• Postgraduate taught
  • MRes


Develop your interests and skills in photonics and be trained in research methods.

Develop your interests and skills in photonics and be trained in research methods

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

Undertake a significant research project in preparation for PhD study

Course key facts

  • Qualification

    • MRes

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Start date

    September 2024

  • Study mode


  • Fees

    • £15,800 Home

    • £35,600 Overseas

  • Delivered by

  • Location

    • South Kensington

Minimum entry standard

  • First class Honours in physics, electrical or electronic engineering or a relevant scientific discipline

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Develop your appreciation of photonics and prepare for further research training on this Master's course.

You'll advance your understanding of this exciting area of physics, which enables developments in fields as diverse as biomedical imaging and high power fibre lasers.

Built on our MSc in Optics and Photonics course, this usually forms the first year of the four-year MRes+PhD research training programme in the Photonics group.

You'll develop research interests and skills in photonics and receive training in appropriate research methods.

The course will enhance your written and communication skills for a diverse range of audiences. A substantial taught laboratory element also helps reinforce the practical expertise required to pursue further research.

A major individual project will also provide you with a thorough preparation for PhD study, with the work assessed by oral presentations and a dissertation.


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 7.5 to 10 ECTS.

Optional modules

You’ll carry out a nine-month project with a research group.

This work will equip you for further academic study at doctoral level in photonics, and in subjects where photonics is an important enabling science.

Your project will be assessed by an oral presentation and a dissertation.

Teaching and assessment

Balance of teaching and learning


  • Lectures and classes
  • Laboratory work
  • Project work

  • 25% Lectures and classes
  • 8% Laboratory work
  • 67% Project work

Teaching and learning methods

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

Balance of assessment


  • Written examinations
  • Laboratory work
  • Project work

  • 26% Written examinations
  • 8% Laboratory work
  • 66% Project work

Assessment methods

  • A person completing a written exam
  • Oral presentation
  • Problem exercises
  • Papers from a written report
    Written report

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

2024 entry


Overseas fee

2024 entry


How will studying at Imperial help my career?

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Gain a variety of transferable skills that will be useful for further PhD study or a research career in imaging and photonics.

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Physics graduates at Imperial are highly sought after in a variety of employment sectors.

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These include technology, R&D, academia and education, and healthcare.

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Other potential career paths include technical consultancy and science communications.

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