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School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering MSc

Materials Science and Engineering - Masters Course


If you’re a graduate from a science, mathematics, technology or another engineering discipline, this programme provides the knowledge and skills to convert to a specialism in materials science and engineering or metallurgy to meet the present needs and future challenges of advanced materials and manufacturing in areas such as transportation, bioengineering, energy, electronics and information technology, sport and sustainable development.

Alternatively, if you’re already a professional engineer in the materials sector, you’ll have the chance to expand your expertise to enhance your career prospects.

Core modules cover key topics such as materials structures, processing-structure-property relationships, characterisation and failure analysis. You’ll also choose one from three groups of optional modules to focus your specialism to suit your own career plans and interests. Taught by experts in world-class facilities, you’ll gain the skills to thrive in a growing and fast-changing field.

Specialist facilities
You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of materials science and engineering and metallurgy. We have state-of-the-art preparative facilities for making and characterising a wide range of materials, as well as equipment and instrumentation for carrying out more fundamental studies into their process-microstructure-property relationships.

The part-time variant of this programme is studied over 24 months. You’ll combine online distance learning, with remote tutorial support, with two, intensive, week-long teaching schools on campus in each year. This enables you to ‘learn while you earn’ and a range of different types of research project enable you to carry this out independently or in association with an employer.

Course duration: 12 months (full-time) or 24 months (part-time)
Start date: September
Course fees (full-time): UK/EU: £10,000; International: £19,000
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £2,000 available.
Accreditation: The course is designed to provide graduates with the educational base required for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status. Accreditation is currently being sought from IoM3.

Course Content

Compulsory modules at the beginning of the programme lay the foundations of your studies in materials science or metallurgy. You’ll learn about processing-structure-property relationships, which lie at the heart of the discipline, as well as examining topics such as mechanical, physical and chemical behaviour, phase transformations and how the structure and local chemistry of materials may be characterised. You’ll cover materials and process selection and their role in design, and extend this into the principles and practice of failure analysis.

This prepares the way for three sets of specialist modules: you can decide to specialise in metallurgy, functional and nanomaterials or take a broader materials science approach covering metals, ceramics, polymers, composites and biomaterials. You’ll complete your taught modules either by studying a module in materials modelling (if you already hold an accredited Engineering degree) or participating in an industry-focused interdisciplinary design project.

You will complete your programme with a major individual research project of your own. With guidance from your supervisor, you will work on a topic related to the internationally-leading materials and metallurgical research carried out in the University, or you could propose a topic of your own related to your own professional work or that of an industrial sponsor.

Course structure
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

There are five compulsory modules including your research project, and you’ll undertake either the Interdisciplinary Design Project or Materials Modelling. You’ll then choose one from three subsets of specialist modules in functional materials, materials science or metallurgy.

Full Time (12 months)

Compulsory modules
Research Project (MSc)
Materials Structures and Characterisation
Structure-Property Relationships
Phase Transformations and Microstructural Control
Materials Selection and Failure Analysis
Optional modules (15 credits)
Materials Modelling
Interdisciplinary Design Project
Optional modules (45 credits)  
Metals and Alloys
Process Metallurgy
Materials for Functional Applications
Ceramics, Polymers and Composites
Biomaterials and Applications
Extractive Metallurgy

Part Time (24 months)

Year 1 
Compulsory modules Credits
Materials Structures and Characterisation 15
Materials Selection and Failure Analysis 30
Structure-Property Relationships 15
Phase Transformations and Microstructural Control
Optional modules (30 credits)
Metals and Alloys 15
Process Metallurgy 15
Materials for Functional Applications 30
Ceramics, Polymers and Composites 15
Year 2
Compulsory modules
Research Project (MSc) 60
Optional modules (15 credits)
Nanomaterials 15
Biomaterials and Applications 15
Extractive Metallurgy 15

Career options

There is currently an increasingly high demand for qualified materials scientists, materials engineers and metallurgists.

Career prospects are excellent and cover a wide range of industries concerned with the research and development of new and improved materials, materials synthesis and commercial production, and materials exploitation in cutting-edge applications in engineering and technology.

Careers support
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UKs leading employers.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in engineering, a physical science or mathematics. Relevant professional qualifications and experience may also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirement: GCSE English Language grade C (or above) or an equivalent recognised English Language qualification e.g. IELTS: 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Our Language Centre provide a range of English for Academic Purposes Pre-sessional courses, which are designed to help international students develop their language and academic study skills.

How to apply

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. This will allow you to track your application at each stage of the process. For assistance please view our postgraduate taught guidelines.

If you are an International (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant who has applied for, or intends to apply for, this course within the Faculty of Engineering and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will require an ATAS certificate.

If you require any further information please contact our admissions team,
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 2343.