Master Programme

structure courses internships exchange


The European MSc. in Photonics is an English taught interuniversity programme of two years (120 ECTS) which leads to a joint degree from Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

This multidisciplinary master offers a challenging engineering programme with skills development like laser engineering, optical communication, optical materials, microphotonics and optical sensors.  Next to the fundamental science of photonics, students receive an in-depth training in engineering of light-based phenomena and systems from a dedicated team of professors with an impressive track record in photonics and optics research.

This programme prepares students for a professional career in innovative industries and research domains such as biotechnology, health care, green energy, ICT and Industry 4.0.


• Core and advanced photonics courses

• Specialized courses in electronics, physics, optics and engineering

• Strong focus on hands-on training in photonics skills

• Master thesis project in highly equipped research labs

• International experience and mobility


We advise our master students to follow a model track with both mandatory and elective courses at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University. The first year they can choose to follow one semester at one university and the second semester at the other university. This ‘internal’ mobility allows students to enrich their experience at two leading Belgian universities.

The second year students can design their own programme combining:

  1. advanced photonics courses at VUB, UGent or partner universities
  2. multidisciplinary modules at VUB, UGent or partner universities
  3. strong international components for the master dissertation or research exchange,
  4. opportunities for international internships at research institutes or industry.

VUB en UGent have close collaboration with top partner universities in Europe and worldwide.  Students can design their personal exchange program align with their focus and intrest.


The first semester is devoted to the fundamental basics of photonics, the second semester to engineering skills and photonics applications. 
Semester 1
Optical Materials 6 UGent or VUB
Microphotonics 6 UGent or VUB
Lasers 4 UGent or VUB
Introduction to Business Economics (VUB)

Introduction to Entrepreneurship (UGent)

3 UGent or VUB
Semester 2
Laboratories in Photonics Research 6 UGent or VUB
Optical Communication Systems 6 UGent or VUB
Sensors and Microsystem Electronics 6 UGent or VUB
Physics of Semiconductor Technologies and Devices 4 UGent or VUB
Business Aspects of Photonics

Innovation in Photonics

3 UGent or VUB
Mathematics in Photonics 4 UGent or VUB
Basics Photonics Electives
Photonics* 4 UGent or VUB
*students who followed this course during their bachelor should choose another course
Advanced Photonics Electives
Min. 16 ECTS during master year 1 


Compulsary courses 4 VUB, UGent or partner university
Elective courses 12-18 VUB, UGent or partner university
Master Thesis 30 UGent, VUB or partner university


Advanced Photonics Electives
Optical Spectroscopy of Materials 4 UGent
Display Technology 4 UGent
Non-linear Optics 4 VUB or UGent
High Speed Photonic Components 4 VUB or UGent
Biophotonics 4 VUB or UGent
Optical Sensors 4 VUB or UGent
Design of Refractive and Diffractive Optical Systems 4 VUB
Optical Design with Ray-tracing Software: Laboratory 4 VUB
Introduction to Quantum Physics for Electrical Engineering 4 VUB
Technological Processes for Photonics and Electronics: Laboratory 4 VUB or UGent
Photovoltaic Energy Conversion 4 UGent
Quantum Optics 4 UGent
Micro- and Nanophotonic Semiconductor Devices 4 VUB or UGent
Photonic Integrated Circuits (as from 2017) 4 UGent
Internship in Photonics in Belgium or abroad

(5 weeks)

4 Internship Partner

The details on each subject can be found in the study guides of  UGent and VUB.

It is important to note the content of the courses is the same for both universities.

Industry Internship

It is clear that photonics holds a bright future.  The focus on employability connects our students with the photonics industry through internships.

As an intern, students become part of a professional team that develops the future of photonics. You can discover how real-life projects progress, how a initial idea turns into reality and help design innovative products that make a difference to the world. We have close collaborations and opportunities for our students with leading companies in the photonics industry, active in electronics, telecommunications, measurements, lighting and more.

The internships involve different aspects from a job which allows your develop project planning and presenation competences next to engineering skills.



”For the industry, photonics engineers can make the quantum leap.  Shaping the photonic industrial revolution starts with the right education.”

Jan Watté
group leader R&D Optics Advanced Engineering Commscope




”I enjoyed my internship within AMS/CMOSIS very much. A great experience to learn how companies work and how vital precise measurements are in real-life projects.”

Cheyenne Goeminnecheynne-2-1
2nd year master student
European Master of Science in Photonics





Have a look at our industry expert partners for internships within our master programme: 

Luceda Photonics Luceda Photonics’ tools and services are rooted in over 50 years of experience in photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design. BE
Barco Barco, a global technology company, designs and develops networked visualization products for the Entertainment, Enterprise and Healthcare markets. BE
imec Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. BE
AMS/CMOSIS CMOSIS is a pure-play supplier of standard, off-the-shelf as well as custom area and line scan CMOS image sensors. BE
ADB Airfield Solutions ADB Airfield Solutions is a world-leading airfield technology company providing end-to-end, integrated and sustainable solutions for visual guidance. BE
ON Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON) is driving energy ef cient innovations, empowering custom- ers to reduce global energy use.

FBGS International

FBGS is a Belgium / Germany based developer and manufacturer of high strength Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG) using draw tower technology, where the grating array is written during the drawing process of the fiber.


Created in 1996, Lambda-X designs, develops and manufactures optical & metrology systems as well as subsystems for Ophthalmology, Space, Defense & Industry.

Trinean Trinean is a Belgium based instrumentation company, bringing micro-volume molecular spectroscopy to the next level by combining best in class analytical software with a highly standardized read-out platform. BE
Xenomatix XenomatiX develops automotive Lidar solutions. The solid state Lidar technology allows vehicles to digitize and understand in real-time the road and its surrounding. The novel projection pattern leads to unprecedented detection reliability and operates in all weather and light conditions. BE
Caliopa-Huawei a leader in Silicon Photonics components BE
Skylane Optics Skylane Optics supplies a broad range of optical transceivers, passive products and smarthome BE
SMIC Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (“SMIC”; NYSE: SMI; SEHK: 981) is one of the leading semiconductor foundries in the world and the largest and most advanced foundry in mainland China China
Softkinetic SoftKinetic is the leading provider of 3D vision technology for consumer electronics and industrial applications. BE
CommScope CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) helps companies around the world design, build and manage their wired and wireless networks.  BE
Yenista Optics Yenista Optics designs and manufactures fiber optic test and measurement equipment for a broad range of applications: from high bandwidth communications to a wide variety of scientific and research markets. FR