2022 start September 

Advanced Metallurgy (Distance Learning)

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Our online version of the full-time course offers you an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of developments in metallurgy and metallurgical engineering.
Image of two postgraduate materials science and engineering students with masks and equipment

Course description

We teach an in-depth and up-to-date understanding of current developments in metallurgy and metallurgical engineering.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of thermodynamics, structure and mechanical behaviour, and study more advanced topics like engineering alloys, processing, physical metallurgy, modelling and performance in service.

Many of our graduates go on to senior positions within their current employers or in the wider metallurgical community. The course also provides the ideal background for pursiuing a PhD degree in engineering materials.


This degree programme is fully accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3).


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Metals (DL)

This module covers engineering alloys ranging from light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) to steels (carbon, stainless, and advanced high strength steels). The module 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. 

10 credits
Science of Materials (DL)

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 workplace.

15 credits
Materials Processing and Characterisation (DL)

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 include; powder processing; thermomechanical processing; polymer and composites processing; X-ray, Neutron and Electron Diffraction; Light and Electron Optics; Analytical Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy; Thermal Analysis, Spectroscopic methods and Advanced Chemical Analysis. Lectures will be supplemented with laboratory exercises on X-ray Diffraction, Optical Microscopy, Electron Microscopy and Quantitative Microstructural Analysis. 

15 credits
Materials Selection, Properties and Applications (DL)

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.

15 credits
Technical Skills Development (DL)

This module teaches you 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. 

5 credits
Metallurgical Processing (DL)

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. 

15 credits
Advanced Materials Manufacturing: Part I (DL)

This module 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. 

15 credits
Deformation, Fracture and Fatigue (DL)

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.

15 credits
Heat and Materials with Application (DL)

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 case study part of the module has a twofold aim. Firstly, it is designed to simulate the kind of team work that could be required of you in industry. They aim to increase your knowledge of processing and applications of engineering materials, and your ability to work in a group to cooperate and collaborate efficiently and effectively. Secondly, they are designed to highlight some of the critical issues for processing of materials from both a materials and engineering systems point of view. 

15 credits
Project (DL)

The research project and dissertation is supervised by one or, in some instances, two members of academic staff. The topic of the research project will be set in consultation with your Course Director during the first week of the Autumn Semester. The Autumn semester will consist of a project related essay and project plan presentation. Research work on the project will formally be undertaken during the Second Semester (including the Spring vacation period) and during the summer vacation between about mid-June and mid-August.

60 credits

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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


Working alongside students and staff from across the globe, you’ll tackle real-world projects, and attend lectures, seminars and laboratory classes.


You'll be assessed by formal examinations, coursework assessment, research reports and poster presentations. You will be required to make one visit to Sheffield at the end of the course for the examination and project presentation.


2 years, part-time.

This is the two-year distance learning version of our MMet Advanced Metallurgy course. The course content is similar to the face-to-face version of the course, and the end qualification is the same; it’s just the method of delivery that is different. 

The distance learning version of the course 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.

Student profiles

Image of Abhishek Jain MMet Metallurgy graduate from India. Now PhD researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland

I was so impressed with the work of the academics in the department that I chose to study the MMet course. In receiving the scholarship, I’m not only more secure financially but with such an honour from a world-class institution, it will help me in future career applications.

Abhishek Jain
MMet Metallurgy graduate from India, now PhD Researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in materials, metallurgy, a physical science (chemistry or physics) or a related engineering subject.

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.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

Scholarships of up to £3000 are available on the basis of academic excellence and Access and Participation criteria. UK students only.


You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

Apply now

+44 114 222 5941

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

Explore this course:

    MATT116 Off Off