ME Optical Engineering FT (T319)

The ME (Optical Engineering) is a 2-year, 2-Stage Master of Engineering programme. All applicants must hold a good first bachelors degree from an accredited third level institution in a relevant area, ideally in Electronic Engineering or Applied Physics. If you are unsure if your background makes you suitable please contact us. All applicants must have good English (spoken and written). While it is not required, it will make students life much easier if they received some of their technical education through English. Remember all, lectures, examinations and reports will be in English and interviews for internships will also be in English. Finally, you must be able to manage your time and be prepared to work very hard. Under taking this programme is not inexpensive and while we encourage student to become involved in student activities and to network socially you are here to complete your masters degree, that must be your primary objective. Every student is expected to undertake a Professional Work Experience internship as part of the first year of their studies (6-8 month duration). Our College's Internship Managers, actively seeks out positions, help students apply and prepare for interviews. We are extremely proud of the fact that every student in every engineering masters programs has to date received an offer of a paid internship position in a company. Furthermore, we have never had an unsuccessful placement (both the companies and the students reporting satisfactory outcomes). In fact, many of our students go on to be offered permanent jobs by their industrial hosts. It should be noted, however that we cannot promise to find paid placements for every student, as this depends both on each student’s ability and current economic conditions. Optical engineers find highly paid positions (or create their own companies) in a wide range of areas. Industries include aerospace, semiconductor, biomedical & healthcare, manufacturing. However, it is clear that the AR/VR revolution will move optical engineering centre stage for a wider range of new and emerging industries. SPIE the International Society for Optics and Photonics publishes an annual report which breaks down pay under type of employer, geographical region and time post degree (see An average starting salary of ~40,000 €/yr can rapidly rise to a salary of ~100,000 €/yr with seniority and hard work. This survey demonstrates that Optical Engineers around the world work in a wide range of companies, in academia and in government institutions around the globe.

Curricular information is subject to change

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Hello, My name if Professor John Sheridan.  I head the Masters in Optical Engineering program here in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College Dublin.

The reason UCD decided to set up this masters program was because of repeated requests, from colleagues in universities and industry, to supply graduates capable of tackling the challenges arising in today’s cutting edge man/machine interfaces. 

You are all certainly familiar with mobile phone technology, and virtual, mixed and augmented reality systems.

All of these necessitate the solution of problems involving image capture, processing and display. 

Understanding how optical systems work and how we can interact optimally with such systems will dominate much of the next 20 years of engineering activity.

Currently companies such as Apple, Google, Huawei and Microsoft have dedicated international teams of engineers working on how best to integrate smart optical systems with AI and cloud-based computing to achieve improvements in healthcare provision, driverless cars and robotics.

We would like you to want to be part of this revolution, a revolution that will affect the lives of every person on this planet and one having significant economic potential.

Your two years masters program includes lectures from leaders in the fields of optics, electronics, physics, computer science and bio-engineering. 

You will undertake both core modules and be helped choose from a range of interdisciplinary module so you can tailor your educational experiences to your desires and need.

As part of your masters degree you will work on a project supervised by a leading researcher.  It is our aim that your project work be of sufficient quality to be presentable at an international conference. 

With our assistance you will apply for and be interviewed to work for up to 6 months as an intern in a company in Ireland or abroad. 

We will provide you with every assistance to become the very best and the most successful you can be.


  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of the mathematics, sciences, engineering sciences and technologies underpinning optical engineering with a special emphasis on Fourier optics.

  • The ability to identify, formulate, analyse and solve complex engineering problems.

  • The ability to perform the detailed design of novel systems and processes using analysis and knowledge of advanced optical systems.

  • The ability to design and conduct experiments, and apply and evaluate a range of standard and specialised research tools, analytical techniques and methods of enquiry.

  • The ability to work effectively as an individual and in teams, together with the capacity to undertake lifelong learning, thus offering a foundation for entry into advanced research programmes.

  • The ability to communicate effectively on complex engineering matters with the engineering community and with society at large.

Stage 2

The ME (Optical Engineering) degree programme is a 2-year, 2-Stage 120-credit programme. The normal workload for Stage 2 is 30 credits per Trimester or 60 credits per year (Stage). **** Students should consult the Programme Director about module prerequisites and other requirements. A taught masters programme in UCD must have at least 70 credits at Level 4.****In either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of the programme, students are permitted to select one 5-credit module that is not on the list of Option Modules as a negotiated option, but the selected module must be approved by the Programme Director in advance, and will require formal approval by the Engineering Programme Board.

Module ID Module Title Trimester Credits
Stage 2 Core Modules
EEEN40620 Biomedical Imaging Autumn 5
Stage 2 Core Modules
Stage 2 Options - B)MIN5OF:
B) 5 OF: (Stage 2 OPTION Modules) Students must choose 5 option modules from across the Autumn and Spring Trimesters, to ensure a balanced workload of 30 credits per Trimester. These MUST include EEEN30030 and MEEN40430, unless already taken.
ACM40290 Numerical Algorithms Autumn 5
BIOL40560 Biological Imaging Autumn 5
BMOL40180 Biological Imaging Autumn 5
BSEN40500 Hyperspectral imaging Autumn 5
CHEM40870 Nanomaterials Chemistry Autumn 5
COMP47460 Machine Learning (Blended Delivery) Autumn 5
EEEN40130 Advanced Signal Processing Autumn 5
EEEN40580 Optimisation Techniques for Engineers Autumn 5
PHYC40400 Nanooptics and biophotonics Autumn 5
STAT40690 Quantitative Methods for Engineers Autumn 5
BSEN40520 Optical Sensing Technology Spring 5
EEEN30030 Electromagnetic Waves Spring 5
EEEN30050 Signal Processing: Theory and Applications Spring 5
EEEN30150 Modelling and Simulation Spring 5
EEEN40070 Neural Engineering Spring 5
MEEN40430 Professional Engineering (Management) Spring 5
PHYC30080 Optics & Lasers Spring 5
PHYC40210 Applied Optics Spring 5
PHYC40430 Nanomechanics - from single molecules to single cells Spring 5
PHYC40480 Biophysics at the Nanoscale and Nanodevices Spring 5
RDGY30440 Introduction to medical image analysis and machine learning Spring 5
RDGY30520 Medical Imaging (Clin/Res) Spring 5
Stage 2 Options - B)MIN5OF:
B) 5 OF: (Stage 2 OPTION Modules) Students must choose 5 option modules from across the Autumn and Spring Trimesters, to ensure a balanced workload of 30 credits per Trimester. These MUST include EEEN30030 and MEEN40430, unless already taken.
See the UCD Assessment website for further details

Module Weighting Info  
  Award GPA
Programme Module Weightings Rule Description Description >= <=
MTEMP006 Stage 2 - 50.00%
Stage 1 - 50.00%
Standard Honours Award First Class Honours



Second Class Honours, Grade 1



Second Class Honours, Grade 2






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