This MSc provides postgraduate vocational training in lasers, optics, and semiconductors tailored to the needs of those seeking to enter photonics-based industry and university research. Students benefit from classes using the expertise at St Andrews and Heriot-Watt universities, followed by a 3.5 month project, often with a UK photonics company.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Science (MSc)
One year full time
A strong 2.2 Honours degree in physics, applied physics, electronic engineering, or equivalent qualifications. Lesser qualifications combined with relevant industrial experience may also be suitable.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
UK and EU: £6,800
Applications for 2016 entry are now closed. Please check back for applications information for 2017 entry.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you are looking to start this programme in 2017, you can find information about 2017 entry on the 2017 Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices (MSc) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.
Watch current students and staff discuss the teaching facilities, research opportunities and student life at Scotland's first university.
The MSc in Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices is a 12-month taught programme run jointly by the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews and the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, which makes available to students the combined diversity of research equipment and expertise at both universities.
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, ranging from about 30 students down to groups of just a few. 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 always 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.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2015-2016 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2016 entry.
Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
The summer research and development project, which is often hosted by a UK company, is an ideal introduction to the optoelectronics and laser industry. It represents a great opportunity to get hands-on research and development experience in a commercial environment, working on a project that is important to the company concerned.
The industrial project placement occupies 12 to 14 weeks from late May to August and is assessed in September after the submission of a dissertation (up to 15,000 words) and an oral exam.
The programme coordinator aims to find host companies for students on the programme. Companies who have recently hosted projects for our students include BAE Systems, Elforlight, SELEX Galileo, STMicroelectronics, M-Squared Lasers, Silixa and Unik Lasers.
At least three students from Scotland and non-UK parts of the European Union should be able to gain a scholarship from or via the University of St Andrews covering their full tuition fees for the programme. Details of the application process can be found on the SFC funded places page and information will also be provided directly to relevant applicants.
STMicroelectronics, a semiconductor company, is offering financial support to UK and European students as well as summer internships.
Most of our students undertake their summer project in industry. Some of our industrial partners provide a stipend for their placement students.
Some of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews or elsewhere. Opportunities for fully funded PhD or EngDoc research projects are available in all fields of research within the School of Physics and Astronomy.
The Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices MSc course aims to produce graduates with appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes to go on to be successful in the photonics area. ome of our recent graduates are featured in our graduate profiles. In addition to employment in companies, some MSc graduates have found long-term employment in universities worldwide. Some of the locations where our MSc graduates have obtained employment include:
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).
St Andrews has two postgraduate prospectuses - one for taught courses and one for research programmes. Both prospectuses are available for you to view and download.