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Materials Science*

Programme Specification: Part II Materials Science

The course is taught by the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy.


  1. to study in depth the production, characterisation and application of materials and devices, building on knowledge obtained in Part IA and Part IB Materials Science;
  2. to develop an understanding of the biological, electrical, magnetic and mechanical properties of materials and their relationship to microstructure in a wide range of different systems, including polymers, metals and alloys, ceramics, composites and biomaterials;
  3. through management language or computing options, to provide transferable skills which will be of use in a future career;
  4. to provide sufficient background to enable students to continue with more advanced topics in Part III Materials Science;
  5. to provide training sufficient to allow exemption from certain steps towards Chartered Engineer registration.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the students should:

  1. have acquired knowledge of the major types of materials and how their properties can be calculated or determined experimentally;
  2. be able to design, perform and analyse experiments to characterise materials and devices;
  3. have developed practical laboratory skills, together with relevant knowledge of health and safety;
  4. have developed transferable skills in the areas of quantitative analysis, scientific reasoning and communication;
  5. have obtained experience of independent investigation through reading and through experimentation;
  6. have sufficient background understanding to allow students to graduate in Materials Science, particularly those who do not wish to seek a further qualification in the subject or a similar science;
    have sufficient knowledge and understanding of materials in order to be able to continue into Part III Materials Science.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, supervisions, examples classes, revision clinics, practical experiments, a techniques project, a literature review, industrial visits and presentations.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • four unseen written examinations, based on lecture material (for aims 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 and learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4-6);
  • write-ups of practical work performed (for aims 1, 2, 4 & 5 and learning outcomes 1-6);
  • a literature review (for aims 1, 2, 4 & 5 and learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4-6);
  • a report on a techniques project performed (for aims 1-5 and learning outcomes 1-6);
  • assessed work for the management, language or computing courses (for aims 3-5 and learning outcomes 4 & 6).

Courses of Preparation

Highly Desirable: NST Part IB Materials Science. Transfers from other Triposes and/or participation by other students are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.