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MSc Advanced Materials

Course Description

Our Advanced Materials MSc is a broad-based, flexible modular programme, giving you a thorough understanding of advanced engineering materials and the techniques used for their characterisation.


This MSc has led to career development, new employment opportunities, PhDs and EngDs. It is excellent for continuing education, and many part-time students are funded by employers.

Programme overview

Offered as part of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/mes/study/pd/courses/

The aim of the Advanced Materials MSc is to:

- Increase and update the knowledge of those with some years’ experience in materials
- Be a conversion course for graduates in other subjects who are moving into materials
- Equip graduates with a thorough understanding of a wide range of advanced engineering materials and the techniques used for their characterisation

Full-time and part-time students study seven lecture theatre and laboratory-based modules (from 13 currently available) which are taught as one-week short-course modules. These 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. Generally, the assessment is to be completed within six weeks of the end of the short-course by full-time students and over several months by part-time students.

In addition to the modules mentioned above, there is also a materials-based research Project, which is divided into a Research Project Planning module and the Project; the assessment for these is by a report relevant to planning the Project and by a dissertation, respectively. There are no formal written examinations for the programme.

Module overview

Of the short-course modules that make up the MSc in Advanced Materials, the modules Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering, and Research Methods are compulsory (Research Project Planning is also compulsory for students taking the Project; part-time students unable to carry out a Project complete extra modules and an Independent Study). In addition, a further three from the following five modules are chosen: Characterisation of Advanced Materials; Introduction to Physical Metallurgy; Ceramics and Ceramic Coatings; Polymers: Science, Engineering and Applications; and Introduction to Composite Materials.

Additional modules are taken from the module list to make up the 180 credits required for the MSc degree. Brief descriptions of all the modules (compulsory and optional) are provided below.

All of the modules are taught by experts from the University and almost all of the modules also include lectures and presentations from users of the technology in industry and research organisations. Most modules include practical demonstrations or laboratory work, as well as tutorial sessions. Some also include site visits to see processes in operation. Modules usually start on Monday morning and finish at Friday lunchtime.

The project and dissertation, approximately 18 weeks of work, are undertaken in the Faculty laboratories by full-time students and in their place of work by part-time students working on a project which is part of their normal work. As mentioned above, part-time students who do not have access to experimental facilities may take an independent study option and write a dissertation which is a theoretical piece of work. This carries less credits than an experimentally based project, so the student takes two additional short-course modules.

Programme structure

Typically, the entire programme will be made up of 210 contact hours and 1,590 hours of self-study. Each module carries 15 credits, except for the Project (60 credits) or Independent Study (45 credits). The MSc degree is awarded on the attainment of 180 credits, the Postgraduate Diploma at 120 credits and the Postgraduate Certificate at 60 credits.

Programme aims and objectives

We aim to provide you with a broad knowledge of the properties, manufacture, selection, characterisation, design, usage and economics of materials in science and engineering applications. We will equip you with a thorough understanding of the major classes of advanced materials and the means by which they are selected, characterised and utilised.

The Advanced Materials MSc is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) when a Project is undertaken. Students completing the MSc programme in this way will have fulfilled the Masters-level requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status awarded through either of these institutions.

Teaching and assessment

Short courses are the main building blocks of this MSc programme. Each short course has its own assessment package which requires an in-depth study of the material of the module (including use of available research literature, when appropriate). It is expected that 120 hours of study is required to answer the questions within the assessment package.

Full-time students undertake their projects within the Faculty laboratories. For part-time students, the project is normally undertaken in the student’s place of work. An independent study module may be taken by part-time students who are unable to undertake a project. The independent study consists of a 10,000-word dissertation on a materials topic of current interest.

As indicated above, a number of the short courses run in alternate years and therefore are not all available to full-time students who attend for twelve months.

When the assessment package for a module has been marked, the mark is given, subject to confirmation by the statutory university bodies. The official awarding of credits is made subsequently by the appropriate university body with information from the MSc Board of Examiners.

The credit system is in line with that initiated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). The intention is that credits are transferable between institutions using the Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Teaching hours

Each module corresponds to 150 hours of work, which includes about 30 hours of lectures/tutorial/practical classes within a one-week short course.

Facilities and equipment

The laboratories employed for teaching on the MSc programme are well equipped and maintained. The facilities span the activities of fabrication, characterisation, testing, design and modelling. Some of these laboratories are used for practical classes and demonstrations during the modules, and all of the laboratories are available for student project work.

We are particularly well equipped for materials characterisation. We are home to one of Europe’s largest surface analysis laboratory (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/mes/research/centre_engineering_materials/sal/), including small-area XPS, time-of-flight SIMS, Auger microscopy and scanning probe microscopy instrumentation, and an electron microscopy facility comprising four electron microscopes, plus associated analytical techniques. Other facilities include: XRD, optical microscopy, particle-size analysis, thermal analysis (DSC, TGA), non-destructive analytical techniques (acoustic emission, X-radiography, ultrasonics) and dilatometry.

For mechanical testing, the facilities include a full range of quasi-static and fatigue testing instruments, which have recently been upgraded with state-of-the-art software, and standard and micro-hardness testing machines. Design and modelling activities primarily employ the finite element analysis software ANSYS and ABAQUS, and this is installed on the Faculty’s dedicated computing suite.

All students are enrolled as student members of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).


The MSc in Advanced Materials is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) (http://www.iom3.org/) and by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) (http://www.imeche.org/) when a Project is undertaken.


Our Admissions Policy (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/policies/postgraduate-admissions-policy) provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

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

(Student Profile)

Professor Julie Yeomans; Director of the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Micro and Nanomaterials and Technologies

"The Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences has a wealth of opportunities for anyone thinking about postgraduate study. From aerostructures, Alzheimer’s disease and adhesion to vehicle dynamics, water pipes and wind engineering, our research tackles issues that make a real difference to people’s lives."


Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


Self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on .


GREAT Surrey Scholarships India - 6 Awards

Funded by the University and the UK government’s GREAT Britain campaign, up to six scholarships worth £5,000 (paid in the form of a fee discount) are being offered on postgraduate taught courses from the following subjects:- Chemical and Process Engineering
- Chemistry
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Environment and Sustainability
- Mathematics
- Mechanical Engineering Sciences
- PhysicsWHO CAN APPLY?You can apply for a GREAT Surrey Scholarship if:- You hold a high first-class degree from an Indian university (the minimum requirement is 65 per cent from a prestigious university or 70 per cent from a regional university).
- You hold an offer from Surrey to study any MSc course within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as listed above (you must hold an offer before submitting an application for a scholarship)

Value of Scholarship(s)



The GREAT Scholarship – India programme is aimed at high-calibre Indian students who want to study for a postgraduate programme in engineering.

Application Procedure

To apply, you will need to complete the online form - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/content/great-scholarships-india-2016

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum 2.2 honours degree (or overseas equivalent) in an appropriate science or engineering subject. Alternatively a combination of academic qualifications, training and several years of relevant experience may also be considered to be a suitable background for the programme.

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