Students undertake two mini-projects during the 1-year Masters of Research followed by a 3-year research project for their Postgraduate doctoral degree.


IMAGE: James Seddon, PhD student in the photonics group.


Students spend the first year of the programme undertaking a Masters of Research (MRes). This is an intensive course of taught modules and two mini-projects.

In year two students begin a 3-year Postgraduate doctoral degree (PhD), supported by a supervisor and research group, working on active projects in the field of photonics.

We accept proposals for research projects from approved academic supervisors and industry partners throughout the year.

Read the guidelines for industry partners wishing to propose projects: Guidelines.pdf

Recent MRes mini-projects have included:

  • Deep learning-based estimations using from photoacoustic images
  • Electrical control plane for large-scale photonic integrated circuits
  • Develop a system to enable super-resolution imaging of cell cultures in arctic conditions
  • Adapt holographic optical tweezers for high-precision cell measurements in a fluorescence microscope
  • Cu(InGa)S2 solar cells: pathway to a green future
  • Near-Infrared optical wireless communication systems
  • Quantum secured network key management
  • Eye-tracking system for enhanced holographic AR displays
  • Optical wireless data centre networks for machine learning
  • Design and miniaturise an intelligent remote-control system for 3D brain scanning

Recent PhD research projects have included:

  • Integrated opto-electronic phase-locked loop for satellite applications
  • Multi-wavelength high-density diffuse optical tomography: development, validation and clinical applications
  • Ultra-fast optical wireless data centre networks for machine learning and high- performance computing
  • Developing photonics solutions to transform metabolic brain imaging in neonates and toddlers at risk of cognitive disorders
  • Integration of Quantum Dot Lasers with silicon photonics
  • High-speed signal control and read-out for future terahertz communication systems
  • Single particle tracking of virus particles in their host cell environment
  • Design and development of microwave integrated photonics circuits in thin-films lithium niobate
  • Extended eye-box and Field-of-View (FOV) for 3D AR/VR Displays
  • Efficient quantum key distribution with coherent receivers
  • Near infra-red optical wireless systems for multiuser Li-Fi applications

Project timelines

We accept project proposals from approved academic supervisors and industry partners throughout the year.

To be considered for a particular academic period please submit proposals by the deadlines below.

MRes mini-project 1

Submit proposal by:

end of August

Study mode:


Project start/end:

November to May each year

MRes mini-project 2

Submit proposal by:

end of February

Study mode:


Project start/end:

May to August each year

PhD research projects

Submit proposal by:

beginning of February

Study mode:


Project start/end:

From October each year, over 3 years

To submit a project proposal visit our Project Submission page.