Materials Science for Innovative Engineering (MSc)

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Key Programme Information

Entry Year


Programme length *

3 year(s)

Places available





Engineering and Physical Sciences


Mathematics and Physics

* Online Distance Learning: 3 years part-time (1 year full-time equivalent.)


Materials Science is the foundation for much of the technological advances in recent decades, and continues to drive development of new devices and functionalities in a wide variety of fields. This programme is designed to cater for those in full-time employment who are interested in such fields.

The programme will give students an understanding of the principal facts, theories and characterisation methods associated with materials science, with the aim to develop knowledge and capability that will enhance the work performance of students employed in materials based industries or make them directly employable in a range of positions within such industries.


Why Queen's?

  • Flexibility: on-campus attendance is not required as teaching is entirely web-based. 
  • Choice: certificated modules can be taken individually without consideration of entrance requirements.

Last updated 25.08.16

Course Details

The programme runs over three years, part-time, with students taking three compulsory modules introducing them to the fundamentals of materials science and materials characterisation in their first year. The third module is a mini-project where the students apply the knowledge from the other two modules to a materials science problem.

In the second year, the students take three further taught modules covering more advanced topics in materials science. Choices include modules on magnetic and electronic materials, optical and plasmonic materials, and materials modelling and simulation.

The third year is dedicated to a masters research project on a materials science topic. The teaching on the programme is delivered through a dedicated course website, where students engage in online discussions with each other and the teachers, as well as taking quizzes and submitting assignments.

Please note: modules can also be taken individually with certificates awarded upon successful completion of the assessments.

Modules include:

Compulsory modules

Fundamentals of Materials Science (30 CATS)
Materials Characterisation (20 CATS)
Materials Science Case Study (10 CATS)

Specialist modules for PgDip and MSc

Electron Microscopy and Scanning Probe Microscopy (20 CATS)
Magnetic and Electronic Materials (20 CATS)
Materials Modelling and Simulation (20 CATS)
Plasmonic and Optical Materials (20 CATS)
Thin Film Techniques and Sensor Technology (20 CATS)

Please note all modules may not be offered in a given year.

MSc only

Materials Science Research Project (60 CATS)
This module may be undertaken as a project with the student’s employer, if a relevant research topic can be identified.

Assessment & Feedback

A range of assessment instruments are used including laboratory/simulation-based assignments, individual projects, presentations, written coursework and unseen written exams.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is entirely web-based and requires no period of attendance.

Entry Requirements

Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Physics, Chemistry, Engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with non-standard qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, based on the University's RPL policy. Please see for the University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and information on application procedures.

International Qualifications

For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.


International students (for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required.
*taken within the last 2 years

For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this programme, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this programme.

Please click the links below for more information:

  • English for University Study - an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
  • Pre-sessional English - a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

How To Apply

Applicants for Postgraduate programmes are strongly advised to carefully read the important information and follow the steps set out here before submitting their application via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Solveig Felton
Centre for Nanostructured Media,
School of Mathematics and Physics
Tel: 9097 3338

How To Apply

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Examples of possible career areas include microelectronics, nanotechnology, medical and bioengineering, and the aerospace and automotive industry.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Find out more

Fees & Funding

There is a range of funding and scholarship options available to those considering study at Queen's.

Find out more

For tuition fee information see

Postgraduate loans
From the academic year 2017/18, the Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,280 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

Normally self-funded. For fees, funding and further information see:


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