Overview

This programme provides a challenging range of advanced topics drawn from optical communications systems and devices, and optics-related signal processing, including associated enabling technologies. It offers an excellent opportunity to acquire the skills needed for a career in the most dynamic fields in optical communications.

Optical fibre communications form the backbone of all land-based communications and are the only viable means to support today's global information systems. Research at Bristol is contributing to the ever-increasing requirement for bandwidth and flexibility through research into optical switching technology, wavelength conversion, high-speed modulation, data regeneration and novel semiconductor lasers.

As well as units on the fundamentals of electromagnetics, optical fibres and optical devices, there are two units related to optical networks: Optical Networks and Data Centre Networks. The Optical Networks unit focuses on wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) networks, time division multiplexed (TDM) networks, including SDH/SONET and OTN, optical frequency division multiplexed networks, and optical sub-wavelength switched networks. The Data Centre Networks unit focuses on networks for cloud computing, cloud-based networking and grid computing.

This programme builds on the internationally recognised research strengths of the Photonics and Quantum and High Performance Networks research groups within the Smart Internet Lab. The Photonics group is exploring the new field of quantum photonics with key successes in developing photonic crystal fibre light sources, quantum secured optical communications and novel quantum gate technologies.

Programme structure

This programme comprises six core units, followed by a substantial research project, starting during the second term and completed during the summer. Your project may be based at the University or with industrial partners.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Optical Communications and Signal Processing.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Microelectronic Engineering, Communications Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering, Information and Communications Technologies, Telecommunications, Information Engineering, Computer Networks, Computer Science and Technologies, Optical Information Science and Technologies, Optical Engineering & Physics. Other Engineering degrees might be considered where a minimum of 5 modules at 2.1  in electronics/communications have been achieved.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

 

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level E.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£17,700 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£8,850 per year
Overseas: full-time
£34,200 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

This programme gives you a world-class education in all aspects of current and future optical communication systems, along with associated signal processing technologies. It will prepare you for a diverse range of exciting careers, not only in communications but also in areas such as management consultancy, project management, finance and government.

Our graduates have gone on to have rewarding careers in some of the leading multinational communications companies: Huawei, China Telecom, Toshiba, China Mobile and Intel, for example. Some graduates follow a more research-orientated career path, with a number of students going on to study at PhD level.