Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna - Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and NETworks (PIXNET) Consortium

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna - Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and NETworks (PIXNET) Consortium

PIXNET partners have strong expertise on optical communication theory and techniques and extensive system and network experimental facilities. PIXNET Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree is a two-year programme (120 ECTS) aimed at training talented students in the design, creation and assessment of innovative integrated devices based on photonic technologies. 

Top reasons to study here

  • Three fabrication facilities: silicon photonics and device packaging available at SSSA, Indium Phosphide technology available at TU/E.
  • Added value of Osaka University, keeping the contact of the most up-to-date innovation coming from Japan.
  • Extremely rich teaching programme, comprising traditional classes, experience in clean-room facilities and interaction with associated partners.

Master's Programmes



The Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies of SSSA was created in 2001 as Centre of Excellence and does research in optical communication networks through the use of photonic technologies, also in the fields of sensors and biophotonics. 


Over the years, the TeCIP Institute has developed different educational programmes (Master’s degrees, Master’s diploma and PhD degrees) and transferred the knowledge emerging from its research activity into advanced training initiatives. It is considered a leader for training activities linked with the economic and production system. The AiPT have a large number of students taking both PhD and Masters level courses. It offers both research and taught masters with some distance learning options. 


TeCIP Institute research is highly interdisciplinary. Its laboratories are equipped with the utmost leading edge instruments and technologies. The recent national Quality of Research Evaluation located it in 1st position for Industrial and Information Engineering. The AiPT pursues a diverse range of device-and-system-level topics.  It has recently expanded its activities in femtosecond pulsed laser techniques, medical sensing devices, and planar integrated optical circuits. The TU/E Department collaborates with industry in each of the research fields, focusing on electrical engineering aspects that have a major impact on future society. 


PIXNET encompasses a wide range of topics and expertise related to the development of highly-skilled “photonic engineers for communication and sensing”. At the end of the learning activities, students will have acquired advanced optical networking skills and will be fully able to plan, design, manage and support photonic device technologies. Students will be capable of developing proper interdisciplinary connections between the areas of telecommunication networks, micro-opto-electronics, and systems design. They will acquire skills for the operation and maintenance of network systems and device fabrication. 

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University Ranking

World University Rankings by Times Higher Education
149 4
153 2
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QS World University Rankings by TopUniversities
177 -10
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Best Global Universities Rankings by U.S. News & World Report
755 9
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Student services

Requests made by students are specifically addressed by dedicated offices at each partner institution. Prior to admission, each student is assisted by the Master’s Secretariat through a dedicated email account. All institutions are highly experienced in welcoming and addressing student requirements upon their arrival. In particular, an international Office is available at each institution for those students needing to undergo a visa process and to obtain a subsequent permit of stay or to complete a process of registration with local authorities. 

Housing services

  • Each Institution helps students in finding an accommodation in town. 
  • At Pisa, the SSSA International Relation Office helps students to find the best accommodation in student colleges or private rooms. 
  • At Aston, the International Student Recruitment and Development team is ready to help and advise international students for finding an accommodation in the city or reserve a room in its buildings. 
  • In Eindhoven, thanks to the arrival of the two apartment blocks, Luna and Aurora, the TU/E campus has now 700 apartments for (international) students and people working on the campus. 
  • Osaka University welcomes international students through a deputy office, where various support can be provided.

Library services

  • The Sant’Anna Library is a reference point for the teaching and learning needs. Aston modern facilities include a Library open seven days a week, lecture theatres and studying rooms. 
  • The Osaka University Library, an all-discipline organization essential in realizing world-leading research, serves as a solid body of knowledge in the fundamentals of academic information.

ICT services

In each institution, a Wi-Fi service is offered for all students attending the PIXNET programme, as well as personal mailboxes and other IT services.

Medical services

The Consortium ensures students are adequately insured while participating in the PIXNET Master’s. The coverage is compliant with the European Commission’s minimum requirements and includes all worldwide travel required. The insurer provides high-quality services in relation to risks such as: illness, pregnancy, accident, and other supplementary assistance services.

Student Life

Campus life

  • The Sant'Anna School is an institution well rooted in the city of Pisa that over the years has redeveloped many facilities for the benefit of the quality of academic life. 
  • The Aston University campus is located on a green 60 acre, self contained site in the centre of Birmingham, within 5-10 minutes walk of the main shopping, business and entertainment areas of the city. 
  • TU/e Campus is an open and accessible community for technology education, scientific research and knowledge valorization.
  • With three different campus (Suita, Toyonaka and Minoh), Osaka offers an amazing environment for its students.

Sports facilities

In Pisa, the University Sports Center aims to promote and develop the university's amateur and competitive sport activities, spreading the sport culture and values. Whether you are looking to get fit, lose weight or maintain health and wellbeing, Sport Aston’s gym and sport facilities has something for everyone. The Student Sport Center Eindhoven is the most extensive of all Dutch universities, offering all students and staff of TU/e, Fontys Hogescholen Eindhoven and Design Academy Eindhoven sport (70 sports), recreation, health and relaxation. 

Student clubs

  • Sant’Anna School students’ association organizes cultural, scientific and social events and promote community and intercultural student connections. In Aston, a Student Union represents and supports around 14,000 students, providing a number of commercial and non-commercial services. 
  • TU/e has Common Rooms where international and Dutch staff and students can meet for a drink, to chat or study together. At Osaka University students have an extremely wide choice of extracurricular activities; for this purpose various student groups work in the campus.

Student Reviews

Anonymous rated 2 out of 5 stars

Good practical work at this university

Journey of future.
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

I had a good journey in my studies but the thing is no practical work, it was more theory only. That is not so good compared to practical because when we have it we learn things better and can understand easily. And need to upgrade and explore things in the future.

More quality in our universities
Anonymous rated 3 out of 5 stars

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna offers many opportunities. I am totally funded for my studies and I live in a college with selected and very clever and skilled people. That makes the school very stimulating. Anyway, I must follow general courses at the University of Pisa. The quality of the courses here is very low. I am spending 3 months in Paris to write my bachelor thesis...