Why study MSc(Eng) Semiconductor Photonics and Electronics?

Students in Photonics LabThis specialist masters course is ideal preparation for anyone interested in working in the fast growing field of modern optoelectronics and photonics engineering, as well as providing those already working in the industry with the opportunity to update their knowledge and skills.

The department has a large, dedicated research focus in this area and this is reflected in our world-class semiconductor growth, fabrication and characterization facilities. The course is led and taught by academics with wide ranging high-profile research spanning several of the key developing areas of optoelectronics and photonics.

The latest research activity influences and feeds into the teaching and project work, allowing you to gain detailed understanding and practical skills useful in both the semiconductor optoelectronics industry and academic research.

There are lectures, laboratories and seminars. We assess you on exams, coursework and a project dissertation.

What you will do

The MSc(Eng) in Semiconductor Photonics and Electronics is offered on a full-time basis over a year, starting in September. It requires completion of eight modules and a major research project dissertation.

You will be allocated an academic supervisor who will provide advice and guidance throughout the period of study.

The MSc(Eng) consists of:

  • 7 compulsory modules
  • a major research project

Teaching and Assessment

You will learn through research-led teaching, lectures, laboratories, seminars and tutorials.  A large practical module covers design, manufacture and characterisation of a semiconductor component, such as a laser or light emitting diode.  This involves background tutorials and hands-on practical work in the UK's National Epitaxy Facility.

Assessment is by examinations, coursework or reports and a dissertation with a poster presentation.

Core modules

Semiconductor Materials

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the physical, structural, optical, electronic properties of semiconductor materials used in modern electronic devices.

Principles of Semiconductor Device Technology

This course aims to give students an understanding of semiconductor properties and processing, crystal and semiconductor growth, characterization and device modelling.

Packaging and Reliability of Microsystems

You’ll be introduced to the methods used to fabricate microsystems from electronic, opto-electronic and micro-electromechanical (MEMS) devices. You’ll also gain an understanding of the reliability and failure mechanisms in the devices and resulting microsystems.

Nanoscale Electronic Devices

This module provides students with an understanding of the science and technology which underpins modern nanoscale electronic devices.

Energy Efficient Semiconductor Devices

You will learn about different approaches to reducing the power consumption of electrical and photonic devices and systems, as well as the use of semiconductor detectors in energy efficient devices and systems.

Optical Communication Devices and Systems

In this module you will examine the behaviour of components in a communications system and the impact of system requirements on their design and individual performance.

Compound Semiconductor Device Manufacture

Students will gain practical experience in all aspects of the creation of a compound semiconductor electronic device.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption

Major research project

Opportunities exist for dissertation studies to be carried out in collaboration with other university research centres or with industrial organisations. Examples of previous research projects include:

  • Selective area intermixing of quantum dot laser materials
  • Wavelength agile GaAs based distributed feedback lasers
  • Modelling and simulation photonic crystal surface emitting laser
  • Characteristic of III-nitride based ultra energy efficient emitter for solid-state lighting
  • Characterisation of III-V solar cells

This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements for student entry up to and including September 2016. The department is being visited by the IET in December 2016 for the purposes of re-accreditation for student entry from September 2017 onwards (this happens every 5 years).

Is this course right for you?

Applicants will normally require a 2:1 honours degree in electronic and electrical engineering, physics, maths or other branches of engineering involving significant mathematical competence from a UK university.

If you have a 2:2 or equivalent, or industrial experience, we'll give your application individual consideration.

Students must have an overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

If you are an International student please follow this link for entry requirement information.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact eee-mscrec@sheffield.ac.uk.


The Department has large industrial contracts with several industries. The skills you will gain will be of use for a range of employers as well as providing an ideal background for PhD research.

Our graduates work across the globe in a variety of roles for employers include Airbus, ARUP, Ericsson Communications, Intel Asia Pacific, Rolls Royce, Shanghai Automotive Industry Company and Siemens Energy.


Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.