An image of four students working at a table in the student common room

Undergraduate Virtual Open Week Imperial360 Live – Materials

Undergraduate Virtual Open Week Imperial360 Live Talk - 23 June 2021

Dr Priya Saravanapavan"We hope the recent advances in Material Science and Engineering will lead to innovative solutions to some of the challenges we face in industries such as healthcare, energy, sustainable environment, transport, telecommunications and many more. We encourage applications from all those who want to be part of this community and learn to be pioneering, entrepreneurial and be a team player without losing their individuality" - Dr Priya Saravanapavan, Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

As an admission tutor, I am looking for applicants who are passionate about: 

  • studying the different aspects of materials to develop their knowledge and understanding of the discipline.
  • becoming an integral part of our small ‘Imperial Materials’ community.
  • willing to contribute to the social aspects of our wider college community. 
In addition to your academic ability, your application will consider your wider profile and an interview will assess your potential in your degree choice. We will read your personal statement and reference to understand your personal motivation, commitment and your broader interests.  

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Course Information

The following is a quick overview of the courses that are available in the Department.
Our minimum A Level requirement is:
  • A in Mathematics 
  • A in either Physics or Chemistry 
  • A in third subject 
(Typical offers are A*AA). Our expected intake for 2021 is 100 with an applications:admissions ratio of 6:1 (based on 2020 data). 
If you click on the courses below, this will take you to our study pages, where you will find detailed Programme Specifications and Entry requirements.

Our Undergraduate Courses

Materials Science and Engineering Materials with Nuclear Engineering
 BEng - UCAS JF52 - ECTS: 180 - 3 yrs   MEng - UCAS J5H8 - ECTS: 240 - 4 yrs
 MEng - UCAS JFM2 - ECTS: 240 - 4 yrs  

As our flagship degree programme, the core modules taught across the first three years underpin the foundations of the discipline: processing, structure, properties and performance. There are opportunities in the final years to tailor make your own studies by choosing optional modules that map onto the Department's research themes.

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.

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering 

Materials with Management

MEng - UCAS BJ95  - ECTS: 240 - 4 yrs

BEng - UCAS J5N2 - ECTS: 180 - 3 yrs

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.

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.

Summary of the table's contents

 Our Modules

The first two years of all our degree programmes are identical: they complete the same equally weighted modules. In Year 3 and 4 you are able to complete optional modules with some core modules. Some of these optional modules are compulsory for certain degree programmes. Further details of optinal modules can be found on the study pages for each programme - please click the course links in the above table. 

Year 1Year 2 
Maths and Computing I 
Structure I 
Properties I 
Processing I 
Performance of Structural Materials 
Engineering Practice I 
Maths and Computing II 
Structure II 
Properties II 
Processing II 
Performance of Functional Materials 
Engineering Practice II 
Year 3
Year 4
Materials Processing 
Processing Laboratory 
Theory & Simulation of Materials 
Business for Materials Science and Engineering 
Research Techniques 
Engineering Alloys from Theory to Application 
Ceramics and Glasses 
Surfaces and Interfaces 
Optoelectonic Materials 
Maths and Quantum 
Introduction to Nuclear Engineering 
Nuclear Chemical Engineering 
BS0820 Innovation Management 
BS0806 Entrepreneurship 
Individual Research Project 
An Introduction to Density Functional Theory 
Advanced Engineering Alloys 
Advanced Nanomaterials 
Advanced Structural Ceramics 
Advanced Biomaterials 
Tissue Engineering 
Nuclear Materials 
Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics 
Reactor Physics 
Summary of the table's contents
How do we teach?
  • There are taught elements throughout the year and your workload is spread over the year.
  • 11-week Autumn and Spring terms and a 8-week Summer term.
  • Our core hours are 9:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday. Wednesdays are always a half-day with 12:00 finish.
  • A mixture of lectures, workshops, tutorials, laboratory classes and engineering practices.
  • Collaborative working through project and group work in laboratories. 
  • Modular courses - with exams and assessments are held in December, March and June.

A typical week in Year 1 and 2 has 15 hours of lectures (3 hours per day), 4 hours Engineering Practice (which consists of teamwork in a company of 12), 4 hours laboratory classes (where students work in in pairs), 3 hours of workshops (which involves problem solving sessions with 20-25 students) and 1 hour of personal or academic tutorial in groups of four.

A typical week in Year 1 and 2 has:

  • 15 hours of lectures (3 hours per day)
  • 4 hours Engineering Practice (which consists of teamwork in a company of 12)
  • 4 hours laboratory classes (where students work in in pairs)
  • 3 hours of workshops (which involves problem solving sessions with 20-25 students) 
  • 1 hour of personal or academic tutorial in groups of four.


If you are interested in applying to one of our programmes, please read the following guidance to help with your application.

How and when to apply

Our intake is in October each year. Applications are made through  UCAS by 15 January of the year of entry, (for entry in October 2021 apply by 15 January 2021).  

  • All applications received at UCAS by 15 January are given equal consideration.
  • We do not accept "Late" or "Extra" applicants.
  • We do not take applicants through UCAS Clearing.
  • Your application will only be considered for one of our programmes – please do not apply to multiple Materials programmes. The first two years of all our programmes are common and the entry requirements are the same – you will be able to change the programme of study until the start of your third year of study.
The application process

After you have sent your application to UCAS, they complete basic checks and forward this onto the College. After this, it can take up to two weeks for the application to be processed by our central admissions team and if it meets our threshold entry requirements, they pass it to the Department of Materials for further assessment.

We look at your academic record and predicted grades.  We read your personal statement and the academic reference. Please see our personal statement and reference tab for more information. 

If you look likely to meet our entry requirements, and your personal statement shows a clear motivation for Materials Science and Engineering, we will invite you to participate in an interview either here at Imperial College London, or by Skype.  Please see our interview tab for more infomation. 

Direct entrants or transfer students

We are unable to accept direct entrants or transfer students from other courses onto higher (second/third/fourth) years however are happy to consider transfers if you are willing to start in year 1. If you are a student at Imperial College London, please contact us directly. If you are from another institution, please apply via UCAS.


Personal Statement and Reference

Personal statement

The personal statement is very important as it helps us assess your interest in the subject. We want to hear why you are interested in the course and details of any skills, interests and attributes you have that demonstates aptitude, motivation and interest in the course. 

1. Motivation to study

Motivation to study Materials Science and Engineering is very important. I know some of our applicants may also be applying to other subjects such as chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering etc. If you are that applicant, I would like to see you link that subject to Materials and why you have chosen it as one of your five.

2. Awareness of course 

Some applicants apply because they like Maths, Chemistry and Physics. I would like to see this linked to Materials Science. For example – you might have completed a chemistry practical in class that really interested you, link it to materials, tell us why it interested you and any follow-up you may have done.

3. Super Curricular activities 

This should NOT have to be expensive and competitive. This could include further reading you may have done (books, podcasts, TED talks, listening to some of the lectures available on our websites). There are also free EdX or Coursera courses that may be of interest to you.

4. Engineering Experience 

I would like to know whether you are interested in the engineering aspects of the course – are you hands on? This could be as simple as repairing a household item or building something simple for a DT project at school. If you have managed to gain work experience that is great, but this is not essential.

5. Personal Interests

Are you a well-rounded person? Do you take part in activities outside of school? How have you contributed to the community you belong to? Materials community at Imperial is very small and as such we like to ensure our students are involved in our community as well as contribute to the wider college community.

6. Other 

If you have taken or you are preparing to take a gap year, please include details of what this will entail – work experience, volunteering, travel – link it to skills and how that might be useful to the course.

Please also watch our UCAS Personal Statement Advice video before starting your own statement.  


1. Academic ability 

How is the applicant doing in their chosen subjects. How good are they at problem solving? How likely are they to achieve their predicted grades? Has the applicant had to overcome hardships – why are their grades impressive? Emphasise if the applicant is the first to go to university in their family.

2. Be specific about courses

The majority of our students complete the three A Levels (or equivalence) at the end of two years – so if an applicant is completing a modular course, please be specific and be clear if the applicant will be resitting any. We also receive applications from students who complete their A Level Maths early, some go on to complete Further Mathematics (achieving 4 A Levels). However, there will be a few who don’t – please provide an explanation for completing the one subject earlier than the other two. This is important as we look at this to see whether the applicant will be successful at Imperial College London. 

3. Contribution to school community 

This should compliment what the applicant has said in their personal statement. We are particularly looking for how the applicants are with team working, time management and leadership skills.

4. Other 

Please provide a contextual background about the School/College as well as the applicant. Be clear about extenuating circumstances – this will avoid the distress caused by a rejection and then having to go through an appeal or a mitigation process. 

The UCAS website also has helpful advice regarding reference writing.


Our interviews are held on what we call Applicant Days. All our applicant days for 2021 entry will be conducted online via MS Teams.  

Applicant days are held on Wednesdays between November and March. Please see Applicant day dates for more information. We have approximately nine applicant days a year. The applicant day runs from 11:00 to 15:00.  

What can I expect on an applicant day? 

First, you will hear from our Director of Undergraduate Studies and then our Admission Tutor. 

During the time with us, you will attend: 

  • 30 minute one-to-one interview with one of our lecturers. We aim for the interview to be more of a conversation. The main purpose of the interview is for us to see whether you are suitable for the course, as much as for you to decide if Imperial is the place for you. 
  • 30 minute group task. The task will be an engineering-based problem-solving challenge to see your team working skills, as we deem this to be an important part of life at Imperial. 
  • 30 minute Q&A with current student ambassadors, where you will be able to ask them questions about the course and studying in London.   
You will be expected to attend the whole day. 

  • What to wear 

    Please wear clothing which you feel comfortable in. You are not required to wear formal interview attire, such as a suit, however, please make sure you are dressed in a presentable outfit.  

    Interview Preparation 

  • Be ready to explain why you want to study Materials Science and Engineering.
  • Think about why you want to study at Imperial College London and why you want to study this course. 
  • Be prepared to answer questions about your personal statement.
  • Prepare examples of team-work and managing time effectively.
  • If you are taking an Extended Project, please be prepared to talk us through your project. 

Applicant Days

Applicant days for 2022 Admissions

Applicant days for 2022/23 admissions will be confirmed in due course.


We know living in London can be expensive. Our 2019 student experience survey puts the living costs (if you are living in Halls nearby) at about £11,500 for 39 weeks. Visit our Fees and Funding pages for more information. 

There are many scholarships available from the department as well as college to assist you with your living costs. 

You don’t have to apply to any of the following scholarships. In March, we will select and then invite you to submit relevant information in order to be considered for one of the scholarships. 

From the Department  

  • Departmental Scholarship is available to Home students – A fee waiver + £6000 pa towards your living costs. 

  • Ceres Scholarship - £5000 pa available to any undergraduate 

  • Four Departmental Bursaries of £1000 pa available to any undergraduate 

From College 
  • Imperial Bursaries are very generous – these are means-tested, we look at the information you submit to Student Finance

  • President's Undergraduate Scholarships – you need to have submitted your UCAS application by 15th October 2020 for 2021/22 entry. There are up to 112 President's Undergraduate Scholarships available for students starting their studies in 2021-22.

Worthy of note 

The Kingsbury Scholarship is a highly prestigious engineering scholarship to the value of £20,000 and one of the most valuable available to Home students – this you need to apply separately.  

There are other scholarships available too – please use the Scholarship Search Tool for more information.