Electronics and Photonics

Acquire core skills and knowledge of the fundamental principles in electronic engineering with an emphasis on designing and building electronic and opto-electronic systems for applications in modern communications, computing, instrumentation, and sensing.

Specialisation Teaching Team

These are the lecturers who guide you through the subjects and context bespoke to this specialisation. They are part of the greater teaching team who you meet along your journey through the foundational subjects, your chosen electives, and your capstone project.

The Electronics and Photonics Specialisation equips students with a blend of engineering skills that every industry expects to have in a graduate. Matthew Adams, CEO - Tekt Industries Pty. Ltd., Australia

Specialisation Structure

The following table lists the subjects required to achieve the Electronics and Photonics Specialisation of the Master of Electrical Engineering degree. The table shows the suggested order of taking the subjects, with start and mid-year entry possible. Based on your bachelor's degree, you may be awarded advanced standing for the subjects grouped under Year 1, or part thereof.

Year 1
Intro to Numerical Computation in CFoundations of Electrical Networks Digital SystemsEngineering Mathematics
Electrical Network Analysis and DesignElectrical Device ModellingSignals and SystemsElectronic System Implementation
Year 2
Electronic Circuit DesignLightwave SystemsProfessional Skills SelectiveElective
Electronic System DesignHigh Speed ElectronicsSemiconductor DevicesEmbedded System Design
Year 3
Engineering Capstone Project (Part 1)Microprocessor Design ClinicElectiveElective
Engineering Capstone Project (Part 2)ElectiveElectiveElective

The program shown in the table above is built up of the following parts:

  • Nine foundational subjects that are core to all specialisations of the degree. The foundational subjects are the eight subjects indicated in Year 1 of the table plus the Embedded Systems Design subject, which together provide you with a solid foundation from which to specialise.
  • Six subjects that are bespoke to achieving the Electronics and Photonics Specialisation, described in more detail below. These subject build upon the foundations of electrical engineering.
  • An individualised capstone project that is an outlet for all the expertise you have developed, described in more detail below.
  • A selective subject that focuses on professional skills development, described in more detail below.
  • Six elective subjects to explore your interests and develop expertise across any of our specialisation areas, recommendations provided below.

Electronics and Photonics Core Subjects

The following explains how the topics covered in these subjects are synchronised to develop your electronics and photonics expertise.Electronics and photonics engineering are an ever demanding and expanding field of electrical engineering.

This specialisation offers an industry faced hardware-oriented learning with a strong anchor in fundamentals.  Potential graduate employers include: NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, TSMC, Telstra, Optus, Tekt, Analog Devices, Samsung electronics, Philips, Dell and  Apple.

The Electronics and Photonics Specialisation prepares students in a systematic manner from learning design concepts all the way to implementing them with a focus on real world applications.
Year 1 subjects lay down a foundation for the specialisation. Digital Systems, Electrical Network Analysis and Design, and Foundations of Electrical Networks provide fundamental concepts used in the design and building of digital circuits, as well as modelling techniques for the analysis and design of electrical and electronic systems. Electrical Device Modelling and Electronic System Implementation provide concepts in electromagnetism, semiconductor materials, quantum electronics, assembly and testing of various simple electronic systems that interact with the real world.  Engineering Mathematics, Introduction to Numerical Computing in C and Signals and Systems introduce mathematical methods, high-level languages, and mathematical techniques that underpin the design of telecommunication, signal-processing and automatic control systems.

Year 2 prepares student to an advanced level of standing. Project oriented subjects such as Embedded System Design, Electronic System Design together with Semiconductor DevicesElectronic Circuit Design and High Speed Electronics equip students with semiconductor fundamentals, theory, pn junctions, material and physical properties of semiconductor devices,  complex circuit design concepts, design of microprocessor based electronic systems, printed circuit design, microelectronics, chip design and RF electronics. Lightwave Systems provide concepts in photonics, especially transmission of light over waveguides, light amplification, conversion of light signals to electrical signals, optical multiplexing, optical nonlinearities, modulation, advanced detection schemes, and broadband optical communications through practical applications.

Year 3 will teach students computer architectures, microprocessors, microcontrollers, operating systems, compilers, software design, multi-processor and multi-core theory and design, including new design methodologies such as chiplet design. Students will also get an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a year-long project equivalent of two subjects, the Engineering Capstone Project, and further opportunity to broaden their studies through elective subjects.


Core to all specialisations is the year-long capstone project that is completed in teams of 3 or 4. Through the capstone project you and your team develop solutions to an unsolved problem. The project is tailored to your interests, ranging from: research and development projects proposed by our world-class academics; to multi-team projects that partake in international and local competitions; to innovative projects proposed by you. See the handbook entry for further details.

View Capstone in the Handbook

Professional Skills

To develop and strengthen the skills necessary to operate as a professional engineer upon graduation, you take one of the following subjects.

Elective Subjects

In addition you choose 6 elective subjects to explore your interests and develop expertise across any of our specialisation areas. The following subjects are recommended as a complement to the Electronics and Photonics Specialisation:

Sample Course Plan

See the sample course plans on the University of Melbourne Study page for more details.

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