Careers in Materials Science and Engineering

The way a material behaves – its mechanical response, electrical conductivity or optical properties – must be carefully  considered in every engineering project. What determines these properties are structures at the nanometer and micrometer length scales. Today, advances in microscopy and equipment are enabling us to observe what is happening on these length scales in unprecedented ways. Innovative experimental approaches give us the ability to directly construct nanoscale objects with increasing control. New theoretical methods are bringing quantum mechanics and theoretical physics ideas away from single atoms and molecules, and into the nano-world and to engineer solutions to our benefit.

We offer an interdisciplinary, inspirational and supportive education at the cutting-edge of science and engineering. You will be taught and supervised by a range of staff, from internationally renowned professors and established lecturers, to graduate teaching assistants, each involved in researching their specialist fields which include: regenerative medicine, biosensing, nanotechnology, communication technologies and nuclear energy, to name just a few. This partnership ensures that our teaching is informed by an up-to-date understanding of the research frontier. More importantly, we aim to enable the development of your own creative ideas and problem-solving abilities.

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Undergraduate Programmes in Materials Science and Engineering

 Materials Science and Engineering Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
BEng - UCAS JF52  - ECTS: 180 - 3 years
MEng - UCAS JFM2 - ECTS: 240 - 4 years
 MEng - UCAS BJ95 - ECTS: 240 - 4 years
As our flagship degree programme, the core modules taught across the first 3 years underpins the foundations of the discipline: processing, structure, properties and performance, with opportunities in the finals years to tailor make your own studies by choosing optional modules that map onto the Department’s research themes. In the third year of this degree and in addition to core Materials topics, you study cell biology, biocompatibility and biomaterials for hard tissue restoration. In the final year there are specialist modules covering biomaterials for soft tissue restoration, tissue engineering, and artificial organs, including many detailed case studies.
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 Materials with Nuclear EngineeringMaterials with Management
MEng - UCAS J5H8 -  ECTS: 240 - 4 years BEng - UCAS J5N2 - ECTS: 180 - 3 years
Materials are central to the nuclear industry, both in designing reactor parts that are safe under irradiation, and in handling and processing waste. This degree combines modules in metals, glasses and ceramics with a focused introduction to nuclear engineering taught by specialists  from across Imperial. You will be expected to conduct a research project that should be nuclear focused. This course combines the common core of all our degrees, with a final year that combines a choice of Materials options with business and economics teaching provided by Imperial College Business School.
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Programmes structure and modules

After your first two years, your course will vary according to the degree you choose. You can specialise in your own personal and professional interests – in Management, Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering or Nuclear Engineering.

Modules per year
First and Second year Third year Fourth year (MEng ONLY)
 Core  Core  Core
Engineering Practice I/II
Fundamentals of Processing
Materials Characterisation
Mathematics and Computing I/II
Performance of Functional Materials
Performance of Structural Materials
Properties I/II
Structure I/II
Business for MSE
I-Explore
Materials Processing
Processing Laboratory
Research Techniques
Theory and Simulation of Materials
Individual Project


  Indicative options Indicative options
  Biomaterials
Ceramics and Glasses
Engineering Alloys
Entrepreneurship
Innovation Management
Introduction to Nuclear Engineering
Mathematics and Quantum Mechanics
Nanomaterials
Nuclear Chemical Engineering
Optoelectonic Materials
Surfaces and Interfaces
Advanced Biomaterials
Advanced Engineering Alloys
Advanced Nanomaterials
Advanced Structural Ceramics
Advanced Tissue Engineering
Density Functional Theory
Electroceramics
Nuclear Materials for Reactor Systems
Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics
Reactor Physics
Modules per year

Assessments

You can expect a variety of assessment types, such as:

  • Performance in the Teaching Laboratory
  • Laboratory reports
  • Online programming tests
  • Written coursework
  • Group project reports
  • Written examinations
  • Poster presentations
  • Research thesis
  • Oral presentations

The exact balance of the assessments through the programme depends upon which elective modules are taken, but is likely to be:

 CourseworkExamination
 Year 1   40%  60%
 Year 2   35%  65%
 Year 3   38% – 45%   55% – 62%
 Year 4  67% – 74% 26% – 33%    


Summer placement/ research project (MEng ONLY)

We encourage all MEng students to carry out a science/engineering work placement during the summer period between the third and fourth year. Typically, this placement is at an external organisation such as an industrial company or a UK or international university.

The highlight of the 4th year is a major experimental or theoretical research project based in one of our research themes. You will aim to carry out Materials Science and Engineering at a genuine professional level and may well find yourself addressing a novel and outstanding problem in your chosen field.

Departmental provision

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.

DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Laboratory equipment (books and materials) Mandatory Provided
Laptop computer Mandatory £100 (refundable)
Personal Protective Equipment (goggles and lab coat) Mandatory Provided
Software (specific programs required for coursework) Mandatory Provided
Please review the information below for more details on the costs listed in the table
Summary

 

Laboratory equipment

You are provided with laboratory books and materials (such as experiment samples) for your practical classes.

Laptop computer

You will need a laptop for some classes and coursework. The laptop must meet a minimum specification. For the 2019-20 academic year there are:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

The Department of Materials has a number of laptops available for loan for the duration of your course. A deposit of £100 is required, refundable when you return the laptop at the end of your course. You will have the chance to indicate whether you wish to take part in the laptop loan scheme when contacted by the Department in the September before you start your course.

If you choose to borrow a laptop, you will be sent an invoice for the deposit amount which is payable online before the start of term. A variety of payment methods are available.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Materials will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:

  • Goggles
  • Lab coat

Software

You are provided free computer software, which is required to complete coursework, including:

  • MATLAB
  • Office 365
  • Solid Works

Entry requirements 2020/21

A-LevelsInternational Baccalaureate (IB)Scottish Advanced HighersUS Advanced Placement (AP)

Minimum offer:
AAA including Maths and at least one of Physics or Chemistry.

3rd subject is not specified – can be any excluding A-level general studies or critical thinking.


Typical offer:
A* A A in including Maths and at least one of Physics or Chemistry.

Typical offer:
38 points overall, with 6 in Higher Level Mathematics, and 6 in at least one of
Higher Level Physics and Higher Level Chemistry
Minimum offer:

AAA including Mathematics and at least one of Physics or Chemistry.

Typical offer: 
AAA including Mathematics and at least one of Physics or Chemistry.

Typical offer:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 Chemistry or Physics C (Electricity and Magnetism) or Physics C (Mechanics)
  • 5 Other

SATs or ACT standardised tests are not required

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We also require an English language qualification, for example:

  • at least a B/6 grade at GCSE
  • or 6.5 at IELTS
  • or 5 out of 7 at subsidiary level IB.

For more information about standard English language requirements


For other international qualifications, please visit our Academic requirements pages

Departmental scholarships

Ceres scholarship

ValueAvailableRequirementsHow to apply
 £5,000 /year  1

Exceed the standard entry requirements for Materials courses at Imperial, and excel at the admission interview. You will also need demonstrate an interest in the areas of Energy.

To continue with the scholarship into years 3 and 4 you will need a 1st average in each of the previous two years, and to choose energy related modules. The scholar will also be considered for summer placements at Ceres Power. 

To be eligible for these scholarships, UCAS applications must be submitted 15th October. Note that there is no need to apply separately for these scholarships, as all applications submitted to UCAS by the deadline will
be automatically considered.

Applicants to the Ceres scholarship will be selected through a second interview with one of our Admissions tutors.
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About Ceres Power

Ceres Power is a world leading alternative energy company based in the UK. They are a leading fuel cell business, committed to providing alternative energy solutions to address the global challenges of reducing emissions, increasing fuel efficiency and improving energy security.

 

Departmental scholarships

ValueAvailableRequirementsHow to apply
 £1,000 /year  4 Exceed the standard entry requirements for Materials courses at Imperial, and excel at the admission interview.

To continue with the scholarship into years 3 and 4 you will need a 1st average in each of the previous two years
To be eligible for these scholarships, UCAS applications must be submitted 15th October. Note that there is no need to apply separately for these scholarships, as all applications submitted to UCAS by the deadline will
be automatically considered.
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