The Ultra-Violet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) is one of three instruments flying aboard the Swift Gamma-ray Observatory. It is designed to capture the early (∼1 min) UV and optical photons from the afterglow of gamma-ray bursts in the 170 600 nm band as well as long term observations of these afterglows. This is accomplished through the use of UV and optical broadband filters and grisms. The UVOT has a modified Ritchey Chrétien design with micro-channel plate intensified charged-coupled device detectors that record the arrival time of individual photons and provide sub-arcsecond positioning of sources. We discuss some of the science to be pursued by the UVOT and the overall design of the instrument.