Materials Science and Engineering MEng

2025-26 entry
Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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. On the MEng degree you can choose to interact directly with industry via an industrial placement and industrial focussed projects or undertake an extended research project embedded in one of our leading research groups.

Key details

Explore this course:

    Course description

    Students working on the Global Engineering Challenge

    Discover the principles and application of materials science and engineering, research and industrial practice.

    The Materials Science and Engineering MEng at Sheffield is distinguished by its balance between research and industrial experience, with many opportunities to explore both career paths.

    For the first two years of your degree you'll focus on developing your fundamental understanding of the field, in both theory and in the hands-on practical way expected of materials engineers. From courses on properties to sustainability, and the choice to specialise in later years in the areas of your choice, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to respond to the most challenging problems of the 21st century.

    Communication and management skills – including presenting, writing and project organisation – are also vitally integrated within your degree and you'll gain valuable experiences through individual and group project work.

    Through our industrial training programmes you'll engage with external partners, with professional practice and research principles at the core of problem solving, you'll learn how to work in teams to reach effective solutions, showcasing your expertise.

    You'll also complete an independent research project of your choice. This is an opportunity to showcase your technical lab skills and consolidate your learning by driving our field in new directions.

    Why study this course?

    • Artefacts project - bridging theory and practice, this project empowers you to explore the use of different materials in commercial products in an open-ended group project.
    • Work with industry - working in teams you'll discover solutions to problems faced by different industrial sectors.
    • Guaranteed work placement - work in industry or as part of an academic research team. Develop your knowledge, skills and understanding within an employment context, as well as building relationships with contacts for future career opportunities.
    • Specialist teaching facilities - 'Learning by doing' is the reason The Diamond was built. Dedicated to engineering, you’ll apply the theory you learn in lectures and during lab classes – consolidating your understanding alongside students from other disciplines, and beyond the bounds of the curriculum.
    • Practical training - you’ll be using industry standard equipment – making, testing and characterising different materials in our bespoke labs.

    This course is fully accredited by the IOM3, meaning it counts towards later professional registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng).

    Students working on a team building task

    Modules

    We're revising the curriculum of this course for this year of entry and are in the process of confirming the modules. The information on this page gives you an idea of the areas we expect the course to cover. There may be changes before you start. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Title: Materials Science and Engineering MEng course structure 2023
    UCAS code: J500
    Years: 2023
    First year

    Core modules:

    Global Engineering Challenge Week

    The Faculty-wide Global Engineering Challenge Week is a compulsory part of the first-year programme. The project has been designed to develop student academic, transferable and employability skills as well as widen their horizons as global citizens. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of 5-6, for a full week, all students in the Faculty choose from a number of projects arranged under a range of themes including Water, Waste Management, Energy and Digital with scenarios set in an overseas location facing economic challenge. Some projects are based on the Engineers Without Borders Engineering for people design challenge*.

    *The EWB challenge provides students with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural development projects identified by EWB with its community-based partner organisations.

    Mathematics (Materials)

    This module aims to reinforce students' previous knowledge and to develop new basic mathematical techniques needed to support the engineering subjects taken at Levels 1 and 2. It also provides a foundation for the Level 2 mathematics courses in the appropriate engineering department. The module is delivered via online lectures, reinforced with weekly interactive problem classes.

    20 credits
    Introduction to Materials Properties

    This unit considers materials properties as the link between what is done to a material and how the material responds and hence discusses linking properties to devices and structures. In particular: i) Magnetic Materials: Basics of magnetism; effect of magnetic fields on materials. Classification of magnetic materials (dia-, para-, ferro-, antiferro- and ferri-magnetic). ii) Electrical Materials: Conductors, insulators, field gradient, resistivity. Insulators, semi-conductors, metals, mixed conductors and solid electrolytes. iii) Optical Materials: Optical absorption and emission. Bulbs, fluorescent lamps and phosphors. Optical fibres for light, UV, IR. Transparent and translucent materials.

    10 credits
    Biomaterials I

    This module introduces the human body from an engineering perspective; looking at it as a structure, a mechanism and a sensor. It then introduces both natural and replacement biomaterials discussing properties in relation to function using Ashby charts. Finally, the course discusses lessons that can be learnt from biomaterials by materials engineers in general (biomimetics). 

    10 credits
    Introduction to Materials Chemistry

    This module begins with the electronic structure of atoms and uses this to introduce the chemistry of the periodic table. Crystal chemistry and crystal structures are then considered, starting with simple metals and then moving to ionic bonding and structures before considering glasses. The second half of the module introduces organic and polymer chemistry. Functional group chemistry and molecular shape are discussed using simple models of bonding. We emphasise the importance of macromolecules, together with the larger-scale shape of polymers. We discuss polymer synthesis and its relation to polymer properties in some selected cases. This includes discussion of natural and biopolymers.

    20 credits
    Kinetics, Thermodynamics and Phase Diagrams

    This module introduces basic ideas of thermodynamics and kinetics and their respective roles in determining the behaviour of gases, liquids and solids. Empirical gas laws are introduced leading to the concept of the ideal gas and the ideal gas equation of state and progressing to more realistic gas equations of state. Basic thermodynamic concepts are covered such as work, heat, internal energy, specific heat, enthalpy, entropy and free energy. Rate laws, rate constants, reaction orders and the effects of temperature on reaction rates are discussed. Equilibrium binary phase diagrams of important metals are introduced.

    10 credits
    Introduction to Mechanical Properties and Structural Materials

    The basic concepts of stress, strain and moduli are introduced. The links between atomic bonding and the mechanical properties of all the main classes of materials (ceramics, metals, polymers, natural materials and composites) are then explored. Modes of failure, stress concentrations, dislocations, ductility and creep are also covered. The linkages between materials properties and microstructures of materials are investigated with an emphasis on links between processing, microstructure and the mechanical properties of metals

    20 credits
    Digital Skills for Materials

    The course is designed to teach you how to interpret, analyse and present data using modern computational tools (such as Excel and MATLAB). You will learn how to use these packages to write algorithms for data analysis allowing you to show trends and conclusions drawn from the data. 

    The course is taught through working on set examples that involve the analysing and processing of data in order to present the results with graphs and tables. This allows you to learn the software in a practical manner gaining familiarity and confidence to use in other areas of your undergraduate course (both lectures and practicals).

    10 credits
    Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanomaterials

    This module will begin by considering scaling relations in the macro and nano worlds. Examples of nanomaterials, including nanoparticles, nanotubes and nanocomposite bulk materials will be discussed. The use of nanomaterials in novel systems and devices arising from the development of nanomaterials and technology will be considered. Ethical, societal and environmental issues will be discussed.

    10 credits
    Sustainability and the Materials Lifecycle

    The production of all manufactured goods involves the use of materials and will have some environmental impact. For example, energy is used at all stages from extraction of the raw materials through to final manufacture of the product and possibly during use of the product. Through specific materials-based examples this course will introduce students to the energy requirements of different processing routes and products along with some of the complex issues involved in the recycling and re-processing of materials and life-cycle analysis.

    10 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.

    Learning and assessment

    Learning

    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.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    Our world-class staff will help you to develop as a scientist and engineer.

    Our academics are leading experts in their fields with international reputations, and their research shapes and inspires what you are taught. Combining this knowledge with industrial understanding means that what we teach you is relevant today and into the future.

    Assessment

    You will be assessed by a combination of exams and tests, coursework and practical work throughout your degree. The proportions for each will vary depending on the modules you choose.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible.

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAA
    including two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB including two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry + A in a relevant EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    36 with 6 in two of Higher Level Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering, Applied Science or Blacksmithing and Metalworking + A in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering or Applied Science + A in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in either the Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing or Design & Development for Engineering & Manufacturing T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AAABB + AA in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    A + AA in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (to include units in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry), with 45 credits at Level 3, including 39 at Distinction and 6 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Native language A Levels are not accepted

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B and 4/C in Physics and Chemistry (if not studied at A Level)

    Access Sheffield offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    AAB
    including two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry

    A Levels + a fourth Level 3 qualification
    AAB including two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry + A in a relevant EPQ
    International Baccalaureate
    34 with 6,5 (in any order) in two of Higher Level Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering, Applied Science or Blacksmithing and Metalworking + B in A Level Maths
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering or Applied Science + B in A Level Maths
    T Level
    Distinction in either the Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing or Design & Development for Engineering & Manufacturing T Level, including grade A in the core component + A in A Level Maths
    Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers
    AABBB + AB in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + AA in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (to include units in two of Maths, Physics or Chemistry), with 45 credits at Level 3, including 36 at Distinction and 9 at Merit
    Other requirements
    • Native language A Levels are not accepted

    • GCSE Maths grade 6/B and 4/C in Physics and Chemistry (if not studied at A Level)

    English language requirements

    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

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for an International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

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

    Graduate careers

    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.

    James Bromley

    At Sheffield I made lifelong friends and received a great education that has prepared me well for the work I currently do.

    James Bromley MEng Materials Science and Engineering

    It was at the start of August 2018 that I got a call for interview at UKAEA and I started there as a contractor two weeks later. In early 2020 my position was made permanent. Throughout this time, I have been managing projects with growing confidence and levels of responsibility as I gain experience within the role.

    Chris Morris - CDT student

    Proper science means you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. At first that can be a bit scary, but your experience will guide you through.

    Chris Morris Currently a member of the Centre for Doctoral Training for Nuclear Energy Futures

    Chris studied Materials Science with Nuclear Engineering and has gone on to join the Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy Futures.

    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.

    Facilities

    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.

    Department of Materials Science and Engineering

    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

    1st in the Russell Group for student voice

    National Student Survey 2023

    4th in the UK for materials technology

    The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    5th in the UK for materials technology

    Complete University Guide 2024

    Student profiles

    Profile photo of a student

    Opportunity for collaboration with other engineers teaches you about the way the industry operates.

    Chloe Skidmore MEng Materials Science and Engineering

    Chloe has just completed her final year studying for MEng Materials Science and Engineering. Soon she will be starting as a Trainee Patent Attorney in the Engineering, Manufacture and Consumer Products team at Reddie and Grose LLP

    MEng Metallurgy student Nabeeha

    Giving me the tools to make a real difference in industry and research

    Nabeeha Farooqui Metallurgy (MEng)

    Nabeeha came to Sheffield to study for her MEng in Metallurgy. She enjoys the varied and stimulating experience of studying elements from a broad range of science disciplines.

    Fees and funding

    Fees

    Additional costs

    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.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    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.

    Additional funding

    Industry contact

    Over many years, we have developed close relationships with businesses across a broad range of industry sectors. Therefore, you will have the opportunity to explore opportunities in pretty much any sector that interests you through visits, placements and project work.

    If you choose one of our MEng courses, in your third and fourth years you participate in our industrial training programmes - three real-life projects defined by industry partners giving you an insight into how businesses approach engineering problem solving.

    If you select the research route, you’ll undertake research projects instead of the industrial training programme. You also undertake a placement, which provides practical experience of working in industry and research, and puts your learning into context to give you a head start in the careers market.

    If you choose our BSc with an Industrial Placement Year, you'll work in an industrial environment and get a taste of working life. You will be encouraged to find your own placement, but we have a dedicated employment team to help you find opportunities and to support you through the application process. You can choose to work close to Sheffield, or take on a placement further afield, even abroad.

    Visit

    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.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    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.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    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.

    Campus tours

    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.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    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.

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2025-2026

    Make sure you've done everything you need to do before you apply.

    How to apply When you're ready to apply, see the UCAS website:
    www.ucas.com

    Not ready to apply yet? You can also register your interest in this course.

    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. On the MEng degree you can choose to interact directly with industry via an industrial placement and industrial focussed projects or undertake an extended research project embedded in one of our leading research groups.