Caption: Microstructure of corroded reinforced concrete

Student observing the microstructure of cementitious materials.

Caption: Student observing the microstructure of cementitious materials.

Developing construction materials from waste plastics.

Caption: Developing construction materials from waste plastics.

Student measuring the transport properties of concrete.

Caption: Student measuring the transport properties of concrete.

Caption: Determining the aggregate content in concrete using micro X-ray fluorescence.

thermal insulation material

Caption: Understanding the impact properties of thermal insulation materials at cryogenic conditions using scanning electron microscopy.

Scholarship and funding opportunities

Find out more about the funding available for 2023/24 

The MSc Advanced Materials for Sustainable Infrastructure was introduced in October 2019, to meet industry demand, and to address skills-shortages.  The programme will educate future Engineers wishing to have an in-depth understanding of the behaviour and characteristics of civil engineering materials and the ability to develop sustainable designs for construction. Students will have access to the College’s new world-class  Advanced Infrastructure Materials Laboratory  to perform and observe experimental investigations; allowing them to cement principles introduced on the taught part of the programme. They will also undertake a research project with academics within the UK’s top-rated Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. 

 

Intro about course and reasons

Visual representation of the course layout. Go to indicative syllabus for this information in text format.

What is the programme layout?

This programme of study is made up of entirely core material: 

12 taught and assessed modules, six in each of the autumn (October-December) and spring (January-March) terms. 

  • a research project, taken over the summer and culminating in a written dissertation. 
  • Autumn term modules are examined in early January and spring term modules are examined in late April/early May. 

Each module offers a variety of skills and the programme is structured to help you excel whatever your background; 

  • the first term focuses on the fundamentals, building a good foundation, introducing concepts and standardising the knowledge base of students. 
  • the second term develops and enhances the material taught in the autumn. 
  • the final term is dedicated to research so that you can really apply the knowledge you’ve gained. 

Transferable skills will focus on technical writing, oral presentations and team working. We have designed these modules to be complementary and teach a wide range of the skills required by modern engineers. 

Find out more about each of the modules further down this page. 

Why should I study this programme?

The programme material covers cutting-edge techniques, develops key skills and prepares you ideally for the future.
You consider yourself to be innovative, pragmatic, professional and motivated by the pursuit of sustainable solutions to engineering problems, considering risks within economic, social and environmental constraints. 

The programme material covers cutting-edge techniques, develops key skills and prepares you for the future. The training exposes you to analytical, numerical and laboratory-based approaches to problem solving and will provide you with the skills and training for the broader application of the knowledge you acquire. In addition to the training, it introduces you to a network of staff and fellow students, and opportunities to build lifelong global connections.   

There has never been a better time to develop expertise in infrastructure materials, nor has there ever been a greater focus on material use.  Within sectors of the construction industry, there is an identified shortage of, and demand for, materials experts. Potential employers of our graduates are expected to include materials manufacturers and suppliers; engineering consultants and contractors designing and supervising new infrastructure projects or upgrades to existing infrastructure; owners of built assets; test houses involved in testing materials and surveying structures; companies involved in designing and installing monitoring systems on infrastructure; Government research laboratories concerned with the Built Environment; and Universities with Civil Engineering Departments, for those wishing to pursue PhD studies. 

The University is one of the best in the world.
Imperial College London is consistently ranked in the top 10 universities in the World and top 5 in Europe. The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering itself is considered one of the best in the World and consistently excels in both teaching  and research (See our top ranking in recent research assessments. See more reasons to choose Imperial.

The City is one of the most vibrant and exciting places to live, let alone be a student.
London is a vibrant, global, capital that is ranked amongst the best student cities in the world. Everything from global Engineering consultancies to niche start-ups are located on your doorstep, offering you a wide range of opportunities for networking and applying for jobs. 

Continue reading for module information and frequently asked questions (FAQs). 

Convinced already? Apply now.

Meet some of our recent students

Indicative Programme Syllabus for 2020/21

Taught material will be delivered to you using formal lectures by academic staff and tutorials that will enable you to test your understanding of the lecture material, ask specific questions and consolidate your knowledge, support your learning and prepare you for assessment. There will be an appropriate balance of teaching methodologies to cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of the programme, with practical elements being achieved using laboratory practicals.

Finally, the research project will enable students to learn skills essential for independent research, and an opportunity to make a significant contribution to the field.  

The module content provided is indicative and is subject to annual update. 

Autumn Term modules

CIVE70059 Sustainable Development

This module will cover:

  • Definitions and principles of sustainability, sustainable development, and industrial ecology
  • Systems thinking
  • Circular economy
  • Material flow analysis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Software and databases for sustainability assessments
  • Applications of sustainability assessments and analyses to engineering problems

Read the full module descriptor

CIVE70061 Materials Selection

This module will cover:

  • Overview of the materials used in civil engineering.
  • Classification of materials: metals, ceramics, polymers and hybrids.
  • History of the evolution of materials.
  • Defining design requirements and translating them into material properties. 
  • Engineering properties of materials (including mechanical, thermal and mass transfer properties).
  • Material indices.
  • Selection using material property charts.
  • Shape factors.
  • Multi- and conflicting- criteria.
  • Material life cycle and eco-selection.
  • Materials selection software.
  • Case studies of materials selection.

Read the full module descriptor

CIVE70062 Mechanics of Materials

This module will cover:

  • Classification of mechanics, Saint Venant’s principle and dimensional analysis.
  • Motion description with kinematics of deformable bodies.
  • Types of motion, displacement and deformation, strain tensor.
  • Force, traction, and stress tensor.
  • Plane stress and plane strain conditions.
  • Eigenvalue and eigenvector problems and Mohr’s circle.
  • Constitutive modelling of materials: isotropic, anisotropic, orthotropic.
  • Failure criteria for brittle and ductile materials.
  • Plasticity modeling, true and engineering stress-strain curves.
  • Damage: fracture mechanics, fatigue, creep.
  • Strength of materials and structural mechanics.
  • Beam design.
  • Buckling of columns.
  • Use of continuum mechanics models in practical applications.
  • Relevant research at Imperial College.

Read the full module descriptor

CIVE70063 Characterisation of Materials

This module will cover:

  • Sample preparation.
  • Microscopy (optical and electron microscopy) and image analysis.
  • X-ray analysis (XRD and XRF).
  • Thermal analysis (thermogravimetry and calorimetry).
  • Pore and surface area analysis (gas and vapour sorption, mercury intrusion porosimetry).
  • Vibrational spectroscopy (FTIR and Raman).
  • Particle analysis (laser diffraction).
  • Applications of these techniques to building materials.

Read the full module descriptor

CIVE70064 Cementitious Materials

This module will cover:

  • History and types of cements and binders.
  • Cement chemistry, including thermodynamics, phase diagrams, equilibrium.
  • Portland cement, production and hydration.
  • Supplementary cementitious materials.
  • Alternative and low-carbon cements.
  • Alkali-activated materials/geopolymers. 
  • Cement paste microstructure. 
  • Thermodynamic modelling.

Read the full module descriptor. 

CIVE70065 Geomaterials

This module will cover:

  • Origin of geomaterials. 
  • Characterisation and engineering properties of rocks, soils and minerals.
  • Testing geomaterials in situ and in the laboratory. 
  • Aggregates in road construction and concrete. 
  • Construction stone, including masonry and heritage structures. 
  • Clay for ceramics, bricks and tiles production. 
  • Ground improvement techniques. 
  • Weathering, durability and sustainable use of geomaterials.
  • Imperial College campus walk-over survey to assess building stones. 

Read the full module descriptor

 

Spring Term modules

CIVE70066 Concrete Materials

This module will cover:

  • Constituent materials used in concrete (cement, aggregate, water and admixtures).
  • Properties and behaviour of concrete including early age properties, rheology, microstructure, mechanical properties, volume changes and durability.
  • Typical problems affecting concrete and their prevention strategies.
  • Sustainability of cements and concretes.
  • Advanced concrete technology e.g. light/heavy-weight concrete, high-performance concrete, self-compacting concrete, shotcrete, underwater concrete, fibre-reinforced concrete, no-fines concrete, mass concrete and roller-compacted concrete.
  • Design and selection of mix proportions to produce concrete with specified performance.

Read the full module descriptor

 

CIVE70067 Masonry, Timber and Glass

This module will cover:

  • Masonry: history, main types of masonry, mortars, masonry behaviour, wall design and analysis, material and structural defects, durability and sustainability, codes and standards.
  • Timber: physical and mechanical properties of wood, engineered wood products, rheological behaviour, construction practices, fire resistance, sustainability, codes and standards.
  • Glass: types of glass according to production techniques, mechanical properties in relation to microstructure, flaws, fracture, toughened glass, laminated glass, safety, design approaches, codes and standards. 

Read the full module descriptor

CIVE70068 Metals

This module will cover:

  • Overview of metals and alloys used in civil engineering.
  • Manufacture of steels. 
  • Metallurgy and microstructure. 
  • Fracture mechanics of metals. 
  • Corrosion, stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement. 
  • Practical applications of metallurgy. 
  • Steel technology in construction: quality control, use of standards (tension, compression, bending, connections and elevated temperature).
  • Welding technology and effects.
  • Metal 3D printing.
  • Relevant research at Imperial College.

Read the full module descriptor. 

 

CIVE70069 Polymers and Polymer Composites

This module will cover:

  • Polymers including thermosets and thermoplastics. 
  • Polymerization and processing of polymers. 
  • Physical and mechanical properties of polymers. 
  • Reinforcement and fibers. 
  • Fiber reinforced polymer composites and products in civil engineering. 
  • Composites and manufacturing methods. 
  • Composite mechanics and laminate theory.. 
  • Chemical and physical characterization of polymers and composites.
  • Composites durability and recycling. 
  • Analysis and design of concrete structures with fiber reinforced polymer composite reinforcements, relevant codes and standards.
  • Analysis and design of concrete structures retrofitted and strengthened with fiber reinforced polymer composites, relevant codes and standards. 
  • A site visit to a polymer and polymer composite factory may be arranged depending on the available resources.

Read the full module descriptor. 

CIVE70070 Assessment, Monitoring and Repair of Structures

This module will cover:

  • Structural health monitoring (SHM), and its motivations and challenges.
  • Structural pathologies of concrete structures and in situ testing and inspection techniques.
  • Automated monitoring and general components and framework of SHM systems.
  • Sensors: strain gauge, load cell, accelerometer, LVDT, fiber optics.
  • Signal processing: Fourier transform, aliasing, signal filtering, time frequency domain.
  • Feature extraction, pattern recognition, and damage identification.
  • Retrofit and repair methods of concrete structures.
  • A site visit to a structural repair project may be arranged depending on the available resources.

Read the full module descriptor.

 

CIVE70071 Numerical Modelling of Materials

This module will cover:

  • The purpose of modelling and types of model, including their use in design.
  • Continuum mechanics concepts.
  • Finite element modelling, including the use of commercial packages.
  • Underlaying mathematical foundations of numerical methods.
  • Basics of programming.
  • Multiphysics modelling, including heat transfer and mass transport.
  • Multiscale modelling, including an introduction to atomistic and meso-scale methods.
  • Discrete Element Methods.
  • Case studies, including geomaterials and structural analysis.
  • Relevant research at Imperial College.

Read the full module descriptor

Summer term modules

CIVE70072 Research Project - Materials

You will be supervised by at least one member of academic staff within the Materials section of the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. A number of students may be co-supervised by external parties or may have the opportunity to undertake their research project as part of an industry placement. You may either choose from a list of projects provided or propose your own topic in agreement with relevant member of staff. The research project may be analytical, theoretical, experimental or numerical in nature, or a combination of these. You will be required to work full-time on the project commencing in the summer term immediately following the completion of the MSc examinations through to mid-September. You will also be required to attend research project induction providing training on:

  • Health and safety, and risk assessment
  • Conducting literature review
  • Formulating research problem
  • Research design, data collection and analysis
  • Database searching and reference management
  • Use of Turnitin
  • Technical writing
  • Presentation skills

Read the full module descriptor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What are my options after graduating from the programme?

The programme material covers cutting-edge techniques, develops key skills and prepares you for the future. The training exposes you to analytical, numerical and laboratory-based approaches to problem solving and prepares you with the skills and training for the broader application of the knowledge you acquire. In addition to the training, it introduces you to a network of staff and fellow students, building lifelong global connections.   

Within sectors of the construction industry, there is an identified shortage of, and demand for, materials experts. Potential employers of our Infrastructure Materials graduates are expected to include Materials manufacturers and suppliers; Engineering consultants and contractors designing and supervising new infrastructure projects or upgrades to existing infrastructure; owners of built assets; test houses involved in testing materials and surveying structures; companies involved in designing and installing monitoring systems on infrastructure; Government research laboratories concerned with the Built Environment; and Universities with Civil Engineering Departments, for those wishing to pursue PhD studies. 

How is industry involved with the programme?

Up to 10% of the taught material is delivered by industry experts.  

What facilities are available?

The programme will be taught in excellent, modern facilities including:

Are there any scholarships opportunities?

Yes, there are Departmental and other scholarships available for the very best students. If you are interested in receiving a scholarship, then early application is strongly recommended. 

Visit this webpage for information about scholarships and funding opportunities.

Who are we?

We are a newly formed group of enthusiastic and engaged academics. We excel at teaching and research and we are looking forward to teaching the next cohort of leading Materials Engineers. Click on the link below for more information about the people within our section.

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/infrastructure-materials/people/

How is the programme assessed?

Assessments include individual and group courseworks; laboratory and design projects; oral presentations; written examinations and a research dissertation. To complete the requirements of the degree, all assessments must be undertaken to the appropriate level. Successful candidates will be awarded the MSc degree of Imperial College London.

How do I apply?

Information on how to apply and the link to apply can be found here: Application Information

Haven't found an answer to your query / question?

PhotoDetails
The PGT Team For questions and advice relating to MSc application, basic eligibility, supporting documentation required, and information on entry to our postgraduate taught (MSc) programmes, and general information pre-registration.
Postgraduate Taught Office
Fionnuala, +44 (0)20 7594 5929, cvpgo@imperial.ac.uk 
Professor Chris Cheeseman For all queries related to the academic content of the programme. 
Programme Director
Professor Chris Cheeseman, +44 (0)20 7594 5971, c.cheeseman@imperial.ac.uk
For all other queries. 
Programme Administrator
TBC, +44 (0)207 594 5869
Administration contacts for the Fluid Mechanics cluster
Administration contacts

MSc Application Information

Minimum academic entry requirements

  • A good Upper Second or First Class Degree result (or International equivalent), in engineering or another numerate discipline, or Masters level degree qualification
  • Good mathematical skills (B or above at A-level or equivalent qualification)
  • Relevant Postgraduate industrial experience is favoured
  • English Language qualification (where relevant)

Please also check that your previous study meets the minimum academic requirements by country index

Note: The Department may set higher requirements than those specified by the College as minimum entry requirements and that places are not guaranteed for any applicant.  Relevance of degrees and eligibility can be checked with the Department.  

English Language Requirements

Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to present an English language qualification, passed at the appropriate level. This may follow the application if not available at the time of submission. Please see the College English language requirements for postgraduate applicants for information. Please also check that your previous study meets the minimum academic requirements by country index

Visa requirements for International Students

Please visit the international students website for more information: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/international-students/visas-and-immigration/

Apply Now

We hope you have found all of the information you need to reach a decision. If you would like to apply for this programme, please follow the application instructions here: Application Information and application link

Further resources for this programme

Further resources for this programme

TypeDocument
Webpage Handbook
Webpage Programme Specification - To follow
Pdf document  Professional skills development for Master's students
Webpage Imperial College Terms and Conditions
Webpage Entry on the College Prospectus
Resources for this programme
Resources for this module