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Register your interest to hear about postgraduate study and events at the University of Sheffield
Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering
It’s a fantastic time to be a specialist in aerospace materials. Sheffield is at the heart of the UK aerospace industry. Many international aerospace companies look to the department to discover ways to improve both materials and processes for use in their products.
You’ll develop knowledge of the manufacturing, processing and properties of the metals and composite materials used in airframes and aeroengines. You’ll also be trained in the fundamentals of thermodynamics, structure and mechanical behaviour.
Fully accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3). Graduates will have the underpinning knowledge for later professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
- Engineering Alloys
This module covers engineering metallic alloys ranging from alloy steels, stainless steels, light alloys (i.e. aluminium alloys and titanium alloys) and high temperature metallic systems (intermetallics and nickel superalloys). The module centres on the physical metallurgy of such engineering alloys to demonstrate the effect of alloying and implications for the processing, microstructure and performance of structural components in a range of industrial sectors, but predominantly the automotive and aerospace sectors.15 credits
- 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.15 credits
- Materials Processing and Characterisation
This module introduces experimental methods used to characterise metals, polymers, ceramics and composites and the processes and technologies involved in the production of these materials.15 credits
Topics covered are split into two areas:Characterisation: Analysis of materials using a range of techniques, e.g., diffraction, spectroscopy and thermal analysisProcessing: Manufacturing of materials and parts, e.g., powder, thermomechanical and moulding
- Practical, Modelling and Digital Skills
This module develops your skills in three linked areas:15 credits
(a) materials characterisation laboratory skills including safe methods of working, completion of COSHH and risk assessments, and measurements using a range of practical techniques
(b) the use of computers for data handling and analysis (MATLAB) together with an introduction to finite element modelling (FEM) using ANSYS.
(c) the skills needed to search for scientific literature as well as technical skills for presenting data, including how to avoid plagiarism, referencing, formatting documents, drawing high quality graphs, critically reviewing literature and giving presentations.
- Design and Manufacture of Composites
This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of both the design and manufacture of polymer composites and is presented in two sections. First, design of composites is taught via tutorials and practicals on classical laminate theory and ESAComp software. An extended series of worked examples provides you with the basic tools you need to design effective composite parts. Second, manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. You will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and non destructive testing, repair and SMART composites.15 credits
- 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.15 credits
- Advanced Materials Manufacturing
This unit introduces key concepts with regards to Materials 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. Modelling and simulation is a key enabling technology within Aerospace Technology Institute's strategy to reach zero carbon emissions by 2050. Modelling allows for the rapid insertion of new materials and manufacturing processes, in addition to the improved understanding and optimisation of current methods. The course includes key drivers in reaching zero carbon emissions, covering lithium battery manufacturing and coating technologies.15 credits
This unit aims to provide knowledge and experience of advanced manufacturing techniques that will underpin the UK's future advanced materials manufacturing base and obtain knowledge and experience of advanced manufacturing process and material modelling to solve industrial problems.
- Heat and Materials with Application
This module presents the underlying theory of heat transfer and diffusion, covering the derivation and solution to important and frequently encountered engineering problems. 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 chemical thermodynamics. The course introduces analytical solutions to diffusion and heat transfer problems considering a range of boundary conditions and geometry. Spectral methods are covered briefly, with a focus on numerical solutions obtained using the finite difference method. The course is assessed through an exam and coursework. The exam assesses the background knowledge of heat transfer and diffusion, in addition to the ability to apply analytical solutions to solve industrial problems. A coursework assignment builds upon this knowledge to explore problems involving more complex boundary conditions and more detailed descriptions of material properties using the finite difference method.15 credits
Students undertake a project on a topic agreed with their allocated academic supervisor; supervisor allocation takes into accounts students' specific interests. The project is an original research investigation carried out within a research group in the Department; to develop students' abilities to interact within a research group a defined piece of group work is undertaken early in the project. All projects include a literature survey involving students reading original papers and review articles from the scientific and technical literature. Most projects involve extensive laboratory work although some may be based primarily on a survey of the published literature or computational studies. The assessment of the project includes assessment of the group work, an interim report and final report along with a presentation on the work to staff and other students and an oral examination. Conduct throughout the project is also assessed.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.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
1 year full-time
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 assignments and a dissertation.
Materials science and engineering is an extraordinarily interdisciplinary subject that underpins so many aspects of our society and has a huge impact in pretty much all engineering sectors from aerospace, to automotive, to the biomedical sciences, the energy sector and beyond.
Sheffield has long been a centre of materials innovation. With a history of research excellence that can be traced back more than 135 years, this department was one of the foundation stones of the University.
Being at the centre of such a diverse subject area, our researchers at Sheffield are solving some of the most pressing challenges faced by society.
Our work covers solutions across all sustainability challenges from biodegradable polymers, to clean energy, to recyclability and decarbonisation within the foundation industries, to novel low-energy methods for the manufacture of materials for energy. For example we are champions of atomic energy leading the way towards effective solutions for nuclear waste immobilisation as well as designing the materials to enable atomic fusion thus providing solutions to green energy.
We strive to give you a valuable and unforgettable university experience. By accessing state-of-the-art multidisciplinary engineering laboratories, direct contact with industrial partners, and excellent learning resources, you will be given the opportunity and support to develop the skills you need to succeed at university and flourish in your career once you graduate.
I applied to Sheffield as I thought it was the best place to study materials. I now know this to be true having experienced such a supportive environment where staff are on hand to answer questions and reassure you in your studies.
MSc Aerospace Materials graduate. Now Edison Engineer at GE Aviation.
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in materials, a physical science (chemistry or physics) or a related engineering subject.
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
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.
+44 114 222 5941
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
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.