Materials EngD, MPhil, PhD

Entry requirements:
2:1 +
3 years (PhD), 2 years (MPhil)
6 years (PhD), 4 years (MPhil)
Start date:
January, April, July, October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:



in the UK for Engineering - Materials and Minerals

Guardian University Guide 2018


in the UK for Materials Technology

The Complete University Guide 2018

Over £3m

in annual research funding


For nearly 50 years materials science and engineering has been a core strength at Loughborough University and we have a longstanding international reputation for our materials teaching and research.

Materials knowledge and skills are in demand across many industry sectors and job functions, and therefore offer some of the widest range of job choices for graduates.

Industry relevance is always a priority and much of our research work and master’s degree projects are industry sponsored, with scientists and engineers from industry contributing to our modules.

We pride ourselves on our high level of research activity with a thriving community of research students, who benefit from the considerable experience of our staff.

There are outstanding opportunities for study leading to the research degrees of PhD, EngD and MPhil and students studying for a postgraduate research degree in materials work on projects of real-world significance.

Our teaching and research is shaped by the feedback and requirements of industry partners to ensure graduates are well-prepared for the ever-changing global job market.

Under the theme of Advanced Materials, activity is focussed in five key areas; Advanced Ceramics, Energy Materials, Advanced Polymers, Surface Engineering and Mechanics of Materials.

Advanced Materials research is highly interdisciplinary bringing together researchers from both the Department of Materials, which forms part of the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering and The Woflson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. In addition this is enhanced with significant interactions with other Loughborough Engineering and Science Schools via the University's virtual Materials Research School.

Researchers have access to state-of-the-art, world class facilities for use in materials synthesis, processing and characterisation, the most notable of these being The Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre (LMCC), which has a wide range of analytical techniques including electron microscopy and surface science/analysis, some of which have capabilities that are unique in the UK.

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree or its equivalent.

IELTS: overall 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component.

Our facilities

The Department has excellent facilities which include STEMLab, a new £17M state-of-the-art laboratory facility opening for our students in 2017. A newly refurbished and extended process and pilot area, and the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre (LMCC) which, with its state of-the-art equipment, is one of the best suites of its kind in Europe.

Our facilities, used in materials synthesis, processing and characterisation enable us to work on today’s global challenges, including sustainability, nanomaterials, composites and processing. We adopt an interdisciplinary approach to our research and frequently interact with other academic departments.

Research areas

Energy Materials

Energy Materials is a strategic research area, and the Group addresses key challenges, particularly in the area of lifetime extension for conventional power plants, high temperature materials for more efficient power generation, advanced materials for nuclear power, and energy storage and generation.

Advanced Ceramics

The Group focuses on processing, properties and characterisation of engineering ceramic materials and ceramic matrix composites (CMC). Projects include ultra-high temperature heat shielding, ceramic composite braking systems, ceramics nanocomposites for armour application, and advanced ceramic processing and sintering techniques.

Surface Engineering

Many of the important properties of materials are dependent on their surface structure and chemistry. This Group is particularly concerned with techniques to modify surfaces to increase their performance within processing and in service.

Advanced Polymers

This is the largest and probably broadest research group in the Department. Activities range from polymerisation processes, through formulation and additive development, to manufacturing and recycling technologies.


In this emerging area research includes the development of advanced materials for healthcare, biomedical engineering, and pharmaceutics application through exploring new formulations, controlling microstructure, and functionalising surfaces to become biocompatible.

Materials Modelling

A world-leading research group focused on the development and application of modelling to: understand materials’ microstructure evolution, particularly for high temperature materials; predict the growth of thin film materials at realistic rates; develop connections between composition, structure and in-vivo degradation of bioactive glasses; model the evolution of damage in materials for nuclear power.

Research Area for Global Challenges

In addition to our research groups many interdisciplinary projects and topics of global importance are underpinned by the academic expertise of our staff across a number of research areas. These include sustainability, nanomaterials, microstructural characterisation, computing materials, corrosion and degradation, and composites and materials processing.

Centres for Doctoral Training

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) provide four years of industrially supported, integrated PhD study, with a framework of targeted additional training, personal and professional development.

The School participates in the following centre:

  • Carbon Capture and Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy, in partnership with the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham

Your personal and professional development

Support from your supervisor

You will receive academic, pastoral and progress support from your project supervisor(s) as well as from the Director of Research Degree Programmes. You will also have your own desk and storage space in a communal research student office, with access to library and IT services.

Skills and experience

A PhD programme will give you the opportunity to develop new and highly sought after skills which can set you up for a range of careers. It’s a chance to make a novel contribution to knowledge, to become a world expert in a particular field, and it can open a range of doors with different employers. You'll also enhance your interpersonal skills, such as networking and relationship building, which will be invaluable in your future career.

In addition to the University’s extensive training provision, we provide technical, business and presentation skills training and opportunities to attend conferences in the UK and overseas.

Future career prospects

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Valspar Applied Science and Technology Centre – China, Senior Chemist
  • Rolls-Royce, Materials Engineer
  • Jaguar Land Rover, Materials and Corrosion Engineer
  • GFI Group, Oil Broker.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

Who you'll be working with

How to apply

If you can't find a suitable PhD opportunity that fits your interests and experience from our funded (studentships) and unfunded opportunities, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Materials in the hope of finding a supervisor who will work with you on your dream project.

If you wish to apply for a PhD in the Department of Materials through this method, you do not need to submit a detailed research proposal with your application, although you are welcome to do so. However, you should indicate which area of research you wish to pursue and/or the names of staff you are interested in working with.