Materials

Specialise in materials that can stimulate beneficial biological responses in this professionally accredited integrated Master’s degree.

Key information

Award

MEng

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

5 : 1

Based on 2019 entry data

  • UCAS course code: BJ95
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2021

Overview

Many of the technological advances that have transformed our lives are founded in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Modern life would be impossible without the thousands of manufactured items we use every day, from the clothes we wear, to our phones, cars, computers and the buildings we inhabit, as well as more advanced and life-changing technologies like biomedical devices or satellite communications.

The motivation to invent or improve materials comes from our need to solve real societal problems, in fields such as healthcare, energy, environmental sustainability and transport. New opportunities are growing in areas such as biomedical engineering, 3D printing, robotics and quantum computing.

Our courses engage you in both the scientific and engineering aspects of the discipline. You will learn about the processing, structure, properties and performance of materials and much more.

All of our undergraduate courses follow a core series of modules. These will provide you with a strong base of theoretical principles.

Experimental work is a core part of all our courses. This starts with a series of laboratory tutorials that introduce foundational ideas and key techniques in a practical setting.

The laboratory sessions associated with the modules will introduce you to the key practical skills. As the course progresses, you are given more opportunity to design your own experiments to test a hypothesis and investigate materials using electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.

In your third year you will begin to focus on biomaterials. You begin to tailor the course to your interest by choosing from a range of optional modules.

You will also be able to broaden your educational experience by taking an I-Explore module.

In your fourth year, your study reaches Master’s level. You will take specialist modules in biomaterials, including advanced tissue engineering. You will also complete a substantial research project. Studying to this level means that graduates require fewer years of work experience to become a Chartered Engineer (see Professional Accreditation below).

Transfer between courses

The common structure of the first two years of our Materials degrees means that transfer between courses is usually possible at set points during your degree.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Engineering Practice 1
  • Fundamentals of Processing
  • Mathematics and Computing 1
  • Performance of Structural Materials
  • Properties 1
  • Structure 1

Year 2

Core modules

  • Engineering Practice 2
  • Materials Characterisation
  • Mathematics and Computing 2
  • Performance of Functional Materials
  • Properties 2
  • Structure 2

Year 3

Core modules

  • Biomaterials
  • Business for MSE
  • Materials Processing
  • Processing Laboratory
  • Research Techniques
  • Theory and Simulation of Materials

You will also undertake one I-Explore module.

Optional modules

You choose three modules from below.

  • Ceramics and Glasses
  • Engineering Alloys
  • Mathematics and Quantum Mechanics
  • Nanomaterials
  • Optoelectonic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Year 4

Core modules

  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Individual Project

Optional modules

You choose two modules from below.

  • Advanced Engineering Alloys
  • Advanced Nanomaterials
  • Advanced Structural Ceramics
  • Density Functional Theory
  • Electroceramics
  • Nuclear Materials

Inter-Departmental Exchange

You have the opportunity to substitute a module for an exchange with another department at Imperial.

 


Download the programme specification‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Professional accreditation

This degree is professionally accredited by The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) on behalf of the Engineering Council.

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC.

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is renewed every five years. The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2023–24 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines on completion of this course.

The Royal School of Mines is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

Teaching focuses on applied science, with a grounding in theory and a great emphasis on practical work. You’ll be expected to take part in challenging experiments with advanced equipment.

You can expect a balance of theoretical and practical work, through lectures and laboratory work. There is also the opportunity to complete a research project, which will rely on substantial individual study. In addition to those more traditional teaching methods, you can expect industrial visits and tutorials.

Teaching and independent study hours

A full academic year involves about 1500 hours of study in total.

Some of modules have a very high component of coursework, e.g. Engineering Principles 1 is 100% coursework. However, the majority involve about 60 hours of lectures, tutorials and workshops, 40 hours of laboratory work, 100 hours of coursework, problem solving, private study and project work, and about 50 hours of revision for an end of module examination.

There is significant variation in this balance between different modules, but all modules of equivalent value involve similar levels of commitment and workload.

Electives in year 3 and 4 are typically involve 30 hours of lecture or workshop time, 60 hours of coursework, problem solving, private study and project work, and about 35 hours of revision for an end of module examination.

Lectures, practicals and other formal activities take place on weekdays only, with Wednesday afternoons normally remaining free. We do not normally schedule teaching out of term time.

Assessment

Over the course of your studies you will experience different assessment methods in each module you complete. You will be assessed by written examinations, class tests and coursework.

You can expect a variety of different types of assessment, 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

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework 40% 35% 38-45% 67-74%
Examination 60% 65% 55-62% 26-33%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number 
 

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions.

Discover Uni compares things like student satisfaction and what graduates do after they finish the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Mathematics
  • A in Chemistry or Physics
  • A in another subject

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Useful subjects
  • Biology
  • Computing
  • Design and Technology
  • Economics, Electronics
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Further Mathematics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2019 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: A*AA

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Additional Mathematics support

Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2021 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Chemistry or Physics at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2019 entry was 38 points.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021

For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

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

Additional Mathematics support

We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Post-application admissions day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited for one of our post-application admissions days and an interview with a member of our academic staff.

The aim of this interview is to give the Department the opportunity to discuss your interest in materials and also to give you an opportunity to raise questions about both the course and the College.

During your visit, you will be taken on a tour of the Department and the College by current students and you will have an opportunity to meet staff and students at an informal lunch.


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

Find out more

Foundation programmes

A foundation course is a one-year preparation course, designed for international students, which leads to undergraduate programmes in the UK. Foundation programmes are normally for school-leavers who have studied a non-British curriculum but wish to pursue a degree at a UK university.

Foundation programmes are offered by many UK universities, but only two would be considered for entry to Imperial: 

  1. UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and 
  2. Warwick’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) in Science & Engineering

UCL UPCSE

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. Students must complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules:

ModuleStatus
Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society Compulsory
Academic English Compulsory
Biology Elective
Chemistry Elective
Mathematics Elective
Physics Elective
Information correct at time of publishing, but subject to change
Summary of the table's contents

To be considered for admission to Materials, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics
  • 80% Chemistry or Physics

WARWICK IFP SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. 

To be considered for admission to Materials, international students studying Warwick IFP Science and Engineering must achieve:

  • 80% overall
  • 80% Mathematics
  • 80% Chemistry or Physics

To meet these requirements, students should choose from the following IFP pathways:

  • Life Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Physical Sciences

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

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, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH10-02-02 materials technology

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.

For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2021 entry

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not been confirmed for the 2021-22 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2020-21 academic year was £9,250.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU/EEA students

The government has not confirmed whether the finance arrangements for EU students starting university in 2021 will remain the same following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This includes whether they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan.

We will update these pages when the government has confirmed finance arrangements.

Find updates on the implications of ‘Brexit’ and Imperial and the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2021 entry

The fee for Overseas and Islands students is controlled by the College and has not been confirmed for the 2021–22 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas and Islands rate of tuition for the 2020–21 academic year was £31,750.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2021 will apply to fees for the academic year 2021–2022.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Laptop computer Mandatory £100 deposit if loaned from department
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

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 2018–19 academic year this was:

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

The Department 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 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

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

A degree in Materials Science and Engineering can open the door to careers in a wide variety of sectors from chemicals manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to technical management and scientific research and development (R&D). There are lots of emerging sectors to think about too, such as nanotechnology, biomedical materials, high performance textiles and composites.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Power Electronics Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte
  • Engineer, Rolls-Royce
  • Research Engineer, SIMTech
  • Materials Scientist, Morgan Advanced Materials

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: BJ95
  • UCAS institution code: I50

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2021 for entry in October 2021.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2021 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2020.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Design Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Contact us

Materials Science student

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 6728
E: materials@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Materials

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