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Photonics, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
University rank #96 (QS) ,
Photonics has changed the world in many extraordinary ways, from powering the internet, navigating airliners, correcting vision and protecting the environment. University of Southampton's world-leading research centre is a hive of activity with over 200 staff and students working on cutting-edge research to provide innovative solutions for real life problems in manufacturing, communication technology, defence, health care, renewable energy and the environment.


University of Southampton is looking for the Photonics pioneers of the future to join their vibrant research team and work alongside their world-class researchers to create some history. Their programme offers a solid start to any career in optics and photonics whether you are planning to stay in academia or work in industry.

Working alongside some of the world’s leading photonics, physics and advanced materials scientists, you will spend your time conducting novel research in our state-of-the-art facilities, keeping up to date with current research trends in photonics, physics, optics and advanced materials, writing journal papers and attending conferences.

Our students gain a solid grounding for their future careers in photonics, the key enabling technology for a host of industry sectors including:

  • oil and gas
  • imaging
  • automotive
  • ICT
  • medicine and healthcare
  • metrology
  • defence and secruity
  • aerospace
  • energy
  • manufacturing and
  • telecommunications

Our extensive training programme provides knowledge and skills through photonics lectures, skills training for report writing and presentation skills and full safety training for your research area.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 24 months
    • Average part-time duration 36 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Duration description

      Part time: 3 - 8 years

  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Session 1: General Photonics Principles
Beam Propagation
  • Gaussian Beam Optics
  • Pulse Propagation in Dispersive Media
  • Optical Fibres and Fibre Telecommunications
Optical Nonlinearities
  • Nonlinear Optics
  • Nonlinearities in Optical Fibres
Lasers and Waveguides
  • Laser Physics
  • Solid State Lasers
  • Planar Waveguides
Session 2: Selected Topics
  • Fibre Gratings
  • Numeral Techniques in Optics
  • Metamaterials
  • Optical Pulse Characterization
  • Microstructured Fibres
  • Glass Poling, Fentomsecond Laser Writing
  • Optical Fiber Sensors, High Power Fibre Lasers

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

  • Students are required to have either a first or upper second class degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area from a recognised University - and a basic background in Mathematics.
  • Our work is multidisciplinary, so we are keen to get a diverse spread of students with science and engineering backgrounds. This includes the obvious subjects like Physics, Electronics, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Chemistry, with the less obvious such as Biology. The requirements may vary depending on your background and the projects that you may be working on.
  • Students whose first language is not English will need to complete an IELTS test. We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, with 5.5 in each component.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    21360 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 21360 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

* EU Fees : TBC

Living costs for Southampton

  • 697 - 1100 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


We want to invest in the photonics pioneers of the future by providing enhanced funding and paid tuition fees for our UK students.

All our fully funded places include paid tuition fees and a tax-free bursary to cover your living expenses.

UK enhanced stipend: £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years

EU and international bursary: based on research council set stipend level. In 2015 this was £14,057 tax free per annum for up to 3.5 years

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.