Department of Materials

Undergraduate study

Frequently asked questions

What qualifications can I get?

All our undergraduate courses lead to either a BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) or an MEng (Master of Engineering). In addition undergraduates who opt for the industrial placement year can gain their DIS (Diploma in Industrial Studies).

What are the graduate employment rates for Materials at Loughborough?

The official DLHE data for 2017 graduates shows 98% of Materials graduates were in work or further study within 6 months of graduation, with an average starting salary of £26,500.

How much demand is there for Materials Graduates?

Each year in the UK approximately 280 students graduate with a materials engineering qualification. From our industrial contacts and the professional body for Materials Engineers (the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining) the clear message is that this is about half the number needed.

What are the contact hours for undergraduate students in Materials?

Timetables vary in their intensity throughout the year, so these figures are aimed at giving you the full picture with some averages.

Lectures ~ 15 - 20 hours per week
Labs / Practicals ~ 4 - 6 hours per week
Tutorials ~ 4 - 6 hours per week
In total this adds up to an average contact time of ~ 23 - 28 hours per week.

Traditionally Wednesday afternoons are left free across the University to allow for sports and social activities.

What type of person will enjoy studying materials?

Materials courses generally appeal to students who enjoyed physics and/or chemistry and want to continue to study science within an engineering subject. 
Materials students gain and in-depth knowledge of what things are made of, how they are made, and what influences the critical decisions of materials selection for any given application and usage criteria.

The materials courses all have a lot of lab and practical work as well as individual and team projects, and consequently suit students who like a lot of practical involvement, experimentation and activity.

Materials play an important role in environmental issues and students who are interested in the environment and sustainability, will find this a particularly rewarding subject.

The courses contain a balanced mix of subject matter, bringing together engineering, science and elements of design.

Do I need to be good at maths to study Materials Engineering?

Unlike some of the other Engineering subjects, Materials does not have A-Level maths as an entry requirement, although it is highly desirable.

Within the Materials courses maths is taught up to the level required to meet Engineering Council standards and we find students who do have A-level maths are comfortable with this. However we recognise some students did not choose to study A-level maths although they were probably capable. For these students there is additional help and tutoring available if they need it from the Maths Learning Support Centre.

Prospective students who have struggled with maths and chose not to study it at A-Level for that reason might find the maths required in an engineering subject challenging and should seek further advice.

What is the difference between the MEng and BEng courses?

The MEng course is a year longer than the BEng. The content of the MEng and BEng courses are similar for the first two years, but in years 3 and 4 MEng students are required to study a wider range of technical subjects with additional depth and have a masters level individual project and a seperate team project.

Is it possible to transfer between BEng and MEng courses?

Transfer from BEng to MEng can be made up to the end of the second year provided that the MEng assessment criteria for transfer have been met. Transfer from MEng to BEng can take place at any time after the commencement of studies.

Does it matter if my degree is accredited?

For engineering subjects it is advisable to choose a course that is accredited by the relevant professional institute. This means that the course meets certain standards and requirements laid down by ECUK (Engineering Council UK) and has been inspected and accredited by professionals from the relevant institute.

If you have studied on an accredited course it makes it more straightforward for graduates to satisfy the requirements to gain a professional qualification e.g. Chartered Engineer once they have completed a period in relevant graduate level employment.

In the case of Materials MEng and BEng courses they have been accredited by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining IOM3.

Do I have to be good at sport to come to Loughborough?

Not at all! Admission for our courses is on the basis of academic and not sporting ability. The world class sporting facilities at Loughborough are available for the use of students of all abilities, and if you like sports, you will be able to take part in your favourite sport at whatever level suits you.

Alternatively there is a wide range of other cultural and social activities both on-and-off campus that you can participate in, or not! The Students Union lists over 150 clubs and societies which cover pursuits as diverse as wine tasting, ballroom dancing, hang gliding, orchestra and hiking.

Do you offer any financial support?

Please see the fees and funding section on each individual course listing within the online prospectus.

Are the industrial placement (sandwich) year and DIS the same thing?

The Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS) is an additional qualification awarded to students who have successfully completed their industrial placement (sandwich) year.

I have not decided yet whether I want to do a sandwich year. Does this matter?

No it doesn't matter. You can, in theory, decide to opt for the sandwich year at any time before it starts, but you need to consider that most companies interview in the Autumn (first) term of the second year so it is generally advisable to have made a decision by then. It also does not matter to us if you have not specified a sandwich (DIS) course on your UCAS application, as it is easy to transfer between the sandwich and non-sandwich version of your degree programme after registration.

What are my chances of getting a place in halls of residence?

If you make Loughborough your firm choice through UCAS a place in Hall will automatically be reserved for you. Those who have selected us as their insurance choice are next in priority.

I’m thinking of buying a laptop, what specification should I get?

We have many computers on campus with every bit of software needed for your course and you can also run a remote desktop, meaning any software can be accessed through your laptop, there is therefore no expectation for you to purchase a laptop for your studies.

If however you intend on purchasing a laptop we would recommend a mid-range machine.  Do also remember that Microsoft Office Windows software is free for all students to download once you arrive on campus.