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ME Optical Engineering

2023 Details

Programme Commencing:

September 2023

Programme duration:

2 Years Full-Time

Professor John Sheridan Thumbnail Hear from the Programme Director

ME Optical Engineering

Optical Engineering is a thriving discipline worldwide. The European photonics industry has seen solid long-term growth far exceeding European GDP growth over the past decade. Europe leads the way in optical production technologies. There is a real hunger for engineering graduates who can apply optics to measurement, automated vision, virtual reality, IoT, medical technology and a range of high-tech areas.

This masters in Optical Engineering will:

  • Open the door to an exciting array of career opportunities.
  • Teach students how optics underpins the internet and telecommunications.
  • Teach students how we can use light to see inside the human body.
  • Give students a solid foundation in theory, simulation and engineering
  • Allow students gain real work experience with a 6-8 month relevant industrial work placement.


Engineering at UCD is highly attractive to students due to the exposure to world leading researchers and the significant career prospects.

  • UCD is ranked in the top 1% of higher education institutes worldwide.
  • Degrees with high employability with dedicated careers support.
  • Ireland’s largest and most international university.
  • Established in 1854 with 160 years of teaching and research excellence.

What will I study?

The programme is delivered over four academic semesters (2 academic years). The theme running through the first semester involves providing a strong foundation in optical information processing, including modules in Opto-electronics and Biomedical Signals and Images. Semester 2 consists of a professional work placement. Semesters 3 and 4 return to coursework, with a selection of more advanced modules providing opportunities to tailor your studies to your strengths and interests. A capstone project makes up a significant part of your studies in semesters 3 and 4.

The Professional Work Experience (PWE) module is incorporated into the two-year Masters of Engineering Programme and is designed to integrate a student’s academic and career interests with practical work experience for a 6-8 month period.

The module provides students with the perfect opportunity to gain increased experience and understanding of their chosen field, assess where their strengths and weaknesses lie and maximise their knowledge of the available career possibilities. The practical skills acquired during this placement will give graduates a competitive advantage when applying for positions upon graduation.


A message from our Programme Director:
John Sheridan
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.
Professor John Sheridan
What past graduates have to say:
Jimmy Jesvin
My first encounter with Optics was in the Electronic Engineering bachelors module - Electromagnetic Waves. I remember being so intrigued to discover the wide range of applications that harnessed the properties of light. Also that summer I had the opportunity to complete a research internship in Karlsruhe, Germany. The exposure there aided me greatly in realising the expanding potential of this career path as it is already revolutionising solutions in sectors such as communication, health, automobiles, and computing. Upon my return, I had an extensive range of module options offered by the school of physics, chemistry, radiology, and medicine. The Masters structure suited me perfectly as I didn’t want to settle with the traditional engineering modules. My current placement in Maxim Integrated is also proving to be an invaluable experience as I’m able to delve deeper into core areas such as power electronics. The perfect blend of modules and experience is already proving to be a great advantage and differentiator.
Jesvin Jimmy

Entry Requirements:

An honours undergraduate degree (NFQ level 8) in Electrical, Electronic, Computer or Optical Engineering with minimum 2:1 award or international equivalent

Other programmes of interest:

MEngSc Electronic & Computer Engineering ME Electronic & Computer Engineering MSc Computer Science NL (Negotiated Learning)

More Information:

See course details How to Apply Programme Director: John Sheridan
+353 1 716 1927
Ms Laura Egan-O'Brien
+353 1 716 1916
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