at doctoral level in photonics and in other subjects where photonics is an essential enabling science.

The taught elements in the first term may develop students' knowledge of photonics through lectures and a significant taught laboratory element that develops the practical skills demanded by further research. These course elements are shared with the MSc in Optics and Photonics that is offered by the Department. In the second term, students need to undertake a substantial research project as a more thorough preparation for students pursuing their PhD studies. Additionally, there is an opportunity to take optional courses in the second term from the MSc in Optics and Photonics where it is measured relevant to their research project.


Generally, written examinations are held in January and April for any optional courses. The laboratory work is frequently evaluated during the course. The final project is examined by oral presentations and a dissertation submitted in September.

Core Modules

  • Optical communications physics
  • Imaging
  • Optical measurement and devices
  • Lasers
  • Self-study project
  • Laboratory work
  • Nine-month research project

Optional Modules

  • Fibre optics
  • Biomedical optics
  • Laser technology
  • Laser optics
  • Fibre communications
  • Non-linear optics
  • Optical design laboratory
  • Optical design
  • Optoelectronic components and devices
  • Optical displays
  • Quantum optics
  • Photonics structures

Note: It must be noted that optional modules are subject to change.

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