Lidar systems are revolutionising the mobility of the future, NIR technology is optimizing the agriculture and food industry, microscopy and spectroscopy form the basis of modern medical diagnostics, lasers are used to process materials of every conceivable kind with a high degree of efficiency, and fibre optic technology forms the basis of modern data communications and many laser processing machines. Industry 4.0 and IoT as well as quantum computers are based on photonic technologies. The future belongs to photonics. Be part of this future with the MSE Master’s in Photonics.

Outline of the profession

Outline of the profession Photonics makes possible numerous applications, making it an “enabler” of major cross-sectional technologies such as image processing and metrology, medical technology and life sciences, addi-tive and subtractive manufacturing, communications and sensing.  At the basis of all of these tech-nologies are the generation, control, detection, and interaction of light.

Graduates of the Photonics profile know and understand key photonic components, light-based processes and measurement methods. They use and combine them for novel applications, know how to design photonic systems and how to combine them with electrical and mechanical systems.

Photonics engineers research novel technologies and implement them in applications. Further-more, graduates with a master’s degree in photonics are interdisciplinary all-rounders. They are prepared for leading positions with management responsibility in the areas of research and devel-opment, intelligent manufacturing, industrial process and quality control as well as automation and digital factories (Industry 4.0).

Profile content

With a master’s degree in Photonics, you will acquire in-depth knowledge and skills in the following subject areas:

Modern laser-based precision manufacturing

  • Basics and applications of laser-material interaction
  • Optics, imaging and beam guidance in industrial manufacturing processes
  • Laser welding, cutting, drilling, marking and sintering
  • 3D additive/subtractive processes

Optical metrology and image processing

  • Imaging systems: microscopy, vision-based systems for quality control, biomedical imaging
  • Spectroscopy for the highly sensitive detection of chemical compounds for environmental and process monitoring and colorimetry
  • Interferometry for dimensional metrology or optical coherence tomography

Optoelectronics and electro optics

  • Light sources: lasers, LEDs, OLEDs, thermal emitters, displays
  • Detectors
  • Electro-optic modulators

Design and modelling of photonic systems

  • Simulation: ray tracing, wave optics simulation, thin-film design, CAD, and FEM simulation
  • Prototyping, testing, measuring, validating and optimizing of photonic components, mod-ules, or systems
  • Fibre optics, integrated optics, and optical microsystems


  • Lithographic processes in combination with etching technologies
  • Replication methods
  • Thin film technology
  • Photonic packaging

SUPSI profile: main focus

  • Key enabling technology in: medical technologies, biotechnology, sensing, metrology, light
  • generation, additive-subtractive processes.
  • Professional skills: understanding physical principles and processes in photonics, laser-light application, optical systems design and development, numerical simulation.

Professional skills

With the MSE in Photonics, you will acquire a basic understanding of the physical principles and processes of photonics. You will be a professional in the use of light and lasers in a wide range of applications from lighting technology to production engineering, from measurement technology to medical technology. You will be able to design and implement photonic sensor systems for automation and production. You will have the capacity to numerically simulate multidisciplinary systems with photonic elements and to combine light-based technologies with mechanical, micromechanical and electro-optical systems.

Photonics engineers have the ability to solve complex problems using the most suitable methods. They can quickly gain an overview of the current state of the art, evaluate existing scientific approaches and apply them accordingly. Photonics engineers can assess the feasibility and market benefit of novel photonics systems. They are predestined to lead multidisciplinary project teams and are able to communicate, collaborate, and interact with other fields such as mechanical engi-neering, electrical engineering, medical and biotechnology, computer science or data sciences.

Entry skills and enrolment process

Specific qualifications are required to enrol in this profile. Students holding one of the following bachelor’s degrees with above-average marks generally fulfil these entry requirements.

  • BSc in Electrical Engineering
  • BSc in Mechanical Engineering/Machine Technology
  • BSc in Microengineering
  • BSc in Materials and Process Engineering
  • BSc in Systems Engineering
  • BSc in Photonics

Assessment of entry qualifications is part of the enrolment process of each school. Students who do not hold one of the above-mentioned bachelor’s degrees will be individually assessed for their suitability by the relevant University of Applied Sciences.

Recommended theory modules

The theory modules comprise 30 out of 90 ECTS. The modules are taught by professors from all over Switzerland at various locations. You will take these modules together with other MSE students.

Fundamental theoretical principle modules (FTP)

Technical scientific specialization modules (TSM)

Context modules (CM)

Additional skills relative to Bachelor of Science

The MSE Master's programme offers a scientific approach that enables you to develop comprehensive knowledge in your field and to design new solutions. The Master's programme concentrates on distinctive profile topics from the various universities of applied sciences and benefits from the interdisciplinary basic knowledge acquired during the Bachelor's programme. In this way, you will have all the necessary qualifications to lead projects in an industrial environment and to work on questions relating to current research topics.