Tackle the challenges of metallurgy and materials in one of the largest centres for materials research in the UK. Through working with internationally renowned partners and pushing the boundaries of Metallurgy and Materials, our research is at the forefront of discovery and innovation.
We are ranked in the top 10 for Engineering research in the UK for Grade Point Average GPA and our 4* research - Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.
Guided by our world-leading academic staff in a supportive environment to carry a research study with us, you will have access to a wide range of the latest equipment and facilities, as well as having close industrial support to ensure that you can create links with the private sector.
Studying a PhD / MSc by Research at the University of Birmingham offers you a wealth of opportunities to expand and transform your thinking through independent inquiry. By undertaking an intensive research project, backed by intellectual and scientific knowledge, you will be joining a vibrant and proactive research environment. All doctoral researchers are brought together by the University Graduate School, providing an abundance of opportunities to meet fellow researchers.
MSc by Research
Our MSc by Research programme is a one-year programme open to those with an upper second-class Honours degree in science or engineering. Completion of a Metallurgy and Materials MSc by Research consists of undertaking an extensive period of advanced research under the supervision and guidance of one or more experienced members of staff. To be awarded MSc by Research, you must complete an original work of merit in the form of a 30,000-word thesis.
Why study Metallurgy and Materials PhD/MSc by Research at Birmingham?
- Since 1900 the University of Birmingham has been leading the way in research and education. By studying in the School of Metallurgy and Materials, you will have access to academic staff involved in research at the cutting edge of their subjects and whose research has a strong impact on society.
- In addition to this, excellent sporting facilities, a busy schedule of social events and a beautiful campus in a vibrant, multi-cultural city, make Birmingham a great place to study.
- The School has a number of cutting-edge facilities at its disposal in order to support research activities. We are a founding partner of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, which allows for innovative manufacturing processes and technologies to be developed at an industrial scale. We are also leading current initiatives such as the High Temperature Research Centre – a brand new joint collaboration between the University and Rolls Royce to enable research and experimentation to deliver rapid high quality product and process innovation.
- We have an excellent range of research facilities for materials preparation and surface engineering. There are polymer-processing laboratories and a very well equipped advanced materials processing laboratory including HIP equipment, direct laser fabrication, etc and a shell laboratory and wax-dewaxing facility for investment casting, a laboratory for the hydrothermal synthesis and colloidal processing of ceramics.
- The School also accommodates a wide range of equipment for engineering property assessment. The world-class mechanical testing laboratories provide facilities for fracture and fatigue studies and are accredited by Rolls-Royce for the acquisition and interpretation of data. Our creep-testing laboratory provides specialised mechanical testing for polymers and foams, as well as high temperature alloys.
- The School also hosts the University’s Centre for Electron Microscopy which has over 10 electron microscopes and has recently been further strengthened with a set of flagship equipment including an Talos STEM, XRT, Robo-Met, a unique 3D characterisation capability. The school’s X-ray diffraction facilities provide essential back-up to crystal growth and other alloy development research.
- The functional materials research in the school includes well established ceramics laboratories and a recently refurbished hydrogen laboratory contains equipment to characterise the properties of materials for hydrogen storage, and we have good facilities for the fabrication and characterisation of optical fibre sensors.
Every doctoral researcher is assigned two academic supervisors as well as a mentor. Meetings with your supervisors take place typically every week or few weeks, depending on your need for support and the stage you are at in your research. Most PhD projects have industrial involvement, sometimes with formal industrial supervisory input. This provides you with useful experience of industry and adds a different perspective to your research.
Within the School, support will be offered to train new students to use the equipment needed in research project. We also regularly run some specialised courses for doctoral researchers, such as the electron microscopy course, doctoral research induction course and courses to offer you guidance on how to write the report which you will need to submit during your first year.
To support you acquiring extra skills to advance your academic, personal and professional development a development needs analysis is undertaken. Throughout your research programme we keep track of your progress and invite you to reflect on your own academic and personal development, helping to offer you new directions in your research area. Normally, routine progress reviews are collaboratively completed by doctoral researchers and their supervisors, but for some PhD projects presentations with links to industry presentations may be required.