Undergraduate Admissions

The Department of Materials at Oxford

The objectives of the Department of Materials at Oxford University are to produce world class graduate materials scientists and engineers, and to conduct world class research into the manufacture, structure, properties and applications of materials, for the benefit of the UK and world community.

The Department of Materials at Oxford is regularly graded one of the best materials departments in the UK, rated top in The Guardian league tables 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (published in 2013 - 2020). 

In the UK Government's most recent assessment of research excellence in UK universities, the 2014 REF, Oxford Materials was one of the top-rated materials departments in the country. 98% of our activity was judged to be in the highest categories of excellence [ Grades 4* & 3*; respectively 'world-leading' (60%) and 'internationally excellent' (38%)]. 90% of our 'impact' was judged to be 'world leading'.

 

OM Brochure 4

Oxford's M.Eng undergraduate degree in Materials Science

Read about Oxford's undergraduate degree in Materials Science, a four-year 'Integrated Masters' M.Eng programme, in our Course Brochure 'Studying Materials Science at Oxford University'  (please note: a new edition of this brochure is in preparation) and in the Materials Science entry within the on-line University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus .

Printed copies of the brochure 'Studying Materials Science at Oxford University' can be obtained from undergraduate.admissions@ox.ac.uk or undergraduate.admissions@materials.ox.ac.uk

 

What is Materials Science?

Materials Science is an interdisciplinary subject, spanning the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering applications and industrial manufacturing processes. Modern society is heavily dependent on advanced materials, for example, lightweight composites for faster vehicles, optical fibres for telecommunications and silicon microchips for the information revolution. Materials scientists study the relationships between the structure and properties of a material and how it is made. They also develop new materials and devise processes for manufacturing them. Materials Science is vital for developments in nanotechnology, quantum computing, batteries and nuclear fusion, as well as medical technologies such as bone replacement materials.

To find out more about Materials Science please explore further our Schools Outreach webpages and visit the rest of the Department of Materials website.

If you want to know more about Materials Science at Oxford why not join one of our Virtual Open Days  (The videos and recorded talks remain available via the previous link for you to view at your leisure; alternatively they and other videos can be viewed via our Virtual Outreach webpage)

Finally have a look at the reports on recent Oxford Materials Annual Industrial Tours to exciting destinations worldwide.

 

An Outline of the Programme Content, Assessment and Key Progression Criteria for the M.Eng in Materials Science

(Please note that this outline is for illustrative purposes and that details may change from time to time. Year 3 of the programme is currently under review)

THE OXFORD M.ENG DEGREE PROGRAMME IN MATERIALS SCIENCE FOR ENTRANTS IN OCTOBER 2021 IS ACCREDITED BY THE INSTITUTE OF MATERIALS, MINERALS AND MINING (IOM3), ON BEHALF OF THE UK ENGINEERING COUNCIL, TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF CHARTERED ENGINEER STATUS.

1st year (‘Prelims’)

Courses

Directly examined

  • Physical Foundations of Materials
  • Structure and Mechanical Properties of Materials
  • Transforming Materials
  • Mathematics for Materials Science

Continual assessment

  • Practical Course
  • Crystallography Classes
  • Computing for Materials Science (MATLAB)

Additional elements

  • Engineering Drawing and CAD Classes
  • IT Skills
  • Industrial Visits (optional)
  • Career Planning
  • Foreign Language (optional)
  • Introduction to Errors in Measurement
  • Introduction to LabVIEW

Assessment

First University examination (‘Prelims’): Four written papers; continual assessment components equivalent to a fifth paper. Resit for written papers available in September.

Progression

Normally, students are required to achieve an overall mark of at least 40% in the first year examination in order to progress to Year 2.

(The ‘prelims’ mark does not contribute to the final degree classification upon graduation.)

2nd year & 3rd Year (‘Part I Final Honours School’)

2nd year

Courses

Directly examined

  • Lifecycle, Processing and Engineering of Materials
  • Electronic Properties of Materials
  • Mechanical Properties of Materials
  • Structure and Thermodynamics of Materials
  • Foreign Language (optional)
  • Supplementary Subject (optional)

Continual assessment

  • Practical Course
  • Industrial Visits
  • Entrepreneurship Course

Additional elements

  • Mathematics
  • Industrial Talks
  • Communication Skills

3rd year

Courses

Directly examined

Continual assessment

  • Team Design Project, assessed by written report and oral presentation
  • Introduction to Materials Modelling module, assessed by written report
  • Characterisation of Materials or Atomistic Modelling module, assessed by written report
  • Industrial Visits

(At the start of Year 3 it is possible to transfer to a 3-year BA degree in Materials Science, graduating at the end of Year 3. A student opting to do this takes a smaller set of materials option lecture courses and carries out a literature-based research module. This option is intended for the occasional student who may change their mind about their career path while following our M.Eng programme. The BA degree is not accredited by the IOM3 / UK Engineering Council.)

Assessment

Final University examination, Part I: Six written papers; continual assessment components equivalent to a further two papers. Resit available one year later.

Progression

Normally, students are required to achieve an overall mark of at least 50% in the Part I assessment in order to progress to Part II. In addition, normally a minimum of 40% overall is required for each element of the FHS Part I assessment.

4th year (extended terms) (‘Part II Final Honours School’)

Courses

Research project (full-time).  See examples of previous projects.

Additional elements

  • Presentation Skills
  • Project Management Skills
  • Engineering Context
  • Ethics and Sustainability
  • Industrial Visits
  • Careers Events
  • Information Skills & Reference Management
  • Writing Skills and IPR
  • Foreign Language option
  • Workshop Skills
  • MATLAB and LabVIEW

Assessment

Final University examination, Part II (equivalent to 4 papers): Part II dissertation submitted and assessed; Oral examination of project dissertation. No Resit.