Taught course

Optical Communications and Signal Processing

University of Bristol · Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a numerate physical science or engineering discipline. Candidates with a lower class of degree, equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience may be admitted if they can demonstrate their potential for higher degree work.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme provides students with a challenging range of advanced topics drawn from optical communications systems and devices, and optics-related signal processing, including associated enabling technologies. It provides an excellent opportunity to acquire the skills needed for a career in the most dynamic fields in optical communications.

This programme builds on the internationally recognised research strengths of the Photonics and High Performance Networks research groups within the Smart Internet Lab. Optical fibre communications form the backbone of all land-based communications and are the only viable means to support today's global information systems. Research at Bristol is contributing to the ever-increasing requirement for bandwidth and flexibility through research into optical switching technology, wavelength conversion, high-speed modulation, data regeneration and novel semiconductor lasers.

There are two taught units related to optical communications: Optical Networks and Data Centre Networks. Optical Networks focuses on wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) networks, time division multiplexed (TDM) networks including SDH/SONET and OTN, optical frequency division multiplexed networks, and optical sub-wavelength switched networks. Data Centre Networks focuses on networks for cloud computing, cloud-based networking, grid computing and e-science.

The Photonics group at Bristol is a world leader in the new field of quantum photonics, with key successes in developing photonic crystal fibre light sources, quantum secured optical communications and novel quantum gate technologies.

The programme is accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology, one of only a handful of accredited programmes in the UK.

Visit the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering website to learn more about the MSc in Optical Communications and Signal Processing.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Admissions and Enquiries
+44 (0) 117 394 1649