Academic Year 2023-24

Academic year 2023-2024 starts in September 2023 and ends in September 2024. The lectures are held from second half of September 2023 to the middle of April 2024. From April to July or September 2024 full time is devoted to the master thesis work.

The Course Program (for year 2023-24) covers 60 ECTS (one year). In the Course Program and Timetable Subsection, details of each course (objectives and contents) are published through the 'Curriculum' files. Updated Course Program and Timetable for 2023-24 will be available in Spring 2023.

All lectures and activities are conducted 100% in English.

Details such as Timetable, Pre-registration, Admission and Registration processes, Master Thesis instructions, etc., are also published in this 'Academic Year 2023-24' Section. Details that do not appear in this Section yet, are expected to be similar to those corresponding to 'Academic Year 2022-23' (see corresponding Section and Subsections in this website).

If the pre-registration website is not working, the student may directly contact us through the 'Contact' Section or sent a message to, expressing his/her interest and motivation for the master's degree in Photonics, and uploading copies of all necessary documents (see the Pre-registration and Admission Subsection).

There is also a Tutorial Action Plan for the Master's degree in Photonics, which focuses on individual and joint tutoring.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Master in Photonics is a program thought on a face-to-face basis and held in-situ. Only if the sanitary regulations generated by the COVID-19 pandemics demand it, classes will be switched on-line. In any case, practical subjects, seminars and visits to companies and research groups and the exams will be held in-situ.

Specific requirements

Students must be in possession of an official University degree in a scientific or technological field corresponding to at least 180 ECTS credits (validated for European students or students from partner countries), in the fields of physics, engineering physics, telecommunications engineering, electrical, mechanical and electronic engineering and optics, or in a related field such as nanoscience and nanotechnology, nanophotonics and bioengineering.

Other qualifications (in chemistry, materials science, biology, etc.) may be considered by the admissions committee.

Admission criteria

Admission to the master’s degree in Photonics is evaluated by the Academic Commission in view of:

  • Applicants’ academic records (academic performance as well as their scientific background).

The following aspects will also be considered:

  • Recommendation letter from a person with a scientific or academic background in the field of optics/photonics or a related discipline, who has interacted with the student.
  • Proof of scientific activity or professional experience in the field of optics/photonics(collaboration with established research groups, scientific publications and presentations at conferences, technologic experience).
  • A personal interview with the admissions committee (if necessary).

Application procedure (on-line pre-registration)

To be admitted for academic year 2023-24 all applicants must pre-register through UPC university website:

Online pre-registration at UPC

Applicants should upload copies of the following documents:

    • Curriculum Vitae.
    • Motivation letter expressing your interest to enrol for the master’s degree in Photonics, and pointing out your level of English.
    • Photocopy of the applicant's Spanish ID card (DNI), foreigner ID card (NIE), or passport.
    • Original and photocopy (or certified photocopy) of the Bachelor of Science or Technological Degree diploma entitling the student to enrol in the master's degree or proof of the issuing fee payment. If you make the application before you graduate a certificate stating the expected graduation date would suffice for the evaluation process.

      For foreign diplomas: translation to English. If the qualification is not homologated, the original and a photocopy (or a certified photocopy) of the document issued by the awarding university or institution or by the competent authority for such matters in the issuing country. This document must show that the course in question had a duration of, at least, three years and that the resulting qualification entitles the holder to pursue postgraduate studies (master's degree courses) in the issuing country. If that is not possible, it must indicate the level of higher education that the qualification entitles its holder to access.

    • Original and photocopy (or certified photocopy) of the academic certificate (transcript of records) (complete or partial) listing the subjects completed, the marks received and the number of credits/hours of each one. This certificate must also show the overall average mark earned by the applicant. In case you upload normal copies, you should keep in mind that for your final registration, in July-September (in case you are admitted), you will be requested to provide legalized documents.

For foreign diplomas: This certificate must also explain the marking system used.

  • If the applicant holds any additional qualifications in the field of the master's degree other than the one that qualifies him or her to enrol, he or she must provide documentary evidence thereof (original and a photocopy or a certified photocopy).
  • A letter of recommendation from one or two reference persons with a scientific or academic background in the field of optics/photonics or a related discipline, or at least the contacts (name, affiliation and e-mail address).
  • Documents that can prove your English level: an official English certificate (recommended), accreditation of courses, seminars or summer schools you attended in English, short research or Erasmus mobility stays abroad, BSc project written and presented in English, etc.


As you will see in the pre-registration website, students must pay a pre-enrolment fee of 30€ and consider also other financial details such as advancement of part of the tuition fee, if the student wants admission to be guaranteed.

Further information about pre-enrolment (as well as FAQs and tutorial) can be found at:

Alternatively, you can directly contact us through the 'Contact' Section or send a message to

Please take into account that we cannot offer scholarships. We hope you can get a scholarship from some grant-awarding institution, maybe from your country (see 'Grants' Section for some help), which in general is not easy, or you can cover yourself your travel and living expenses as well as the tuition fees (it is expected these will be above 2000€)..

Deadline for Application

Beginning of July 2023 is the deadline for pre-registration. You will be notified by e-mail of the outcome of your application as soon as possible, hopefully well before that date, after a meeting of the Selection commission. In case you need an advance notification (to apply for a Visa or a Grant, for example) please contact the master's coordinators (see 'Contact' Section).

Please note that the master is limited to 35 students. If there are places available, the admission process could be shortly re-open in September. If the online pre-registration procedure is closed, you should address directly to the master's coordinators (see 'Contact' Section), sending them all necessary information (CV, diploma, transcripts, motivation, letter,...).


Beginning of September 2023 (exact date TBA) is the day for ON-LINE enrolment (you will receive detailed info by e-mail from the secretary of the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria de Telecomunicació de Barcelona at UPC, Campus Nord, BCN).

The course program, with the master structure, modules and list of compulsory and elective courses for the academic year 2022-23 can be downloaded from:

The timetable is:

Further information: please find objectives and contents of each specific course in:

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Master in Photonics is a program thougth on a face-to-face basis and held in-situ. Only in the case that the sanitary regulations generated by the COVID-19 pandemics demand it, classes will be on-line. In any case, practical subjects, seminars and visits to companies and research groups and the exams will be held in-situ.

All courses and activities are carried out in English.

Nevertheless, you may take the opportunity of studying in Barcelona to learn Spanish or Catalan languages.

This can even result in ECTS credits for you, but these credits are outside the Course Program of the master’s degree (be it the master’s degree in Photonics or the Europhotonics), thus they cannot be accounted within the ECTS credits necessary to complete the master’s degree. These credits can be incorporated into your records in UPC, and if you do that they will appear in certificates you might request as well as in the “European Supplement” to the Degree Diploma. Usually a language course gives the student about 2-3 ECTS, depending on the courses.

The courses can be taken at any of the three universities participating in the master’s degree: UPC, UAB, and UB. Since UPC is the coordinating university, we suggest to try first in UPC.

At UPC, students can take language courses in the following places or centers:

Catalan language

In the "Terminology and Language Service" (Servei de Llengues i Terminologia) of UPC (Campus Nord). All the information is at It is free of cost for UPC students.

Spanish language

In the private center Merit School (which is also located within in Campus Nord of UPC). Information is at It is NOT free. Only some part of the cost is waived for UPC students. There, they offer different kind of courses. You might even try to organize a group to take Spanish lectures there.

At UAB, please read about different options in website

And at UB, the UB Language Service offers non-Catalan-speaking students a series of services and resources to facilitate their contact with Catalan, such as free Catalan language courses. Please visit

To obtain the master's degree students must complete a MSc Thesis Project of 16 ECTS. Students are expected to develop this project during the last semester and more intensively (full time) from April to September.

Here we summarize the most important aspects of each step of the development, registration, report and presentation of the MSc Thesis Project (further information can be found at:

  1. Choosing the MSc Thesis subject and supervisor:

    • In november of each academic course, a list of proposals offered by researchers from UPC, UAB, UB and ICFO is published in the master's degree web page.
    • Students have to choose one project and contact the corresponding professor.
    • List of proposals for academic year 2023-2024 (updated 24-jan 2024)
    • If the supervisor is not a professor of the master's degree in Photonics, a co-director from the master's degree Program must be assigned by the Executive Commitee or the tutor. He/She has to certify that the subject of the work, the work done, the way it has been carried out and the supervision are appropriate for a Thesis in the master's degree in Photonics
  2. Upload of the MSc Thesis proposal (offer) at the ETSETB intranet site:

    • Once student and supervisor have agreed on the subject to be developed, the official Master Thesis proposal has to be made at the Offers site of the ETSETB Intranet., menu: Docència > Ofertes TFG/PFC/thesis). The steps to be made are:
    • The professor who will act as supervisor (or co-supervisor) has to introduce the description of the MSc Thesis at the above section and assign it to the student.
    • The student has to enter the same site and click on Accept button.
  3. Enrolment of MSc Thesis:

    • 24 hours after the upload of the MSc Thesis on the ETSETB Intranet site (step 2) the student will be able to enrol his/her MSc Thesis through a request E-SECRETARIA and pay the corresponding fees.
    • The enrolment has to be done before February 15th.
    • No additional document is needed; only the completion of the step 2.
  4. Development of the MSc Thesis:

    • The MSc Thesis is an extended individual research-oriented work and the student is expected to develop a guided work on the proposed topic.
    • The aim of the project is to encourage and reward individual inventiveness and application of effort. Desirably, MSc Thesis should contain some element of original work. This does not mean that the project is expected to obtain publishable research results (although it might do), but the desire that the project covers some new ground and contain some elements of innovation.
    • The MSc Thesis evaluation process has two steps: a brief report summarizing the work done, and an oral presentation in front of a jury of the main tasks developed and results obtained.
  5. MSc Thesis Report:

    • The MSc Thesis report must follow a particular format, which is described in the file Thesis formatting instructions. This format is similar to that of scientific or technological publications, with a maximum length of 10 pages. We encourage you to make an effort of synthesis to describe your work and results in a succinct and clear way.
    • Word, or LaTex, etc., programs may be used, but the final delivery must be made in pdf format.
    • The report must have a front page that should be incorporated into the final pdf file (thus the final .pdf file may have up to 11 pages).
    • Please feel free to take a look to the non-confidential MSc reports from previous courses of the master's degree in Photonics at:
  6. Registration (Diposit) of the MSc Thesis Report and delivery of documents:

    • Once the Report has reached the final version, it has to be registered and uploaded together with additional information at Diposit site of the ETSETB Intranet (, menu: Acadèmica > Dipòsit TFG/PFC/thesis). The deadlines are: July 15th (July presentation session) and August 30th (August presentation session). The steps to be made are:
      • Bibliographic data:  the student must fill the three fields. The field title must exactly match the title of the cover page of the report.
      • Files: the student must upload the report and the supervisor must validate it. The title of the cover must exactly match the title in the bibliographic data tab. Validation will not be possible if the first and second tabs are not complete. The file cannot exceed 64 MB (For MSc Theses presented abroad in a mobility program, the student will have to send the Supervisor's assessment and the Lecture Certificate to, so that this unit uploads them at this tab. It is desirable that both documents are uploaded to evaluate the thesis. If you can have one of them, it must be the current assessment, which is posted on the link Tràmits a realitzar abans de tornar a l'ETSETB, banner Mobilitat internacional).
      • Confidentiality.This option is available in the ETSETB Intranet and will show up in the report deposit process. The student and supervisor will be able to select the desired period of confidenciality and have to explain the reason (if needed, a template is available here). The information about the thesis' publication is detailed at the Academic Regulations for UPC BSc and MSc degrees (section 3.1.5).
  7. Oral presentation of the MSc Thesis:

    • The last step is the oral presentation. The presentation has to be done in English and has a duration of 20 minutes, followed by the questions of the evaluation commission.
    • Two periods are available for the thesis presentation: one in the middle of July and another one in the beginning of September (dates to be defined). You will be informed about the exact date of your presentation.
    • The evaluation is made by a jury composed of three professors of the master's degree, designed by the Executive Committee.
    • The supervisor is expected to be present, but he/she cannot be part of the jury. However, the supervisor will be invited by the jury to give his/her opinion about student’s work and results.
    • The jury of MSc Thesis defense will assess different aspects related with the MSc Thesis work done by the student, like the following ones:
      • Interest of the subject and degree of difficulty of the inherent work.
      • Amount and quality of the work done by the student, and capacity of attainment of results.
      • Quality and clarity of the written report (or memory) of the MSc Thesis work, and in particular, capacity of synthesis.
      • Clarity and quality of the oral presentation: clear introduction of the subject and the aims of the work, description of the work, clear definition and statement of the results obtained and of appropriate conclusions.
      • Satisfactory answers to jury’s questions.

    If you are successful, you will be awarded the official master’s degree in Photonics, and in particular you may request the corresponding MSc Degree Diploma. Such request must be made at the ETSETB Academic Office, and you will have to pay the corresponding taxes established by the Spanish and Catalan governments unless you are holder of an Erasmus Mundus scholarship which takes charge of it.