Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Projects: SMARTNET and PIXNET 

Bringing together some of Europe's leading specialists in photonic technologies to create and inspire the next generation of researchers


SMARTNET and PIXNET are two prestigious five-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programmes in 5G and photonic technologies, led by Dr. Stylianos Sygletos and Prof. Sergei K. Turitsyn. The programmes are delivered by an international consortium of top-level higher educational institutions. More than 500 applicants have applied since their beginning in 2018 and more than 60 candidates have been admitted in total. The first intake is about to complete with success and the second intake is in the middle of the two-year schedule. The third intake will enrol in September 2020. 

SMARTNET – Smart Telecom and Sensing Networks  

Total budget: €4m, Aston part ~€1.6m. 

Coordinated by AiPT (Dr. S. Sygletos, Prof. S. Turitsyn, Tetyana Gordienko) and including Université Paris-Saclay (Telecom SudParis and Telecom ParisTech) and University of Athens, the programme aims at the education of MSc students in the inter-disciplinary fields of photonic and 5G wireless technologies for data communication, sensing and big data processing. Industrial partners of SMARTNET include Airbus, Alcatel-Lucent, Orange, Network Rail, Coriant (former Siemens Optical Networks) and 14 other large companies and SMEs. 

PIXNET –  Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and Networks

Total budget: €3.684m, Aston part ~€0.8m. 

Coordinated by Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa, Italy) and including Aston University, Technische University Eindhoven and Osaka University, this programme aims at the education of MSc students in design, implementation and application of innovative integrated devices based on photonic technologies. Industrial partners of PIXNET include Ericsson KDDI R&D Laboratories (Japan) and 17 other companies. 

More information about MSc programme of SMARTNET and PIXNET.

MSc courses in SMARTNET and PIXNET 

MSc Smart Telecom and Sensing Networks (SMARTNET) 

Programme Overview: SMARTNET is a two-year (120 ECTS) joint master`s degree programme supported by European Union funding and provided by three universities (Aston, Telecom SudParis and University of Athens) of distinctive and complementary academic qualities and strong educational and research traditions. Its training programme is based on well-defined mobility paths designed to award multiple degrees depending on the chosen curriculum. 

Curriculum and Mobility: Incoming students may start from any of the three institutions where they will spend the first two semesters and receive the core part of their training. The third semester will be carried out in a different institution and will include specialisation courses that enhance the interdisciplinarity of the offered degree. During the fourth semester students will conduct an individual project and report on an MSc thesis. 

Admission may be granted to applicants who meet the following minimum common criteria: 

  • A bachelor`s degree (of at least 180 ECTS) in one of the following fields: telecommunications,electronic or electrical engineering, computer science, physics, mathematics, or similar 
  • Cumulated Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 75% of the scale maximum 
  •  Advanced English language skills that correspond to at least level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference 

Why should students choose the SMARTNET course? 

  • To study one of engineering’s key multidisciplinary areas of the future 
  • To develop the skills and knowledge to contribute to the development of a 5G network infrastructure 
  • As part of the Erasmus Mundus programme, students graduate with two full MSc qualifications 
  • To benefit from close relationships with 19 industrial partners 


MSc Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and Networks (PIXNET) 

Programme Overview: PIXNET is a two-year Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree programme supported by European Union funding. It is focused on offering high-quality training in photonic integration for communication, sensing and switching. 

Core Modules: Students are able to choose from six different mobility paths involving two or three universities: Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa, Italy), Aston University (Birmingham, UK), Technische University Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Osaka University (Japan). 

Why should students choose the PIXNET course? 

  • To receive high-quality training, specialising in photonic integration for communication, sensing 
  • and switching 
  • As part of the Erasmus Mundus programme, students graduate with two full MSc qualifications 
  • The strong involvement of industrial partners in the programme will offer students the opportunity to bridge the gap between your academic knowledge and practical application 
  • Students will be encouraged to carry out a number of industrial visits to enhance their MSc project