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Photonics - quick facts
Taught by Department of Physics
Available as a subject for Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BSc(Hons)) in Photonics
Postgraduate study options

Master of Science (MSc) in Physics

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Physics

Further information Physics Handbook
Other subjects you might be interested in Geophysics | Medical Physics and Imaging Technology

Subject description

Photonics is the science and technology of light. It has been identified by government foresight groups and other organisations worldwide as one of the key technologies of the 21st century.  The global Photonics market size is currently in excess of  $500 billion NZD and continues to grow at a much faster pace than global GDP.

The field also known as "optoelectronics" or "electro–optics" is now having a significant impact on society. Many industries are finding that the equipment they service or develop contains optical or photonic components as well as traditional electronics; therefore there is a growing demand in all developed nations for personnel with an understanding of this technology. Applications of photonics can be seen in computer and cell phone displays, advanced manufacturing, LED based lighting systems, new photovoltaic clean energy generators, laser micro–fabrication and the ever–increasing applications of laser technology in medicine. For example, DVD players, laser printers and supermarket scanners are now commonplace, yet each device includes a laser and relies on technology that was not available just a few years ago. By far the largest and most important application of photonics is in optical communications, the phenomenal development of the World Wide Web is only possible because of the enormous bandwidths now available for data transmission through optical fibres.

Students entering this programme should have a good background in Physics and Mathematics. The specialisation involves a solid grounding in these subjects with extensive specialist training in photonic and electronic engineering, advanced physics and mathematical electronics in subsequent years.


Structure and prerequisites

Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc (Hons)) - Photonics

Core papers:
30 points: PHYS 726, PHYS 727
45 points: PHYS 787 (project)
at least 15 points from PHYSICS 701, ELECTENG 732, 726

Recommended papers:
15 points: PHYS 731, PHYS 754, PHYS 780
or other 600 or 700 level courses in Physics or related subjects approved by the Head of Department


Career opportunities

In New Zealand and in all developed nations there is growing demand for staff with an understanding of optics as well as electronics. At the University of Auckland, the photonics programme has been designed with particular input from the local industries most likely to recruit graduates. Students from this program now work in the Photonics industry around New Zealand: Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Vodafone, Tait Electronics, Cubic  Defence, Downer, Coherent Solutions, Southern Photonics, and the world: Thorlabs, Finisar, Ciena, Foxconn, Edmund Optics.


Help and advice

For further information please contact:

Science Student Centre
Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87020
Email: pgscience@auckland.ac.nz 

Or, please contact