Materials studentUCAS code: JFM2
ECTS: 270 credits
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 4 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington

This interdisciplinary integrated Master's course focuses on understanding the relationship between the fundamental structure and properties (mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic) of matter.

Through challenging experiments and excellent opportunities to use advanced equipment, you will investigate how to manipulate existing materials, as well as develop new and improved ones.

About the course


Materials Science and Engineering is a modern discipline, which brings together all of the sciences and engineering, and our Department of Materials is at the forefront of research in this areaThis degree deals with the fundamentals of matter, both its structure and its properties.

You’ll learn how to manipulate existing materials and how to develop new and improved ones. All Materials Science and Engineering students follow the same pathway of core modules in the first two years, after which your studies will vary depending on the course you have chosen.

Your third year is the time to specialise in your personal and professional interests, whether in management, biomaterials and tissue engineering, or nuclear engineering.

You will go on to complete a four-month placement before the fourth year, which comprises of Master's level study.

Our Materials Science and Engineering degrees prepare you for a wide range of careers, in areas such as manufacturing, processing, research, production and management.

Which degree is right for you?

There are five degree courses available within the department, and if you are unsure whether a BEng or MEng is the right degree for you, the opportunity to switch between courses is available. We will happily discuss this with you to help you make an informed decision.

BEng/MEng Materials Science and Engineering is the broadest degree, giving you the chance to choose modules from a selection of the subject streams in materials processing, structural materials or electrical materials, as well as from the specialist degrees. 

BEng Materials with Management includes management and economics modules delivered by Imperial College Business School.

MEng Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering includes specialist modules in topics such as biocompatibility, tissue engineering and biomaterials for hard tissue restoration.

MEng Materials with Nuclear Engineering combines modules in metals, glasses and ceramics with a focused introduction to nuclear engineering taught by specialists from across Imperial. There is also a nuclear-focused research project.

All of our four-year MEng courses build on the three-year BEng degrees by including a four-month placement between years three and four in an industry or research establishment.


Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

To progress to the next academic year, you must achieve a mark of at least 40% in each element of the previous academic year.

In order to complete the fourth year, you must achieve a mark of at least 50% in that year.

Year 1

Your first year consists of six core modules:

  • Materials Chemistry and Biology
  • Materials Engineering
  • Materials Physics
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure and Properties of Materials

Year 2

In your second year you will continue to follow a pathway of six core modules.

As the course advances you perform more individual and group project work. These involve literature searches, exploration of new ideas and concepts and writing technical reports. 

  • Electronic Properties of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry and Polymer Sciences
  • Materials Engineering 2
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure

Year 3

In the third year you select five optional modules on top of the two core modules, allowing you to focus on the areas that interest you most.

Core modules
  • Integrated Materials Engineering
  • Materials Characterisation
Optional modules
  • Biomaterials
  • Business for Professional Engineers and Scientists
  • Ceramics and Glass
  • Electronic Structures and Opto Electronic Properties
  • Engineering Alloys
  • Imperial Horizons
  • Materials Modelling
  • Metal Processing
  • Nanomaterials I
  • Polymers and Composites


You have the opportunity to complete a four-month placement in the break between your third and fourth year.

Placements can take place in the UK or overseas – we have strong links with organisations organisations in Europe, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and East Asia. The placement will be relevant to the degree specialisation.

Year 4

In your fourth year you will complete all the core modules and four optional modules from the list below.

Research project

You will complete an advanced research project relevant to your chosen degree and your interests.

Core modules
  • Strategic Management
Optional modules
  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Structural Ceramics
  • Advanced Thin Films Manufacturing
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Design-led Innovation and New Venture Creation
  • Electroceramics
  • High Performance Alloys
  • Inter-Departmental Exchange (IDX)
  • Modelling Materials with Density-Functional Theory
  • Nanomaterials I
  • Nanomaterials II
  • Nuclear Materials I
  • Nuclear Materials II
  • Nuclear Reactor Physics
  • Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics

Teaching and assessment


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.


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.


In order to progress from one year to the next you must achieve an average mark of at least 40% in each module.

In order to pass the fourth year, and complete your studies, you must achieve an average mark of at least 50% in each module.

Key Information Set (KIS)

Additional details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (Key Information Set).

The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.

The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via Unistats.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.


The minimum requirement is A*AA overall, to include:

  • A*/A in Physics
  • A*/A in Chemistry
  • A in Mathematics
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.

International Baccalaureate

An overall score of 38 points, to include:

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

European Baccalaureate

An overall score of 80% with 8.5 in Maths and Physics.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AAA to include Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

English language requirements (all applicants)

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

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard 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

Selection process

On the basis of the information given on the UCAS application we normally invite applicants to attend an interview conducted by 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.

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,750 per year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.


Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

There are scholarships specifically for students in the Department of Materials, and you can find these by using our scholarships search tool. A wide range of other scholarships is also available.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

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).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017. 

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

An ATAS certificate is required for overseas students applying for this course.

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 team website.

Tracking your application

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

Professional accreditation and associateship


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


It also leads to the award of the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines (ARSM).

What our graduates do

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:

  • Graduate Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Building Information Modeller, Forida Ltd
  • R&D Engineer, Sensornet
  • Research Scientist, A*STAR, Singapore
  • Materials Scientist,  Morgan Advanced Materials

Information for offer holders for 2017

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.

All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available.

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 changes we have made.

  • 02/12/2016 – a new fourth year optional module titled Modelling Materials with Density-Functional Theory has been added
  • 30/01/2017  the year 3 optional modules: Surfaces and InterfacesBusiness for Professional Engineers and Scientists and Imperial Horizons were added
  • 30/01/2017  the year 4 core module Comprehensive Paper was removed
  • 30/01/2017  the year 4 optional module Inter-Departmental Exchange (IDX) was added

For more information about these changes, please contact the Department using the contact details in the left hand column. Keep checking back for future updates.