Degree programme

Photonics Technologies


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 industry. You may also opt for an academic career.

Degree earned

Master of Science (Technology)


Master's degree

Planned duration

2 years

Extent of studies

120 ECTS




Hervanta Campus

Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens

12 000 €

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 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 into 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 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 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. For more information, please see Tuition Fees and Scholarships.

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, fiber 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 priroity 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.

Carefully read through the general eligibility criteria and the programme-specific eligibility criteria and see whether you meet them.

Click to see the admission criteria

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 admission criteria will not be selected.

General eligibility criteria:

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

• a completed university level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired Master's degree programme or in a closely related subject AND

• a good command of English for academic purposes. For more information, please see Language requirements.

A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility to university-level master’s degree studies in the country in question.

It is not possible to apply to a Master’s programme based on a Master’s degree. The only exceptions are the one-tier degree programmes where the first cycle degree is not compulsory and the so-called long cycle degrees.

Applicants who are in the final year of their Bachelor's degree

You are eligible to apply in the final year of your Bachelor’s degree if the degree will be completed and you are able to send an officially certified copy of the degree certificate and final transcript of records by post by the given deadline (around end of July, exact date to be given later). In this case, you can be admitted to a Master's programme conditionally. If you do not submit an officially certified copy of your degree certificate to Tampere University by the given deadline, your conditional admission will expire.

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 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.

For applicants who have completed their degree in a University in Finland the required minimum CGPA 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

Language skill requirements

You 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.

English language tests

The minimum English language test result requirements:

IELTS Academic


PTE Academic



iBT: 92

paper-based: 580


C1 Advanced/CAE: C
C2 Proficiency/CPE: Level C1


Previous studies

In the Tampere University Master’s programmes it is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you completed your secondary education and/or have taken a higher education degree in English in Finland or other EU/EEA country, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, or the United States. You must have resided in the country while studying.

An exchange study period or degree studies at a Finnish university (yliopisto) with course studies taught in English (a minimum of 15 credits) with a weighted GPA of at least 3/5. The courses must be completed by the application deadline. Please note that the exemption is not automatic, and therefore the only certain way of making sure you pass the language requirements is to take one of the official language tests.

More information on language requirements.


A maximum of 20 students are admitted into the programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official eligibility criteria. Candidates for admission should be well qualified and capable of benefiting from the study programme in question.

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.

Applicants who are seeking admission to their first Master’s programme are given preference in the admissions process. Applicants for a second Master’s degree may be admitted only under special provision and only if they are able to show that the courses that count towards a degree at Tampere University provide the applicant with genuinely new knowledge and skills.

Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies. All students with a Finnish University of Applied Sciences (AMK) degree are required to complete a study package which generally includes courses in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry depending on the student's background. For more information on the complementary studies, please contact the academic coordinator of the degree 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
  • 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

  1. Check the admission criteria
  2. Start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
  3. If required book a time for the language test
  4. Fill in the online application at during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application
  5. Send the officially certified copies of your educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office by 30 January 2019. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
  6. Wait for the admission results
  7. Accept the offer of admission by the given deadline
  8. Pay the tuition fee, if required
  9. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!

Application process in detail

Select the Master's degree programme you wish to apply to. Carefully read the general eligibility criteria and programme-specific eligibility criteria and see whether you meet them. Applicants who do not meet the general and programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected.

Check which application documents you are required to submit and make sure to obtain them in time. Remember to check if there are any country-specific requirements for your documents. Please note that some documents may be required to be sent separately by a third party. Make sure these documents are also delivered in time.

When applying to the Master’s programmes you usually must demonstrate your proficiency in English with an internationally recognised academic language test report. We advise all 2019 applicants needing an international language test score to book for a test date well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach Tampere University.

Application documents

Online application form

The online application form will be available during the application period only at The application period starts 4 December 2018 at 8:00 am and ends 23 January 2019 at 3:00 pm (GMT +2).

Required enclosures

Some application enclosures are the same in all Tampere University Master’s programmes while some include programme-specific enclosures.

You will need to upload all application documents online at In addition to uploading the application documents on the application, you must submit the officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post by 30 January 2019.

You can find the list of the required enclosures and further instructions on the Application documents webpage.

Country-specific requirements for application documents

Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation before submitting it. In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents from certain countries must be submitted in a particular way. Note that the degree awarding country may be a different one from the country where the studies are taken. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to any regular requirements for attesting documents.

More information on the country-specific requirement for educational documents.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced by early April 2019. All applicants will be informed of the admissions results.

Please see Tampere University's general instructions concerning rectification procedure.