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BSc Materials Science and Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

Begin your journey into Materials Science and Engineering at Manchester, home to the most diverse university activity devoted to materials research in Europe. Material scientists are shaping our world and in the Department of Materials you will develop a true understanding of the science - in practical subjects that meet the needs of an ever-changing industry.

Our three-year BSc course provides both the fundamentals of materials science and engineering and the opportunity for specialisation in the areas that interest you most. In your final year, for example, you can choose to focus on a specific topic such as nanomaterials, metallurgy, polymers, biomaterials, textiles or corrosion science, getting hands-on with Manchester's incredible range of unique facilities as part of your final-year research project.

You'll be taught by leading academics in their field, we are proud of the Department of Materials' excellent Research ratings, and our high staff-to-student ratio means you will receive close individual attention and frequent tutorial sessions. Known for our congenial atmosphere, we place emphasis on academic and pastoral support, helping students from a range of educational backgrounds to reach their full potential.

What's more, our students typically go on to enjoy an average six-months-after-graduating salary in excess of £24,000 - significantly higher than the sector average.


  • We will provide a broad and balanced curriculum in materials science and engineering that both meets the requirements for accreditation with the professional body and equips you with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to pursue a successful career - in either an industrial or research environment.
  • You will be taught by academic staff at the forefront of research in materials science and engineering, learning through both advanced course units and project work.
  • You will foster subject-specific and transferable skills, including experience of materials processing and characterisation methods, oral and written communication, group work and IT skills.
  • We will monitor, review and enhance educational provision to ensure it remains relevant to both the needs of your progression and to current developments in research and industry.

Special features

Where ideas come to life


This course is accredited by the Engineering Council and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). Upon graduating with an accredited Bachelor’s (with Honours) in engineering, plus further learning of an accredited Master’s degree, students will have fulfilled the educational requirements for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

(All our Master’s degrees are also accredited, and so if taken in combination with this BSc course would fulfil the educational requirements.)

Excellent facilities and links

In our new Home of Engineering and Materials , we're ripping up the rule book to offer a truly innovative teaching and learning experience. You'll have access to world-leading sustainable research facilities and some of the most unique, industry-leading equipment and instrumentation in the sector to meet today's requirements and those of the future.

Get hands-on with a fantastic range of on-site facilities and equipment . The Department of Materials is associated with a number of leading centres and institutes, including Graphene@Manchester and the Henry Royce Institute .

Project work opportunities

Our final-year research project will provide you with in-depth experience of working in a team conducting cutting-edge research. It can be the ideal grounding for progressing into work in research and development, or going on to study at PhD level.

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. A key part of year three is an extensive final-year project. During this project, you will choose a topic of particular interest to undertake in-depth research. Working within one of the established research groups in the School, this enables you to develop further practical and analytical skills, as well as gain real experience of Materials Research. In the past, such projects have led to students presenting their work at international scientific conferences as well as winning prestigious national awards.

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

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 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 materials science and engineering, and fashion business and technology.

Our new Home of Engineering and Materials opened in 2022 and is a place like no other. This is where engineers, material scientists and fashion students collaborate, innovate and make their mark on the world. Unleash your potential in our creative, academic playground that signals the evolution of a proud history of innovation spanning almost 200 years.

In this very special place, we're ripping up the rule book, offering you a truly innovative teaching and learning experience. As well as our creative classrooms, you'll also have access to world-leading sustainable research facilities in our new buildings.

Our variety of spaces allows for greater collaboration for all our students, and it is the place to connect and tackle real-life challenges together. So, a chemical engineer could be sat alongside a materials scientist working on clean water, or bump into a fashion student developing their own sustainable brand, or an aerospace engineer sending a rocket into space. It is a place like no other for interactions and one of the biggest communities of engineers and materials scientists in any University in the world.

Dive into a world of possibilities, whether you are interested in aerospace, robotics, or sustainable fashion, there's a home for you here. Explore Our Home for Engineering and Material Science .

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.

Disability support

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