skip to content

Graduate Admissions

About the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

The Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy moved to a new building on the West Cambridge Science and Technology campus in late 2013.  For the first time in its history, the Department is now housed in a single building designed for purpose.  The Department has over 30 academic staff including research fellows,  more than 50 administrative, technical and support staff, and roughly 80 postdoctoral researchers, 130 research students and 30 visiting scientists at any time.

The Department's research activities cover all major areas of the subject, and this breadth is reflected in the scope of our four-year undergraduate course and extends to our two taught postgraduate courses (MASt in Materials Science and the MPhil in Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise).  We are very well equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities in both materials science and materials engineering.  Our research is sponsored by about 130 different industries and government organisations in the UK and overseas.  The Department has a diverse and energetic research school and offers Master's and Doctoral level training programmes, some in collaboration with industry or in structured Centres for Doctoral Training.   Over the past 20 years over 50 nationalities have been welcomed into the research school and and we encourage students to take advantage of the many professional and personal development training opportunities available to them.

4 courses offered in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

The MASt in Materials Science is a nine-month taught master's-level course, with a significant research aspect, in which candidates work alongside the fourth-year (Part III) students taking the undergraduate MSci Materials Science course, within the Natural Sciences Tripos. This year is designed for students who may wish to pursue a professional career in materials science, materials engineering or related areas (in academic or industrial research) and who are already familiar with the subject, as covered in a typical three-year UK bachelor's materials science or materials engineering programme.

The taught element consists of a series of approximately 14 modular lecture courses, covering a broad range of aspects of materials science, including structural materials, device materials, materials characterisation, materials chemistry, and biological and pharmaceutical materials. These modules are examined by written examination at the end of the course. The research project is undertaken over six months, between October and March. An interim report, containing primarily a literature review, is submitted in December, at which time an oral presentation is also given. In March, the final project report is submitted, that being followed by a viva voce examination and poster presentation.

More Information

The Materials Science Department in Cambridge leads a wide spectrum of cutting-edge materials research with state-of-the-art facilities. The Department has a thriving graduate school with more than 130 research students studying for postgraduate research degrees in areas that address key problems in materials science (see details via the Materials Challenges page on the Department website).

A small number of students (usually five or fewer) are admitted to the one-year MPhil by Dissertation in Materials Science each academic year. Prospective applicants are welcome to make contact with academic staff to discuss the research opportunities available. MPhil students are encouraged to participate in many of the training opportunities and other activities available to students in the University, and become fully integrated members of the Department’s Research School.

Students carry out a one-year research programme under the supervision of a member of the academic staff of the Department of Materials Science.

More Information

The Materials Science Department in Cambridge leads a wide spectrum of cutting-edge materials research with state-of-the-art facilities. The Department has a thriving graduate school with more than 130 research students studying for the PhD degree in areas that address key problems in materials science (see details via the Materials Challenges page on the Department website.)

Up to 40 students are admitted to full-time PhD studies in materials science each academic year. The majority start in October, but a small number are admitted in January and April. Students are fully integrated into the research culture in the Department and join a research group and are supervised by one or two members of our academic staff.

Students wishing to apply for a PhD in Materials Science, should investigate opportunities on the Department website. We encourage students to make contact with potential supervisors prior to applying. 

More Information

The MPhil in Micro- and Nanotechnology Enterprise is an exciting opportunity in which world-leading scientists and successful entrepreneurs are brought together to deliver a one-year master’s degree combining an in-depth multidisciplinary scientific programme with a global perspective on the commercial opportunities and business practice necessary for the successful exploitation in the rapidly developing fields of nanotechnology and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS).

The programme is intended for those with a good first degree in the physical sciences and engineering, who wish to develop research skills and a commercial awareness of the cutting-edge disciplines of micro- and nanotechnology. The course will provide an unparalleled educational experience for entrepreneurs in these fields.

More Information

4 courses also advertised in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

From the Department of Physics

The development of new materials lies at the heart of many of the technological challenges we currently face, for example creating advanced materials for energy generation. Computational modelling plays an increasingly important role in the understanding, development and optimisation of new materials.

This four-year doctoral training programme on computational methods for material modelling aims to train scientists not only in the use of existing modelling methods but also in the underlying computational and mathematical techniques. This will allow students to develop and enhance existing methods, for instance by introducing new capabilities and functionalities, and also to create innovative new software tools for materials modelling in industrial and academic research.

The first year of the doctoral training programme is provided by the existing MPhil course in Scientific Computing, which has a research and a taught element, as well as additional training elements. The final three years consist of a PhD research project, with a student-led choice of projects from a large pool contributed by researchers associated with the CDT.

More Information

From the Department of Physics

The PhD programme is based on courses, practicals and projects in year one before selection of an interdisciplinary PhD topic for research in years two through four in a Nano group within Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Materials or another department. A significant element will be a course on "nurturing and managing innovation", delivered through the Maxwell Centre which is the hub of industry–academia interactions in physical sciences in Cambridge.

More Information

From the Department of Earth Sciences

This four-year doctoral training programme in Nuclear Energy is part of the multi-institutional EPSRC Nuclear Energy Futures CDT and aims to provide scientists and engineers with a broad overview of the nuclear energy sector in addition to in-depth training in a detailed area of civil nuclear energy.

The research project begins in the first year, but in this initial year of the four-year doctoral training programme there are taught elements and required training visits to nuclear facilities in the UK and overseas in addition to research activity related to the student’s chosen research project.

Based on their performance during the first-year training and subject to the outcome of continuation examinations, students will progress to full PhD registration within one year of starting the course.

More Information

From the Department of Physics

The MPhil programme in Scientific Computing is based in the Department of Physics and is a full-time 12-month course which aims to provide education of the highest quality at master’s level. Covering topics of high-performance scientific computing and advanced numerical methods and techniques, it produces graduates with rigorous research and analytical skills, who are well equipped to proceed to doctoral research or directly into employment in industry, the professions, and public service. It also provides training for the academic researchers and teachers of the future, encouraging the pursuit of research in computational methods for science and technology disciplines, thus being an important gateway for entering PhD programmes containing a substantial component of computational modelling.

More Information

Department Members


Professor P A Midgley
Head of Department

  • 35 Academic Staff
  • 50 Postdoctoral Researchers
  • 130 Graduate Students
  • 270 Undergraduates

http://www.msm.cam.ac.uk/

Research Areas