Research course

Photonic Systems Development

University of Cambridge · Department of Engineering

Entry requirements

See Prospectus.

Months of entry


Course content

The aim of the course is to provide preparation appropriate for undertaking a PhD programme in Photonics Systems Development in the Departments of Engineering, Materials Science and the Computer Laboratory. Consequently, the course is designed to provide students with an advanced understanding of photonic systems, as well as background technologies and applications of photonic systems in diverse application areas such as communications, sensors, manufacturing, computer networks and biophotonics. It gives students the opportunity to be taught by, and interact with, leading academics in the relevant fields. The course is taught jointly with University College London (UCL) and students are expected to undertake courses and research projects at both institutions.

The course nominally consists of 5 standard length taught modules and 2 research projects. Students are required to study 2 core modules, 2 elective modules and a business module from a wide list of subjects offered by Cambridge University and UCL.
The taught modules are delivered in a range of styles. For example, there are traditional lecture courses, lecture courses with associated practical classes, fully experimental modules, seminar based etc. In addition students are expected to attend transferable skills classes and a reading club. Modules are assessed by a combination of written papers and/or coursework. Coursework may consist of graded term papers, practical reports, or essays.

The projects are intended to be research oriented and industrial collaboration and/or placement is possible. The first project is undertaken part time during the first two terms and the second project over the summer period. A final report is submitted at the end of each project. The two projects must be undertaken in two different locations (from Cambridge, UCL or industry).

For a complete list of modules and further details of the MRes course structure please see our website.

The MRes in Photonic Systems Development is intended to be the first year of the four year (MRes plus PhD) programme managed by the Doctoral Training Centre in Photonic Systems, though it is possible to take it as a stand alone course. For further details of the structure of the full 4 year course, as well as funding opportunities, please see our website.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Course administrator