The degree programme is split equally between the Schools of Metallurgy and Materials and Sport and Exercise Sciences. The course is structured to enable students to grasp the fundamentals of both halves of the course and subsequently integrate their knowledge through the study of sports equipment case studies in both the design and biomechanics modules of the degree.
The academic year is split into two teaching semesters and an examination session. Semester one is in the autumn and Semester two is in the spring. Exams are held in May. The academic content of the degree is divided into modules, each consisting of a range of components typically including:
- Laboratory sessions
- Class tutorials
- Case studies.
The laboratory sessions, class tutorials and case studies usually form the continuous assessment component of the module, which typically consists of 20 to 30% of the overall module mark.
The course is structured to enable the fundamentals of each half of the course to be introduced in the first year (level 1) and be subsequently developed in later years.
Module outlines of years two and three are available on our UCAS open days.
Properties and Applications of Materials (10 credits)
This module introduces the range of materials used in engineering applications along with some basic selection rules for determining the appropriate materials for a given application. The module also introduces fundamental science that determines the properties of materials, such as bonding types and atomic / molecular structures.
Biomechanics (10 credits)
The module aims to introduce the concepts and principles relating to statics and dynamics. This is accomplished by considering a wide range of sporting examples. The module examines biomechanics from a materials perspective and is focused on the equipment and interactions with the athlete.
Polymers, Composites and Ceramics (10 credits)
The module aims to develop depth of knowledge in the areas of polymer science, composites technology and structure/property relationships in ceramics. The main focus will be to develop qualitative and conceptual understanding with emphasis on mechanical and physical properties. The module will develop concepts introduced in 'Properties and Applications of Materials'
Design and Professional Skills (20 credits)
This module begins with a formal introduction to the design process, computer aided design techniques and project management. The module then develops by considering the material selection process and manufacturing methods associated with equipment production.
Fundamentals of Materials: Shaping (10 credits)
This module concerns the methods by which materials can be processed in the manufacturing stage of production. Casting, forging and welding of metals is considered together with injection moulding, extrusion and adhesive bonding of polymers.
Anatomy and Biomechanics in Sport (20 credits)
The anatomy of the musculoskeletal system are taught with an emphasis on the function of muscles in movements. Specific joint movements are analysed using electromyographic and biomechanical techniques. The principals of movement analysis in sport are discussed to develop an understanding of the theories and procedures that are used in biomechanical analysis of the musculo-skeletal system.
Human Physiology (20 credits)
An introductory course covering the human nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems as well as renal, muscle and thermoregulatory physiology.
Psychological foundations of sport and exercise (20 credits)
This module offers a broad survey of the sport and exercise psychology literature comprising four parts. The first part examines individual participants in sport and exercise. The second part of the module covers relevant research on groups, group processes, and intergroup relations. The third part of the module focuses on strategies for performance enhancement. Finally, the fourth part of the module covers material on psychological health and well-being.
- Polymer science and Materials Case study (20 credits)
- Materials Engineering Design (20 credits)
- Polymer Engineering and Composites (10 credits)
- Fracture, fatigue and corrosion (10 credits)
- Exercise physiology (20 credits)
- Biochemistry (20 credits)
- Psychology of human movement (20 credits)
- Final Year Project (40 credits)
- Design for Manufacture (10 credits)
- Advanced Materials in Sports Equipment (10 credits)
- Literature Review (20 credits)
- Applied Mechanics in Sport (20 credits)
- Option (20 credits)
Final year projects
In addition to our teaching excellence, we have been awarded the prestigious and exclusive award of 6* for our ‘internationally outstanding’ research. We are keen for our undergraduates to get the maximum benefit from our leadership in research and our final year project component of our courses facilitates this.
Metallurgy and Materials and the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Materials Processing together make up the largest centre for materials research in the UK. We have over thirty full-time academic staff in addition to thirty honorary and visiting staff, fifty research fellows and close to 130 postgraduate students.
Our diverse research portfolio ranges from fundamental aspects of Materials Science to practical high performance engineering applications. Research is funded from a wide range of sources including the UK Research Councils, the EU and a cross-section of national and international companies. Our research income is in the region of £4.1 million per year. Success in joint research with industry has been recognised by the award of the Secretary of State for Industry’s University/Industry Partnership Prize and the extremely prestigious award of 6* in the Research Assessment Exercise.
The students’ research skills are developed and refined in the final year project. This module is a major undertaking and typically consists of up to 2 days work per week for 22 weeks. The research is carried out in a research laboratory and is supervised by a research active member of staff. There is a wide variety of projects of offer each year in a wide range of areas including sports materials, biomaterials, aerospace, automotive (and motorsport).
Examples of recent projects
- Development of carbon fibre composite components for Formula 1 racing cars (Jordan Grand Prix Ltd)
- Corrosion resistance of high performance aluminium alloys (Jaguar Cars Ltd.)
- Selection of new materials for the Formula SAE racing car space frame.
- Design and production of high performance carbon fibre sports prosthetic limbs
- Assessment of golf club performance (R & A Ltd - previously the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews)
- High performance materials for cycle tubes (Reynolds Tubing Ltd)
- Alloy Development Of Al-Based Bulk Metallic Glasses for golfing applications
- Improved Corrosion Resistance For Aerospace Alloys Through Laser Surface Alloying (BAE Systems)
- Optical Fibre Sensors for Smart Structures in Biomedical and Sports Applications
- Micromechanisms of fracture and fatigue crack growth in a burn-resistant advanced titanium alloy (Rolls-Royce Ltd)
- Plasma Surface Modification Of Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethene for skis and snowboards
- Gripping and slipping in tennis grip tapes
- Development of carbon fibre wheels for high performance track bicycles
- Creation of smart skis using piezoelectric materials
- Suitability of head protection in kickboxing
- Shock absorption in running shoes