Materials Science and Engineering Masters/MSc

New materials underpin development and progress across a wide variety of sectors. New technologies, from planes to batteries, from hip implants to electronic devices, are made possible, and often limited by, the materials we currently know and use.

Materials Scientists and Engineers work hard to understand how and why materials behave the way they do, and exploit this knowledge to develop new materials with amazing properties.

This one-year master course comprises 12 taught modules (two-thirds of the year) taken in Semesters I and II and an individual research project (one-third of the year) carried out in Semester III and summer in a broad range of topics related to Materials Science and Engineering in any of the Research Groups within the School of Metallurgy and Materials.

Studying Materials Science and Engineering, you will develop a fundamental understanding of how the properties of a material, such as strength, electronic properties and biocompatibility, are affected by the material’s structure, such as its crystal structure or microstructure.

This knowledge can then be used to formulate strategies to develop new materials, such as alloys able to operate at higher temperatures for jet engine blades or high-toughness ceramics for armour applications. This programme will equip you with the skills required to join a wide variety of industries in the capacity of materials specialist, or continue your education at a PhD level.

This one-year master course comprises 12 taught modules (two-thirds of the year) taken in Semesters I and II and an individual research project (one-third of the year) carried out in Semester III & summer. In addition to technical modules, the course also provides training for transferable skills such as Communiation Skills and Effective Project Management.

Research projects can be carried out in a broad range of topics related to Materials Science and Engineering in any of the Research Groups within the School of Metallurgy and Materials or in industry. The project involves full-time research for one third of the academic year.

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Why study this course

Materials underpin almost all industrial sectors and the global challenges have increased the demand for new materials. Accordingly, there is a growing demand for materials engineers and researchers worldwide and in rapidly developing countries in particular. The School of Metallurgy and Materials has long been a centre of excellence in materials research and education. 

The course is designed for graduates who want to acquire knowledge, concepts and research skills in advanced materials in order to seek a research or technology development career in materials. It will also provide excellent preparation for those wishing to undertake the classic PhD, new PhD with integrated studies and EngD.

Why choose Birmingham?

  • One of the best centres for materials research in the UK
  • World-leading and unique facilities, such as the £60M High-Temperature Research Centre
  • Strong collaborations with a large number of industrial partners, including Rolls-Royce, Baosteel and many others
  • Wide range of research activities, from the atomic scale to components

Modules

This course consists of 180 credits distributed over 12 months. Two thirds of the content (120 credits) consists of taught modules, which are delivered in Term I and Term II. One third of the content (60 credits) is the individual research project, which is carried out in Term III and during the summer.

Semester 1 

Compulsory modules

The core modules will ensure you will gain the adequate background to tackle most aspects of Materials Science and Engineering, and ensure you will develop key professional and research skills. You will learn the fundamentals of materials science, and how materials can be analysed and studied.

* module is only compulsory for those students who do not have a materials background from their undergraduate degree.

Optional modules

Select 4 or 5 of the example optional modules:

  • Design Against Failure
  • Biomaterials
  • Electron Microscopy
  • Functional Materials
  • Polymer Science and Soft Matter
  • Surface Engineering
  • Advanced Casting and Solidification

Semester 2 

Compulsory module

Optional modules

Select 4 of the example optional modules:

  • Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • Materials for Energy Generation and Storage 
  • Materials for Sustainable Environment Technology 
  • Net Shape Manufacturing 
  • Physical Metallurgy for Titanium and Nickel
  • Introduction to Materials Modelling 

Semester 3 

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.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fee for 2019/20:

UK/EU students: £9,540
International students £21,690
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships

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.

Additional scholarships can be found in the funding database.

Contact the department for further information.

 

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Entry requirements

Obtaining 2.2 or above in engineering/technical subjects (eg, physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering, mathematics or any physical sciences subject). Learn more about entry requirements

International students:

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about  international entry requirements

English language

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

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall, with 5.5 minimum band score
  • TOEFL: 80 overall with no less than 19 in Reading, 19 in Listening, 21 in Speaking and 19 in Writing
  • PTE Academic: 51 in all four skills

Further information about postgraduate English language requirements, including alternative qualifications considered and Pre-Sessional English.

How to apply

International applicants requiring visas

Monday 01 July 2019 is the application deadline for international students who require a visa to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2019 made after this date; a new application should be made for 2020. Applications will reopen for 2020 in October 2019. We will close applications as soon as the programme is full, early applications are encouraged.

UK/EU and non-Tier 4 applicants

The application deadline is Thursday 12 September 2019. Applications will reopen for 2020 on Monday 30 September 2019.

Before you make your application

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

Making your application

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

All students take twelve modules for a total 120 credits, plus a research project.

The programme is currently delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, project-based and laboratory-based teaching and learning methods.

The research project involves full-time research for one third of the academic year. The project report must be submitted in September of your year of study and will be internally assessed by two academic staff. 

Each student will be required to give a project presentation (20 min talk plus 10 min for questions) which will be marked by two academic staff.

Our graduates go on to become engineers and scientists at a wide variety of industrial partners, or opt to continue their studies at PhD level.

Typical employers:

  • BAE Systems
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Royal Air Force
  • British Petroleum

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.