Master's Degree Programme in Photonics Technologies


Program Description

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 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 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
  • City: Tampere
  • Campus: Hervanta Campus
  • Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 12000 €

Study objectives

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 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 completing 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.

Study contents

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

Tuition fees

The tuition fee of the programme is 12,000 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.

Final project

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).

Career opportunities

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

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 at Tampere University.

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have

  1. 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 the relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
    • From an accredited institution of higher education
  2. AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

A 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.

Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2020. In this case, they may be accepted conditionally.

Applicants with a Master’s degree may be admitted only well-founded reasons and only if they are able to show that the new degree at Tampere University provides the applicant with significant new knowledge and skills.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

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 Technologies 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.

Applicants who have completed their degree in Finland must meet the minimum cumulative GPA set by the programme to be eligible. The minimum is the same as in the admission to the same Master’s degree programme offered in Finnish.

  • Minimum GPA for bachelor's degree completed in a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (AMK): -/5
  • Minimum GPA for bachelor's degrees completed in a Finnish university (yliopisto): 3,00/5

When counting the cumulative GPA weighted by ECTS only the courses (include thesis) with numeric grade value are taken into account. Applicants in their final year of Bachelor’s degree must meet the minimum cumulative GPA when applying and after graduation.

Language skill requirements

All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

The minimum English language test result requirements

Test name & Minimum test result

  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with no section below 20
  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5
  • PTE (academic): 62 overall, with no section below 42
  • C1 Advanced: C
  • C2 Proficiency: C1
  • Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English): Proficiency level 5

*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.

Previous studies

It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University. Only these studies are accepted. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions.


A maximum of 20 students is admitted to the Photonics Technologies programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and 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.

All students with a degree from a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (AMK) are required to complete a study package which generally includes courses in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry depending on the student's background. Admitted students will be informed on these studies in detail when the studies start in the autumn of 2020.


The number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted. The student selection is made by an admissions committee on the basis of the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents.

In this programme, applicants are ranked based on the admission points they receive for previous qualifications, English language skills and other relevant factors that support the application.

Admission points (maximum 100 points) are given in the following categories:

  • Previous qualifications maximum 60 points
  • English language skills maximum 10 points:
    • 5 points: e.g. TOEFL 92 / IELTS 6,5 and if proven by previous studies accepted by Tampere University
    • 10 points: e.g. TOEFL 103 or higher / IELTS 7,5 or higher
  • Other relevant factors that support the application maximum 30 points
  • CV/Résumé and the motivation letter submitted with the application constitute the basis of admission points given in this category.

How to apply

Application step-by-step checklist
  1. Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply three programmes at the same time.
  2. Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
  3. Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
  4. When the application period opens, fill in the online application at during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application. Application period 4 December 2019 at 8:00 GMT+2 - 15 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2.
  5. Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post, according to the country specific-requirements if applicable. Documents must reach Tampere University Admissions Office by 31 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
  6. Wait for the admission results to be announced in early April 2020.
  7. If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline.
  8. Pay the tuition fee, if required. Start preparing your arrival in Finland.
  9. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Online application form

The online application form will be available during the application period only at The application period starts on 4 December 2019 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 15 January 2020 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 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 31 January 2020.

There are no programme-specific enclosures when applying to this programme.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced in early April 2020. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

The University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology merged on January 2019. The new foundation-based Tampere University together with Tampere University of Applied Sciences form a new highe ... Read More

The University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology merged on January 2019. The new foundation-based Tampere University together with Tampere University of Applied Sciences form a new higher education community in Tampere with competitive edges in technology, health and society. Our higher education community is the second largest university community in Finland with our 35 000 students, 50 international degree programmes, 3 500 international students and 1 000 international partnerships. Read less