PhD with Integrated Studies Innovative Metal Processing

Start date
End of September
4 years full time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Combined research and taught, Doctoral research

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2023/24 are as follows:
Further fee information is available.

This EPSRC-sponsored doctoral training programme focuses on research into innovative metal processing technologies, costing casting, welding, net-shape forming, surface engineering, synthesis of nanomaterial and modelling of metal processing.

This course is open to our partner institutions only.

This PhD with integrated studies programme, suitable both for full-time students and seconded employees, combines 12 taught modules (120 credits) in Advanced Metallurgy/Materials, Materials Processing and Professional Development, an individual summer research project (60 credits) in Year 1 and a PhD research project carried in a broad range of topics related to innovative metal processing in Years 2-4.

Students are normally based in the University and research projects can be carried out in the School or in industry.

Why study PhD with Integrated Studies Innovative Metal Processing at Birmingham?

  • The quality of the research work in the School of Metallurgy and Materials has been confirmed by our outstanding performance in successive research assessments.
  • Metallurgy and Materials and the IRC in Materials Processing together make up the largest centre for materials research in the UK. We are justly proud of this international reputation and are keen to maintain it by encouraging high quality students to undertake research with us.
  • 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 UK and overseas industry. Most of our research projects involve active collaboration with industrial partners.


You will choose 180 credits out of the following modules to be completed within the first year of the programme.

Students with a degree in Materials (MAT) should have 110 credits of compulsory modules (including 60 credits from Individual Research Project); non-MAT students should have 130 credits (including Individual Research Project):

  • Introduction to Materials (10 credits) – for non-materials students
  • Materials Characterisation (10 credits) – for non-materials students
  • Thermodynamics & Phase Diagrams (10 credits)
  • Kinetics & Microstructure Modelling (10 credits)
  • Presentation and Communication Skills (10 credits)
  • Project Management (10 credits)
  • Joining Technology (10 credits)
  • Individual Research Project (60 credits)

Students with a degree in Materials (MAT) should chose 70 credits of option modules; non-MAT students should choose 50 credits of option modules from the following 10-credit modules:

  • Physical Metallurgy (Titanium and Nickel)
  • Surface Engineering
  • Environmental Failure of Materials
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Material Models and Modes of Failure
  • Conservation and Recycling of Materials
  • Surface Engineering Technology
  • Advanced Engineering Research Preparation
  • Understanding Surfaces in Engineering
  • Advanced Solid Mechanics
  • Intermetallics, Metal Matrix Composites and Ceramic Matrix Composites
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Functional Materials
  • Materials Design against Failure
  • Electron, Optical and X-ray Techniques
  • Aerospace Materials
  • Design against Failure I
  • Summer School /Conferences
  • Diamond light and ISIS course (Rutherford Application Lab)

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods.


Annual Tuition Fee 2023/24 academic year

  • £4,620


Postgraduate Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course, such as a PhD.


We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships for taught programmes and research opportunities to ensure the very best talent is nurtured and supported at postgraduate level.


How To Apply

Learn more about applying.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

This course is open to our partner institutions only.

The position will be open to students with:

  • An upper second class honours degree or better, or an equivalent combination of qualifications and/or
  • Relevant and sufficient industrial work experience in any relevant mathematics, chemical/material/physical sciences, engineering (EPSRC provides funding only for UK/EU applicants).

Learn more about entry requirements

International Requirements

International Students

English language

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following English language qualifications is required:

  • IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: Academic 64 with no less than 59 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced – minimum overall score of 169, with no less than 162 in any component

Research interests in the School of Metallurgy and Materials:

Advanced Materials Processing
Driven by innovation in manufacturing methods, our work focuses on application in industry. Our extensive capability includes additive manufacturing, solidification technology and thermomechanical processing via experimental and modelling techniques.

Materials for Challenging Environments
Driven by the behaviour of materials during their life cycle, we have expertise in structural integrity, in-service degradation and the evolution of material properties & microstructure across a range of length scales.

Materials for Sustainability
Our interests focus on technologically relevant energy materials, their modelling, characterisation and recyclability.

Multifunctional Materials and Devices
We develop smart materials with wide ranging applications from consumer electronics to biomedical applications. Our expertise includes composites, functional ceramics, polymers and surface engineering.

The formal training programme comprises a series of modules designed to develop your knowledge in Advanced Materials. The modules are delivered at the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham and Leisters, which are partners of the EPSRC IMPACT DTC.

The modules are designed to cater both for materials graduates and graduates from a range of engineering subjects with broad materials content. Each module is self-contained and assessed formally. An individual research project is carried out during the summer of the first year mainly for research methodology and skill training.

The remainder three years are spent on a PhD research project and the final assessment is submission of the thesis.

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities