From aerospace, communications and medicine, right through to everyday consumer goods like TVs, technical fabrics for high-performance clothing and sports equipment, the discovery and development of new materials have impacted the world monumentally. Materials science is also at the forefront of global challenges like the move towards net zero, with new materials for energy generation and storage enabling reduced carbon emissions. This is why material scientists are highly sought after across a whole range of industries — and why it’s such a relevant discipline to learn.
Studying materials science and engineering at Leeds will equip you with a thorough grounding in the concepts that underpin materials science, alongside learning a range of transferable skills to equip you for a career in this fast-moving field.
As it’s a multidisciplinary course, you’ll benefit from the world-class facilities, research and teachings from three separate schools: the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, the School of Physics and the School of Chemistry.
You’ll be taught by academics who are leaders in this sector, many of whom are members of the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials and the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, giving you the chance to interact and develop professional relationships with researchers at the forefront of the industry.
You’ll also have access to world-class research and specialist facilities right here on campus, alongside exciting opportunities like studying abroad and industrial work placements to ensure you have the best grounding to head out into your professional career.
Why study at Leeds:
- Graduate with a degree from a university ranked in the Top 10 in the UK for Chemical Engineering, The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
- Take advantage of our world-leading research here at Leeds, which has been responsible for engineering new technologies and led industry-driven developments that have impacted virtually all industrial sectors.
- Experience expertise teaching, delivered by a programme team who specialise in a wide range of materials science and engineering disciplines and have extensive industry experience.
- Start building your future career path from day one, establishing relations in the field with industry professionals through our strong partnerships with UK industry such as Rolls-Royce, Samsung, Johnson Matthey, IBM, Dow Corning and AstraZeneca.
- Put theory into practice, with access to our specialist facilities across three Schools, including state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, along with labs fully equipped with the latest technology to support your learning.
- Broaden your experience before you graduate and enhance your career prospects with our study abroad programmes and paid industrial work placement opportunities.
- We have over 300 clubs and societies you can join at Leeds — including academic societies across many disciplines. There you can meet more of your coursemates and lecturers, whilst gaining guidance and invaluable insight from industry professionals at regular talks and networking events throughout your degree.
Alongside the fundamentals in materials science and engineering, we also deliver the latest concepts and thinking, providing education in growing areas relevant to the societal needs of today.
On this course, you can choose to study either the four-year Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) or the three-year Bachelor’s (BEng) degree, with the flexibility to tailor the degree to your interests through the optional modules we offer.
During your first year, you’ll explore the fundamental principles that underpin materials science and engineering. You’ll learn the basics of materials structure-property relationships and be introduced to the ideas of materials characterisation. You’ll then practise and apply these skills hands-on in the laboratory, where you’ll perform a number of materials-related experiments. Year 1 lets you develop the core chemistry, physics and mathematical knowledge that underpins material science, along with essential research skills including analysing data and communicating your findings. You’ll also undertake a group project.
In your second year, you’ll continue to build upon your understanding of the underlying chemistry and physics relating to materials science, supplemented with advanced mathematical skills. You’ll then apply your knowledge through the planning and undertaking of a complex experiment project to determine the various properties of materials. You’ll also learn essential health and safety skills for working in the industry, such as safety law, hazards and risks, accident investigations and ISO45001.
Your third year builds on detailed knowledge and applies it to real-world problems. You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in either hard materials (e.g. metals, magnetism ceramics and optics) or soft materials (e.g. bioinspired inorganic crystals, polymers, composite nanomaterials and liquid crystals), with a choice of modules on specific topics.
You’ll also undertake a group project to design a materials process, which includes the consideration of raw materials, health and safety, environmental impact, as well as a detailed technical assessment.
Independently, you’ll produce designs for components within the processing operation, before concluding with a second group report detailing your processing plant’s site plan and financial viability. Professional standards are heavily reinforced during this project, with an emphasis on skills for management, meetings, presenting, communication and working with a “commissioning body”.
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either work in a paid industrial placement or join one of our study abroad programmes, spanning across many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. This will extend your degree by 12 months.
Every year of your course gives you hands-on experience of project work. This gives you the opportunity to explore your subject further, as well as developing valuable skills in problem solving, communication and teamwork.
Find out more about Project work.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Technical Skills and Applications||20|
|Mathematical Techniques 1||10|
|Materials Science and Engineering||20|
|Chemistry 1: Bonding and Behaviour||20|
|Chemistry 2A: Energy and Structure||15|
|Practical Materials Science 1||10|
|Vibrations and Thermal Physics (Joint Honours)||20|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Fundamentals of Process Chemistry||10|
|Foundation Engineering Physics||10|
|Topics in Nanotechnology||10|
|Introduction to the History of Science||10|
|Science & Society: An Ethical View||10|
|Introduction to Management||10|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Mathematical Techniques 2||20|
|Safety, Health and Environment||20|
|Materials Synthesis and Characterisation||20|
|Quantum Mechanics and Bonding||10|
|Analytical and Applied Chemistry||10|
|Practical Materials Science 2||10|
|Physics for Materials||20|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Functional and Nano-Materials||20|
|Properties and Applications of Materials||10|
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Big Data, Big Science||10|
|Magnetism in Condensed Matter||15|
Learning and teaching
You’ll benefit from our integrated style of learning and teaching. Laboratory classes, project work, and industrial visits allow you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real-life work situations. Together they will equip you with in-depth knowledge and key practical skills that will put you in a good position to compete in chemical engineering-related careers. Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You will have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You will have frequent academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first two years, in your tutor group (of typically five students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Online taster course
Chemical Engineering: Shaping a Sustainable Future is an online course, delivered via FutureLearn, which explores how chemical engineers are developing and designing chemical manufacturing processes to tackle global challenges such as climate change, food security, and effective healthcare.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Most modules are assessed by more than one component. These components can include written examinations held at the end of each year, in-class and online tests, example sheets, assignments, and coursework in the form of reports, projects, presentations and posters.
A-level: AAB including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.
Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and International Project Qualification (IPQ): We recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, and where an applicant offers an A in the EPQ or IPQ we may make an offer of ABB at A-Level with an A in Mathematics and a B or higher in either Physics or Chemistry.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3. 30 credits needed at Distinction including an appropriate amount of Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry and the remaining 15 credits at Merit or above.
DDD (RQF) with Distinctions in relevant Mathematics and Chemistry or Physics units. Some Mathematics and Chemistry or Physics units may be optional on your BTEC but are required by the Faculty. We can only consider the BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science if the applicant is also studying A-level Mathematics. Please contact us for further information.
D3, D3, M2 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.
35 points overall, with 16 points at higher level to include 5 points in Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AB at Advanced level, including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, and AABBB at Higher level.
Advanced Diploma: A with an appropriate amount of Mathematics and either Chemistry or Physics.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: ABC including an A in Mathematics and a B in Physics or Chemistry.
For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.
Read our guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a scheme called the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS). If you are an international (non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen) applicant and require a student visa to study in the UK then you will need an ATAS certificate to study the four-year MEng, BEng course at the University of Leeds.
To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and descriptor. For this course, the CAH code is: CAH 10-03-07. Your supervisor will be Andrew Scott.
More information and details on how to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/academic-technology-approval-scheme.
School of Chemical and Process Engineering Undergraduate Admissions
With rapidly growing and advancing industries, there is an increasing demand for qualified materials scientists and engineers for the creation and improvement of brand new materials such as smart glass and biomaterials.
This is why employment opportunities in this field can be far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.
Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with the teamwork, communication, research and IT skills, taught on the course are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.
Qualifying with a degree in materials science and engineering from Leeds will set you up with the core foundations you need to pursue an exciting career across a wide range of industries, including:
- Sustainable materials
- Armed forces and defence
- Biomedical engineering
- Consumer goods manufacturing
- Sports equipment
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months. You will return to Leeds to complete your final year of study.
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you will be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.