Materials Science and Engineering MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in engineering, a physical science or mathematics discipline. Applicants must have strong marks across a breadth of relevant modules, including mathematics and physical sciences.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£13,750 (Total)
International fees
£31,000 (Total)

Course overview

Student doing x ray diffraction experiments in the materials science lab

Materials science is at the forefront of providing innovative solutions for many global challenges — from creating new materials for energy generation to developing storage that helps reduce carbon emissions.

Our Materials Science and Engineering MSc has been designed to meet the present needs and future challenges of advanced materials and manufacturing. Whether you’ve got a background in science, mathematics, technology or other engineering disciplines, studying this course will give you the specialist skills and knowledge you’ll need to pursue a career in this growing and fast-moving field.

Taught by leading researchers in UK-leading facilities, you’ll study topics such as materials structures, processing-structure-property relationships, characterisation and failure analysis.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This Masters degree is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
  • Our courses are shaped by our globally-renowned research. You’ll interact with academic staff who are members of the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials and the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, giving you the opportunity to develop professional relationships with researchers at the forefront of the industry.
  • Tailor the course to specialise in your career interests through an extensive, individual research project in an area of your choice in which you’ll also build professional skills in project management, teamwork and decision making.
  • Advance your knowledge surrounding the needs and challenges relevant to critical areas such as nanomaterials, bioengineering, energy, photonics, electronics and information technology, and sustainable development.
  • Access UK-leading research equipment, specialist facilities for synthesising and characterising a wide range of materials and labs equipped with the latest technology.
  • Use commercial and academic materials software together with access to high-performance computing facilities.
  • Experience excellent practical and theoretical teaching delivered by a programme team with a wealth of expertise and experience across many relevant areas such as experimental materials science techniques.


The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This degree is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. To hold accredited qualifications for CEng registration, candidates must also hold a CEng accredited Bachelors (Hons) undergraduate degree.

Graduates from an accredited degree programme will have achieved part or all of the underpinning knowledge for later professional registration.

Course details

In the first semester, you'll study four compulsory modules that teach you the foundations of materials science. You’ll learn about processing-structure-property relationships, which lie at the heart of the discipline, as well as examining topics such as mechanical, physical and chemical behaviour, phase transformations and how the structure and local chemistry of materials may be characterised. You’ll also cover materials and process selection and their role in design and extend this into the principles and practice of failure analysis, with modelling to support experimental methods throughout.

In the second semester, modules will cover advanced materials science such as alloys, ceramics, polymer, composites, functional materials and nanomaterials.

Project work

Every student undertakes an extensive research project that starts early in semester 2 and continues throughout the summer, full time. This project allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.

Throughout the research project, you’ll produce an independent study, reflecting the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired. This will enable you to gain experience of planning, executing and reporting a research work of the type you'll undertake in an industrial or academic environment. You’ll also have access to some of the outstanding facilities in School of Chemical and Process Engineering.

You’ll choose your topic – normally related to one of our world-class research areas – and work closely with your supervisor and their research group to apply what you’ve learned to a real-life problem. Examples of past project topics include:

  • Variable temperature X-ray diffraction of high temperature piezoelectric material
  • Fabrication of glass waveguide devices by femtosecond laser inscription
  • Studies of the effect of milling variables in the production of nanoparticles
  • Microstructural investigation of spray atomized powders
  • Understanding polymorphism in pharmaceuticals
  • Analysis of food-grade titanium dioxide particles
  • Manufacturing infection resistant dental implants
  • Microstructural investigation of high temperature dielectrics

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Materials Science and Engineering MSc in the course catalogue


Compulsory modules

Research project (MSc) – 60 credits

You'll undertake a research project during the summer months.

Recent projects include:

  • Microstructure development in drop-tube processed cast iron
  • Validation of cooling rate models of drop-tube processing
  • Characterisation of graphite nanoplatelets (GNPs) produced by solvent exfoliation of graphite.

Phase Transformations and Microstructural Control – 15 credits

Microstructure is not an intrinsic property of a material – it can be modified by judicious choice of processing route. In this module, the relationship of microstructural evolution to thermodynamic and kinetic principles will be quantitatively examined across all materials classes.

Structure-Property Relationships – 15 credits

Structure-property relationships are at the heart of materials science and metallurgy. This module provides a secure theoretical understanding of the mechanisms whereby a material's microstructure determines its mechanical, physical and chemical behaviour.

Materials Selection and Failure Analysis – 15 credits

Selecting the right material and process for a particular application is key to successful engineering design. This module looks at a range of different approaches to optimising the selection process and at how forensic engineering may be employed to identify the causes of failures in service.

Materials Structures and Characterisation – 15 credits

Because of the importance of microstructure for a material’s properties, the ability to determine this on all scales is essential. This module examines materials' microstructures and how they may be represented and provides a comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding of the techniques used to characterise these.

Materials for Electronic Applications – 15 credits

Gain a very clear understanding of the technological, engineering and commercial challenges underpinning the use of materials in the production of advanced electronic devices.

Nanomaterials – 15 credits

Build the knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice governing a variety of preparative techniques which may be employed for the production of nanoparticles, bulk nanocrystalline and nanocomposite materials.

Metals and Alloys – 15 credits

This module provides an in-depth understanding of the principles of physical metallurgy and the application of the processing-microstructure-property relationships to the design of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys for engineering applications.

Ceramics, Polymers and Composites – 15 credits

Build on the fundamental principles of materials science covered earlier in the course. You'll apply and extend this to understanding the design of conventional and advanced ceramics, polymers and composite materials for structural applications.

Learning and teaching

Our groundbreaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of the discipline. You’ll learn through lectures, laboratory work, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also an important part of the course, as you’ll develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.

Specialist facilities

You’ll benefit from the chance to study in cutting-edge facilities where our researchers are pushing the boundaries of materials science and engineering. We have state-of-the-art preparative facilities for synthesising and characterising a wide range of materials, as well as equipment and instrumentation for carrying out more fundamental studies into their process-microstructure-property relationships.

Our labs are equipped with the latest technology, including scanning electron microscopes, X-ray diffractometers, chemical processing unit operations and more. You’ll also have access to a range of commercial and academic software that will be used to support the taught aspects of the course in addition to being used in research projects.

Programme team

The Programme Leader, Dr Andrew Scott, is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds who has extensive experience of a range of theoretical and experimental materials science techniques. His research interests primarily include functional materials, nuclear graphite, electron energy loss spectroscopy, biomaterials and crystallisation.

The wider programme team has a broad and extensive experience across a range of materials science and engineering disciplines.

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.


You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments, vivas and projects.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in engineering, a physical science or mathematics discipline.

Applicants must have strong marks across a breadth of relevant modules, including mathematics and physical sciences.

Relevant professional qualifications and experience may also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

31 July 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

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 this 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: CAH10-03-07 and the descriptor is Materials Science. Your supervisor will be Andrew Scott.

More information and details on how to apply for your ATAS certificate can be found at

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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Chemical and Process Engineering

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Team – Masters courses



UK: £13,750 (Total)

International: £31,000 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

There is an increasingly high demand for qualified materials scientists, materials engineers and metallurgists. Career prospects are excellent and cover a wide range of industries concerned with the research and development of new and improved materials, materials synthesis and commercial production, and materials exploitation in cutting-edge applications in engineering and technology.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, High Fliers Research.

Our graduates who studied materials science and engineering with us have secured positions at companies such as:

  • Project Leader, Saint-Gobain
  • Materials Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Junior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • Scientist, Hexcel Corporation
  • Materials Engineer, Genesis Oil and Gas Consultants
  • Patent Scientist, Murgitroyd
  • Research and Development Specialist, AkzoNobel

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. We have a wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team who are in contact with many employers around the country and advertise placements and jobs. They are also on hand to provide guidance and support, ensuring you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Employability events — we run a full range of events including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries — all with employers who are actively recruiting for roles.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate, you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Qualified careers consultants — gain guidance, support and information to help you choose a career path. You’ll have access to 1-2-1 meetings and events to learn how to find employers to target, write your CV and cover letter, research before interviews and brush up on your interview skills.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more about career support.

Student profile: Larissa Moras

By taking up this course, I aim to be part of the solution, creating sustainable materials and tackling one of the most critical challenges of our time.
Find out more about Larissa Moras's time at Leeds