The University of Southampton

F369 MPhys Physics with Photonics (4 Years)

This four-year MPhys Physics with Photonics degree gives a more advanced understanding of optics and laser physics and their wide ranging applications in the field of photonics. Key areas of study include practical photonics, light, matter, coherent light, coherent matter, lasers and spectroscopy.

Apply nowLimited spaces available on this course for 2018

Introducing your degree

You’ll be studying within a leading Physics and Astronomy department; 99 per cent of Physics and Astronomy students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course in the latest National Student Survey (2017). 

Photonics represents one of the most dynamic areas of research and development and it plays a vital role both in basic physics and applied physics and engineering.

The extraordinary growth in telecommunications over the last decade was made possible through the development of photonic systems. The application of optical techniques looks set to increase so this is a perfect time to get involved with the emerging photonics industry. At Southampton, you will be taught by staff at the top of their field, some of who are based in our Optoelectronics Research Centre  – one of the world’s leading institutes for photonics research

Sam Birtwell, MPhys Physics with Photonics
I chose to study at Southampton because the Physics and Astronomy department was one of very few in the country offering the optics and photonics specialism I was interested in. This, backed up by the cutting-edge research in the department and in the Optoelectronics Research Centre, made Southampton the obvious choice.
Sam Birtwell, MPhys Physics with Photonics


What is this?(More Information)This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. It is also subject to theUniversity's disclaimer notice.

Our distinctive MPhys Physics with Photonics will build upon the MPhys Physics programme and give you a more advanced understanding of optics and laser physics, which will allow you to appreciate the numerous applications, current and potential, that the field of photonics offers.

You will have the opportunity to study specialist topics at an advanced level and to acquire key generic and research scientific skills. Key areas of study include:

  • practical photonics
  • light
  • matter
  • coherent light
  • coherent matter
  • photonics, lasers and spectroscopy

View the 2017/18 programme specification document for this course

View the 2018/19 programme specification document for this course


Our MPhys Physics programmes are accredited by the Institute of Physics

Programme Structure

Students undertake four years of study. Each year there are compulsory modules. However, the degree has been designed to maximise student choice by allowing you to tailor the degree structure to suit your own interests.

To Apply

All undergraduate applications for Physics and Astronomy should be made online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Find out how to apply and get further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details.

Key Facts

99 per cent of Physics and Astronomy students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course (National Student Survey 2017)

We rank third for overall satisfaction in Physics and Astronomy out of all UK Higher Education Institutes (NSS 2017)

We are 11th in the UK and top 100 in the world for Physics and Astronomy (QS World Rankings by Subject 2018)

100 per cent of our Physics and Astronomy research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on society (REF 2014)

Our courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics

Our degrees open the door to a range of jobs – our graduates go into careers in areas as diverse as broadcasting, business, teaching, research and medical physics

Welcome to Physics and Astronomy at Southampton

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
A Level

AAA, including AA in Mathematics and Physics.


GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or above

Alternative qualifications:

We welcome applications from candidates offering qualifications other than A and AS levels (including BTEC, European Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Irish Leaving Certificate and Scottish Highers). You will be expected to attain an equivalent standard to an A level applicant.

International applicants:

We welcome applications from international students. Visit our international site for more information about support and how to apply.

Mature applicants:

We welcome applications from mature students. If you will be over 21 at the start of your proposed degree programme, you are eligible for exemption from our normal entry requirements. However, you will be required to provide evidence of having completed recent study (eg Access, Return to Study, Open University foundation courses) and of your capacity to pursue the course.

Selection process:

We select students on the basis of a UCAS application and an invitation to visit the department. UCAS code: F369 Course title: MPhys Physics with Photonics Course duration: 4 years


Career Opportunities

Photonics is a large and growing industry in the UK which calls for the expertise of skilled physicists. 

But with a Physics and Astronomy degree from Southampton, you’ll be able to go into just about any career you like. Our recent graduates are working in areas as diverse as medical physics, meteorology, software engineering, finance, law and teaching. And, thanks to the international reputation of the Physics and Astronomy department, around a third of our students go onto do PhDs, across the world.

Employability is embedded into your degree from the first year onwards. You’ll learn and develop key transferable skills such as mathematical modelling, analytical thinking, clear presentation and computing. You can also take a specialist careers module in your second year, which is designed to help you prepare for the future. It includes support with CV writing and interviews, talks from employers, and information about work experience opportunities.

Find out more about the placement opportunities at Southampton. 

Learn more about Physics and Astronomy careers support. 

Through an extensive blend of networks, mentors, societies and our on-campus startup incubator, we also support aspiring entrepreneurs looking to build their professional enterprise skills. Discover more about enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Learning & Assessment

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Scheduled learning & teaching study39%35%26%17%
Independent study61%65%74%83%
Placement study0%0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Written exam assessment53%60%70%57%
Practical exam assessment23%16%14%0%
Coursework assessment24%24%16%43%

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Communicating and Teaching and The Undergraduate Ambassadors Scheme (PHYS3019)
Please note that students are required to pay for their travel costs to and from the schools they work with during the module.  However, travel costs will be reimbursed on production of travel receipts.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

Approved CalculatorsCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
TextbooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.

Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and Photocopying CostsIn the majority of cases, coursework such as essays; projects; dissertations is likely to be submitted on line. However, there are some items where it is not possible to submit on line and students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:

In some cases you’ll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at


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