1 programme, 2 universities

The students of our English-taught multidisciplinary programme of two years (120 ECTS) graduate with a joint degree from Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Bridging physics, engineering and photonics

Building on an undergraduate or a bachelor/master degree in Electrical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, Materials Sciences or equivalent, students further develop their skills in fundamental science in photonics such as laser engineering, optical communication, optical materials, microphotonics and optical sensors.   

Next to advanced photonics courses by professors with an impressive track record in photonics and optics research at B-PHOT, 35% of the programme offers hands-on training through labs, research projects and internships.


That extra mile that companies are looking for nowadays, next to the much in demand social skills. 
”The programme provides you with an analytical skillset that is far above average. In combination with the very valuable focus on industrial photonics applications, you will be prepared to go the extra mile and tackle challenging problems in your future career.”

have a look at VUB Photonics Innovation Center



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Any questions?

Don’t hesitate to write us an email. We’d be happy to help you on your way!

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Our European MSc. in Photonics is build on 5 well thought corner stones offering an excellent combination to prepare students for a flourishing professional path: 

  • Core and advanced photonics courses complemented with electronics, physics, optics and engineering
  • Strong focus on hands-on projects in highly equipped research labs
  • International experience and exchange opportunities with over 20 university partners
  • Training of social 21st century skills and digital skills
  • Dynamic link with industry through lectures and valuable internships

Study credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System): 1 credit represents 25-30 hours of study activity

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies. Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.

International experience keeps you ahead. During your second year, you can choose to follow courses or do your master dissertation at one of our qualified international university partners. You can take your first steps in the work field by taking up a 5 to 10-weeks internship in a research institute or photonics company. You define the extent of your stay abroad which allows you to benefit from the enriching expertise of our network with excellent partners, both in academia and industry with large international companies or SMEs. 

We have firm partnerships with top universities in and outside Europe, all of them excellent in photonics, and each with their specific research focus.

Depending on the focus you want to pursue, you can choose to study at one of the universities with which VUB has an agreement. Frequent visited destinations are Sweden, Russia, Spain, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, China and Taiwan. 

 * site in progress! Meanwhile, feel free to contact us for more details *

Applications are now open !

Apply here

At VUB the SPIE Brussels Student Chapter works closely with B-PHOT Brussels Photonics research group for events where students, professors and alumni mix and mingle. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, is a not-for-profit educational society organized to advance emerging light-based technologies. SPIE Brussels Student Chapter has the largest student members in Europe organizing events and supporting actively in outreach from B-PHOT such as the yearly Science Show attracting over 1000 students, which was also performed for the first UNESCO International Day of Light

Several events are organised making it easy to become part of the photonics community: 

  • Light Nights: mixing professional flavor with a touch of social networking, this event brings together master students, professors, researchers and alumni in an informal way
  • Photonics Event: connecting companies, students and researchers. Innovative companies specialized in photonics meet up with students and researchers, through workshops and hands-on experiments.
  • Photonics Summer Symposium:  at the end of each academic year, this 2-day event in June welcomes all master students. Students of the second year present their master thesis for a jury of experts and for all master students. International speakers join for inspiring lectures and there are also social activities such as a BBQ, quiz, …


What about after-student life? Job time!

The European MSc. in Photonics has all the right ingredients to prepare you for a bright future. We are proud to say that all our graduates find a relevant job within a few months timeframe at most, some in their own country and some building an international career. 100% employability is what we go for.

As consultant, engineer or researcher you might find yourself in the driver seat working domains as life sciences, biotechnology, telecommunications, sustainable energy, agrifood or Industry 4.0. Next to an inspiring job in industry, you might also have interest in a research career at academic research group and become a professor yourself .

Have a look at SPIE career center, where you can find an overview of available jobs, employer type, different domains and functions. But first... graduate! 


The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

First step in the market


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

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Application deadline

We accept and review applications on a rolling basis, and aim at sending the decision within three weeks from the receipt of the complete application.

Applications can only be submitted through the online application form, we advise candidate students to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree.

All non EEA students and EEA students need to apply before 1 June. We recommend all candidate students to apply as early as possible, most certainly  for non EEA students this is important with regards to VISA administration.

    Start your application right now

    click here

    Tuition fees

    The general tuition fee for our master program is €922.30/year. A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found here 

    Admission Criteria

    The programme is open to applicants with a bachelor or master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, Materials Sciences or equivalent. Students in their last year of such programmes will also be considered. Applicants holding a bachelor or master degree in another field of engineering are welcome to join the programme through a personalised preparatory programme. This preparatory programme can be combined with a specific bachelor or master programme. 

    Belgian Bachelors in IR Architecture, Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, industrial Science - Electronics/ICT, Engineering Science or KMS Polytechnical Department can apply for the preparatory programme of 30 ECTS. Here you can find the details of the preparatory programme in Dutch leading to the Master of Science in Fotonica or the European MSc. in Photonics. 

    Language requirements for international students: 

    • a TOEFL-TEST, taken as recently as within the last two years, showing a score of at least 570 (paper-based) or 87 (internet-based)
    • an original “test report from” (TRF) from IELTS, issued as recently as within the last two years, with a minimum overall band score of 6.0
    • Cambridge-ESOL: First certificate in English (FCE)
    • Holders of a diploma of secondary or higher education by a recognised institution in the Flemish Community are exempted from submitting a proof of language proficiency.
    • You are also exempted from language test when you ave successfully completed a minimum of 1 year (60 credits), be it secondary or higher education, where the medium of instruction was English (an official certificate must be submitted).
    • Note: if the proof of English proficiency or APS certificate is not ready before the deadline, you can always submit it later instead of missing the deadline.


    After your successful application, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel can grant one of the full scholarships of 10 000,00 EUR per year to students of the European Master of Science in Photonics at VUB. This scholarship is foreseen to cover cost of living inherent to studying in Brussels. 

    All candidates who wish to enroll at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel will have the opportunity to show proof of their technical knowledge during the application interview preceding the final admission.  Every application for scholarships will be screened on the basis of excellence and motivation, after acceptance to our programme.

    VUB B-PHOT Excellence Scholarships 
    B-PHOT, Brussels Photonics Research group at VUB, offers also scholarships to knowledgeable students on a competitive basis. All students who register for the MSc. in Photonics at VUB are eligible to be awarded a B-PHOT Excellence Scholarship by the researach group without separate application procedure.The candidates who receive the B-PHOT Excellence Scholarship must commit themselves to do a MSc. thesis at VUB. Students who graduate with honours and show excellence in knowledge and applications, will be invited to apply for a PhD at VUB B-PHOT.

    The B-PHOT Excellence Scholarship scheme is as follows:

    • three Entry Scholarships  of 1000 Euro , at the beginning of the first semester of the first year of the MSc.. The recipients are the 3 best ranked students according to our selection criteria.
    • three Continuation Scholarships  of 1500 Euro , at the start of the second semester of the first year of the MSc. will be awarded to the top 3 students according to the academic performance after semester 1. Also students who didn’t receive the Entry Scholarship will be considered for the Continuation Scholarship.
    • one Excellence Scholarship  will be awarded, worth 5000 Euro , at the start of the the second year of the MSc..

    International students experiences? Check out this video!