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MEng Materials with Nuclear Engineering

MEng Materials with Nuclear Engineering

Course Overview



Many of the technological advances that have transformed our lives are founded in Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). Modern life would be impossible without the thousands of manufactured items we use every day, from the clothes we wear, to our phones, cars, computers and the buildings we inhabit, as well as more advanced and life-changing technologies like biomedical devices or satellite communications.

The motivation to invent or improve materials comes from our need to solve real societal problems, in fields such as healthcare, energy, environmental sustainability and transport. New opportunities are growing in areas such as biomedical engineering, 3D printing, robotics and quantum computing.

This course focuses on learning about what underpins the foundations of the discipline: processing, structure, properties and performance of materials, with opportunities in the final year to tailor your own studies by choosing optional modules that map onto the Department’s research themes, with access to cutting edge equipment and tools for advanced materials imaging and characterisation.


During the first two years you follow a core series of modules that will provide you with a strong base of theoretical principles, and cover the widest possible range of materials, including:

  • biomaterials
  • metals
  • alloys
  • ceramics
  • glasses
  • nanomaterials

Experimental work is a core part of all our courses. This starts with a series of laboratory tutorials that introduce foundational ideas and key techniques in a practical setting.

You then move on to perform more extended laboratory work, including a case study project that analyses the materials found in a consumer project using cutting-edge techniques such as electron microscopy, X-ray scattering and chemical spectroscopy.

In your third year you will begin to focus on biomaterials, studying cell biology, biocompatibility and biomaterials for hard tissue restoration.

You also have the opportunity to build on the BEng with a relevant four-month placement in industry or research.

Your study reaches Master’s level in the final year, when you will take specialist modules in biomaterials for soft tissue restoration, tissue engineering, and artificial organs. You will also complete a substantial research project. Studying to this level means that graduates require fewer years of work experience to become a Chartered Engineer (see Professional Accreditation below).


Transfer between courses


The common structure of the first two years of our Materials degrees means that transfer between courses is usually possible during this time.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.


4 years


ECTS: 240


A degree in Materials Science and Engineering can open the door to careers in a wide variety of sectors from chemicals manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to technical management and scientific research and development (R&D). There are lots of emerging sectors to think about too, such as nanotechnology, biomedical materials, high performance textiles and composites.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Power Electronics Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Management Consultant, Deloitte
  • Engineer, Rolls-Royce
  • Research Engineer, SIMTech
  • Materials Scientist, Morgan Advanced Materials
Related departments

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:


  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Design Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

Teaching and assessment


Teaching focuses on applied science, with a grounding in theory and a great emphasis on practical work. You’ll be expected to take part in challenging experiments with advanced equipment.

You can expect a balance of theoretical and practical work, through lectures and laboratory work. There is also the opportunity to complete a research project, which will rely on substantial individual study. In addition to those more traditional teaching methods, you can expect industrial visits and tutorials.


Teaching, independent study and placement hours


  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar 404 hours 376 hours 181 hours 422 hours
Independent study 1,096 hours 1,124 hours 1,319 hours 1,253 hours
Placement 600 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course 

Over the course of your studies you will experience different assessment methods in each module you complete. You will be assessed by written examinations, class tests and coursework.


Assessment types


  Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Coursework 15% 29% 31% 43%
Practical 1% 22%
Written 84% 71% 69% 35%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number 
Staff expertise

At Northampton, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Professional accreditation

Achieving a professionally accredited degree demonstrates to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency.

Achieving a professionally accredited integrated Master’s degree (MEng) means that you have satisfied the first step to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in your chosen field by satisfying the educational requirements of professional registration. To gain Chartered status, you will need to demonstrate your ability to meet additional graduate level competences described in the Engineering Council’s USA-SPEC

A CEng is a highly respected qualification earned by professionals working in engineering, which can lead to higher earning potential and better career prospects.

Professional registration also brings international recognition of your qualification, which is particularly useful for students preparing for a career abroad.

Our accreditation agreement with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is renewed every five years.

The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed for students starting their studies in the 2023–24 academic year. The Department expects to be accredited into the future.


As well as your main Northampton degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the City and DETC  on completion of this course.

The DETC is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Northampton USA in 1907.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions using the Unistats information below.

You can use the Unistats website to find out how this course compares in areas such as student satisfaction and what our graduates are doing six months after completing this course.



Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for your year of entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

Year 1

Core modules


  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Materials Chemistry and Biology
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure and Properties of Materials
  • Materials Physics
  • Materials Engineering
Year 2

Core modules


  • Mathematics and Computing
  • Materials Chemistry and Polymer Sciences
  • Mechanical Behaviour
  • Microstructure
  • Electronic Properties of Materials
  • Materials Engineering 2
Year 3

Core modules


  • Integrated Materials Engineering
  • Materials Characterisation

Optional modules


You choose five modules from below.

  • Engineering Alloys
  • Polymers and Composites
  • Electronic Structures and Opto Electronic Properties
  • Metal Processing
  • Ceramics and Glass
  • Nanomaterials I
  • Biomaterials
  • Materials Modelling
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
Year 4

Core modules


  • Advanced Structural Ceramics
  • Comprehensive Paper
  • Nuclear Materials I or Nuclear Materials II
  • Nuclear Reactor Physics
  • Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics
  • Research Project
  • Strategic Management
  • Work Placement

Optional modules


You choose one module from below.

  • Modelling Materials with Density-Functional Theory
  • Advanced Structural Ceramics
  • Advanced Biomaterials
  • Advanced Tissue Engineering
  • Advanced Engineering Alloys
  • Advanced Thin Films Manufacturing
  • Electroceramics
  • Nanomaterials II

Entry requirements


We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.


Minimum entry standards


Our minimum entry standard for 2020 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Mathematics
  • A in Chemistry or Physics

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

Typical offer range


As a guide, here are the typical offers made in 2017-18 to at least 80% of applicants studying A-levels:

Three A-level offer: A*AA

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)


If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.

Additional Mathematics support


Our new A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards


Our minimum entry standard for 2020 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

  • 6 in Mathematics at higher level
  • 6 in Chemistry or Physics at higher level

Typical offer range


As a guide, the typical offer made in 2017-18 to at least 80% of applicants studying IB was 38 points overall.

Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2021


For entry in 2021, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.

Additional Mathematics support


We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Northampton.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Northampton alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Calculus BC
  • 5 in Chemistry or Physics C (Electricity and Magnetism) or Physics C (Mechanics)

Additional Mathematics support


We have recently launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

English language requirement (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the standard College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

How to apply


The MEng Materials with Nuclear Engineering by online learning has start dates in September and January of each academic year. 

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; this is particularly important for applicants who may need to allow sufficient time to take an English language test


Documentation required

Applications are made online via the University Application Service, EUCLID.

Please follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you have included the following documentation with your application:

  • Degree certificates showing award of degree.
  • Previous academic transcripts for all past degree programmes.
  • A reference in support or your application. The reference should be academic and dated no earlier than one year from the start of study on the LLM programme.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency, if required.

If you are currently studying for your degree or you are not in a possession of an English test result you may still apply to the programme. Please note that it is your responsibility to submit the necessary documents.

After you apply

After your application has been submitted you will be able to track its progress through the University’s applicant hub.

Application processing times will vary however the admissions team will endeavour to process your application within four to six weeks of submission. Please note that missing documentation will delay the application process.

You will be informed as soon as possible of the decision taken. Three outcomes are possible:

  • You may be offered a place unconditionally
  • You may be offered a conditional place, which means that you must fulfil certain conditions that will be specified in the offer letter. Where a conditional offer is made, it is your responsibility to inform the College Postgraduate Office when you have fulfilled the requirements set out.
  • Your application may be unsuccessful. If your application has not been successful, you can request feedback from us or refer to our guidance for unsuccessful applicants, which explains some of the common reasons we why we reach this decision.
    View the University’s guidance for unsuccessful applicants
Terms and conditions of admissions
  • The University’s terms and conditions form part of your contract with the University, and you should read them, and our data protection policy, carefully before applying.

    Northampton University admissions terms and conditions