Postgraduate study

Materials & Processes

Awards: PhD, MPhil, MScR

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Materials & Processes

The Institute for Materials and Processes brings together researchers from materials science and chemical, mechanical and bio-engineering, conducting world-class research into every conceivable kind of material.

Our research activities cover the design, synthesis and processing of materials, as well as biomedical and process engineering.

We have one of the UK’s largest carbon capture engineering research groups, and particular strength in biomedical and biological engineering.

The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.

Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.

Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.

Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes

Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The Institute has excellent laboratory facilities, including the latest instruments for research in adsorption, biomedical engineering, conservation materials science, high pressure and temperature advanced materials synthesis, ice mechanics, and multi-phase flows and multiscale modelling.

We offer a comprehensive range of exciting research opportunities through a choice of postgraduate research degrees: MSc by Research, MPhil and PhD.

Masters by Research

An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree resembles a PhD but generally takes two years instead of three and does not carry the same requirement for original contribution to knowledge. You pursue your individual research project under supervision, submitting your thesis at the end of the project.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

As a PhD candidate you pursue a research project under continuous guidance, resulting in a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge. In the School of Engineering you will be linked to two academic supervisors and one industrial supervisor if the project is industrially sponsored.

To study at postgraduate level you should have a first degree in an appropriate subject or relevant qualifications and experience.

Confirm with the School to find out whether there are specific entry requirements for this programme.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Academic Technology Approval Scheme

If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme clearance certificate in order to study this programme.

  • Graduate School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Engineering
  • Faraday Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3JL