Course Structure

Our course is different to a standard doctoral programme. Students come from a range of backgrounds in engineering and physical science.

Year 1

Metallic Materials Training

Foundational Materials Courses
Taught courses cover topics such as phase transformations, structure of metals, mechanical properties, high performance alloys and performance to give students underpinning knowledge in core metallurgy topics.

New technologies exploration
Students undertake research role-play projects to explore emerging technologies in metals processing.

Research mini project
The 13 week mini project acts as an introduction to the doctoral project, providing an introduction to the literature, training in experimental and modelling techniques and the research environment as a whole. Student write a report and give a presentation on their findings.

Following completion of the mini project in July, students then continue into their doctoral research project.

Professional & Transerable Skills

Personal Effectiveness
Students undertake a series of workshops covering a range of interpersonal skills in order to help them prepare for life as a research student.

Introduction to Research Skills
This module covers a range of activities such as industrial visits, writing a reflective essay on the challenges of doctoral research and presenting a poster at the annual student conference.

Year 2

Metallic Materials Training

Industrial / International placement
In their second or third year, students may organise a research visit of 2 or 3 months duration to another research organisation or an industrial site in order to carry out a specific piece of work and gain experience of another research environment.

Additional taught courses
Students may choose to take additional specialist courses at Sheffield or Manchester in order to support their research.

Professional & Transferable Skills

Public engagement project
Students work in small groups to design, deliver and evaluate an activity to engage the public with materials science and engineering.

Business operations
This course is delivered by the Manchester Enterprise Centre, and explores the operations of a range of business types. Students produce a report on a case-study business, typically that of their industrial collaborator.

Year 3

Metallic Materials Training

Junior EuroMat
In year 2 or 3 students can present at Junior Euromat which is held every 2 years in Lausanne, Switzerland. The conference is aimed at doctoral researchers in materials science and engineering from across Europe.

Professional & Transferable Skills

SME Consultancy project
Students act as consultants to a small-medium enterprise, working on a real metallurgical problem of interest to the company. Working in small groups, students have 2 weeks to investigate before presenting their findings and recommendations to the SME.

Innovation and Commercialisation of Research
This course is delivered by the Manchester Enterprise Centre and examines the various aspects of the commercialisation of research. Students evaluate a business opportunity, which could be based on their own research, developing a commercial business case based on the idea; and then preparing a business report and presentation.

Year 4

Metallic Materials Training

International conference
Students should expect to present their work at at least one international conference during their doctoral project.

Thesis preparation
Students will spend the final phase of the programme writing their thesis and preparing papers for publication.

Professional & Transferable Skills

Science and Engineering in the Media
Students join with those from other CDTs on a short residential course to explore how science journalism works. The highlight of this course is recording a radio magazine style programme, as-live at the BBC.

Preparing for your career
Students undertake a series of workshops with the University of Sheffield Careers Service looking at career planning, CVs and applications and preparing for the interview process.


PhD/EngD in
Materials Engineering


Postgraduate Diploma in
Professional Skills