MSc Advanced Materials Engineering

Postgraduate, Part-time

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 Master’s 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.

Lab Skills course at Napier University's Sighthill Campus

Mode of Study:

Part-time (available as Full-time)


3 years

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.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught

    This is a flexible part-time course starting in September of January. Normally students will take three years to complete the programme. Many part-time students undertake projects in their place of work.

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

  • note and pen Assessments Assessment methods include research and laboratory reports, presentations (oral and poster), and examinations.
  • library Facilities

    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.
Failure Mechanisms: creep, fatigue, stress raisers, fracture toughness.
Metal Processing: iron, steel, aluminium, copper, nickel

Further information

Plastics Materials ( MEC11116 )

Structure, properties and applications of commodity, engineering and high performance thermoplastics and thermosets. Polymer blends, materials selection.

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.


School of Engineering & the Built Environment

The School of Engineering & the Built Environment gives you the skills needed to innovate, create, respond to and provide solutions for a technically-demanding society. We have a broad range of courses that have been designed with employment in mind.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements 

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 physical science, engineering, physics, or chemistry in order to be eligible for this programme.

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

English language requirements

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.

International students

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

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

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 2020/21 2021/22
Home/EU-Taught modules *£960 *tba
Home/EU-Dissertation module £570 tba
Overseas-Taught modules *£2,459 *tba
Overseas-Dissertation module £1,634 tba
Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

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 10% discount on MSc Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes to its alumni. The discount applies to all full-time, part-time and online programmes.

Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.


  • Manufacturing
  • Design, energy engineering and renewables
  • Chemical engineering
  • Offshore engineering, materials testing
  • Advising and assuring companies
  • Regulatory authorities and automotive
  • Aerospace and defence industries
Student working in a science lab