For graduates 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. The course is designed 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.
You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of materials science, 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.
This degree is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).
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 five specialist pathways, each comprising three modules worth a total of 45 credits. You can focus on one of the following pathways:
- Materials Science – A broad approach covering ceramics, metals, polymers, composites and biomaterials.
- Functional Materials – Materials used in high-tech devices, including optics, electroceramics, solid state ionics and nanomaterials.
- Metallurgy – Metals and alloys, the techniques for processing them, and the chemistry involved in extracting and refining them.
- Nanomaterials – Jointly taught with the Schools of Physics and Chemistry, this pathway focuses on the properties, applications and production techniques of nanomaterials.
- Polymers and Soft Solids – Jointly taught with the School of Physics, this pathway focuses on biological physics as well as the properties and synthesis of polymers, colloids and glasses.
You will finish 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.
The programme concludes 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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- 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
- Team Design Project 15 credits
- Biomaterials and Applications 15 credits
- Materials Modelling 15 credits
- Metals and Alloys 15 credits
- Materials for Photonic Applications 15 credits
- Materials for Electronic Applications 15 credits
- Ceramics, Polymers and Composites 15 credits
- Nanomaterials 15 credits
- Process Metallurgy 15 credits
- Extractive Metallurgy 15 credits
- Polymer Synthesis, Self-Assembly and Properties 15 credits
- Properties and Applications of (Nano)Materials 15 credits
- Soft Matter Physics: Polymers, Colloids and Glasses 15 credits
- Nanomagnetism 15 credits
- Physics of Biological Systems 15 credits
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
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 requirementsIELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks).
If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.
How to apply
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible for taught postgraduate programmes. The Faculty of Engineering will only consider applications made before the dates below, subject to places being available:
31 July – International Applicants
10 September - UK/EU applications
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.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a scheme called the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). If you are an international (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will need an ATAS certificate to study this course at the University of Leeds.
To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and descriptor. For this course, the CAH code is: CAH07-03-03 and the descriptor is Materials Science.
More information and details on how to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme.
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.
UK/EU: £10,500 (total)
International: £22,750 (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.
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.
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
- 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