Materials Science and Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng MEng2024-25 entry
If you don't have the usual scientific or mathematical background for an engineering degree, a foundation year is for you. After successfully completing the foundation year, which has modules in mathematics, physics and chemistry, you can start the MEng degree.
Explore this course:
After successfully completing the foundation year, which has modules in mathematics, physics and chemistry, you can start the MEng degree.
In our core undergraduate degree, you'll discover the underlying principles of materials science, and how these are applied across materials engineering situations. You can keep your course general or tailor your degree with optional materials modules.
As well as lectures and tutorials, you'll learn through experiencing real-world engineering situations with extensive practical work in important manufacturing processes and using the latest investigative equipment.
In the first year, you'll take the Global Engineering Challenge. Working with students from other engineering courses, you'll have to find creative solutions to problems. The project looks at challenges faced by communities throughout the world. It's designed to develop you as a professional engineer and get you thinking about sustainable solutions.
If you enjoy a specific area of materials science, you may choose to switch to one of our more specialised courses before the end of the second year.
All MEng courses include a guaranteed five month paid industrial placement, which may be in the UK or abroad. This is a great way of getting additional experience and improving your CV.
In the third and fourth year of the MEng degrees, you'll take part in four Industrial Training Programmes, focusing on the areas of nuclear, glass, aerospace and advanced manufacturing. For each, there are small group seminars with industry experts and engineers, academic lectures and visits to industry sites and technology centres. You'll apply your materials science and engineering knowledge to analyse and solve a real current industrial problem.
BEng or MEng
It is possible to switch between many of our courses and between the BEng and MEng (based on performance on the exams in the course) up to the end of the second year.
This course is fully accredited by the IOM3, meaning it counts towards later professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).
UCAS code: J501
Years: 2022, 2023
- Core Foundation Mathematics
The syllabus for MAS003 covers the common core A Level curriculum. The unit is tailored for students who have been away from mathematics for a period of time, but who will have gained some A-Level or similar qualifications. The unit covers the basic principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Following the introduction of new material in the lectures, students have the opportunity of extensive problem solving, both in the tutorial sessions with the lecturers and in their own time.40 credits
- Introduction to Engineering
This module will introduce the application of engineering principles to foundation year students and give the student an appreciation of the breadth of engineering activities across the faculty and identify to students what knowledge areas and skills are needed in order to contribute to their development and be successful. It will also help create links with departments and draw on the other modules that students will take in the foundation year especially maths and physics.40 credits
- Advanced Level Chemistry
The unit covers a selection of the major concepts from areas of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry in order to develop a sound basic knowledge of chemistry corresponding to the common core A level curriculum as preparation for successful studies in the Material Sciences and Chemical Engineering.20 credits
- Elements of Physics
PHY010 provides students with the elements of Physics required to enter the first year of an engineering course where some knowledge of Physics is needed.20 credits
Understanding will be developed by taking a sub- set of the lectures of the more comprehensive module PHY009, namely those covering Dynamics/Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism (autumn semester); and Oscillations, Waves, and Optics; Properties of Matter (spring semester). These will be delivered in the first 2/3rds of either semester. Problem solving and example classes are integrated into lectures.
As PHY008 teachings no practical Physics, this module is complemented by laboratory components of the 40 credit foundation year module (FCE001).
- Foundation Core and Enhanced Mathematics
This module builds on the common core curriculum from A level maths (which is a prerequisite). This unit covers enhanced comprehension of topics in pure maths, statistics, probability, and numerical methods. These topics are chosen to further prepare students for their undergraduate studies in the science and engineering faculties.40 credits
After successfully completing the foundation year, you can start your BEng or MEng degree.
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.
Learning and assessment
You'll learn through lectures, labs, tutorials and problem classes. We take a 'learn by doing' approach to our courses, so that you develop transferable, industry-relevant skills and use equipment found in the workplace.
You will be assessed by a combination of exams and tests, coursework and practical work. The proportions for each will vary depending on the modules you choose.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
BBB (any A Level); BBC, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology
- International Baccalaureate
- 32 (any subjects); 31, with Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Higher Level 5 or Stanrdard Level 7
- BTEC Extended Diploma
- DDD in Engineering or Applied Science + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
- BTEC Diploma
- DD in Engineering or Applied Science + A at A Level (no STEM at A Level) + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering or Applied Science + B in an A Level science subject (Physics, Chemistry, or Biology) + GCSE Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering or Applied Science + C in A Level Maths + GCSE Science grade 6/B
- T Level
- Distinction in either the Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing or Design & Development for Engineering & Manufacturing T Level, including grade B in the core component + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
- Scottish Highers
- AABBB (any subjects); ABBBB, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology
- Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
- B + BB (any A Level subjects); B + BC in Maths and either Physics, Chemistry or Biology
- Access to HE Diploma
- Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction (to include 12 Maths units), and 21 at Merit + GCSE Maths grade 7/A
If you are studying both Maths and a science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology) at A Level or equivalent, there are no additional GCSE requirements. If you are studying any other subject combination, we require GCSE science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Employers are increasingly looking for evidence of practical work experience, as it demonstrates a genuine interest and means you will have the practical skills to work in a real industrial environment.
Studying for a degree in materials science gives you a strong set of transferable skills valued by employers across a wide range of industries, including:
- analytical and problem-solving skills (including basic programming and modelling skills)
- time management, planning and organisation
- research and scientific communication (speaking and report writing)
- team and group working
Our courses are designed to include a significant portion of practical work, allowing you to get hands-on experience of important processes and the latest investigative equipment. There are frequent occasions when we will ask you to work in the same way as professional engineers, with opportunities to work in industry or on projects of direct industrial interest.
Our graduates have the skills, experience and contacts they need to tackle society's most pressing materials challenges. No matter where your future lies, as a Sheffield materials graduate, you'll be in demand.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Take a look around you. Materials are everywhere. Used for different applications, for different reasons. Without materials scientists and engineers, aeroplanes wouldn't fly, buildings wouldn't stand up, mobile phones wouldn't work, and healthcare wouldn't be the same.
Materials science and engineering is a subject that is integral to all other engineering disciplines. It brings together physics, chemistry, engineering, maths, and in some cases, biology, and puts these subjects into real-life situations.
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.
Our academics are leading experts in their fields with international reputations, and their research shapes and inspires what you are taught.
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.
Teaching in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is mainly based in The Diamond, the University's dedicated engineering teaching facility. Here, you'll find lecture theatres, seminar rooms, open plan learning spaces, library services and a number of specialist engineering laboratories. You'll also have lectures and use laboratories in the Sir Robert Hadfield Building.
Not only do you get to use the materials lab, packed full of industry standard equipment, but because materials science and engineering is integrated into all other types of engineering, our students get to experience working in multiple laboratories in The Diamond, such as the electronics lab and the clean room.
There are also social spaces, quiet study areas, and a cafe where you can take a well earned break from studying.
Why choose Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield
Number one in the Russell Group
National Student Survey 2023 (based on aggregate responses)
92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
Research Excellence Framework 2021
Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Number one Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017
Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards
A top 20 university targeted by employers
The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
National Student Survey 2023
The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024
Complete University Guide 2024
If you are female, don't be put off at the thought of a male dominated degree! I promise there's more females than you think.
Ella Almond Undergraduate student, MEng Materials Science and Engineering with Foundation Year
Ella started her time at the University of Sheffield on the Science and Engineering Foundation Year (SEFY). This year gave her the opportunity to settle into university life and gain the skills required for university style learning. It also gave her a solid base from which to build her engineering knowledge.
Fees and funding
The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.
Funding your study
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.
Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.
University open days
We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.
If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.
Offer holder days
If you've If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.
Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.
The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.
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.
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.