Advanced Materials Engineering MSc

Develop specialised knowledge in this course which is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.


Offered only at selected universities in Scotland at Masters Level, this course is information rich, but also provides a significant degree of hands-on practical work that utilises a wide range of manufacturing, testing and characterisation equipment.

The limited number of graduates in this area, combined with the knowledge, expertise and practical skills developed in this specialised field, gives you a major advantage over other engineering graduates as you seek employment within the materials-related industries.

We have been successfully teaching a Masters programme in materials engineering for more than 20 years, leading the way in the study of this field. Staff are very experienced and undertake both academic research and commercial projects, both of which support students’ learning experience. 

Typical entry points to this course are in January and September. Please enquire for more information. 

Students looking down at their experiment on the table during a Lab Skills course at Napier University's Sighthill Campus

Mode of Study:

Full-time (available as Part-time)


1 year

Start date:


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Course details

Gain exposure to the latest trends in design, materials, manufacturing processes, testing and advanced applications by taking full advantage of our modern technology and computing facilities.

The course has been designed to provide you with knowledge of materials (Polymeric, Metallic, Ceramic and Composite); allowing you to develop your skills further in more application and research based areas of materials engineering such as smart materials and materials in energy based applications.

You'll benefit from our first-class research and knowledge transfer partnerships with local, national and international companies. Accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, we have excellent industry links and encourage you to interact with industry too.

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    How you’ll be taught

    You’ll learn by a variety of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study.

    All projects are practically focused with an emphasis on using industry-standard manufacturing and testing equipment. Some projects are live, meaning you'll be working for real clients.

    This is a full-time course and is split up into three trimesters. You can choose to start in either January or September.


    • September starts: 12 months

    • January starts: 18 months with a three-month break over the summer (after the first taught trimester)

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    Assessment methods include research and laboratory reports, presentations (oral and poster), and examinations.

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    Industry relevant materials testing equipment within the course includes – Scanning Electron Microscopy, EIS, FTIR, corrosion chamber, micro-abrasion analysis and the mechanical testing suite.

    Manufacturing facilities include - Polymer injection moulding, extrusion and various coating techniques.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Ceramic and Composite Materials ( MEC11109 )

This module allows the student to have a critical knowledge of engineering ceramics and composites. Engineering ceramics and glasses are in important classification of material and an understanding of these materials from their crystal structure and imperfections to their many astonishing applications including – thermal, electrical, mechanical and optical properties are explored. To evaluate the properties and gain knowledge of the various ceramic and glass structures and manufacturing processes must be characterised.
Composites in engineering are an amalgamation of metals, polymers or ceramics in various compositions or structures. This module will investigate the various manufacturing methods and properties of the different families of composites; metal matrix composites, ceramic matrix composites, polymer matrix composites, natural and structural composites. Applications of composite materials are very important in the world today due to the nature of the composites being tailored for a specific job. Within both classes of materials the non-destructive testing, joining and failure mechanisms and will be considered.

Further information

Energy Materials ( MEC11110 )

Materials in energy production and storage, such as: fuel cells, wind turbines, solar panels, offshore structures, biomass, nuclear catalytic materials, nanotechnology, processing techniques, heat transfer in materials and instrumentation. The role of materials engineering in the circular economy from cradle to grave.

Further information

Forensic Materials Engineering ( MEC11112 )

Forensic materials engineering methods including macroscopic inspection, microscopic examination, chemical analysis and mechanical testing. Specifically this will cover:
Mechanical testing: stress-strain, creep, fatigue, impact, hardness, fracture toughness, abrasion, friction, tear, compression.
Thermal testing: Tg, Tm, flame testing, thermal analysis.
Optical and Electron Microscopy: lighting variations, scanning/transmission electron microscopy, preparation of specimens.
Detection and Identification: EDXA, chromatography, X-ray diffraction, atomic absorption, mass and emission spectrography.
Optical testing: colour, haze, gloss, birefringence.
Non-Destructive Testing: X-radiography, []-radiography, ultrasonic testing, dye-penetrant, magnetic particle inspection.
Processability testing: viscosity, cure shrinkage, orientation.
Test procedures: standards, need for testing
Environmental testing: chemical resistance, stress cracking, ageing, accelerated corrosion.
Fire performance testing: ignitability, spread of flame, smoke, toxic gases, LOI.
Solderability testing: solder balance, microscopic evaluation.
In addition to the above, the failure of products and processes will be considered together with case studies of major disasters where materials failures were considered significant contributors.

Further information

MSc Project ( ENG11100 )

The student will learn about important elements of project management, such as planning, control, cost, problem solving skills, report writing and defend the outcome during a viva session. The project is normally completed during 13 weeks of full time research or part time equivalent, 26 weeks.

Further information

Metallic Materials ( MEC11115 )

Metallic Structures: slip systems, imperfections, dislocation production and movement, diffusion.
Phase Diagrams and Transformations: eutectic, solid solution, partial, peritectic, intermediate compounds; structural transformations, hardenability; heat treatments.
Deformation: formability, superplasticity, hot and cold working processes; hardening and strengthening mechanisms.
Metal Processing: Extraction and physical metallurgy, involving various metals and alloys. bulk deformation processes included in this module.
Coatings and protection methods for metallic materials, such as electroless deposition.

Further information

Plastics Materials ( MEC11116 )

Structure, properties and applications of commodity, engineering and high performance thermoplastics and thermosets. Polymer blends, materials & process selection.Manufacturing with polymers including Injection moulding, thermoforming and extrusion.

Further information

Smart Materials and Surfaces ( MEC11118 )

Smart materials - structures, properties and applications Substrate/coating bonding: structure of surfaces and interfaces, adhesion theory, surface energy.Solid phase deposition: thermal spray, powder coatings, and enamels.Liquid phase deposition: electrodeposition, electroless, and conversion.Vapour phase deposition: CVD and PVD, ion implantation.Surface properties and performance: residual stress, adhesion, friction, wear, lubrication, thickness, and roughness.

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.



Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Advanced Materials Engineering? 

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above. We look for applicants to have a background in a physical science or engineering subject. This includes degrees in physics and/or chemistry.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry.

Please note, nationals of particular countries who receive an offer for this course are required to apply for an ATAS certificate. More information about this can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Can I get admission into Advanced Materials Engineering based on my working experience in this sector?

This course has academic entry requirements which are assessed alongside relevant work experience. Full details of any relevant work experience, including references should be submitted with your application and may be considered for entry where the minimum academic entry requirements are below those required.

Usually, unrelated work experience is not considered sufficient for entry without meeting the minimum academic entry requirements. Please contact us with your specific circumstances by submitting an enquiry form above and we will be happy to discuss your options.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the postgraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you. 


Please note this course requires an ATAS certificate unless you are a UK, EEA or Swiss national. The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) is designed to provide additional security checks on students who study certain courses in Science and Engineering. The scheme is managed by the ATAS Team based at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2024/25 2025/26
Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £7,280 £tba
Overseas and EU £20,395 £tba
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
The University offers a 20% discount on Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes. The discount can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount. For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.

Please note:

The discount for Edinburgh Napier alumni can only be applied to year one of a full-time Postgraduate degree, any additional years are exempt from the discount.

For part time Postgraduate degrees the discount will apply to years one, two and three only and any additional years will be exempt from the discount.

Please read our full T&C here


What can you do with a MSc Advanced Materials Engineering degree?

Studying for an MSc in Advanced Materials Engineering provides a comprehensive understanding of materials science principles and their applications across multiple disciplines. This can equip you with a diverse range of skills that are valuable in various industries, particularly in the following ones:

  • Manufacturing
  • Design, energy engineering and renewables
  • Chemical engineering
  • Offshore engineering, materials testing
  • Advising and assuring companies
  • Regulatory authorities and automotive
  • Aerospace and defence industries

Materials engineering is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing from fields such as chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering. You will acquire technical skills through coursework, laboratory work, and research projects, as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and project management. Overall, an MSc in Advanced Materials Engineering provides a strong foundation in materials science and engineering principles, along with practical skills that are highly sought after in various industries. This is why graduates with an MSc in this field are highly sought after by employers seeking expertise in materials design, development, and optimization.

What does a Materials Engineer do?

A materials engineer is a professional who specializes in understanding the properties, behaviors, and applications of different materials. Their role encompasses various aspects of materials science and engineering, with a focus on designing, developing, testing, and optimizing materials for specific purposes.

As a materials engineer, you will design and develop new materials or modify existing ones to meet desired performance criteria. You may also conduct experiments and tests to evaluate the properties and behaviors of materials under various conditions. You will optimize manufacturing processes to produce materials with consistent quality and performance.

You will often collaborate with cross-functional teams, including scientists, engineers, designers, and manufacturers, to develop materials-based solutions for specific applications. Effective communication skills are essential for conveying technical information, presenting findings, and collaborating with stakeholders.

Student with her hands on a microscope as she looks at the camera