BEng Materials Engineering

UCAS codeH190
Duration3 Years
Typical offerAAA-ABB; IB: 36-32
LocationTaught in Exeter Streatham (Exeter)


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.

Programme structure

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.

You may take Elective Modules up to 15 credits outside of the programme in stage 3 of the programme as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Year 1

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.

Compulsory modules

Note: one out of ECM1106, ECM1107 and ECM1108 may be condoned, subject to the rules specified above and detailed in the programme assessment and progression regulations.

ECM1101Professional Studies and Skills Development 1 15
ECM1102Core Engineering 1 30
ECM1106Electronics for Engineers: Core Engineering 2 15
ECM1107Materials and Manufacturing: Core Engineering 2 15
ECM1108Engineering Mechanics: Core Engineering 2 15
Engineering Mathematics A or B S1
Depending on Entry Qualifications, 30 credits to be taken from
ECM1103Engineering Mathematics A30
ECM1104Engineering Mathematics B30

Year 2

From the second year onwards the core and optional modules start to take a more specialised pathway with a focus on your chosen degree

Compulsory modules

Progression from 1st to 2nd year: Students choose specialisation (Electronic/Engineering and Management/Materials/Mechanical/Civil) at this point. Students proceeding on the Engineering and Management BEng programmes are required to consistently choose either all Mechanical options from this point on or all Electronic options from this point on, if they wish their final degree to be accredited (see section 17). No final decisions on qualification to complete BEng are made at this point, but students are reminded of rules that will apply at end of year 2.

ECM2119Mathematical Modelling and Control Engineering 15
ECM2120Materials Engineering 15
ECM2112Professional Studies & Skills Development 2 15
ECM2113Thermofluid Engineering 15
ECM2114Solid Mechanics 15
ECM2102Management and Management Science 15
ECM2103Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design 15
ECM2109Structures 15

Year 3

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.

Compulsory modules

Projects within this Programme must be on Material Engineering Topics.

Progression from 2nd to 3rd year: Students must have gained an average of 60% or more in the first 2 years to transfer from the BEng to the MEng (weighting is 40% 1st year, 60% 2nd year).

Transfer to MEng is subject to Engineering Council guidelines. The MEng Programme has more breath and depth and offers students the quickest way to professional accreditation.

ECM3101Individual Project (Beng) 30
ECM3130Engineering in Society and Company Finance 15
ECM3151Thermofluids and Energy Conversion 15
ECM3152Computational Engineering 15
ECM3160Materials 15
ECM3163Mechanical Engineering Design Studies 15

Optional modules

Select 15 credits:

If selected, EMP3001 must be undertaken in Materials Engineering.

ECM3154Manufacturing 15
ECM2704Numerics and Optimisation 15
ECM2707Systems, Series and Transforms 15
ECM2709Statistics 15
ECM3707Fluid Dynamics 15
ECM3711Nonlinear Systems and Control 15
ECM3722Graphs Networks and Algorithms 15
EMP3001Commercial and Industrial Experience 15
ECM3171Computer Aided Engineering Drawing 15

Entry requirements 2015

Typical offer

AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32

Required subjects

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.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

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.

Industrial experience

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.

Industry-led projects

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.

Employer visits

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.

Further information

Find out more about the  industrial experience opportunities available to our engineering undergraduates.

Contact us

Streatham Campus, Exeter

Phone: +44 (0)1392 724061

Website: Visit the Engineering website