Postgraduate study

Biophotonics MRes

This course can provide you with advanced training in optical science and technology, and cell biology.
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in electrical and/or electronic engineering or a suitable engineering, scientific or mathematical discipline
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£4,350 - Terms apply
International fees
£22,620 - Terms apply
University Park



This course has a flexible start date, to be discussed with your potential supervisor.

Many of the big scientific and technical challenges require knowledge and fluency in a range of disciplines. This is particularly true of biological sciences where the latest innovations in science and technology are intimately linked to new developments.

We recognise the close link between disciplines in our research which brings together expertise from the School of Life Sciences and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. This MSc course has been created in order to prepare talented people who wish to work at this most challenging and exciting of interfaces.

Key facts

  • One-to-one tuition with expert members of staff, with teaching informed by active leading-edge researchers in the field
  • Innovative and engaging teaching methods, with access to many online resources, and flexibility in course content
  • The Faculty of Engineering is ranked 3rd in the UK for research power under REF 2014, the British Government’s Research Excellence Framework; more than 98% of engineering research ranked of international quality, with 85% graded as world leading or internationally excellent
  • The School of Life Sciences is recognised internationally for its world-class research portfolio and is one of the leading schools in the UK

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Full course details

The course is to prepare physical scientists, life scientists and engineers to work in the rapidly expanding disciplines of biophotonics and imaging. For those with a background in the biological sciences, emphasis will be placed on the quantitative methods that now play a crucial role in the development of biology. Students with previous experience in engineering or physics will be tutored in the challenges of working at the interface with biology.

We are also aware that preparing students for these new disciplines requires an innovative approach to teaching; for this reason most of the teaching will involve project work, some of which will be common to students from all backgrounds. Once this foundation is laid the student will engage in a research project of their choice supervised by leading researchers in the field. Opportunities to collaborate with PhD students and post doctoral workers are also available.

Course content

Students will gain training in optical science and technology and cell biology with different emphasis depending on their background. Students will also develop key skills enabling them to communicate with researchers in other disciplines.

Particular features of the course include:

  • One-to-one supervision and tuition with expert members of staff
  • Teaching informed by active leading researchers in interdisciplinary science and engineering
  • Access to online course content
  • Flexibility in course content

The MSc Biophotonics (by Research) is completed by full-time study over 12 months.

Taught elements will comprise 40 credits from the student's home discipline (either life sciences or engineering courses), in addition to an interdisciplinary element. Students with an engineering/physics background will be required to study 20 credits in life sciences courses. Students with a biology background will be required to study 20 credits in engineering courses. These requirements are provisional and subject to alteration prior to course commencement.

Our objective is to help you develop the confidence to work as a professional researcher, at ease with the conventions of the discipline, ensuring you are ready to tackle your chosen area of research.

In the early stages of writing your project dissertation, your supervisor will read through and comment on your draft work. The project dissertation itself comprises a significant piece of your own research.

Academic English preparation and support

If you need additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress to postgraduate study without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

A specialist engineering course is available and you could be eligible for a joint offer, which means you will only need to apply for your visa once.




Taught elements will comprise 40 credits from the student's home discipline (either life sciences or engineering modules), in addition to an interdisciplinary element. Students with an engineering/physics background will be required to study 20 credits in life sciences modules. Students with a biology background will be required to study 20 credits in engineering modules. These requirements are provisional and subject to alteration prior to course commencement.

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

Faculty of Engineeringscholarships

UK/EU students

Funding information can be found on the Graduate School website.

Please visit the faculty website for information on any scholarships currently available through the faculty.

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

Our postgraduates generally progress to exciting roles in design and development with major international companies or government agencies, obtain consultancy posts with leading contract consultant companies or move into successful academic careers.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 94.2% of postgraduates in the faculty who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,959 with the highest being £100,000.

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.  

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research. 

Boost your earning potential

Which university courses boost graduate wages the most? Studying with us could help you to earn more.

  • We are second highest in the UK for female engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation
  • We are second highest in the Midlands for male engineering graduate earnings, five years after graduation

(Source: Institute for Fiscal Studies data:



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This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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