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.

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. 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. 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 be prepared for a career as a high-tech expert in the industry. You may also opt for an academic career.

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 complementing 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.

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 specialization

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

Structure of studies

The master’s programme (120 cr) may be completed in two years of full-time study.

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 is 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.

Tuition fees and scholarships

The tuition fee for the programme is 12,000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.

You will not be required to pay the fee if you are:

  • an EU/EEA citizen
  • equivalent to EU/EEA citizen (i.e. a citizen of Switzerland)
  • already reside in Finland (a continuous A or a permanent P/P-EU residence permit), or have an EU Blue Card issued in Finland. The exempting residence permit must be valid when you are applying for studies and at least until 1 August i.e. when the study right commences. Please note that a residence permit in another EU/EEA country does not exempt you from the tuition fee.


Tampere University Scholarships Programme is intended for students who are required to pay tuition fees in Master’s degree programmes offered in English. A substantial number of scholarships will be available. With the help of the scholarship programme, Tampere University provides excellent international students with high-quality, yet affordable, education.

When filling in your application form for a Master’s degree programme, you have the possibility to indicate your wish to apply for a scholarship. The decision on the granted scholarship will be communicated to you together with information on admission.

Program taught in:
Tampere University

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Last updated January 25, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
2 years
12,000 EUR
per academic year for non-EU/EEA students.
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