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Course content

Offered as part of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Full-time and part-time students study a number of one-week short-course modules comprising lectures, laboratory sessions and tutorials.

The modules cover metals, polymers, ceramics, composites, nanomaterials, bonding, surfaces, corrosion, fracture, fatigue, analytical techniques and general research methods. Each module is followed by an open book assessment of approximately 120 hours.

There is also a materials-based research project, which is made up of the Research Project Planning and the Project modules.

The MSc in Advanced Materials is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) when a Project is undertaken.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over five academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a compulsory Project.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide students with a broad knowledge of the manufacture, characterisation and properties of advanced materials
  • To address issues of sustainability such as degradation and recycling
  • To equip graduate scientists and engineers with specific expertise in the selection and use of materials for industry
  • To enable students to prepare, plan, execute and report an original piece of research
  • To develop a deeper understanding of a materials topic which is of particular interest (full-time students) or relevance to their work in industry (part-time students) by a project based or independent study based thesis

Programme learning outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:

Knowledge and understanding

  • The different major classes of advanced materials
  • Routes for manufacturing and processing of advanced materials
  • Characterisation techniques for analysing bonding and microstructure
  • Mechanical, chemical and physical properties of advanced materials
  • Processing -microstructure - property relationships of advanced materials
  • Material selection and use
  • Appropriate mathematical methods

Intellectual / cognitive skills

  • Reason systematically about the behaviour of materials
  • Select materials for an application
  • Predict material properties
  • Understand mathematical relationships relating to material properties
  • Plan experiments, interpret experimental data and discuss experimental results in the context of present understanding in the field

Professional practical skills

  • Research information to develop ideas and understanding
  • Develop an understanding of, and competence, in using laboratory equipment and instrumentation
  • Apply mathematical methods, as appropriate

Key / transferable skills

  • Use the scientific process to reason through to a sound conclusion
  • Write clear reports
  • Communicate ideas clearly and in an appropriate format
  • Design and carry out experimental work

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.


Visit the Advanced Materials MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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