MEng Materials Science and Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course description

Materials Science is a synthesis of physics, chemistry, and engineering. It is the building block on which modern industry has and will continue to advance.

This programme provides a thorough grounding in the scientific principles governing the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of all solid materials, and the opportunity to specialise in the study of a particular class of material (metal, ceramic, or polymer) through a choice of options. The extensive (half year) final year project enables you to tackle a topic at the forefront of Materials Science in depth. It will develop further practical and analytical skills. Formal teaching in communication and transferable skills, including basic management and organisational behaviour, computing and presentation techniques, is given to complement the academic training.

Lectures and tutorials are led staff who are all experts in their field with a deep knowledge of the subjects they teach. 87% of our students agree staff are good at explaining things to them.

Our staff are passionate about their subject. 80% of our students report that staff are enthusiastic about what they teach

Our courses are constantly revised with inputs from both students and industry to cover the latest developments and deliver learning in the most effective way. 82% of our students agree that the time they spend in teaching activities is used efficiently

Students on our courses have access to library and computer facilities that are dedicated to supporting their learning. 90% of our students agree that IT resources are easy to access and meet their needs.


  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum in Materials Science and Engineering, meeting the requirements for accreditation with the professional body, in order to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue successful careers in both industrial and research environments.
  • Provide a teaching environment in which undergraduate students can interact with academic staff at the forefront of research in Materials Science and Engineering, through advanced course units and project work.
  • Foster subject-specific and transferable skills, including experience of materials processing and characterisation methods, oral and written communication, group work and IT skills.
  • Provide students with effective academic and pastoral support, to cater for students from a wide range of educational backgrounds and enable all students to acheive their full potential.
  • Monitor, review and enhance educational provision to ensure that it remains relevant to the needs of student progression and to current developments in research and industry.
  • Special features

    The future of engineering education at Manchester, MECD
    • The course is accredited by the Institute of Materials (IOM 3 ) and counts as academic training towards the professional qualification of Chartered Engineer.
    • A high staff to student ratio means students receive excellent individual attention and frequent tutorial sessions.
    • A final year research project enables students to gain an in-depth experience of working in a research team conducting a cutting-edge project, providing a grounding for working in R&D or going on to study at PhD level.
    • On-site factilities and equipment that students are both allowed and encouraged to use.
    • We're getting ready to move into a £400million Manchester Engineering Campus Development. Learn more
    • The Department of Materials has excellent Research ratings.

    Teaching and learning

    In addition to excellent academic reputations in teaching and research, we pride ourselves on our friendly atmosphere, and high level of staff-student contact both on a formal and informal basis.

    Coursework and assessment

    Assessment is by a combination of coursework and examinations. The subject is by nature practical and this is reflected in the teaching and assessment methods which as well as lectures and exams include:

    • Laboratories
    • Problem Classes
    • Computing Exercises
    • Team Projects
    • Case Studies
    • Essays

    Coursework is a key element across all units, with a minimum of 20% coursework based assessment for each unit.

    Course content for year 1

    Year one provides an overview of the full range of engineering materials used today and the key principles of Materials Science and Engineering that will be used throughout the course.

    Course units for year 1

    The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

    TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
    Mathematics 1G1 MATH19731 10 Mandatory
    Mathematics 1G2 MATH19732 10 Mandatory
    Physics of Materials MATS15101 10 Mandatory
    Equilibrium Thermodynamics MATS15201 10 Mandatory
    Microstructures of Materials MATS15301 10 Mandatory
    Computing & Communication MATS15501 20 Mandatory
    Preliminary Chemistry Materials MATS15551 0 Mandatory
    Mechanical Behaviour MATS16102 10 Mandatory
    Structure of Solids MATS16202 10 Mandatory
    Functional Properties MATS16302 10 Mandatory
    Materials - Shaping the World MATS16402 20 Mandatory
    Preliminary Physics MATS16661 0 Mandatory
    Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 1

    Course content for year 2

    Year two builds on the foundations established in the first year by focusing more on the processing, design, selection and application of different materials types in real industrial situations.

    Course units for year 2

    The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

    TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
    Mechanics of Materials MATS23101 10 Mandatory
    Materials Synthesis and Sustainability MATS23201 10 Mandatory
    Phase Transformations and Microstructure Control MATS23301 10 Mandatory
    Materials Processing MATS23401 10 Mandatory
    Deformation Mechanisms MATS23502 10 Mandatory
    Functional Behaviour MATS23602 10 Mandatory
    Design, Management and Team Project MATS23702 20 Mandatory
    Biomaterials & Biological Interactions MATS23801 10 Optional
    Smart & Nano Materials MATS23901 10 Optional
    Engineering Alloys in Service MATS24102 10 Optional
    Performance Polymers, Fibres and Textiles MATS24112 10 Optional
    Displaying 10 of 11 course units for year 2

    Course content for year 3

    In year three, alongside core units, you will have the opportunity to specialize through a choice of options

    Course units for year 3

    The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

    TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
    Modelling and Data Tools for Materials Scientists MATS31101 10 Mandatory
    Materials Characterisation and Analytical Techniques MATS31201 10 Mandatory
    Composite & Advanced Materials MATS31301 10 Mandatory
    Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Microfabrication MATS31401 10 Mandatory
    Functional Materials & Devices MATS31501 10 Mandatory
    Structural Integrity MATS31601 10 Mandatory
    Themed Research Project MATS31702 20 Mandatory
    Drug Delivery & Biosensors MATS31802 10 Optional
    Polymer Synthesis & Characterisation MATS31902 10 Optional
    Metallurgy of Engineering Alloys MATS32102 10 Optional
    Corrosion Science & Engineering MATS32202 10 Optional
    Stem Cell & Tissue Engineering MATS32302 10 Optional
    Multiphase Polymers & Nanocomposites MATS32402 10 Optional
    Textile Manufacturing Techniques MATS32602 10 Optional
    Nanotechnology MATS32702 10 Optional
    Displaying 10 of 15 course units for year 3

    Course content for year 4

    In year four, students on the MEng course undertake a core of eight research level modules on technical topics covering the full range of materials technologies. A six-month research project is undertaken, enabling you to gain in-depth experience of working in a research team conducting a cutting-edge project. Students have the option to complete the research project in industry or in one of the research groups within the School. For students interested in higher level study (for example, leading towards a PhD) the research project provides an ideal experience of the research environment and methodologies.

    Course units for year 4

    The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

    TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
    Individual Research Project or Industrial Project MATS42101 60 Mandatory
    Group Management Project MATS42302 15 Mandatory
    Natural Materials & Biological Matrices MATS42402 15 Optional
    Lab to Clinic MATS42502 15 Optional
    Soft Matter MATS42602 15 Optional
    Control & Design of Polymerisation Reactions MATS42702 15 Optional
    Polymer Physics & Physical Properties MATS42802 15 Optional
    Advanced Metals Processing MATS43102 15 Optional
    Superalloys & High Performance Materials MATS43202 15 Optional
    Corrosion Management for Sustainability MATS43402 15 Optional
    Corrosion Control for Industrial Practice MATS43502 15 Optional
    Corrosion Control for Oilfield and Renewable Energy MATS43602 15 Optional
    Advanced Textile Technology MATS43702 15 Optional
    Textiles Evaluation & Clothing MATS43802 15 Optional
    Technical & Biomedical Textiles MATS43902 15 Optional
    Advanced Composites MATS44102 15 Optional
    Graphene & Nanomaterials MATS44202 15 Optional
    Applied Functional Materials & Devices MATS44302 15 Optional
    Displaying 10 of 18 course units for year 4

    Scholarships and bursaries

    The University of Manchester is committed to attracting and supporting the very best students. We have a focus on nurturing talent and ability and we want to make sure that you have the opportunity to study here, regardless of your financial circumstances.

    For information about scholarships and bursaries please visit our undergraduate student finance pages and our the Department funding pages.

    What our students say

    Gabriele tells us why she chose to study Materials at Manchester.
    Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting the Department of Materials blog .


    The Department of Materials is home to an extensive array of unique facilities and equipment, across both its materials science and engineering, and fashion business and technology arms.

    We also benefit from close ties to a long list of leading centres, institutes and research hubs, including but not limited to, the National Graphene Institute, the Photon Science Institute, Henry Royce Institute, Electron Microscopy Centre, Dalton Cumbrian Facility and BP International Centre for Advanced Materials.

    Manchester's Engineering Campus Development, MECD

    Get ready to collaborate, create and innovate in a brand-new £400m purpose-built building which will allow you, our future engineers and material scientists, to come together and make your mark on the world. The Manchester Engineering Campus Development (MECD) will officially open from September 2022 and will include hundreds of flexible teaching and learning spaces with unrivalled world-class research facilities - whatever your inspiration, with MECD the possibilities are endless. Learn more  

    Disability support

    Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: