Our course is different to a standard doctoral programme, combining a taught technical programme with an industrially-led doctoral project and professional skills training.

Students come from a range of backgrounds in engineering, the physical sciences and mathematics and spend the first year studying core materials topics, programming and data analtyics through taught courses and case studies before embarking on their PhD or EngD projects.


Research starts with a mini project and initial training in experimental skills leading into the doctoral research carried out in years two to four.

All PhD projects are undertaken in collaboration with an industrial sponsor but the student will spend most of their time in their host institution. There is the opportunity to undertake a 2-3 month placement in the company or an overseas research institution. 

EngD students or research engineers are recruited to specific projects prior to the start of the course and will spend up to 75% of their time working at their industrial sponsors. EngD projects are typically at a higher Technology Readiness Level (TRL) than PhD projects and are related to the business activities of the sponsor. More information about the EngD can be found at

All students undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Personal and Professional Skills part time over the four-year course. The Diploma includes courses in research-related skills such as scientific writing and presentation, project management and creativity. Public engagement and SME consultancy projects provide opportunities to put a range of technical and professional skills into practice. PhD students run their own journal club and seminar series whilst EngD research engineers will take additional business-focused courses.

The CDT runs the annual National Student Conference in Metallic Materials giving students the opportunity to showcase their work. All students will be expected to present their research at at least one international conference.