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. There is a growing demand for personnel with an understanding of this technology.

Applications of photonics can be seen in computer and cellphone 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. DVD players, laser printers and supermarket scanners are now commonplace: each device includes a laser and relies on technology that was not available just a few years ago.

The largest and most important application of photonics is in optical communications; the phenomenal development of the internet 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.

You can study Photonics in the following programmes:

In New Zealand and developed nations there is growing demand for staff with an understanding of optics as well as electronics.

The photonics programme has been designed with particular input from local industries likely to recruit graduates. Students from this program now work in the Photonics industry around New Zealand and the world: Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Vodafone, Tait Electronics, Cubic  Defence, Downer, Coherent Solutions, Southern Photonics, Thorlabs, Finisar, Ciena, Foxconn, and Edmund Optics.