We are now accepting applications for 2016-2017 entry.

How to apply


Download the MSc Optical Fibre Technologies course card for a quick overview.


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Dr Morten Ibsen
Tel: +44 (0)2380 592483

FPSE MSc Admissions 
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Find out more about our associated MSc courses.

MSc Optical Fibre Technologies

The University of Southampton is a leading research university in the UK and is renowned as a premier engineering university, while the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) has an international reputation in the field of Optical Fibre and Photonics Technologies.

Many of the major developments in today’s technology were pioneered by our researchers, including the optical fibres and amplifiers that form the hardware backbone of the internet, and the fibre laser which is used for a variety of applications ranging from manufacturing, medicine, the environment, to defence.

Our world-leading research centre is a hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in manufacturing, communication technology, defence and national security, healthcare, renewable energy and the environment.

Applications are now invited for a our Master of Science (MSc) course in the area of Optical Fibre Technologies, in the ORC at the University of Southampton. 


MSc degree

This MSc offers students access to an excellent range of photonics equipment and materials technologies within a vibrant community of researchers, led by some of the world's experts and leading figures in the field of optical fibre technology and optical fibre related photonics.

The MSc programme lasts one year, and the taught modules in the programme will be delivered within the Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, and the Southampton Business School at the university’s main campus at Highfield.

The course will cover a wide range of optical fibre technologies together with their prospect for commercialisation, including:

• Taught modules

• Practical training in research techniques and modelling

• 4 month laboratory-based project relevant to optical fibre technology

Working in our new, state-of-the-art cleanroom complex, and with access to our extensive range of optical laboratories, you will benefit from integrated transferable skills elements, and also from participation in the ORC's week long Industry Showcase event. During this event you will work with leading local and national optical fibre companies, share their views of the current optical fibre and photonics markets, and see first-hand their products and emerging technologies.

Whether you intend to gain skills and expertise that will enable you to take up a position in the industrial sector, or to embark on further postgraduate research, you will find that this MSc course in Optical Fibre Technologies will give you the solid intellectual foundation and hands-on practical and technical skills that you need for a successful professional career in science, engineering and related optical fibre and photonics-based industry.



The syllabus is designed to ensure that all students are exposed to the key subject areas of optical fibre technology, their current applications, and how to identify the most promising aspects of the technology suitable for potential commercialisation. The subject areas include leading-edge topics that are driving the agenda in the area of fibre based optics and photonics, such as:

• Fibre based telecommunication

• Fibre lasers

• Fibre sensors

Optional courses provide an opportunity for choice between light and matter interactions and modelling techniques, in-depth laser theory, introduction to silicon photonics, and MEMS sensors.

There are also several optional courses on how to bring optical fibre technologies to market, and on how to start your own business in the field. These optional courses are all tangential to the main optical fibre topics taught, and you will be making the choice of which ones to choose in the introduction-week before the course starts in earnest.

Individual modules are assessed by a mixture of coursework, assignments and examinations, and students must take a total of 30 credits per semester.
The MSc runs for 12 months, with the compulsory and optional taught modules taking place in the first two semesters.

Examinations take place at the end of Semester 1 (January), and Semester 2 (May).

If you successfully achieve 60 credits in the first two semesters you will progress to the research project, carried out over the summer. The project is an independent and individual investigation into a specific research topic, and will be supervised by senior academic and research staff mainly within the ORC.


Syllabus details

For full syllabus details view the links below:

Semester 1: OPTO6008OPTO6009ELEC6203ELEC6218ENTR6033MANG6339  

         OPTO6007, PHYS3003, PHYS6024,   

Semester 2: OPTO6010 OPTO6011 OPTO6023 ELEC6208ENTR6037MANG6278,

         OPTO6002, ELEC6219

Semester 3: OPTO6012

The project in Semester 3 will involve cleanroom and optical laboratory work, or in certain circumstances can also be a theoretical-only topic for students unable to carry out experimental work. For project work, students are assigned to one of our optical fibre technology relevant research groups, and the individual project will be closely related to the work currently undertaken in that research group.


Entry requirements

The entry requirement for all Southampton MSc programmes is a UK 2.1 or 1st Class Bachelors honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant discipline, i.e Physics, Electronics, Engineering, Materials Science or Mathematics. Qualifications of a lower standard may be accepted if supplemented by a number of years of relevant industrial experience in an optics and photonics field. In these instances applications will be assessed individually and additional references and/or evidence of relevance to the programme might be required.

Please note that our postgraduate Masters taught degrees are all advanced programmes (not conversion courses) and therefore you require good background-knowledge to apply for this degree programme.

English language requirements

The MSc taught modules are lecture-based, so a high level of proficiency is required in English and particularly in the understanding of spoken English. The preparation of a full-scale technical report (the MSc 4 month project report) is a major task that requires advanced ability and knowledge of written English as well as technical expertise.

Overseas students applying for the MSc courses should achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all scores). For information on other accepted English language tests, please visit:

If you are offered a place on the programme, please note that we require original documentation of any language score report in order to satisfy a language condition.

Should you be unable to meet our language entry requirement, then pre-sessional English courses of 6, 12 or 15-week duration may be available in the University’s Centre for Language Study. We would advise you of these courses and the costs associated as appropriate.


Fees and funding


International student support

The University’s International Office can assist you with any queries before you apply and during your studies. For further details about entry requirements for international students, including information about additional language courses offered by the University, visit


How to apply

Applications for entry are open now; early application is advisable to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

Please apply online ensuring that you select Optoelectronics Research Centre under the Academic unit. 


Financial support for MSc courses

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any fully-funded studentships for MSc study. Furthermore, it is not possible to undertake part-time work while following the course full-time. Therefore, you will need to be able to provide your own full financial support during the course. Some students taking the course are industrially sponsored, other students obtain financial support from local authorities, from professional institutions such as the IEE or from Career Development Loans. If you wish to obtain such sponsorship, you must make your arrangements independently. 


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