- Start date: September
- Accreditation: Institute of Physics
- Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
Rated: Number 1 for Physics research in the UK (REF2014 GPA Scores, Times Higher Education)
Study with us
- gain hands-on experimental research experience using modern instrumentation
- suitable for those with science or engineering background wanting to gain a vocational degree
- establish a foundation for an optics-related PhD
- explores the versatile field of optical technologies which supports many aspects of modern society
- optical technologies are expected to be a key enabling technology of the 21st century
Why this course?
The course provides the opportunity to explore and master a large range of optical technologies, enabling you to put devices in the context of an optical system and/or application.The course is based on the strong record of optical technologies across research divisions in the Department of Physics in collaboration with:
- Optics Division (Physics)
- Plasma Division (Physics)
- Nanoscience Division (Physics)
- Institute of Photonics
- Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
You’ll put the knowledge gained in the taught components to use in a cutting-edge research project.
Who’s the course suitable for?
It’s suitable for those with a science or engineering background who want to gain a vocational degree or obtain a solid foundation for an optics-related PhD programme. It’s also appropriate if you've worked in industry and want to consolidate your future career by further academic studies.
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What you’ll study
The course consists of two semesters of taught classes followed by a three-month research project (MSc students only).
You can choose classes relevant to your career interests from a wide range of topics including:
- photonics and photonic materials
- optics at the physics-life sciences interface
- laser-based plasma physics
- quantum optics and quantum information technology
Learning & teaching
Our teaching is based on lectures, tutorials, workshops, laboratory experiments, and research projects.
The assessment includes written examinations, coursework, presentations and a talk, oral examination and report presenting and defending the research project.
This course is run by the Department of Physics. Departmental facilities include:
- well-equipped optical labs for semiconductor photonics, semiconductor spectroscopy and fluorescence lifetime analysis.
- the Ultrafast Chemical Physics lab with state-of-the-art femtosecond laser systems for multi-dimensional IR spectroscopy
- cutting edge high power laser research with SCAPA, the highest power laser in a UK university
- a scanning electron microscopy suite for analysis of hard and soft matter
- access to top-of-the-range high-performance computer facilities
- industry standard cleanroom in the Institute of Photonics
This module will provide you with necessary skills in IT, working with literature, data analysis, and written and oral communication to support a great learning experience in your programme.
You'll gain experience of research techniques by performing an open-ended cutting-edge research project that runs over summer after the taught component of the MSc. The topic may be from a programme relevant field in physics or its interdisciplinary applications.
Students with the corresponding ambition and relevant qualification will be supported to find an alternative placement in Electrical Engineering or an industrial placement but this depends on availability. The work is normally carried out in the research laboratories under the individual supervision of an experienced researcher.
Topics in Photonics: Laser & Nonlinear Optics
The course provides an introduction to laser physics, laser optics and nonlinear optics as required for the work in many photonic labs.
Advanced Photonics Devices
This introduces advanced photonics devices including their principles and applications (quantum confinement, waveguide optics, photonic and electronic bandgaps, photonic crystals).
This course introduces core skills needed to obtain research funding and successfully manage the resulting research in both an academic and a commercial environment.
The course addresses basic concepts relating to nanoscale physics before progressing to the techniques associated with production and characterisation of nanomaterials/nanostructures, and their potential impact in engineering, energy and healthcare.
The course provides an introduction to lens design and the characterisation and optimisation of system performance including practical exercises with Oslo software (course might not run every year depending on interest by a sufficient number of students).
Advanced Topics in Photonics: Ultrafast Physics & Plasmas
The course provides an introduction to laser-plasma interaction, in particular with very high power and ultrashort pulses, and the resulting applications in radiation sources from the terahertz to the X-ray region, laser fusion and laser-based particle acceleration.
Photonics Materials & Devices (topics in solid state physics)
The course provides an introduction into semiconductor physics, semiconductor electronics and semiconductor photonics with an outlook on micro and nano-structures and current hot topics.
This course introduces you to the basic concepts, mathematical tools and design methods of classical control theory. It enables you to analyse and design closed loop control system specifically using industrial three term (PID) controllers and to appreciate the application of control theory in industrial applications.
The class provides an awareness of Python programming and its application to solve physics-problems as curve fitting, Fourier transforms, solving ordinary differential equations, etc.
This class introduces students to open-ended practical work in the laboratory conveying the basic skills of instrument handling, data management, record keeping, and to encourage development of report-writing and oral presentation skills. You're required to complete two experiments selected from a range of topics.
Optical Communication (Photonic Systems)
This module enables you to develop a basic conceptual understanding and working knowledge of fibre optic communications systems and their component parts addressing basic principles, engineering, design and performance limits.
Advanced Nanoscience 1: Imaging & Microscopy
The aim of this course is to introduce the spectroscopy, imaging and microscopy techniques associated with modern nanoscience such as:
- Fluorescence methods
- Single molecule imaging and microscopic techniques
- Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
- Electron microscopy
Minimum second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, in physics or a related subject, eg Engineering Physics, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Ophthalmology, Material Science, Astronomy.
Applicants from an engineering or life science discipline need to have had sufficient exposure to quantum mechanics and solid state physics, eg by semi-conductor technology courses, or need to demonstrate that they can acquire the necessary background. Contact us about your application and the possibility of conversion courses
|English language requirements|
You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5).
We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.
As a university, we now accept many more English language tests in addition to IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.
Pre-Masters preparation course
The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
|Visa & immigration|
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my course?
Scottish postgraduate students
Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from England
Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Wales
Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Northern Ireland
Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.
The course gives you a thorough basis for a successful job in the photonics, optical and life sciences industries. It provides the basis to excel in more interesting and challenging posts.
The course can also be an entry route into an optics-related PhD programme.
Over the years, many of Strathclyde’s optics and photonics graduates have found successful employment at the large variety of local laser and optics companies as well as with national and international corporations.
Success story: Iain Neil
Iain Neil graduated from Strathclyde in Applied Physics in 1977 and is an optical consultant, specialising in the design of zoom lenses for the film industry. He has received a record 12 Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, the most for any living person.
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
Start date: Sep 2022
Start date: Sep 2022
Have you considered?
We've a range of postgraduate taught and Masters courses similar to this one which may also be of interest.