MSc Corrosion Control Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Corrosion Management for Sustainability

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS66402
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


In this unit you will learn about how corrosion can be managed and controlled by the application of surface coatings and electrochemical methods and how economic analysis, corrosion testing and the application of standards can help in determining the most appropriate and cost-effective management solution for corrosion control.

The unit focuses on the corrosion, and the corrosion protection, of structural materials (e.g. carbon steels, light alloys and steel reinforced concrete) in natural environments (e.g. in the air, in the sea and in the earth). Natural environments are intrinsically more variable then under industrial conditions and the influence of this variability on mechanisms of corrosion will be reviewed.

Corrosion damage can be mitigated by materials selection, geometric design, environmental modification, protective coatings and by electrochemical protection. In this unit, corrosion control using electrochemical methods (anodic passivation and cathodic protection) and by protective coatings including: anodised layers on light metals, metallic coatings, and organic coatings, will be studied in detail.

A case study approach will be used to understand how the most appropriate corrosion control method for an application may be determined by either the application of industry standards, or by selection after corrosion testing or by economic analysis



This unit studies the factors that influence the performance of materials used in vehicles, vessels and aircraft as well as materials in the built environment on land and offshore.

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

  • Blended learning, including online lectures, online activities, online tutorials and in-person activities for a total of 30 hours
  • Laboratory-based (either practical or virutual) learning, including demonstrations: 12 hours
  • Independent learning, including self-directed reading and assignments: 60 hours

Knowledge and understanding

  • Describe methods by which protective coatings may be applied to structural materials and how their service performance may be evaluated.
  • Identify how corrosion testing, the application of industry standards and economic analysis can be used to manage corrosion and to select suitable corrosion control methodsExplain the factors that influence corrosion damage in the natural environments of the sea, the soil, lakes and rivers, and in the air (the atmospheric environment).
  • Explain how anodising can improve the corrosion performance of light alloys and anodic passivation that of corrosion resistant alloys.
  • Describe the industrial application of cathodic protection giving examples; explain how calcareous films develop and evolve during cathodic protection.

Intellectual skills

  • Interpret thermodynamic (i.e. E v. pH or Pourbaix) and/or kinetic (i.e. E v log(i) or Evans’) diagrams to summarise how cathodic protection and anodic passivation work.
  • Employ the theory of high field ion conduction to illustrate the mechanism of anodic film formation on valve metals; recognise how pH and potential influence the formation of porous or barrier anodic films.
  • Appraise and justify the Nguyen and Mayne mechanisms for the corrosion protection by organic coatings; defend these ideas against competing theories.

Practical skills

Understand how the effectiveness of cathodic protection can be measured by mapping the corrosion potential of a galvanically protected structure.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Analyse potential corrosion control measures for an engineering application using data from corrosion testing and select the most cost-effective using an economic analysis.
  • Prepare a presentation to justify the most suitable option to a non-technical audience such as senior management.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 30%
Written assignment (inc essay) 70%

Feedback methods

Feedback given (Written and verbal).

Recommended reading

  • Book: “Principle of corrosion engineering and control”, Zaki Ahmed
  • Book: “Shreirs’ Corrosion”, all relevant chapters
  • Article: “Soil corrosivity in the UK: Impacts on critical infrastructure”


  • Book: “Intelligent coatings for corrosion control”, Atul Tiwari Lloyd Hihara James Rawlins
  • Book: “Corrosion and its control by coatings”, Gordon Bierwagen
  • Learn chemistry: “Anodising aluminium”



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Practical classes & workshops 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 60

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michele Curioni Unit coordinator

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