MSc Optoelectronics (with internship)

The optoelectronics market is expected to grow significantly in coming years. This specialist MSc Optoelectronics will give you access to optoelectronics expertise, so you can take advantage of new opportunities in this field. Optoelectronics includes electronic devices that source, detect and control light. On the MSc Optoelectronics course you will benefit from high-level vocational training in lasers, LED lighting and semiconductors, tailored to the needs of the optoelectronics and optical communications industries.

The teaching team, many of whom have published research in optoelectronics, lead the University’s Wireless and Optoelectronics Research and Innovation Centre. This informs our teaching, so you will benefit from cutting-edge course content that embodies the latest research. As part of your Optoelectronics training, you will be able to attend relevant research seminars and departmental seminars that are held regularly throughout the year. These events reflect the most up-to-date thinking from academics and specialists from the Optoelectronics industry.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 18 Months September Treforest A
Part-time 3 Years September Treforest A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 22 Months February Treforest A
Full-time 18 Months September Treforest A
Part-time 3 Years September Treforest A


You will study the following modules:

  • Applied Digital Signal Processing
  • Modern Power Electronics
  • Optoelectronics Devices for Life Science and Measurement
  • Embedded System Design
  • Physics in Modern Optics
  • Optoelectronic Devices for Telecommunications
  • Product Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Masters Major Individual Project
  • Supervised Internship


The optoelectronics course offers an intensive but flexible learning pattern, with two start points each year – February and September. There are three major blocks during the 18 months’ study (full-time), which includes 12 months of teaching and a possible six months of internship*. Throughout your studies you will complete a 15-week final research project.

You will be taught through lectures, tutorials and workshops involving hands-on systems modeling and simulations using state-of-the-art hardware and software facilities (Zemax, Lightools etc). Students will also engage in supervised research supported by full access to world-class online and library facilities.

You are also expected to regularly attend relevant research seminars and departmental colloquia, which reflect the up-to-date research interests of the Wireless and Optoelectronics Research and Innovation Centre (WORIC).

The optoelectronics course is available to study via two main routes, you can opt to add further value to your studies by undertaking an internship or simply focus on building your academic knowledge through a on-campus study as detailed below:

MSc Optoelectronics (with internship):
Delivery: Full-time only | Start dates: September and February

If you choose to undertake an internship, your course will be delivered in four major blocks that offer an intensive but flexible learning pattern. Six taught modules are completed during two teaching blocks featuring 12 contact hours per week. This is followed by 6 month period of internship, after which the student returns to undertake a 16-week major research project. Please note: Course length may vary dependent on your chosen start date.

MSc Optoelectronics (without internship):
Delivery: Full-time and Part-time | Start dates: September and February

The study pathway available without internship is available full-time and part-time. The full-time route is delivered in three major blocks. Six taught modules are completed during two teaching blocks featuring 12 contact hours per week followed by a 16-week major research project. The full-time course duration is about 12 months, if you study part-time then you will complete the course in three years. Part-time study involves completing three modules in each of the first two years and a major research project in the final year. The use of block-mode delivery in this way allows flexible entry and exit, and also enables practising engineers to attend a single module as a short course.


Each of the six taught modules is typically assessed through 50% coursework and 50% closed-book class test. The major project is assessed through presentation to a panel of examiners, viva and written report. Work for lecture modules is assessed largely through examinations whereas the laboratory work is assessed in a continuous manner. Lecture courses are examined at the end of each teaching block.


Internships are only available to students studying full-time: Following successful completion of six taught modules, you will be competitively selected to join participating UK companies or University Research Centres on a six-month period of unpaid work placement before returning to undertake your major research project. All students who have an offer for the MSc Optoelectronics (with internship) are guaranteed an internship either in industry or in a University Research Centre.

There are 25 internship places available. Students who wish to undertake an internship must apply for the MSc Optoelectronics (with internship). It is anticipated that there will be significant demand for this programme and applicants are advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Applications will be considered on a first come first served basis and the numbers of students offered a place on the programme with internship will be capped.

If the MSc Optoelectronics course is already full and we are unable to offer you a place on the Masters course with internship, we may be able to consider you for the standard MSc Optoelectronics (without internship) which is a shorter programme.



The academic staff teaching on the MSc Optoelectronics are the same people who lead and work in the WORIC. This international centre has a significant track record of innovation in lasers, sensors, nanophotonics, wireless communications, telecommunications, and optical communications and aims to provide industry with access to cutting edge innovative ideas and knowledge. WORIC has won many grants and is keen to solve real industrial problems with innovation that provides enormous market.

Key teaching staff include:

Nigel J Copner

Dr Mike Price

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree in an appropriate discipline; or an HND plus three years experience in industry. Equivalent professional experience or qualifications will also be considered. The MSc Optoelectronics course welcomes international applicants and requires an English language level of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £6000 
  • Full-time International:  £12600 
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International:  £13000 
  • Part-time UK and EU: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

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Admissions statement 

Many industries need specialists in optoelectronics systems design. Careers are available in industrial and technology sectors such as automotives, computers, consumer electronics, communications, industrial optical sensing equipment and medical laser equipment.

The major project gives you a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge and hone your skills in a specialist topic informed by your planned career, and the period of internship gives you an industrial experience that can set you apart from others immediately upon graduation.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.