Qualification(s) available: PhD

Entry requirements
3 years
6 years
Start date
1 January, 1 April, 1 July or 1 October
UK fee
To be confirmed
International fee


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

Our research activity focuses on today’s global challenges, including sustainability, nanomaterials, composites and processing. We adopt a highly disciplinary approach to our research and frequently interact with other departments and schools. Those undertaking a research degree with us will be part of a welcoming team, benefiting from a wealth of knowledge and experience of leading academics in their field of research. You will be provided with all of the technical skills and practical understanding needed to produce sustained, original work which will underpin your chosen career progression.

Our research is supported by a range of first class facilities, which have been designed to help you throughout your studies and fully equip you for your future endeavours. You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment 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 analysis, some of which have capabilities that are unique in the UK.

Industry relevance is also a priority and many of our research projects are industry sponsored, with scientists and engineers from industry contributing to our output.

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Why you should choose us

Our research

The breadth of our research is captured in our research areas, which are delivered by an exceptional team of around 100 academics, researchers and PhD students. Across our research we have a strong track record of collaborations with industry and all parties benefit from access to our state-of-the-art facilities.


Our Processing research area studies and develops many techniques and operations to convert a material from an ‘as formed’ state to a finished article. Processing procedures may incorporate a number of stages with emphasis often apparent on the surface properties of the finished article.

Advanced Materials

Advanced Materials research includes understanding, designing and engineering the structure of a material from the atomistic to micron scale by correlating with the material's mechanical and functional properties, as well as chemical composition and processing conditions.

Soft Matter

Soft Matter research within the department deals with a vast array of macromolecules, from their synthesis to their interactions at a microscopic level.

Technique Development

Technique Development involves some key enabling areas of research that cross-cut our other research. Here we have particular expertise in materials modelling and characterisation techniques.

Complimentary to, and underpinning, our research areas is our research infrastructure. Particular highlights are our Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre (LMCC), our recently refurbished Polymer Processing facilities and the HPC-Midlands+, a Tier-2 High Performance Computing centre with a focus on engineering and physical sciences, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Your development

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

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.

Our extensive training provision, supported by the Doctoral College, will also enhance your skills and experience as a researcher. These include technical, business and presentation skills training, opportunities to attend conferences in the UK and overseas, and the Doctoral College’s Café Academiques, research conference and Summer Showcase.

Your future career

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

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

A 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

Fees and funding

UK fee

Full-time degree per annum
To be confirmed

International fee

Full-time degree per annum

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. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Find out more about research degree funding

How to apply

If you can't find an advertised project that fits your interests and experience, you can submit a research proposal to the Department of Materials to find a supervisor who will work with you on your project. You can view our list of academic staff on our website or you can email us for guidance.

Your research proposal should include the aims of your study, a brief literature review, an outline of the proposed research methods, and your preferred member of staff to supervise the project. Further information on preparing your proposal can be found here.

You are strongly recommended to contact us before applying to discuss your topic, availability and funding.

Apply now