MEngSc Optical Engineering

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

Europe is a leading player in optics and photonics. The European photonics industry is growing four times faster than the European GDP, which underlines the continuing economic potential of light technologies for the future. Optical technologies play key roles in many areas including biomedical imaging, astronomy, quality control, security, sensing and telecommunications. The ready availability of multi-camera mobile phones paves the way for new applications as computational approaches integrate with traditional optical design. Very exciting innovative technologies are rapidly emerging, driven by the ability to display and capture large amounts of real-time optical data.  Optical engineers are involved in identifying and designing these systems, with the aim of improving people’s lives, generating employment and creating new business opportunities.

Curricular information is subject to change

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

  • Students will gain an advanced understanding of a broad range of areas within optical engineering, such as biomedical signal processing, optoelectronics and biomedical imaging.
  • Delivered by a highly research-intensive School composed of many internationally high-profile academics including five IEEE fellows (Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers), an OSA fellow (The Optical Society) and a SPIE fellow (International Society for Optics & Photonics). This gives students the opportunity to participate in masters research projects linked with ongoing graduate research.
  • Research Project topics are spread across a wide range, but related to and drawing on the topics covered in the taught modules. 

  • 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.

There are excellent job opportunities for optical engineers in the display, lighting, virtual reality, robotic and drone areas. Industries include aerospace, telecommunications, semiconductor, biomedical/healthcare and manufacturing.  However, it is clear that the AR/VR revolution is moving optical engineering centre stage for a wider range of new and emerging industries.

Established employers in Ireland include both multinationals and indigenous companies, e.g. Andor, Carl Zeiss, Huawei, Intel/Movidius, Qualcomm, and Sensl, to name but a few.


MEngSc Optical Engineering (T348) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 8410
nonEU    Year 1 - € 26400

***Fees are subject to change

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see

The College of Engineering & Architecture also offer scholarships for non-EU students, for more information see:

  • An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ Level 8 ) with a minimum upper second class honours or international equivalent in an Electrical, Electronic, Computer or Optical Engineering programme is required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent.
  • Students meeting the programme’s academic entry requirements but not the English language requirements, may enter the programme upon successful completion of UCD’s International Pre-Master’s Pathway programmes. Please see the following link for further information:
  • These are the minimum entry requirements – additional criteria may be requested for some programmes

Programme Director - Dr John Healy

"While this degree is new within UCD, Optical Engineering is recognised as one of the most critically important technical disciplines supporting the rise of a host of new technologies. It brings together classical optics and imaging with modern mobile computational power and the associated accumulation and processing of large information-dense data sets. So, while the scientific roots of Optical Engineering are deep, the availability of new materials and hardware/ software combinations is leading to a surge of interest associated with augmented/virtual/ mixed reality, drone/robot and autonomous automobile technologies, deep learning, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous mobile phone platforms and high-speed telecommunication applications. Whether it is security, health, food or transport, optical engineers are needed and are making critical commercial contributions."

The following entry routes are available:

M.Eng.Sc Optical Engineering FT (T348)
1 Years
Full Time

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised