Optics and Photonics
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Optics and Photonics

Discover why optics is of key importance to many industrial sectors on one of the College’s longest-established courses.

Discover why optics is of key importance to many industrial sectors

Carry out substantial laboratory and project work in one of the UK’s largest centres for optics research and application

Study on one of the College’s longest-established courses

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MSc

  • Duration

    1 year, 2 years

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode

    Full-time, Part-time

  • Fees

    • Full-time: £15,350
      Part-time: £7,675 Home

    • Full-time: £36,800
      Part-time: £18,400 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 in physics, mathematics or electrical engineering

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Advance your knowledge of optics in one of the largest centres for optics-based research and application in the UK. Discover why this field is of key importance to many industrial sectors including medicine, ICT and high-tech manufacturing.

Imperial has offered an advanced course in optics for over 80 years. The current MSc in Optics and Photonics draws on that wealth of experience to prepare graduates for employment within a variety of careers in industry or further doctoral studies.

The programme will explore key topics including imaging, laser fundamentals, optical measurements and devices, and optical communications.

You'll carry out substantial laboratory and project work during the course, often based within industry. There is also a chance to undertake a self-study project in an area of your choice, and your studies will conclude with a full-time project, which may be in industry, an academic research group, or abroad.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You’ll take all of these core modules, and complete a full-time project looking into a specialist area of optics research.

Core modules

You’ll also choose optional modules to a total of 25 to 27.5 ECTS.

Optional modules

Showcase your knowledge and skills acquired across the course on a four-month, full-time project.

This can be carried out in industry, abroad, or in conjunction with an academic research group.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures and classes
  • Laboratory work
  • Project work

  • 44% Lectures and classes
  • 17% Laboratory work
  • 39% Project work

Teaching and learning methods

  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Individual research project
    Individual project
  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Recorded lectures available online
    Lecture recordings
  • Practical work
  • Problem classes
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial

Balance of assessment


  • Written examinations
  • Laboratory work
  • Project work

  • 44% Written examinations
  • 17% Laboratory work
  • 39% Project work

Assessment methods

  • Person completing coursework
  • A person completing a written exam
  • Oral presentation
  • Poster project
  • Practical
  • Papers from a written report
  • Oral assessment

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Tuition fees

Home fee




£7,675per year

Overseas fee




£18,400per year

How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Chemistry research on computer screen

Learn how to apply your knowledge of optics and photonics to a wide range of industrial and research contexts.

Graduate Cap above rolled Degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research.

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Alumni are highly sought after for a variety of careers in industry.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications