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Master's Degree in Photonics

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Program overview
1 year
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

About this program

Master's Degree in Photonics

The goal of the master’s degree in Photonics is to provide students with a solid grounding in the various areas of photonics and with the tools they need to become researchers or entrepreneurs in this field. The most important institutions carrying out research in photonics in the Barcelona area, namely, the UAB, the UB, the UPC and the ICFO, participate in this master’s degree and offer comprehensive training that covers theoretical and applied topics.

Find out more about Master's Degree in Photonics by filling in your details and the school will contact you.

Admission requirements

General requirements

  • An official Spanish university qualification or an official university qualification issued by a university in the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) that qualifies the holder for admission to a master's degree.
  • A qualification issued by a university in a country that is not in the EHEA. If the qualification has not been homologated, the UPC will verify that the course of study corresponds to a level of education equivalent to an official Spanish university degree and that the qualification obtained would provide admission to a master’s degree in the country in which it was awarded. This access route in no way implies the homologation of the qualification or its recognition for any purpose other than admission to the master's degree. The master's degree will, however, be fully and legally valid.

In addition to these general access requirements, which apply to all master's degree courses, specific admission requirements may be set for each programme.

Specific requirements

Students must be in possession of an official University degree in a scientific or technological field corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits (validated for European students or students from partner countries), in the fields of physics, engineering physics, telecommunications engineering, electrical, mechanical and electronic engineering and optics, or in a related field such as nanoscience and nanotechnology, nanophotonics and bioengineering.

Other qualifications (in chemistry, materials science, biology, etc.) may be considered by the admissions committee, which will recommend specific bridging courses.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

First year

  • Active and Spectral Imaging
  • Advanced Quantum Optics with Applications
  • Beam Propagation and Fourier Optics
  • Business and Patents in Photonics
  • Experimental Optical Techniques in Biology
  • Fibers and Telecommunications
  • From Cooling and Trapping of Neutral Atoms to Bose-Einstein Condensates
  • Image Processing in Biophotonics
  • Integrated Photonics
  • Introduction to Photonics. Optics and Lasers
  • Laser Applications in Remote Sensing: Lidar
  • Laser Systems and Applications
  • Machine Learning on Classical and Quantum Data
  • Managing Light with Devices
  • Measuring with Light
  • Nanophotonics
  • Non-Linear Optics
  • Optical Design3
  • Optics and Photonics Lab I
  • Optics and Photonics Lab II
  • Optoelectronics and Photovoltaic Technology
  • Photonic Systems in Telecommunications: Lidar (Laser Radar)
  • Photonics Laboratory
  • Photonics Materials and Metamaterials
  • Quantum Information Theory: Communication and Computation
  • Quantum Optics
  • Quantum Simulators with Ultracold Quantum Gases
  • Research Seminar
  • Ultrafast and Ultraintense Laser Light
  • Visual Optics and Biophotonics

Second year

  • Master's Thesis

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


Total fees (per year):

  • EU students: €1,660 per year
  • Non-EU students: €2,490 per year


60 ECTS credits

Specific competencies

  • An understanding of the physical principles of optics and light-matter interaction, at classical and quantum levels.
  • The ability to perform basic experiments in photonics and to analyse and understand advanced experiments and calculations in the fields chosen by the student.
  • An understanding of laser physics and knowledge of the variety of laser types and main related applications.
  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of image formation, light propagation through different media and Fourier optics.
  • An understanding of the main concepts, underlying phenomena and most recent applications in the optional subjects chosen by students (quantum optics, biophotonics and imaging, nanophotonics, telecommunications, optical engineering, etc.).
  • The ability to deal with an advanced research problem in photonics from start to finish, i.e., from conceptual planning and bibliographic research to the oral and written communication of the results, according to the procedures and conventions of scientific presentations in English.
  • The ability to understand optical engineering as an economic and business activity and to take into account social, ethical and sustainability aspects.
  • An awareness of the importance of patents and the ability to understand and write a patent in the field of photonics.

Career paths

The particular fields that students may be employed in once they graduate are proliferating, given the interdisciplinary nature and increasing relevance of photonics, which has been selected as one of five Key Enabling Technologies for the future of the European Union. The master’s degree in Photonics complements bachelor’s degrees in the sciences (particularly physics) and engineering (particularly engineering physics, telecommunications engineering, electrical, mechanical and electronic engineering and optics, as well as related fields such as nanophotonics and bioengineering) and provides broader and more specific training on scientific advances and interdisciplinary technologies. Career prospects may include the following:

  • Taking a doctoral degree in Photonics, Optics, Physics, Optical Engineering, Nanophotonics, Biophotonics, Telecommunications, Electronics, Imaging, Quantum Information, etc.
  • Participating in doctoral programmes, R&D and innovation programmes in companies, basic or applied research centres and universities.
  • Joining a large company as a consultant or engineer on photonics-related topics, applications development engineer, sales specialist or laboratory consultant.
  • Working as a freelance advisor or consultant on photonics-related subjects.
  • Working in highly specialised technical positions for controlling services such as microscopy, X-ray diffraction, thin films, etc.
  • Participating in (and promoting) spin-offs and other small technology-based companies.
  • Joining the education system for high-level training in the field of photonics.

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About this institute

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech is a public institution of Higher Education and Research, specialised in the areas of Architecture, Engineering, Science and Technology. The UPC offers 66 bachelor’s degrees, 81 master’s programs (34 of them fully in...

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Why study at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is a prestigious and well-known institution of Higher Education, nationally and internationally.

In order to develop its international policy, the UPC is member to 16 networks of universities of excellence, each of which has different objectives. These networks dedicate their efforts to work jointly with prestigious institutions to obtain results, provide visibility and lead our interests and strategies to position us at the highest level.

UPC has 2.717 students in international mobility programs, 1.541 exchange agreements with 708 HEIs and 50 DD agreements with 32 universities. Every year, more than 6,000 bachelor’s and master’s students and more than 500 doctoral students graduate. The UPC has a high graduate employment rate: 93% of its graduates are in work and 76% find a job in under three months.

The UPC has different top facilities and labs where to develop research projects, which have helped UPC become a benchmark university in Europe in innovation and technology transfer. In collaboration with other public and private institutions, UPC has created research centers with its own legal entity, internationally recognized, such as the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO), the International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE), the Institute of Spatial Studies of Catalunya (IEEC) or the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).


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(Context: I studied Physics for 6 years and then worked in a consultancy for 3 more years) I think the length of the course (classes from September to April + subsequent TFM) has its advantages and disadvantages. In my case, the fact that the master's degree only lasts one year it is totally an advantage, as I have been able to afford to be o...
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Contact info

Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya

Campus Nord, Calle Jordi Girona, 1-3
08034 Barcelona Catalonia

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