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The Imperial Case Study Ib


Materials science and engineering are critical for innovation in fields such as healthcare, energy, environmental sustainability and transport.

It is an exciting and dynamic subject to be a part of, particularly with new developments like ‘smart materials’, nanotechnology and biomimetics.

Our facilities include cutting edge equipment and tools for advanced materials imaging and characterisation.

This course focuses on understanding the relationship between the fundamental structure and properties (mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic) of matter. You will learn how to manipulate existing materials and how to develop new and improved ones, with access to cutting edge equipment and tools for advanced materials imaging and characterisation.

During the first two years you follow a core series of modules that will provide you with a strong base of theoretical principles, and cover the widest possible range of materials, including:

  • biomaterials
  • metals and alloys
  • ceramics
  • glasses
  • polymers
  • composites
  • semiconductors

This is reinforced by laboratory work, industrial visits and lectures, as well as tutorials and case studies.

In your third year you can choose from a selection of optional modules, allowing you to specialise in the areas you are most interested in, such as materials processing, structural materials and electrical materials.

You also have the opportunity to build on the BEng with a four-month placement in industry or research.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the final year, with a wide choice of advanced modules and a substantial research project. Studying to this level means that graduates require fewer years of work experience to become a Chartered Engineer (see Professional Accreditation below).

Transfer between courses

The common structure of the first two years of our Materials degrees means that transfer between courses is usually possible during this time.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.


Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

Core modules

  • Materials Chemistry and Biology
  • Materials Engineering
  • Materials Physics
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure and Properties of Materials

Core modules

  • Electronic Properties of Materials
  • Materials Chemistry and Polymer Sciences
  • Materials Engineering 2
  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure

Core modules

  • Integrated Materials Engineering
  • Materials Characterisation

Optional modules

You choose five modules from below.

  • Biomaterials
  • Ceramics and Glass
  • Electronic Structures and Opto Electronic Properties
  • Engineering Alloys
  • Materials Modelling
  • Metal Processing
  • Nanomaterials 1
  • Polymers and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
Humanities and Business options

Broaden your degree by substituting a choice above for one of the below.

Core modules

  • Compulsory Work Placement*
  • Research Project
  • Strategic Management

Optional modules

You choose four modules from below.

  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Structural Ceramics
  • Advanced Thin Films Manufacturing
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Electroceramics
  • High Performance Alloys
  • Modelling Materials with Density– Functional Theory
  • Nanomaterials 2
  • Nuclear Materials 1
  • Nuclear Materials 2
Humanities and Business options

You can substitute one of your choices above for one of the below.

Inter-Departmental Exchange

You have the opportunity to substitute a module for an exchange with another department at Imperial.

* You can choose not to complete the work placement and graduate with a 240 ECTS credit degree, instead of the full 270 credits available

Professional accreditation

This degree is professionally accredited by the IOM3 (The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining) on behalf of the Engineering Council.

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master's degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is renewed every five years.

The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2018–19 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal School of Mines on completion of this course.

The Royal School of Mines is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching focuses on applied science, with a grounding in theory and a great emphasis on practical work. You’ll be expected to take part in challenging experiments with advanced equipment.

You can expect a balance of theoretical and practical work, through lectures and laboratory work. There is also the opportunity to complete a research project, which will rely on substantial individual study. In addition to those more traditional teaching methods, you can expect industrial visits and tutorials.


Over the course of your studies you will experience different assessment methods in each module you complete. You will be assessed by written examinations, class tests and coursework.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

Minimum entry standards

Our minumum entry standard for 2019 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Mathematics
  • A in Chemistry
  • A in Physics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*AA

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

Minimum entry standards

Our minumum entry standard for 2019 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Physics at higher level
  • 6 in Chemistry at higher level

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2017 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 38 pointsoverall.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 Chemistry
  • 5 Physics C (Electricity and Magnetism)
  • 5 Physics C (Mechanics)

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant.

Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2017 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application admissions day and interview

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited for one of our post-application admissions days and an interview with a member of our academic staff.

The aim of this interview is to give the Department the opportunity to discuss your interest in materials and also to give you an opportunity to raise questions about both the course and the College.

During your visit you will be taken on a tour of the Department and the College by current students and you will have an opportunity to meet staff and students at an informal lunch.

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

An ATAS certificate is required for all Non-EEA/Swiss nationals who require a visa to study in the UK.

To apply for an ATAS certificate online, you will need your programme details and the relevant Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) code and ‘descriptor’. For this course, these are:

CAH codeDescriptor
CAH10-02-02materials technology

Your Tier 4 visa application, or extension of stay, will automatically be refused if you need an ATAS certificate and cannot provide one.
For further guidance on obtaining an ATAS certificate please see the information on our International Student Support website.

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

2018 entry
£9,250 per year

The above fee applies to the academic year 2018–19 only as a guide.

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government and has not yet been confirmed for 2019 entry.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

EU students

The UK government has not yet confirmed the funding arrangements for EU students starting a course in 2019.

For the latest updates for EU students please see the Imperial and the European Union website.

2018 entry
£29,000 per year

The tuition fees for Overseas and Islands students are set by Imperial College London.

The fee above is listed as a guide and the fee for 2019 entry is yet to be confirmed by the College.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an inflationary amount. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

This section outlines any additional costs relevant to this course, which are not included in your tuition fees. It is possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you will be free to opt out of these.

DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Laboratory equipment (books and materials)MandatoryProvided
Laptop computerMandatory£100 (refundable)
Personal Protective Equipment (goggles and lab coat)MandatoryProvided
Software (specific programs required for coursework)MandatoryProvided

Laboratory equipment

You are provided with laboratory books and materials (such as experiment samples) for your practical classes.

Laptop computer

You will need a laptop for some classes and coursework. The laptop must meet a minimum specification. For the 2017–18 academic year this was:

  • Windows 10 capable
  • Intel i5/i7 6th/7th generation processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD HDD

The Department has a number of laptops available for loan for the duration of your course. A deposit of £100 is required, refundable when you return the laptop at the end of your course.

You will have the chance to indicate whether you wish to take part in the laptop loan scheme when contacted by the Department in the September before you start your course.

If you choose to borrow a laptop, you will be sent an invoice for the deposit amount which is payable online before the start of term. A variety of payment methods are available.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Materials will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:


You are provided free computer software, which is required to complete coursework, including:

  • Office 365
  • Solid Works

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.


A degree in Materials Science and Engineering can open the door to careers in a wide variety of sectors from chemicals manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to technical management and scientific research and development (R&D). There are lots of emerging sectors to think about too, such as nanotechnology, biomedical materials, high performance textiles and composites.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Power Electronics Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte
  • Engineer, Rolls-Royce
  • Research Engineer, SIMTech
  • Materials Scientist, Morgan Advanced Materials

How to apply

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed and submitted your application through UCAS’s online Apply service, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Related departments

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Further information

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar404 (27%)376 (25%)169 (11%)408 (19%)
Independent study1,096 (73%)1,124 (75%)1,331 (89%)1,117 (53%)
Placement600 (28%)


Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4


Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.

You can use the Unistats website to find out how this course compares in areas such as student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: JFM2
  • UCAS institution code: I50

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2019 for entry in September 2019.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2019 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2018.







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