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Our PhD Photonics programme offers a solid start to any career in optics and photonics

PhD Photonics at the Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton

At the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), we are looking for the photonics pioneers of the future to join our vibrant research team and work alongside our world-class researchers to create history.

Our PhD in Photonics programme offers a solid start to any career in optics and photonics, whether you are planning to stay in academia or work in industry.

Working alongside some of the world’s leading photonics scientists, you will spend your time conducting novel research in our state-of-the-art optical laboratories and clean room facilities, keeping up-to-date with current research trends in photonics, writing journal papers and attending conferences.

Our extensive training programme provides thorough grounding for your PhD and future career through specialist photonics lectures and demonstrations, and skills training in report writing and presenting.

We also offer plenty of opportunities for networking with fellow researchers and potential employers through attendance at national and international conferences, as well as internal industry and academic events.

You can study an individual project within one of our 30 research groups

World-leading research

You can study an individual project within one of our 30 research groups covering:

  • Fundamental photonics
  • Light generation and manipulation
  • Nanophotonics and metamaterials
  • Optical biosensors and biophotonics
  • Optical fibres
  • Optical materials
  • Optical networks and systems
  • Silicon Photonics
  • Sensing

The ORC is one of the world’s leading institutes for photonics research based at the University of Southampton. We have a vibrant community of researchers, led by some of the leading figures in the field of photonics. We have contributed significantly to the remarkable growth of the photonics industry, including the optical telecommunication technology that underpins the internet as well as many solutions in medicine, biosciences sensing, security and manufacturing.

Ranked in the top one per cent of Universities in the world

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

English language: IELTS 6.0, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component; for information on other accepted English Language tests, please visit

Duration: up to 4 years (full-time) and seven years (part-time)

Start date: typically October

Applying: For further application details please click here

Funding: Full scholarships are available for UK students. International and EU students are encouraged to seek full or partial funding from other sources (e.g. national government scholarships, commonwealth scholarships, self-funding etc).

For further information, visit

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