Course Structure


Our Programme is different to standard doctoral pathways. 

With students coming from a range of backgrounds in engineering, the physical sciences, and mathematics, the AMS CDT provides a comprehensive programme to ensure our Cohorts are best provided with all the resources required for success.

The AMS CDT combines a taught technical programme with an industry-led doctoral project, and extensive professional skills training. 

Course Structure 

AMSCDT Course Structure

"The broadness of the first year of the AMS CDT course allowed me to build upon the knowledge that I had from my undergraduate degree with a more materials-specific focus. This general background built the foundations for my EngD research which has continued in years 2, 3 and 4. Alongside this, the ongoing professional skills modules have allowed me to develop the soft skills required to engage and disseminate my research with a wide range of audiences."

Project Title: Development of Hybrid Advanced Manufacturing FAST-forge Route for Next Generation Aerospace Components, sponsored by Rolls-Royce.

Sam Lister | 2019 Cohort | AMS CDT

Year One

Metallic Materials Training

Physical Metallurgy Foundations

Taught courses cover topics such as phase transformations, structure of metals, mechanical properties, high performance alloys, and solidification. They aim to give students underpinning knowledge in core metallurgy topics.

Modelling, Programming, and Data Analytics

Taught courses cover topics such as Finite Element Modelling and Labview for data acquisition. Students will also look at Solidworks, Matlab and Python, and their application in data analysis, data presentation, and Industry 4.0 topics.

Mini Research Project

The five month mini research project acts as an introduction to the doctoral project. It provides an introduction to literature review, training in experimental, and modelling techniques and the research environment. Students will write a report and have a viva.

Following completion of the mini project in July, students present a poster at the International Student Conference in Metallic Materials, then continue into their doctoral research project.

Professional and Transferable Skills

Industry Training Programme

Students are set a metals manufacturing challenge by an industrial partner to the AMS CDT. Working on this from October to February, students will develop key research and team working skills.

Transformative Technologies

Students undertake an intensive two-week module working in Additive Manufacturing. They work to solve a challenge set by industry in an aspect of metals manufacturing. 

Responsible Research and Innovation

Students get an in-depth introduction to Responsible Innovation, covering sustainability, life cycle analysis, ethics and the social acceptability of research and manufacturing, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity (EDI) workshops. In the first year, Cohorts will participate in an inclusive workshop to raise awareness and understanding of EDI issues in the PGR Community. 

These continue across the whole programme, to develop, exemplify and disseminate EDI best practice in the metallurgical community. 

Academic Writing Skills

This runs across all four years of the programme. In the first year, it includes activities such as industry visits, presenting a poster at the International Student Conference in Metallic Materials, and writing skills development.

A student presenting a poster

Year Two

Industrial or International Placement

UK Conference or Industrial Visit

In their second year, students will present at a UK-based conference. They may opt to organise a research visit of one or two months duration to another research organisation or their industrial partner.

This would be to carry out a specific piece of work and gain experience of another research environment

Professional and Transferable Skills

Public Engagement Project

Students work in small groups to design, deliver, and evaluate an activity to engage the public with Materials Science and Engineering. This could be attending schools, or a community event, or engaging with local scout groups.

A student working with three children
Journal Club and Seminars

Students organise a series of journal clubs, where they act as a review panel and discuss the merits or limitations of a recent journal paper.

They obtain useful insight into how to approach writing a journal paper for their own outputs, and also arrange for external speakers to give seminars. This helps to develop their professional networks.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity Project

A student-led activity to focus on EDI impacts in an academic setting.

Year Three

Metallic Materials Training

International Conference

In years two or three, students can present at Junior EuroMat - which is held every two years - or another conference of their choosing held in Europe.

Students select a conference that is aimed at Doctoral Researchers in Materials Science and Engineering from across Europe.

Professional and Transferable Skills

SME Consultancy Project

Students act as consultants to a small-medium enterprise (SME), working on a real metallurgical problem of interest to the company.

Working in small groups, students have two weeks to investigate before presenting their findings and recommendations to the SME.

A group photograph of students during their consultancy project
Standards, Codes, and Specifications

This course is delivered by industry. It introduces students to the concept of assurance and the uses of codes, standards, and specifications to ensure correct methods and materials are used in the development of a safety critical product.

Cohorts will also participate in 'Out-Groups in Academia & Industry', a seminar series delivered by individuals with lived experience of protected characteristics.

Science and Engineering in the Media

Students join with those from other CDTs on a short residential course to explore how science journalism works. The highlight of this course is recording a radio magazine style programme, as-live at the BBC.

Year Four

Metallic Materials Training

Industry Placement

Students will organise a research visit of one or two months duration to another research organisation or their industrial partner.

Thesis Preparation

Students will spend the final phase of the programme writing their thesis and preparing papers for publication.

Professional and Transferable Skills

EDI Leadership

Cohorts will participate in workshops and make evaluations on attitudes and behavioural styles that support EDI practice.

Advanced Metallic Systems CDT logo enlarged

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