Applying for MSc Courses

If you need further information about applying to study at the Department of Mechanical Engineering for your Masters, you can browse our frequently asked questions to get the answers you need.

For general FAQs and information about studying at the University of Sheffield such as accommodation and finance, click on the AskUs button in the sidebar. You can also visit our FAQ page for mechanical engineering related general questions here.

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What are your MSc course entry requirements?

To join our MSc courses, you will require a minimum 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering or a related course. If you have excellent qualifications in other Science/Engineering subjects such as Physics or Maths, or have appropriate professional experience, we will consider your application.

What English language requirements and expectations are there for international applicants?

In order to study our MSc courses we require prospective international students to hold an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

A good engineer has to be effective at communicating technical information and ideas. Our teaching and assessment reflects this expectation and so your use of English will be an important element for success on an MSc course.

You will need a high level of competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing English, as well as familiarity with the technical terms used in engineering and formal writing, which is different from conversational English.

During your studies, you will participate in a range of different activities, each offering a different challenge in regard to your language skills:

  • Lectures: You will attend lectures in which an academic presents a topic to a large group of students. The lecturer will probably expect you to make your own notes and it is unlikely that there will be a single textbook that covers the content of the module.
  • Coursework: Some taught modules will involve coursework, where you write essays based on several source documents that you have to identify and read.
  • Group Work: Other modules involve laboratory and design studies carried out by small teams of students who have to work together to produce joint or individual reports.
  • Project: Your project is the largest part of your course. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor, at which you will be expected to suggest ideas and interpret results. Additionally, you may need to discuss the design and operation of test equipment with technical staff. The marks you get reflect your conduct, the quality of dissertation that you submit, and your performance in presenting your work and answering questions in front of an audience.

Although we ask you to gain an IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6 in each individual component, this minimum requirement is set assuming that you will work to improve your English language skills while you're on the course. For example, we would advise you to:

  • Attend the Technical English Assessment as soon as you arrive to help identify areas that you need to improve.
  • Use the English teaching provided by the University, including weekly classes and a writing advisory service.
  • Immerse yourself with the English language. For example, aim to speak in English as much as possible; listen, watch and read as much as you can in English; and change your laptop settings to English.
What previous study should I have undertaken?

To give you a fair chance of succeeding on your course, we need to make sure you have enough experience in relevant subjects. All of our MSc courses are designed for students who have completed a degree similar to our BEng Mechanical Engineering.

Many of our MSc students come from different subject backgrounds, including aerospace, automotive, civil and marine engineering courses, as well as mechatronics, manufacturing, mathematics and physics.

So in addition to general skills associated with science and engineering, we would like to see evidence of experience in the key subject areas listed below:

Key Subject Some (but not all) of the topics you should be familiar with:
Solid mechanics Mohr's circle, 2D elasticity including plane stress and plane strain, bending of beams, buckling of columns, plasticity, fracture mechanics.
Statics, dynamics and control Equilibrium, free body diagrams, kinematics and kinetics of mechanisms, vibrations, resonance, block diagram representation of feedback control, Laplace domain models.
Fluid mechanics Laminar and turbulent flows, Reynolds number, Bernoulli’s equation, calculation of pressure drop in pipework.
Thermodynamics and heat transfer First and Second Laws, Carnot, Rankine and Otto cycles, general conduction equation, convection, Nusselt number, emissivity, view factors.

We would normally expect to see these subjects on your transcript. If you have studied these topics as part of modules with very different titles, you will need to indicate this on your application form.

How do I apply for your MSc courses?

You can apply for any of our MSc courses by using the University's online application form. Applications must be received by 31st July to begin in September and you can find the online application form here.

You can also find out more about fees and funding here.

What should I be aware of when completing the application form?

The University of Sheffield online application form for postgraduate taught study will ask you for information about yourself and your background. This is so we can decide whether we can offer you a place on one of our masters courses.

While the same form is used for all postgraduate courses across the University, some information is particularly important for applications to study at the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

For example, before making an offer, we consider the subjects that you have studied or are studying, the grades you have obtained, and the institution awarding your degree. You should therefore make sure that you provide enough information about these aspects in your application.

Your transcript should show that you have studied (or will study) the required subjects. If this is not evident, you should give an explanation in your supporting statement.

You should provide an accurate average grade. If you have not completed your studies, please give an average grade for results that you have obtained to date. If your institution does not provide an average grade, please calculate it yourself using the method shown below. We will not normally make an offer if this information is not provided. The grades we require vary depending on your university or college and so you should also make sure that the name of your institution is accurate on your application.

What about references?

You will be asked for references as part of the application process, however, these do not have to be extensive. We are just looking for evidence that qualified people who know you and your work, think you are suitable for our MSc programmes.

What should I include in my supporting statement?

Another part of the application process is the supporting statement. These are used by departments across the University to identify motivation and suitability. However, at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, we think that completing your first degree to a satisfactory level is sufficient evidence of this.

Instead, you may wish to use your supporting statement to explain anything unusual in your application. For example, if it is not evident from your transcript that you have covered the required topics, you can provide a description of relevant experience.

How do I calculate my Average Grade?

If your institution provides an average grade on your transcript, we prefer to use it.

If not, please use the method described below:

  • Exclude all results from your first year at university.
  • Exclude all results for religious, moral, political, cultural, language or sports practical subjects.
  • For the remaining technical subjects, calculate the credit-weighted average mark. To do this, multiply each subject mark by its number of credits to get its credit-weighted mark. Sum all the credit weighted marks and divide this figure by the total number of credits to get the average.
  • Report the average grade precise to two significant figures.