Materials Science and Engineering MSc

(Full time) 2017 start

Course information for 2016 start


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 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.

Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Materials Science and Engineering module descriptions for more detail on what you will study.

Course structure

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


Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project (MSc) 60 credits
  • Phase Transformations and Microstructural Control 15 credits
  • Structure-Property Relationships 15 credits
  • Materials Selection and Failure Analysis 15 credits
  • Materials Structures and Characterisation 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Interdisciplinary Design Project 15 credits
  • Biomaterials and Applications 15 credits
  • Materials Modelling 15 credits
  • Materials for Functional Applications 30 credits
  • Metals and Alloys 15 credits
  • Ceramics, Polymers and Composites 15 credits
  • Nanomaterials 15 credits
  • Process Metallurgy 15 credits
  • Extractive Metallurgy 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Materials Science and Engineering MSc in programme catalogue

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of the discipline through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.


You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments, vivas and projects.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

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.

All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:

  • don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
  • want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.

Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science and Engineering B (6 weeks) and Language for Science and Engineering A (10 weeks).

How to apply

Application deadlines:
International: 31 July 2017UK/EU: 10 September 2017
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Any applications submitted after this deadline may be considered on a case by case basis.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

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.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Engineering Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: £10,000 (total)

International: £20,250 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

The Faculty of Engineering and the School of Chemical and Process Engineering offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. For some programmes, there may also be external sources of funding available to some students. Find out more about our Scholarships.

Career opportunities

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.

The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.


The research project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.

Recent projects by MSc Materials Science and Engineering students have included:

  • Hydrothermal synthesis of metal oxide nanoparticles
  • Temperature variable X-ray diffraction of high temperature piezoelectric material BiFeO3-KBiTiO3-PbTiO3
  • Fabrication of glass waveguide devices by femtosecond laser inscription
  • Microstructure development in drop-tube processed cast iron
  • Validation of cooling rate models of drop-tube processing
  • Characterisation of graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) produced by solvent exfoliation of graphite
  • Studies of the effect of milling variables in the production of nanoparticles
  • Microstructural investigation of spray atomized powders