MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Textiles Technology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Materials - Shaping the World

Course unit fact file
Unit code MATS16402
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 4
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit provides an overview of the application of different types of materials, and how they perform in extreme conditions, to reinforce the knowledge learnt in first semester units by a combination of taught examples and self-learning through applying concepts in the form of case studies.



  • Reinforce the basic knowledge and theories learnt in first year units.
  • Improve confidence in the use of skills, team working, peer review and communication of ideas.
  • Provide an overview of the applications of different types of materials, why they are selected and how they are designed to perform in extreme conditions.


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

Lectures, group excises, guided team work case studies, recommended textbooks, web resources, electronic supporting information (Blackboard), peer-assisted study sessions (PASS), peer review.



Knowledge and understanding

  • Discuss the general factors driving new materials developments
  • Understand the thought processes and complexities involved in balancing a range of material property requirements for a demanding application, including mechanical performance, degradation in the environment, cost, environmental issues and the production process.
  • Apply basic materials’ concepts to understanding in developing new materials for demanding applications.
  • Discuss the unique microstructure and property balance that determines the applications of different types of important advanced structural and functional materials.
  • Discuss of the unique property balance that has evolved in natural materials and underpins their biological function.

Intellectual skills

  • Show improved logical reasoning and problem solving.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the effect of changing the chemistry and microstructure/architecture of a material on its properties 

Practical skills

  • Research literature sources
  • Design and créate an e-media file / e-book 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Work effectively in a team with defined roles to solve problems.
  • Plan, prioritise, delegate/distribute and deliver a programme of work within a team.
  • Communication of ideas in an oral and video format.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback given verbal + written

Recommended reading

  • “Stuff Matters: The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World”. M. Miodnownik, Penguine, 2013.
  • “Materials Science and Engineering - An Introduction”, W. D. Callister, D. G. Rethwisch, Pub. Wiley, 2010.
  • “Materials engineering, science, processing and design”,  M.F. Ashby, H.R. Shercliff and D. Cebon. Butterworth-Heinemann, 3rd edition, 2013.
  • “Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design” M.F. Ashby, Butterworth-Heinemann, 2010.
  • “Corrosion Engineering”, M.G. Fontana, McGraw-Hill, 2005.


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Independent study hours
Independent study 176

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Dirk Engelberg Unit coordinator

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