Materials Science and Engineering MEng, BEng

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

Register your interest for our October Open Days. Register here

UCAS code
J511
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
ABC
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Materials Science and Engineering students in the lab

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 significantly impacted the world. 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 wide 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 from an engineering, physics and chemistry perspective, 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 excellent 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 expert academics, many of whom are members of the Bragg Centre for Materials Research and affiliated to the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, giving you the chance to interact and develop professional relationships with researchers at the forefront of the industry.

You’ll also have access to 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:

  • Our globally-renowned research that has been responsible for engineering new technologies and led industry-driven developments also feeds into your course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking.
  • Experience expert 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 organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Samsung, Johnson Matthey, IBM, Dow Corning and AstraZeneca.
  • Access 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.

Benefits of an integrated Masters

Learn more about what an integrated Masters is and how it can benefit your studies and boost your career.

Course details

This degree is a multidisciplinary course that covers a broad spectrum of topics, combining teaching from across our Schools of Chemical and Process Engineering, Physics and Chemistry.

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.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

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.

Year 1

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.

Compulsory modules

Professional Engineering Skills – 20 credits

Develop the skills of a professional engineer by undertaking a range of activities that focus on teamwork, communication, data analysis, engineering ethics and project management.

Engineering Mathematics – 10 credits

This module will provide you with the fundamental mathematical methods to solve engineering problems.

Materials Science and Engineering – 20 credits

Learn about the classes and properties of materials and their selection and processing for a range of applications.

Practical Materials Science 1 – 10 credits

Build your practical skills working in both chemistry and physics laboratories, undertaking a range of experiments which you’ll then present as scientific reports in different formats. You’ll become familiar with the equipment and develop essential laboratory techniques, along with other transferable skills in scientific literacy and data analysis.

Chemistry of the Material World – 10 credits

This module will provide you with a broad foundation of knowledge in physical and inorganic chemistry. You’ll build an understanding of the kinetics and thermodynamics of chemical reactions, whilst covering molecular levels and their origin alongside transition metal chemistry for materials. By the end of the module, you’ll be able to appreciate how these ideas fit into modern society and apply these concepts to a range of problems through workshops and tutorials.

Introduction to Modern Chemistry – 20 credits

This module will provide a concise introduction to modern chemistry with an initial focus on a qualitative appreciation of electronic structure and how it determines the chemical and structural properties of matter. You’ll also get an introduction to chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, organic structures and mechanisms and the chemistry of transition metal-ligand complexes.

Core Physics 1 (JH) Mechanics, Thermodynamics and Solid State Physics – 30 credits

Explore the fundamental physical theories and associated mathematical concepts that underpin the topics of mechanics, special relativity, thermodynamics and solid-state physics. You'll also cover thermodynamics. Examples and applications will be used to allow you to build your understanding and application of this branch of physics, which governs the behaviour of the universe we live in.

Year 2

In your second year, you’ll develop your knowledge of how materials are processed to achieve a desired performance while continuing to build upon your understanding of the underlying chemistry and physics relating to materials science, supplemented with advanced mathematical skills. You’ll also learn how to measure and characterise a material to understand the link between its structure and properties. Essential health and safety skills for working in industry, such as safety law, hazards and risks, accident investigations and environmental impact will be learnt.

Compulsory modules

Advanced Engineering Mathematics and Numerical Methods – 20 credits

You’ll learn mathematical techniques required for modelling engineering phenomena and use numerical methods to solve complex problems.

Process Safety and Environmental Engineering – 20 credits

Learn about the broader responsibilities of practicing engineers by developing further the core competencies of safety, engineering ethics and sustainability.

Materials Synthesis and Characterisation – 20 credits

Develop a sound understanding of the physical and chemical principles which underpin both the synthesis of materials and their characterisation. You'll learn how to select an appropriate range of advanced materials characterisation techniques, analysing the data generated by these to determine whether the processing route has resulted in the desired materials composition and microstructure.

Chemistry of Materials and Practical Materials Science 2 – 20 credits

Half of this module addresses inorganic solid-state structures, materials and how they are synthesised, characterised and understood. You’ll address important characterisation and structure determination techniques using illustrative examples that highlight the importance and diversity of materials applications to be found in everyday life.

In the other half of the module, you’ll work in the teaching laboratories, undertaking a range of experiments which you’ll present as scientific reports in a variety of formats.

Fundamental Chemistry for Materials Science – 20 credits

Gain an understanding of a selection of fundamental areas in chemistry that underpin solid-state chemistry, soft matter chemistry and organic polymer synthesis and applications. These will include thermodynamics, energy levels and quantum chemistry, molecular symmetry and spectroscopy, and aspects of organic and polymer chemistry.

Core Physics 2 (JH) – Statistical Mechanics and Condensed Matter – 20 credits

Learn fundamental physical theories and associated mathematical concepts that underpin the topics of statistical mechanics and condensed matter. This includes using the density of states to explain some of the differences between metals, semiconductors and insulators, deriving the free-electron density of states, performing straight-forward calculations based on the free-electron theory, explaining how a periodic potential modifies the free-electron dispersion relation, solving problems on the transport properties of semiconductors, and calculating the magnetic properties (consistent with the syllabus) of paramagnets and ferromagnets.

Year 3

Your third year builds on detailed knowledge and applies it to real-world problems. You’ll have the opportunity to explore hard and soft materials (e.g. metals, ceramics, polymers and composites) across functional properties such as electrical, magnetic, optical and biological.

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.

Additionally, you’ll independently 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, sustainability, meetings, presenting, communication and working with a “commissioning body”.

Compulsory modules

Materials and Process Selection Design Project – 40 credits

Apply the principles of engineering materials design via the selection of appropriate materials and secondary materials processing routes for a given engineering function and application. You’ll work both in a group and individually, using materials selection software to complete the project work.

Materials for the Built Society – 20 credits

You’ll cover the science and engineering of materials such as steel, aluminium alloys, cement, plastics and silicon. The aim of this module is to develop a working knowledge of the science and engineering of materials that underpin the built society.

Materials for the Energy Transition – 20 credits

Explore the materials selection and processing for grid-scale energy generation technologies that will help enable the UK to reach its NetZero carbon emissions by 2050.

Chemistry and Application of Materials – 20 credits

This module addresses three areas of contemporary materials chemistry:

  • Inorganic solid-state materials, and the role different structural features have in defining the properties and applications of different materials.
  • Soft matter: Amphiphiles, mechanisms and thermodynamics of self-assembly, critical micelle concentration, polymer solutions, phase separation.
  • Polymer Chemistry: Synthesis, analysis, and commercial application of polymers and polymeric materials.

There will be a focus on illustrative examples of materials that highlight structure-property relationships.

Magnetism in Condensed Matter – 20 credits

Magnetic materials underpin much of modern technology and thus our everyday lives, from electric motors to data storage, sensors and computing. An understanding of magnetism in condensed matter requires knowledge in several areas of physics to be brought together, including classical and quantum mechanics, statistical physics and condensed matter physics. The first half of this modules focuses on the theory of ferromagnetism, while the second half uncovers the physics behind the applications, such as permanent magnets and spin electronics.

Year 4

The major part of the fourth year of the MEng programme is the capstone project, in which you may choose to undertake your own piece of materials research working closely with one of our leading academics in our state-of-the-art research laboratories. You can choose from a wide range of topics based on your own interests, including areas such as optical and electronic materials, piezoelectric and ferroelectric ceramics, metals and alloys and biomaterials.This year focuses on developing advanced, in-depth knowledge and a sophisticated understanding of materials-related topics.

Please note: as we’re reviewing our curriculum, specific modules are not currently available and will be added as soon as they have been confirmed. They will include research-led teaching on advanced materials from across the three Schools.

Project work

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.

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience. You can apply to either undertake a one-year industrial work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

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 materials science and engineering-related careers.

You'll have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You'll 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 each semester.

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.

Assessment

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, assignments, and coursework in the form of reports, projects, presentations and posters.

Entry requirements

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.

Alternative qualification

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.

BTEC

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.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3, D3, M2 including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry.

International Baccalaureate

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.

Other Qualifications

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 School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual 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 contextual 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.

Foundation years

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 science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you will be able to progress onto your chosen course.

International

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

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.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 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 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.

Applying

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.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

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

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Chemical and Process Engineering
School of Physics and Astronomy
School of Chemistry

Contact us

School of Chemical and Process Engineering Undergraduate Admissions

Email: ugchemical@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

With rapidly growing and advancing industries, there is an increasing demand for qualified materials scientists and engineers for existing production processes and for the creation and improvement of brand-new materials.

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:

  • Aerospace
  • Sustainable materials
  • Pharmaceuticals and fast-moving consumer goods
  • Armed forces and defence
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Consumer goods manufacturing
  • Sports equipment
  • Telecommunications
  • Transport

Careers support

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'll 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'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

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.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months. You'll return to Leeds to complete your final year of study.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll 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.

Work placements

A placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market 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
  • 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'll 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 Industrial placements.

Student profile: Molly Jewers

The labs are brilliant, especially the Bragg building, just such new technology there, it’s really modern.
Find out more about Molly Jewers's time at Leeds