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:

  • Optimization of holographic display
  • Laser light interaction with atmosphere
  • Interactive Holographic Environments
  • Photoacoustic wavefront shaping: an experimental proof of concept
  • Radio over fibre for 5G wireless
  • Computational imaging models for cultural heritage applications
  • Machine learning using optical correlators
  • Control of sub-nanosecond

Recent PhD research projects have included:

  • AI controlled optical wavelength and path switching
  • High-performance frequency comb application in RF signal processing
  • Development of next-generation photoacoustic imaging systems
  • Single molecule light field microscopy: a new technique for fast 3D super-resolution microscopy
  • AI-aided control of Cloud/Edge Data Centre optical networks
  • Real-time nanoscale imaging in live cells
  • 3D holographic displays for augmented reality systems
  • Machine learning for optical networking

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:

early March

Study mode:


Project start/end:

From October each year, over 3 years

To submit a project proposal visit our Project Submission page.