European Master of Science in Photonics


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Covid-19 update: The programme will move online as much as possible during the first semester. The most up-to-date information is available on the programme page on our website.


Programme highlights

  • Core and advanced photonics courses complemented with electronics, physics, optics and engineering
  • Strong focus on hands-on training in highly equipped research labs
  • International experience and exchange opportunities with 20 partners
  • Dynamic link with industry through lectures and internships

During the first year you can develop your skills in laser engineering, optical communication, optical materials, microphotonics and optical sensors. The first semester is devoted to the fundamental basics of photonics, while the second focuses on engineering skills and photonics applications. As this master is organised by two leading universities in Belgium, you have the possibility to follow courses entirely at VUB or to choose specific courses at UGent.

While during the first year students can follow courses at both VUB and UGent in Belgium, the second year has a more international character. The mandatory mobility tracks allow students to take courses and/or do a master thesis abroad, during one or two semesters. In addition, students can also opt for a 5 weeks industrial internship (4 ECTS) in Belgium or internationally, or go abroad for the 10-12 weeks internship (10 ECTS) in the photonics industry or a research institute.

“The master in photonics program appealed to me because it offered the best in both international experience and opportunity to research at the forefront of real applied science and engineering. ” (student Enda McCague, Ireland)


The European MSc. in Photonics has all the right ingredients to prepare you for a bright future. The valuable internships with industry and research institutes abroad enhance your employability significantly.

As consultant, engineer or researcher you might find yourself in the driver seat working domains as life sciences, biotechnology, telecommunications, sustainable energy, agrifood or Industry 4.0.


A bachelor's degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution (minimum 3 years full-time study or 180 ECTS credits) in Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, Electronics, Physics, Materials Science or a related discipline. Students in their last year of such a bachelor programme will also be considered.

Additionally, in order to be admitted, you need to be proficient in English. For foreign students, the following shall be accepted as proof:

  • TOEFL-TEST: iBTscore minimum 87;
  • IELTS: minimum level academic module 6.5;
  • Cambridge-ESOL: First Certificate in English (FCE).


In order to apply, you have to fill in the online application form and upload all required documents (1September for EEA* nationals, 1 April for non-EEA nationals).

*EEA nationals: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Apply now for the European MSc. in Photonics


Every academic year the Vrije Universiteit Brussel grants 5 scholarships to students of the European Master of Science in Photonics. Each scholarship offers the student an amount of 10 000 EUR per academic year to cover the cost of living in Brussels.

All candidates can apply for a scholarship and show proof of technical knowledge, excellence and motivation. The VUB scholarships are awarded by the VUB Programme Chair.

All students who register for the MSc. in Photonics at VUB are eligible to be awarded a B-PHOT Excellence Scholarship by the research group without separate application procedure. The VUB B-PHOT Excellence Scholarship scheme offers three Entry Scholarships of 1000 Euro, three Continuation Scholarships of 1500 Euro and one Excellence Scholarship worth 5000 Euro. More information on

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Ranked as one of Europe's top universities, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) combines award-winning research and a range of study programmes with a supportive open-door policy in Brussels, one of the ... Read More

Ranked as one of Europe's top universities, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) combines award-winning research and a range of study programmes with a supportive open-door policy in Brussels, one of the most interesting cities in Europe. Almost 200 years of experience and history await you at its green, urban campuses. A young university with a well-established tradition The single word ‘vrije’ in ‘Vrije Universiteit Brussel’ means ‘free’ and really tells you everything you need to know about the ambition of our university: the promotion of research and thought without dogmas and prejudices. Because studying at VUB, in an open atmosphere of tolerance and diversity, means growing into an independent and critically- thinking individual who can cope with our fast-changing world. Read less