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Materials Science and Engineering at Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers an undergraduate course in Materials Science and Engineering. The course enables students to specialize as per their professional and personal interests in aerospace, management, tissue engineering, biomaterials and nuclear engineering.

Course Structure

In the first two years, the course content is the similar for all the materials courses. The final year incorporates a common section together with a broad range of optional courses. Students will be able to choose from a wide spectrum of options that offer routes to specialization in structural materials, materials production and processing and electrical materials.

Students also have an option of other courses comprising courses offered by other departments with the Department of Humanities, the Business School and the Faculty of Engineering. Students who are studying the MEng courses shall have an industrial placement between their third and fourth year of study in related industry or research establishment.

These placements may take place anywhere in the world. The department has a strong association with companies in places such as New Zealand, Australia, USA and East Asia. Students on the Materials with a Year Abroad and students on the Materials with Management courses have more limited choice in the final year due to their specialization.


Students are taught through class work, case studies, lectures and laboratory work. In the first two years of the course, student groups are given tutorials in particular subject areas. These tutorials play a crucial part in teaching. They encourage students to take part in informal technical discussions and integrate subjects from different lecture courses.

Personal transferable skills are enhanced throughout the courses with skills-based exercises. Students are provided career development guidance through tutorials and formal lectures. In the second year, students have to carry out a group case study on a component. As the course progresses, students execute more individual and group project work. These activities consist of exploration of new concepts and ideas, literature searches and writing technical reports.

Year Abroad

The four-year BEng courses with a Year Abroad provide a wonderful opportunity to spend third year working in an industrial institution or an academic in Europe or elsewhere. The first two years encompass arrangements for enhancing the required language skills. During the year abroad, activities may vary depending on the facilities available in the institution. Students have to create a project based on engineering and material science. After completing a year abroad, students shall follow the final year of the three-year BEng course.

Examples of courses studied are:

First Year

  • Materials Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Materials Physics
  • Crystallography
  • Microstructure and Properties of Materials
  • Skills-based Exercises
  • Business for Engineers I
  • Language Studies (four-year BEng courses)

Second Year

  • Materials Chemistry and Polymer Science
  • Electronic Properties of Materials
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Personal Development
  • Materials Selection
  • Mathematics
  • Microstructure
  • Business for Engineers II
  • Process Principles
  • Language Studies (four-year BEng courses)

Third Year

Third year courses consist of:

Common Courses

  • Materials Engineering Portfolio, including Design Study and Engineer in Industry and Materials Characterisation
  • Business for Engineers III
  • Literature Review

Optional Courses

  • Ceramic and Glasses
  • Biomaterials
  • Engineering Alloys
  • Electronic Structure and Optoelectronic Behaviour
  • Polymers and Composites
  • Nanomaterials I
  • Modelling
  • Metals Processing
  • Nuclear Chemical Engineering
  • Introduction to Nuclear Engineering
  • A course offered by the Business School or Department of Humanities

Fourth Year

Fourth year courses consist of:

  • Nanomaterials II
  • Electroceramics
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Nuclear Materials
  • Aerospace Materials
  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • A choice of other options offered by departments within the Faculty of Engineering
  • A course offered by the Business School or Department of Humanities

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