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Career Opportunities in Materials Science

Some of the graduates apply their knowledge in the manufacturing industry, both in research and management and development positions. After completing the education, some of the students get into teaching field where others enter the financial, IT and consultancy sectors. Many students first undertake research degrees in universities in the UK and abroad and some of the graduates then pursue a career in the university sector.

Recent Material Science graduates comprise an assistant professor in Chemical Engineering, a downstream material and corrosion engineer. After leaving the university, Katharine started working for Rolls-Royce as a graduate engineer. Her work was to move the globe every three months and engineering roles within the company.

About the Course

The University of Oxford offers an undergraduate course in Materials Science. The course is designed and modified with the intention of providing high standard education. The modern society is broadly dependent on advanced materials such as optical fibres for telecommunications, lightweight composites for transport applications and silicon microchips for the information revolution.

The work of material scientists is to study the relationship between the properties and structure of a material and how it is made. These scientists also develop new materials to meet engineering specifications and formulate processes for manufacturing them. There are links with medical sciences, for instance, novel sensors, bone replacement materials and drug delivery systems.

Material Science is an interdisciplinary subject, spanning the chemistry and physics of matter, industrial manufacturing processes and engineering applications. It is at the core of the production of machines, nanotechnology and devices at molecular levels that is likely to drive further technological revolution. Such devices comprise those to enable quantum information processing, the major technology for a novel generation of computer.

International Opportunities

Oxford students are encouraged to undertake the voluntary summer placement in a research laboratory or in industry for up to six weeks. Students who have chosen to study a foreign language are encouraged to undertake the summer placement that comprises Santa Barbara, Beijing, Colorado and many other regions of the UK. During the fourth year, students can undertake research project in industry or at international universities. The university organizes a voluntary industrial tour to an overseas destination in most Easter vacations. Recent destinations include Munich, Toulouse, Milan, Beijing and Tokyo.

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as mentioned in how to apply page of the university website. The information given below provides specific details for students who are applying for this course.

Written Tests

Students do not need to take any written test or submit any written work while applying for the Material Science course. In the interview, tutors are aware that students may not have studied material science at college or school and they may have completed only their AS-level courses or any academic equivalent at the time of interview. Tutors look for students with enthusiasm for thinking about new concepts in engineering and science and an ability to apply to apply logical reasoning to various problems in physical science.


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