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 The UCL-Cambridge Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS) CDT

MRes + PhD in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems at UCL and University of Cambridge

Two world-leading universities have joined forces to develop the next generation of researchers working on connected electronic and photonic systems that will change the way we live and work.

About the programme

The MRes + PhD in Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS CDT) programme is taught at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training, a joint centre with UCL and the University of Cambridge. Students study at both universities and benefit from their combined strengths, academic excellence and collaborations with industry.

The programme provides students with a solid grounding in photonics and a supportive environment in which to develop the advanced skills to enable high-quality research in connected electronic and photonic systems. Our graduates are well-prepared for a career in this multi-disciplinary field.

We offer a 4-year studentship comprising a 1-year MRes (Masters of Research) degree followed by a 3-year PhD (doctoral research) degree.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, projects and laboratory work. Students may also undertake industry placements whilst on the course.

During the MRes students have a choice of specialist modules across electronics, circuits and sensors, physics, quantum and nano technologies, machine learning, optical networks and communications, and the internet of things. On successful completion of the MRes students should be equipped to embark on doctoral research with confidence. Current PhD students are working on cutting-edge photonics applications for space exploration, next generation communication networks and quantum computing.

Careers and employability

Photonics is a fundamental underpinning technology where electronics, photonics and wireless converge, for example: information networks, satellite and optical communications, computing, sensing, manufacturing and healthcare systems. Companies in these fields require employees (graduates and researchers) with interdisciplinary training - expertise in both photonics and related fields - which makes our graduates highly employable.

Recent graduates have taken up roles such as: fibre laser development engineer, patent attorney, computational physicist, development scientist, photonics engineer and postdoctoral researcher.

Who should apply

Applications are invited from graduates with a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree (1st or 2:1) in a relevant science and/or engineering discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Applicants with other relevant qualifications or extensive relevant industry experience who can show evidence of a scientific and engineering research capability may also apply.

How and when to apply

Candidates should submit a pre-application screening form at:

This allows the centre to assess a candidate’s suitability before making a formal application. Suitable candidates will be invited to interview, and if successful encouraged to make a formal application to UCL or University of Cambridge for the CEPS programme.

We accept applications from November for the following academic year. Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Pre-applications close in May and formal applications close in June. The course begins in September.


EPSRC funded studentships are available for eligible applicants. See the website for details.




 The UCL-Cambridge Connected Electronic and Photonic Systems (CEPS) CDT

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