Department of Materials

Postgraduate taught

Frequently asked questions

What qualification can I get?

Students can study for a Master of Science MSc either full time or part time.

Will my qualification be recognised by a professional institution?

All our Masters courses are accredited by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (IOM3), making it more straight forward for our graduates to satisfy the requirements for the professional qualifications; Chartered Engineer or Chartered Scientist, once they have completed a period in graduate-level employment.

How does the module credit system work?

The courses are made up from modules that are each 15 credits. The credit rating roughly equates to the number of hours of student effort required to cover the module material in its entirety, with 15 credits equivalent to 150 hours.

MSc students study 180 credits made up of 120 credits (8 x 15 credits) from the taught modules and 60 credits from the masters project. To be awarded the MSc students must obtain at least 150 credits from the 180 credits studied and must exceed the minimum standard in the remainder.

When does my application have to be submitted by?

Each new academic year commences in October and if you wish to apply and be registered in time to start in October as a full time student you should aim to have your application submitted before the end of July. Applications are still accepted up to the end of August, but if there are any complications or additional documents are required, this often does not leave sufficient time for processing.

Part time students are recommended to follow the same advice as full time students, although applications can be processed after the start of the academic year and part time students can start studying modules that are still available to them after the date they are accepted and registered.

How is the academic year organised?

The academic year for full time MSc programmes runs from October to the following September and is made up of two semesters, each 15 weeks long, with 12 weeks of teaching followed by exams in Jan/Feb and June. MSc students also have an extended period beyond the second semester exams, throughout the summer period, to work on their projects with final dissertation hand-in taking place in September.

Upcoming semester and term dates can be found here.

What are the tuition fees?

Information about fees can be found on the online prospectus pages for our MSc Programmes.

General information about Postgraduate tuition fees can be found here

How does Part Time Study work?

All our MSc courses are available to students wishing to study part time and flexibility has been made a key feature for students choosing the part time route.

Part time students study a range of distance learning modules at home in their own time. For part time students who live within a reasonable distance of Loughborough, there is also the added possibility to study some modules at Loughborough on a day release basis.

How long can I take to complete a part time course?

Part time students can study at their own pace, varying the amount they study in any given year to suit their circumstances. Typically, the MSc takes 3-5 years. If students circumstances change or they need to take a break from study this is accommodated by the regulations which allow students up to six years to complete the MSc. 

How do distance learning modules work?

Taught modules run in semester 1 or semester 2 alongside the full time mode of study, and module content is released online throughout the semester. Teaching resources, lecture notes and recommended reading lists are all accessible online using the University's virtual learning environment, and video recordings of the lectures are also made available so you can watch these at a convenient time.

You are welcome to attend timetabled taught sessions. Laboratory sessions are scheduled for some modules and part time student are encouraged to attend if possible. Typically, this could be 2-3 hours per week over a 3-4 week period. However, we know that part time students may not be able to attend, and alternative resources and assessment will be provided if you cannot attend the taught practical classes.

Distance learning modules are assessed by coursework and exams and students in remote locations are able to arrange their exams either at an approved local higher education establishment or a British Council office.

How do the fees work for part time students?

When first registering, part time students pay for their first 30 credits of study (2 modules), once this has been completed, further modules are studied on a pay-as-you-go basis.

For details of fees please refer to the relevant online prospectus page.

Are there further study options after completing my Masters?

The Department of Materials has a thriving research community of about 60 PhD students and every year a small number of our highest achieving MSc students stay on to study for a PhD.

More information about PhD research degrees »

How does the masters project work for part time students?

The project is an important part of the MSc programme, comprising 60 credits. For all students (full and part time), the project runs for the full academic year, from October through to the following September.

For part time students this is typically conducted at their place of work on an appropriate topic. You are supported by a member of academic staff based in the department who will supervise the project.