Why study MMet Advanced Metallurgy?

Metal castingA typical programme schedule for the MMet Advanced Metallurgy degreeFirst established in the early 1950s, the MMet course has produced over 1000 graduates, with many now working in senior positions within metallurgical companies across the globe.

We are very proud of the rich history of this programme, and are continually updating the course content to ensure that metallurgy at Sheffield maintains its position as one of the pre-eminent courses in the world for young scientists and engineers to develop and enhance their metallurgical understanding.

This programme is now available to study by distance learning, over the course of 2 years. The course content is the same, as is the end qualification, it's just the method of delivery that is different. This distance learning version of the programme is only available to individuals either directly working in, or with the support of a metals/materials related industry. This is important as your 60 credit project module will be directly related to this industry, and will require the necessary facilities to carry out the research.

Course breakdown

  • Duration: 2 years by distance learning (click here for the full-time study option)
  • Fees: The fees for this course are £11,300 in Year 1, £11,300 in Year 2. Note the programme fees do not include travel and related expenses to attend the residential sessions at The University of Sheffield. It's important to find out how much the fees are for your course and get advice on funding your studies. We recommend using the University's fee lookup tool.
  • Entry requirements: good honours degree in materials, metallurgy, a physical science (chemistry or physics) or a related engineering subject. For equivalent qualifications in your country, click here. A significant part of the course involves completing a research project. This project will need to be done in the workplace under the day to day supervision of a manager. A company working in a relevant sector will need to sponsor your project. This could be your current employer or a company for which you will perform a research project.
  • English language requirements: overall IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent
  • Fully accredited by the IoM3upon graduating, you will have the underpinning knowledge for later professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
  • Study locations: This is a distance learning programme. Students will be required to visit Sheffield on one occasion for assessment of their research project.

Once you've made your decision and are ready to apply, follow our step by step guide. Apply now

Course structure

You'll receive in-depth technical knowledge and advanced expertise in your chosen materials field, develop excellent analytical and research skills as well as enhanced project planning and management capabilities and experience.



This unit covers engineering alloys ranging from light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) to steels (carbon, stainless, and advanced high strength steels). The course centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and its implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural pipeline steels, large scale forgings and aerospace components in both airframe and aero-engine applications. Some parallels will also be drawn with the automotive industry, when discussing both steels and light alloys.

Science of Materials

This module introduces key concepts involved in materials science to cover general aspects and applications of metallic, polymeric and inorganic materials. Topics covered include; chemical bonding; basic crystallography of crystalline materials; crystal defects; mechanical properties and strength of materials; phase diagrams and transformations; overviews of metals and alloys; polymers and inorganic solids. Lectures will be supplemented with laboratory exercises based on; construction of a binary phase diagram; crystallography; health and safety regulations in the work place.

This unit aims to give students:

  • Knowledge and understanding of bonding, structure, defects, phase transformations and applications of metals, polymers and inorganic solids;
  • Significant insight into the mechanical properties and strength of materials;
  • A sound grounding in the construction and application of equilibrium phase diagrams to materials science;
  • Knowledge and understanding regarding health and safety regulations in the work place.

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Have an understanding of the roles played by chemical bonding, crystal structure, defects and polymorphic transitions on the physical properties and applications of metals, polymers and inorganic solids
  • Demonstrate an understanding of equilibrium phase diagrams
  • Demonstrate an understanding of health and safety regulations in the work place

Materials Processing and Characterisation

This module introduces the processes and technologies involved in the production of metals, polymers, ceramics and composites and the experimental methods used to characterise these materials. Topics covered are broken into two areas:

  • Fabrication and processing of materials, e.g. powder, thermomechanical and polymer/composites.
  • Analysis of materials using a range of techniques, e.g. diffraction, spectroscopy, and thermal analysis

This unit aims to give students:

  • Knowledge and comprehension of the material fabrication technologies
  • Knowledge and comprehension of an extended range of analytical techniques and how they can used in the development of new materials

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the considerations, and implications when fabricating and processing materials, which method is best for which material type and how they can be used to design new materials. This is developed in further modules with extended applications
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the differing methods for analysis of materials, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can be applied in the development of materials
  • Critically evaluate the best methods for materials processing/fabrication coupled with the most appropriate method of analysis in materials design/fabrication

Materials Selection, Properties and Applications

This module introduces the principles of materials selection and design, materials modelling and the structure-composition-property relationships in a wide variety of technologically important materials. Topics include; energy, environmental and societal considerations in materials selection and design; materials modelling over different length scales; corrosion and degradation of materials; structure, property composition relationships in all major classes of materials including structural and functional ceramics; magnetic materials; glasses; composites; optical materials; coatings; biomaterials and nuclear materials.

Technical Skills Development

This module teaches students the skills needed to search for scientific literature as well as technical skills for presenting data. The module includes searching for literature, how to avoid plagiarism, referencing, data analysis, formatting documents, drawing high quality graphs, critically reviewing literature and giving presentations. Exercises on each part of the module will be used throughout and assessment will be on a written lab report produced at the end of the module.

Metallurgical Processing

This module examines three areas of materials engineering where significant improvement in performance in-service can be obtained via their use. First, the module provides an introduction to the processes and technologies involved in the production of steel, aluminium, and titanium Secondly, methodologies of how microstructure can be significantly improved via thermomechanical processing are investigated and aims to build insight into the operation and capabilities of thermomechanical processing techniques. Finally, this module will describe in detail the underlying engineering principles of plastic forming and focus on some of the main metallic production techniques such as extrusion, rolling and wire drawing.

The aims of this unit are to:

  • Develop an understanding of the interaction of metallurgical and mechanical variables in determining microstructural evolution in high temperature solid metal shaping processes;
  • Understand in detail the production routes used for the making of steel;
  • Understand the production route for other metals such as aluminium and titanium;
  • Introduce students to practical analysis of engineering applications using finite elements and to develop an awareness of the power and limitations of the method;
  • Understand by use of case studies the mechanics of all the main metal forming operations, such as extrusion and rolling and the relationship between these operations and final mechanical properties

Deformation, Fracture and Fatigue

Deformation, fracture and fatigue are important mechanical phenomena in both metals processing and use. The role of dislocations in and the effects of microstructural features on the plastic deformation of metals is initially explored. Consideration of fracture starts with linear elastic fracture mechanics including the Griffith equation and Irwin stress intensity factors. The effects of plasticity effects on fracture in metals including plastic zones at crack tips and cyclical fatigue are considered in some detail. Both total lifetime approaches and damage tolerance approaches to fatigue are considered.

This unit aims to give students:

  • develop students’ understanding of the theoretical principles used to describe the deformation, fracture and fatigue of metals
  • enable students to undertake fracture mechanics based calculations utilising a stress intensity factor approach
  • enable students to undertake fatigue lifetime calculations based on both total lifetime approaches and damage tolerant approaches

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • explain the role of dislocations and their interactions with microstructural features in the deformation of metals
  • explain the role of cracks and crack like defects in fracture
  • undertake stress intensity factor calculations involving a range of crack geometries
  • estimate fatigue lifetimes

Advanced Materials Manufacturing – Part I

This unit covers a range of advanced materials manufacturing techniques that are either widely used or emerging in industry. Techniques include Additive Layer Manufacturing, Electron Beam Welding, Superplastic Forming, lithium battery manufacturing and advanced machining approaches. In addition, non-destructive evaluation techniques to ensure high levels of manufacturing integrity will be described.

This unit aims to provide knowledge and experience of advanced manufacturing techniques that will underpin the UK’s future advanced materials manufacturing base. The unit will provide a technical insight into key techniques such as joining/welding, machining, sheet forming, battery manufacturing and NDE inspection methods which materials graduates will use on a daily basis. Emerging techniques such as additive layer manufacturing and electron beam welding are included.

This unit aims to give students:

  • an understanding the effect of such techniques on design, constraint, microstructure and properties;
  • an understanding of relative productivity rates;
  • an appreciation of the manufacturing landscape in the UK, including the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centres.

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Identify the appropriate manufacturing technique for a particular material and its application;
  • Identify changes in microstructure and properties when such manufacturing techniques are applied and the impact it will have on inspection and in-service performance;
  • Identify the importance of advanced manufacturing techniques in providing a step change in economics of production;
  • Predict the implications of applying disruptive technologies into the supply chain.

Heat and Materials with Application

This module examines both the transfer of heat to/from materials and thermally activated processes that occur during the manufacture of materials due to the transfer of heat into materials. There is also some consideration of the effects of heat during use. Thus conduction, convection and radiative heat transfer, on their own and in combination are considered, followed by an examination of diffusion (Fick’s laws) and sintering (solid state, liquid phase and viscous glass sintering). Finally creep phenomena are considered.
The aims of the taught component of this unit are:

  • Significant insight into the importance of thermal phenomena in the manufacture of materials;
  • A sound grounding in and the ability to carry out relevant calculations in heat transfer related phenomena in the context of materials processing ;
  • A sound understanding of the processes of sintering in some areas of materials manufacture;
  • A sound understanding of the processes of creep that occur when materials are used at a significant fraction of their melting temperature.

The aims of the case study of this unit are to:

  • Develop and consolidate the students' knowledge and understanding of high temperature materials and particularly of creep;
  • Investigate, in small groups, a topic relating to the processing or use of high temperature materials (e.g. in a gas turbine engine); further experience of working in a team to gather information on the allocated topic and prepare a written report.

By the end of the unit, a candidate will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of heat transfer in materials manufacturing and be able to undertake heat transfer calculations for a variety of simplified processing problems;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of diffusion based phenomena in materials manufacture and use and be able to undertake relevant calculations;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of sintering processes in materials manufacture;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of creep phenomena in materials in use;
  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge of the materials used in the application being studied and why they are selected;
  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of one aspect of high temperature materials in the application being studied e.g. single crystal turbine blades for gas turbine engines;
  • Demonstrate experience of group work under time pressure

Research Project

Research project

You'll be expected to complete a research project in a metallurgical area related to either the automotive, aerospace, construction, transportation, energy or nuclear sectors. Typically the project will relate to your employer's business.

Recent completed projects include:

  • Constitutive behaviour of austenite during high temperature deformation
  • Effects of interpass time and annealing on recrystallisation behaviour of an Fe-3si steel
  • Friction stir welding of Ti alloys
  • The metallurgy of TRIP steels
  • Influence of processing parameters on the evolution of microalloyed austenite
  • Influence of nanocrystallites on the plasticity of cu-based bulk alloy glasses
  • Grain coarsening behavior under Isothermal and isochronal conditions for the Ni-based alloy 625
How you'll learn

You will study each module by distance learning. Each module has a scheduled live webinar, which you are encouraged to join, as they include interactive question and answer sessions. These webinars are recorded and are available to all students for revision purposes.

Through these webinar sessions, you will be able to interact with tutors, as well as fellow students from around the world. You will be able to share your experiences of working in industry and gain broader understanding from the other students on the course.

You will be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assignment, a dissertation and a poster presentation, which takes place at the end of the programme in Sheffield.

Click for additional information.

Academic support

Meet Professor Eric Palmiere, Course Director and Professor of Metallurgy

Our network of world leading academics, at the cutting edge of their research, inform our courses and develop programmes that are relevant to industry.

You'll receive support throughout your course, plus a dedicated Supervisor for your research project.

If you have any questions about the course, please contact Postgraduate Taught Courses Team.


The course is ideal for people already working in the metals processing industry who want a formal qualification to progress in their career. It will give you the opportunity to formalise the knowledge gained during your work to date, and learn more to help you expand your role in the future.

It also provides the ideal background for the subsequent pursuit of PhD degrees in Engineering Materials.

Graduates from the full-time version of this course are working in such roles as:

  • Inspection and corrosion engineer
  • Materials development engineer
  • Process engineer
  • Product development engineer
  • PhD research

Employers include the global metallurgical industries from those which are primary producers through to end-users.

Alumnus Mueed Jamal

My advice to students is to start building skills for your CV and develop a good relationship with your supervisor as they can offer lots of support, I was able to achieve several interviews before graduating.


Take a look at where our alumni are now working. Meet our alumni

*The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.