The science and technology of light
An indispensable part of our everyday life, photonics revolutionises communications, health care, energy production, manufacturing, and consumer products.
Our two-year Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies provides you with in-depth knowledge of photonics ranging from fundamental light-matter interactions, laser physics and nonlinear dynamics to the design of optical systems, semiconductor technologies, advanced nanofabrication methods and measurement techniques.
Our education is based on long-standing research in photonics. Tampere University coordinates the prestigious Finnish Academy Flagship on Photonics Research and Innovation, PREIN, which is a national ecosystem and hub for high-quality research and proven societal impact.
Theoretical knowledge is put into practice through experiments and hands-on laboratory assignments to develop both research and engineering skills. The programme includes close collaboration with industry and regular seminars on emerging research areas. We offer two specialisations: Photonics Materials and Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers. You will also be able to choose electives from among the wide array of courses offered by Tampere University.
Our extensive international networks offer you the opportunity to spend some time in other renowned institutions to further enrich your international experience. We are a partner in the joint Erasmus Mundus master's programme EUROPHOTONICS and Photonics Technologies students may also go for Erasmus exchange in the European partner universities.
Your master’s thesis can be completed at the University research laboratories or while working for an industrial partner.
After completing the programme, you will understand the role of photonics in society, have the required intercultural skills and international experience, and will be prepared for a career as a high-tech expert in the industry. You may also opt for doctoral studies and an academic career.
Information about studies
Type: Master's degree
Degree earned: Master of Science (Technology)
Planned duration: 2 years
Extent of studies: 120 ECTS
Campus: Hervanta Campus
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 12000 €
The international Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies provides students with in-depth knowledge of photonics as a whole, from the most fundamental concepts to advanced technologies. The programme provides the necessary background and expertise for graduates to become technology experts, researchers, or managers. Students receive multidisciplinary education in the field of photonics, ranging from light-matter interactions and laser physics to the design of optical systems, semiconductor technologies, advanced nanofabrication methods and measurement techniques. With the option to specialise either in Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers or Materials for Photonics, our programme provides a unique opportunity for students to become experts in these rapidly expanding areas where we have world-leading expertise.
After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies, students will:
Have a solid overall knowledge of photonics and be able to understand the role of photonics in current and future societal challenges.
Have expert knowledge in a well-defined area within photonics, materials for photonics, or ultrafast photonics and lasers.
Have an understanding of the interface between fundamental optical phenomena, optical materials and modern photonics technologies.
Be familiar with the principles of experimental work and the ability to work in a laboratory, design experimental setups and conduct experiments.
Be able to apply scientific methods to interpret information, draw conclusions from scientific analysis and report the results.
Be able to use language, communication and collaborative skills in scientific research and an industrial environment.
Has acquired the skills to work in an international and multicultural environment.
After complimenting the programme, our graduates will be eligible to continue their studies towards a PhD in photonics or work in the industry as an expert, developer, or leader in positions where knowledge and skills in photonics are required.
More about the language of instruction
The Master's Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies is a two-year intensive programme taught fully in English; all the courses, exams and student services are arranged in English. Consequently, proficiency in both written and spoken English is an absolute prerequisite. Students are required to submit an approved certificate of their language proficiency when applying for admission. In addition, students are required to complete a course in the Finnish language. It provides them with an introduction to everyday Finnish and Finnish culture.
The compulsory basic studies of the master’s programme provide an introduction to the field of photonics and allow students to acquire prerequisite knowledge for pursuing more advanced studies. The module also provides you with other necessary skills, such as the basics of the Finnish language and guidance for thesis writing. The specialisation areas available in the programme provide in-depth knowledge of photonics from different perspectives in two focus areas, Photonic Materials and Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers.
Hands-on laboratory assignments, where theoretical knowledge is put into practice, are an important aspect of the programme and develop both your research and engineering skills and prepare you to pursue a career in academia or industry. The programme also includes frequent interactions with industry and regular seminars on newly emerging research areas and technologies.
Students enrolled in the international Master’s Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies complete an extended advanced study module of 90 credits in photonics. In addition, students are required to write a master's thesis relating to the field of their advanced studies (30 credits). Students have the opportunity to complete their master’s thesis within the framework of an academic research project or an industrial project. Students who complete extended advanced studies in photonics (60 credits), are not required to complete a minor study module.
Tampere University offers students the opportunity to pursue a broad and cross-disciplinary education. Students have the option to include another study module of 20 credits in their degree. As this study module may be freely selected, it allows students to direct their expertise towards their desired career path or field of interest. Students can choose their electives from a wide variety of courses. You take courses from different disciplines within the University and include elements of applied sciences and university studies in your degree.
Choosing a field of specialisation
After completing the basic study module, students can choose to specialise in one of the two specific areas described below.
Specialisation in Photonic Materials
This specialisation provides students with in-depth knowledge of the different types of materials and structures used in photonics technology research and development. The module covers a wide range of materials and structures, including optical glasses and ceramics, polymers and liquid crystals, bio-inspired materials and metamaterials, as well as the surface structure and engineering. The module also includes studies in semiconductor devices and associated fabrication methods.
Photonic Materials (15 ECTS)
Photonic Materials 5 ECTS
Semiconductor Device Physics 5 ECTS
Introduction to Surface Science 5 ECTS
Specialisation in Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers
The specialisation in Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers introduce students to the latest trends in laser technology developments and applications. The module familiarises students with the theoretical concepts associated with ultrafast systems and nonlinear photonics. Special emphasis is placed on the latest generations of lasers and their applications, such as processing, biomedical, imaging and communications in research and industry.
Ultrafast Photonics and Lasers (15 ECTS)
Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics 5 ECTS
Advanced Laser Technology 5 ECTS
Laser Applications 5 ECTS
The tuition fee of the programme is 12000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.
Structure of studies
The Master’s programme (120 ECTS) may be completed in two years of full-time study.
The Master's thesis (30 ECTS) trains the student for independent studies and research, mastery of scientific methods, the convention of references, and the scientific mode of presentation in a good literary form. The thesis can be done as part of the research conducted at the Laboratory of Photonics or in industry. The thesis includes a thesis seminar (1 ECTS) and a proficiency test (written exam).
Industry careers in photonics may, for example, involve research and development or engineering in companies that manufacture new products for construction, telecommunications and medicine. Our graduates will typically pursue careers in the areas of networks, semiconductor technology, fibre and integrated optics, optoelectronics and software.
The degree will provide you with a wide range of career options that will be defined at the final stages of your studies and the master’s thesis phase. By making specific choices during your studies, you will be able to tailor your degree towards your desired career path.
Our University enjoys international recognition for its expertise in photonics, and light-based technologies are one of the research priority areas of Tampere University. Thanks to our top-quality research, our graduates may continue working in academia as scientists or pursue a doctoral degree. The University offers its own internal funding programme for doctoral studies.
Students in the Master’s programme in Photonics Technologies can go abroad to our partner universities for study exchange.
Tampere University is a member of the Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree programme Europhotonics coordinated by the Aix Marseille Université in France. The other partners in the Erasmus Mundus joint master’s programme are Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Barcelona Universities (Spain) and Vilnius University (Lithuania). There is a separate student application to the joint Erasmus Mundus master’s degree programme, but students in the Photonics Technologies programme participate in the Erasmus Mundus programme teaching in Tampere and may apply for an exchange period in one of the partner universities.
Co-operation with other parties
Students may include studies in international or Finnish partner universities in their degree. In addition to studies in one’s own degree programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from technical to vocational studies in various fields.
Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected as students in Tampere University.
To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have:
Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
from a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
from a recognised institution of higher education
The Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.
AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.
Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2021. In this case, they would be accepted conditionally. Please see special instructions for applicants in the final year of the Bachelor's degree.
Admission to studies leading directly to a master's degree will be based on the applicant’s bachelor's degree conferred by a university or a university of applied sciences. Depending on programme-specific admission requirements, the programme may take into account skills previously acquired by applicants when considering applications.
A previously completed master’s degree will not make applicants ineligible for admission. However, applicants who are applying for admission to pursue a second master’s degree will only be admitted for particularly weighty reasons.
Programme specific eligibility criteria
Each Master's degree programme can define more detailed eligibility criteria including, for example, more specific requirements of the applicant's previous education. These criteria will be decided and published yearly for the following application round.
The previous degree should be from a field closely related to the Master's programme you are applying to. In the Master’s programme in Photonics, the previous degree has to be in one of the following (or highly related) fields: Physics, Optics, Photonics, Chemistry Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Materials Science. Applicants with other BSc degrees in related fields may be considered.
For applicants who have completed their degree in a University in Finland, the required minimum GPA is the same as in the admission to the Master’s degree programmes offered in Finnish.
Minimum GPA for bachelor's degrees completed in a Finnish university (yliopisto): 3,0/5
An admission score will be calculated for all applicants who meet the minimum requirements. When counting the unrounded GPA weighted by ECTS only the courses (incl. thesis) with numeric grade value are taken into account.
If you have not yet graduated from your current institution, you may receive a conditional offer of admission. The offer will be withdrawn if your final GPA falls below the minimum requirements.
Language skill requirements
When applying to a Master’s programme at Tampere University, you must submit evidence of your good command of the English language for academic purposes. You have two options of demonstrating your English language proficiency: language tests or previous studies.
In both cases, you must submit a document as proof of language skills.
English language tests and the minimum result requirements:
Minimum test result for Bachelor's programmes at Tampere University
TOEFL iBT/TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
92 overall with no section below 20
IELTS (academic) /IELTS Indicator
6.5 overall with no section below 5.5
62 overall with no section in Communicative Skills below 42
Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English)
Proficiency level 5
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University that demonstrate your good command of English for academic purposes. Only studies that fulfil the criteria will be accepted so if you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions listed by Tampere University and how to submit documents.
20 students are admitted into the programme.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and sufficient application documents by the deadline) and fulfil the official eligibility criteria.
The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.
Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies. The complementary studies will be decided at the faculty case by case (maximum 60 ECTS credits).
The number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted. The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents.
In the selection process, the following judgmental requirements are evaluated as a composite:
High enough academic performance in Bachelor degree studies.
The applicants must show strong motivation to study the key topics of the programme and interest to work in an interdisciplinary area.
Having completed the MOOC course “Introduction to Sustainable Digital Life” will be considered as an advantage. The course opens 15th October 2020 and the applicant must complete the MOOC course by latest 28th February 2021 (23:59 p.m. GMT+2). All assignments must be submitted by this date to be considered. It is not possible to submit any documents after the deadline as the course closes on this day.
How to apply
Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply to three programmes at the same time.
Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload the required enclosures to the application. The application period is 9 December 2020 at 8.00 GMT+2 - 13 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2.
Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office within two weeks, by 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline and they must be delivered according to the country-specific requirements, if applicable.
Remember to apply for a scholarship, if applicable.
Wait for the admission results to be announced at the end of March 2021.
If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline. Pay the tuition fee if required.
Start preparing for your arrival in Finland well in advance.
Register as a student and join the Tampere University community when the studies start in August 2021!
Online application form
The online application form will be available only during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 9 December 2020 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 13 January 2021 at 3 pm (GMT+2).
You will need to upload copies of all required documents as enclosures on the application form. In addition to the general application enclosures, some programmes have listed additional programme-specific enclosures that are needed when applying to these programmes.
You will need to upload all required enclosures on your application form online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading, you must submit officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation and documents from these countries must be submitted in a particular way. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to the regular requirements.
Applicants must post the educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. You can find the list of the required general application enclosures and further instructions on the Application documents webpage.
There are no programme-specific enclosures when applying to this programme.
However, there are programme-specific questions on the application form and you will be asked to provide:
Contact information for two academic/professional persons who can provide recommendations for you. Please give the name, organisation, position and contact information including an e-mail address that if needed, we may contact them.
Skype contact information. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.
Admission results and appeals
Admissions results will be announced at the end of March 2021. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.