Biophotonics by Research MSc


Fact file

MSc Biophotonics (by research)
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (Upper 2nd class hons degree or international equivalent) and / or a masters at merit level or above in a relevant subject.
6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
University Park Campus
Other requirements

Research overview

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 have recognised the close link between disciplines in our research by establishing a new Institute of Biophysics, Imaging and Optical Science which incorporates researchers from the School of Life Sciences and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In order to prepare talented people who wish to work at this most challenging and exciting of interfaces, this MSc course has been created. 

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 quantitive 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. 

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

Key facts

  • One-to-one tuition with expert members of staff.
  • Teaching informed by active leading-edge researchers in the field.
  • Innovative and engaging teaching methods.
  • Access to many online resources, and flexibility in course content.
  • The Faculty of Engineering conducts research that has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (2014) as being world-leading or internationally excellent, ranking it third in the UK for research power in General Engineering.
  • The School of Biology is recognised internationally for its world-class research portfolio.
  • It is one of the leading biology schools in the UK.


Students can make use of our state-of-the-art research facilities, often working closely with researchers from other disciplines in areas such as energy conversion, aerospace and biomedicine.

Facilities include laser and ultrasonic laboratories comprising multiple optical benches; optical and electronic test and measurement optical benches; optical and electronic test and measurement equipment; VLSI/FPGA design facilities; a GigaHertz transverse electromagnetic (GTEM) cell; optical material evaluation systems; an anechoic chamber; photoluminescence and characterisation laboratories; and a three phase power and electronic drives laboratory.  


Research support

The faculty has excellent links with industry and will ensure you develop transferable skills that will be a benefit in a variety of careers. You will also have access to the Graduate School's Researcher Development Programme.

Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area.

Engineering supervisors, including their research interests and contact details, can be found on our find a PhD supervisor page.

Details of research supervisors at the University can also be found on our research A to Z.



UK/EU Students

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 Engineering Postgraduate Scholarships

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.



The faculty has excellent links with industry and will ensure you develop transferable skills that will be of benefit in a variety of careers. You will also have access to the Graduate School’s Researcher Development
Programme. As an example, some of our recent graduates have gone on to work for BAE Systems, Bentley, GE Aviation and Goldmann Sachs.

Students within the faculty have gone onto be production managers and directors, IT and telecommunications professionals, business, research and administrative professionals, science, engineering and production technicians, natural and social science professionals, teaching and educational professionals, as well as various other engineering roles.*

*Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates, 2015/16.

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 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

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.

Biophotonics MSc (by research)

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+44 (0)115 951 5557 
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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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