BEng Materials Engineering
|Typical offer||AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32|
Materials Engineers are at the forefront of discovering the best material solutions for products. From designing the perfect combination of components for an aeroplane wing to developing materials for medical implants, they build the foundations of new technology and groundbreaking progress.
Currently in high demand, graduates of Materials Engineering have a vast range of employment opportunities awaiting them. The employment market straddles many manufacturing sectors, such as construction, power generation and biomedical engineering.
Here at Exeter, the emphasis of our programme is not just on understanding materials science but on putting this theory into practice by teaching you the hands-on practicalities of designing and manufacturing with the materials you study. Our main aim is to equip you with a thorough understanding of how materials behave and are best used in design and manufacture, as well as how this applies to the latest advancements in real world components and industry.
Group project work plays an important part of your course, in preparation for real industry practice. Our strong links with engineering companies also allows us to bring the subject theory to life by providing, for example, fieldtrips to Airbus to experience composite manufacturing in action.
Why choose Materials Engineering at Exeter?
- This degree is professionally accredited under licence from the Engineering Council. Visit the Professional accreditation webpage for further information.
- Our multidisciplinary first year encourages you to explore other engineering disciplines, such as electronic or civil engineering; broadening your subject knowledge as you progress with materials.
- Practical, hands-on experience starts from your first year when you use our Additive Layer Manufacturing technology to construct a water-wheel.
- You will use first-class equipment and facilities with access to the extensive materials, structures, fluids and mechanics labs.
- Our staff capitalise on their strong links with industry to arrange industry tours and help you gain summer work placements with companies like Airbus and Rolls Royce.
- Our research-active academics continually adapt the programme to encompass new technology and systems being used in the materials industry, such as rapid manufacturing and powder techniques.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The multidisciplinary ethos of the first year builds your theoretical and practical knowledge in mechanical, civil, materials, manufacturing, electronic and engineering mathematics.
By the end of this year's course you will have experienced your first encounter with "Solidworks" as well as gained more experience with AutoCAD, have been introduced to every phase involved in engineering a new artefact and will be more confident in writing and presenting your findings. Speakers from engineering institutions also visit to offer an introduction to the benefits of joining their professional bodies.
From the second year onwards the core and optional modules start to take a more specialised pathway with a focus on your chosen degree
In year three you will narrow down your specialist areas to materials engineering and computational engineering which are complementary to each other. You will learn ways to calculate the failure mode of materials, theoretical and numerical approaches in analysing mechanical systems and also the use of software packages to design products.
Entry requirements 2015
AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32
GCE AL Maths grade B and another science subject at grade B; IB Maths HL5 and another science subject HL5
Candidates may offer GCE AL Maths, Pure Maths or Further Maths.
Applicants achieving IB Maths SL7 plus IB HL5 in Physics will also be considered.
GCE AL/AS science includes: Biology/Human Biology*; Chemistry; Computing; Design and Technology; Economics; Electronics; Environmental Studies; Geography; Geology; Maths/Pure Maths/Further Maths*; Physical Education; Physics; Science (applied); Statistics.
*If more than one of these is taken they would only count as one 'science' but could count as two A levels towards our general requirements.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Engineering at Exeter combines a breadth of academic expertise with a caring and supportive learning environment. Our student-centred approach to teaching is validated by our excellent results in the National Student Survey.
Our programmes make use of a variety of teaching styles with contact hours ranging from 25-32 hours each week depending on the year of study. These include:
- Lectures for the presentation of new topics and class exercises;
- Workshops where you have hands-on use of equipment, discussion and solution of sample problems, with experts available to answer questions and provide support;
- Tutorials involving small group work on problems relating to topics covered in lectures;
- Projects of longer term practical work undertaken either individually or in teams, with sessions for consultation with staff;
- Engineering design activities which provide direct experience of putting engineering design into practice while learning the underpinning principles and mathematical skills in other modules.
There are plenty of opportunities to discuss material in more detail with members of staff. Our academics are happy to meet with students individually during their advertised office hours or receive questions by email.
A research and practice led culture
We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.
There are always numerous engineering research projects in progress, funded by industry, charities, government departments and research councils. Our undergraduate students benefit through access to up-to-date equipment, industrially linked projects and staff expertise.
Student projects are often linked to our research activities and may involve working with industrial partners. Recent projects have involved the design and construction of an autonomous hovering platform, modelling of airflow around a car and 3D CAD representation of the Met Office headquarters in Exeter, which has close research links with the College.
Modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment through small practical exercises, project work, essay writing, presentations and examination.
All of our programmes are assessed in a similar way. During the first 2 years you will have an even mix of examinations and coursework, each accounting for about 50 per cent. In the third year 25 per cent of the year is taken up by the individual project.
You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. Written examinations are held in January and June of the first and second years and in the third term of the third year. For most modules, coursework also contributes to the assessment of the module.
Materials engineering is a discipline at the interface between materials science and engineering. Many of the most exciting current developments in the technological world are in materials engineering, such as nanotechnology, artificial replacement organs and tissues, and smart composites for aerospace applications. These and other topics are covered in these programmes including manufacturing, CAD/CAM, elasticity and solid mechanics. These programmes would suit those who aim to work in any technology field or in a management role in related industries.
Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and a strong employment record. Our graduates excel in specialist engineering fields and across a broad range of other sectors, as shown on our Graduate destinations web page.
We offer a very wide range of opportunities for you to develop the skills employers are looking for, including industrial placements and study abroad. Visit our Employability web page to find out more.
All our undergraduate students can choose to take an optional Commercial and Industrial Experience module during the vacation before the third year. This opportunity allows you to gain paid work experience in a commercial setting while earning credits towards your degree programme. Industrial experience not only develops your CV but helps you to determine your career aspirations.
Students can also request permission to temporarily interrupt their studies and spend a year working in industry, as long as they work in a suitably demanding Engineering role.
Our undergraduate engineering programmes are enriched by a network of industry links which have been established through collaborative research and consultation. Project work is a core element of each programme, providing invaluable experience of problem-solving, engineering design and working in multidisciplinary teams. Projects are typically industrially driven, are commercially relevant and often directly involve a company.
Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to meet with graduate employers. Professional engineers visit the College to hold mock interviews and to discuss your career opportunities at an early enough stage to inform your choice of modules and placement decisions.
Find out more about the industrial experience opportunities available to our engineering undergraduates.