Masters degrees in Materials Science investigate the properties of natural and artificial materials. They develop expertise in the production and use of everyday components as well as advanced products and high-tech resources.
A diverse range of specialisms are available, with courses in Ceramics, Paper Technology or Metallurgy. Individual degrees may examine the inherent properties of these materials, or look more closely at their use and manufacture. Many programmes are wholly or partly interdisciplinary, drawing on other sciences such as Chemistry or on specific Engineering techniques.
Courses may be delivered through taught units, or based on more extensive research projects. A range of MSc, MPhil and MRes programmes are available, along with appropriate Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas.
Various employers will value the skills and experiences you gain with a Materials Science Masters. Obvious opportunities exist wherever a focus exists on the design and use of advanced materials.
This includes companies producing common consumer textiles as well as heavy goods manufacturers. Careers are also available with medical and pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop new equipment or dressings. Or you might work for environmental organisations focussing on the development of future renewable and sustainable materials.
Information in these tables is based on the 2014/15 publication of the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey, produced by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency. Data is given for graduates of UK Masters degrees and other level 7 postgraduate courses, after 3.5 years. Some figures have been rounded.
Degree: Master of Science (two years) with a major in Applied Physics or Master of Science (two years) with a major in Physics
Teaching language: English
The Material Physics and Nanotechnology master's programme provides students with specialist knowledge in the area of new materials. Huge advances in modern technology and products in recent decades have to a large extent relied on developments in this field.
The importance of advanced materials in today’s technology is best exemplified by the highly purified semiconductor crystals that are the basis of the electronic age. Future implementations and applications of materials in electronics and photonics involve such subjects as nano-scale physics, molecular electronics and non-linear optics.
With support from internationally competitive research activities in materials physics at Linköping University, the programme has been established with distinct features that offer students high‑level interdisciplinary education and training in fundamental solid state physics and materials science within the following areas:
The programme emphasises the comprehension of scientific principles and the development of personal and professional skills in solving practical engineering problems. Studies begin with mandatory courses, including nanotechnology, quantum mechanics, surface physics and the physics of condensed matter, in order to provide students with a solid knowledge foundation for modern materials science and nanotechnology. Moreover, through courses in experimental physics and analytical methods in materials science, students gain extensive training in operating the advanced instruments and equipment currently used in the research and development of new materials.
A variety of elective courses is offered from the second term onwards, many of them involving the use of cutting-edge technology. These courses give students a broad perspective of today’s materials science research and links to applications in semiconductor technology, optoelectronics, bioengineering (biocompatibility), chemical sensors and biosensors, and mechanical applications for high hardness and elasticity. Students will also be instructed through in-depth CDIO (Conceive – Design – Implement – Operate) project courses, to develop abilities in creative thinking and problem solving.
Students complete a thesis project in the area of materials science and nanotechnology, either with an in-house research group or the industry.
With a growing world population, there is increasing need for scientific experts and entrepreneurs who can develop novel materials with advanced properties - addressing critical issues from energy to healthcare - and take scientific discoveries to the commercial world. This degree combines frontline research-based teaching from across UCL to train the next generation of materials scientists.
The programme aims to equip students with advanced, comprehensive knowledge of materials science and related state-of-the-art technologies, an understanding of the structure, properties and applications of materials, scientific research skills, and the insight and capability to be an entrepreneur in the field. In addition, students will engage in a literature project and a six-month cutting-edge research project.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), a literature project (15 credits) and a research project/dissertation (60 credits).
Students choose one or two optional modules to a total value of 30 credits from the following:
All students undertake a literature project and a research project an independent research project which culminates in a 20-minute oral presentation and a dissertation of 10,000 to 12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
Teaching is delivered by lectures, interactive tutorials, case discussions, and modelling projects. Assessment is by a combination of ongoing coursework, presentations, a group project and/or a written examination, a dissertation and a viva voce.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Advanced Materials Science MSc
On graduation students will be equipped for a future career as a materials scientist or engineer in academia or industry, or as an entrepreneur.
In addition to the specific skills and knowledge students acquire by taking this programme, they also develop managerial and entrepreneurship skills, and transferable skills in areas including literature search, design of experiments, materials research, critical data analysis, teamwork and effective communication skills using real-life case scenarios and student-led group projects.
Advanced Materials Science MSc relates scientific theories to research and applications of advanced materials, encourages innovation and creative thinking, and contextualises scientific innovation within the global market and entrepreneurship.
The programme aims to deliver innovative teaching; from the group design projects where students are challenged to design the next advanced material to the module, Mastering Entrepreneurship, where students learn how to apply research in the commercial world.
Students on this interdisciplinary programme benefit from UCL’s emphasis on research-based learning and teaching and research input from departments across UCL in mathematical and physical sciences, and in engineering.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Materials Science is the foundation for much of the technological advances in recent decades, and continues to drive development of new devices and functionalities in a wide variety of fields. This programme is designed to cater for those in full-time employment who are interested in such fields.
The programme will give students an understanding of the principal facts, theories and characterisation methods associated with materials science, with the aim to develop knowledge and capability that will enhance the work performance of students employed in materials based industries or make them directly employable in a range of positions within such industries.
Materials Science drives the development of new devices and functionalities in a variety of industries. This MSc is designed for those in full-time employment who are interested in such fields.
The programme aims to develop knowledge and capability that will enhance the work performance of students employed in materials based industries or make them directly employable in a range of positions within such industries.
It is estimated 70 per cent of innovations are due to an advance in materials. This course provides a solid grounding in all types of materials, and aims to prepare you for a career in industry or research by teaching you the concepts and theories that make materials science and engineering possible.
Our research-led teaching introduces you to all the latest developments; you’ll have the option to keep your course general or tailor your degree with optional modules to specialise in the area that interests you the most. Specialist modules include ceramic science and advanced solid state chemistry.
A friendly, forward-thinking community, our students and staff are on hand to welcome you to the department and ensure you settle into student life.
Your project supervisor will support you throughout your course. Plus you’ll have access to our extensive network of alumni, offering industry insight and valuable career advice to support your own career pathway.
Prospective employers recognise the value of our courses, and know that our students can apply their knowledge to industry. Our graduates work for organisations including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, the National Nuclear Laboratory and Saint-Gobain. Roles include materials development engineer, reactor engineer and research manager. They also work in academia in the UK and abroad.
90 per cent of our graduates are employed or in further study 6 months after graduating, with an average starting salary of £27,000, the highest being £50,000.
We have invested in extensive, world-class equipment and facilities to provide a stimulating learning environment. Our laboratories are equipped to a high standard, with specialist facilities for each area of research.
Tools and production facilities for materials processing, fabrication and testing, including wet chemical processing for ceramics and polymers, rapid solidification and water atomisation for nanoscale metallic materials, and extensive facilities for deposition of functional and structural coatings.
Our £3million advanced nuclear materials research facility provides a high-quality environment for research on radioactive waste and disposal. Our unique thermomechanical compression and arbitrary strain path equipment is used for simulation of hot deformation.
You’ll have access to newly refurbished array of microscopy and analysis equipment, x-ray facilities, and surface analysis techniques covering state-of-the-art XPS and SIMS. There are also laboratories for cell and tissue culture, and facilities for measuring electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties.
The Kroto Research Institute and the Nanoscience and Technology Centre enhance our capabilities in materials fabrication and characterisation, and we have a computer cluster for modelling from the atomistic through nano and mesoscopic to the macroscopic.
An interdisciplinary research-led department; our network of world leading academics at the cutting edge of their research inform our courses providing a stimulating, dynamic environment in which to study.
Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes delivered by academic and industry experts.
You’ll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignments and a dissertation.
Mamaself is a two year European Master program in Materials science, a program of excellence build in the framework of the Erasmus Mundus program. One specific aim of the Mamaself program is to teach the application of "Large scale facilities" for the characterisation and development of materials.
Modern life and globalisation imply new and additional exigencies for scientists and scientific engineers in the field of scientific and industrial competitiveness. This holds specifically for the development of new technologies and new materials which are important key-products and which contribute to the technological and scientific competitiveness of highly industrialized countries. The characterisation of these materials and also the optimising of technologies strongly demand sophisticated methods, some of them uniquely available at "Large scale facilities” using neutrons or synchrotron radiation.
The Master Mamaself’s objective is to train in a very multidisciplinary and international approach high-level students who will manage perfectly the scientific and technological aspects of the elaboration, the implementation, the control and the follow-up of materials, capable of fitting into the industrial environment as well as continuing with a PhD.
The Mamaself Consortium includes 5 primary European Universities in the field of Materials sciences, Engineering Physics, Chemistry :
The partners have a large background in materials science and a long collaboration with Large Scale Facilities. They are located in culturally and historically rich European towns. Through full integration of teaching and research, the consortium universities have managed to bring together different specializations in a unique course programme.
The Erasmus Mundus programme is a co-operation and mobility programme in higher education. It aims to enhance quality in European higher education and to promote intercultural understanding through co-operation with third countries.
The programme is intended to strengthen European co-operation and international links in higher education by supporting high-quality European Masters Courses, enabling students from around the world to engage in postgraduate study at European higher education institutions, as well as encouraging the outgoing mobility of European students and scholars towards third countries.
The program is organized as a pedagogic continuum:
The course begins in September (semester 1) of each year, including lectures, tutorials, seminars and a work-based research project
Students can start Year 1 of their studies at any of the five partner universities. Semester 3 is offered at one the other 4 partner universities, while semester 4 can be undertaken in industry, at one of the consortium universities, at LSF or at any of the partner universities.
In each semester, students take 30 ECTS credits.
The duration of the Mamaself Masters course is two years (120 ECTS credits). The academic program is split into two years with 60 ECTS credits for each. The language of instruction and examination is English. The student will stay one year in one institution and a second second in another institution. In respect of the Erasmus Mundus mobility rules, students must change country between Yea 1 and Year 2. It is not possible to stay the two years at the same site in Munich. It is possible to go back to one of the two first institutions for the 4th semester.
The first year consists of lectures and practicals at one out of the five universities yielding 60 ECTS. This part of teaching will take place at one of the 5 leading European universities belonging to the consortium.
At the end of the first year, student must change country and join a second institution.
Students will receive at least 2 European Master diploma , one for each institution.
The second academic year will start with a summer school of two weeks, where both lectures and practicals (comprehensively corresponding to 7 ECTS) will offer an excellent introduction into the use of “Large Scale Facilities”. The core of the lectures will all be given by the scientists responsible of the Master in each of the four universities (W. Paulus, P. Rabiller, W. Petry and W. Schmahl, C. Lamberti), exhibiting a huge background in this area. Each year the core lectures will be supported by specific seminars given by other university colleagues and by researchers directly coming from national or European Large Scale Facilities centers.
During these two weeks, the topic of the Master thesis will be chosen by the student out of a list of subjects proposed by the staff of the institutions.
During the first semester of the second year each student has to shift to one out of the four other universities. The first semester consists in lectures and practicals (30 ects, cf programme in each university of the consortium). During the second semester of the second year the student has to undergo the Master thesis work which will also yield 30 ECTS. The thesis work will take six months and is generally in strong relation with the use of ”Large Scale Facilities” for applied or academic research problem.
The research topic can be supervised and located at large Scale Facilities, but will then be jointly supervised by an advisor of one of the consortium institutions. The research work is finalised by a written dissertation, wich must be defended in front of a comittee.
Students may undergo their master thesis at another partner institution in Japan (Kyoto University, Tokyo Institite of Technology) Switzerland (PSI / ETH Zurich) or India (IIT Madras), Univeristy Cornell (USA), University of Connecticut (USA).
Find out about the Study Program - https://www.mamaself.eu/study-program
Find out about the Master Thesis - https://www.mamaself.eu/master-thesis
Students must apply online on the Mamaself application site:
-Fill the online form
-Add the requested documents;
Practical information can be found here - https://www.mamaself.eu/practical-information
The masters course in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, offered in partnership with the School of Chemistry, is multi-disciplinary: it provides Chemists, Materials Scientists and Engineers with a rich understanding of both traditional commodity plastics and speciality polymers with increasing applications in the biomedical and pharmaceutical fields, and in electronics and nanotechnology. The full range of issues, from fundamental polymer science, through polymer processing, to manufacturing are all covered.
The taught part of the programme is based on discrete compulsory and optional taught course units.
Example of taught units on this course are:
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
The majority of graduates of this programme go on to fill key posts as materials scientists, engineers, managers and consultants in academia, industry and research and development. Some advance to PhD programmes within the School.