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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CAPE1720 Materials Science and Engineering

20 creditsClass Size: 220

Module manager: Dr SM Collins

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module, students should:
- be familiar with the basic properties of engineering materials and be able to relate these properties to the structure and microstructure of the materials;
- understand the different modes of failure of engineering materials and relate these to service conditions, failure mechanisms and micro-structural changes;
- understand how processing and manufacturing methods can influence both the bulk and surface properties of materials;
- be able to draw on this knowledge to gain an understanding of the role and importance of materials selection within the engineering design process;
- understand the fundamentals of metal, ionic and covalent crystal structures;
- understand the relationship of crystal structure to the properties of materials;
- understand the basics of X-ray powder diffraction;
- understand the principles behind materials processing and the selection of appropriate secondary materials methods.

Learning outcomes
1. The students will gain knowledge and understanding of the structure and properties of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites.
2. The students will have developed an ability to assess materials for delivering desired properties in specific engineering applications.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to understand:
- the definition of physical properties of metals, ceramics, polymers and composites
- their origin
- the structure and property relationship
- the calculation of properties from given information
- how to extend this knowledge to materials selection for specific application
- atomic packing in metal crystal structures
- basics of ionic crystal structures
- how to interpret X-ray powder diffraction patterns.

Other skills outcomes include Close Reading (Practiced and Assessed)


- Evolution and development of engineering materials
- Design and role of materials selection
- Classification of engineering materials and description of bulk properties
- Crystal structures
- Elastic deformation
- Description of material microstructures and their origins
- Plastic deformation and properties; strength, ductility, toughness
- Dislocation and slip theory; theoretical strength and strengthening of materials
- Ductile and brittle fracture - fast fracture
- Fatigue failure - high and low cycle fatigue, fatigue testing and lifetime predictions
- Creep deformation and rupture
- Surface properties of materials - degradation, oxidation, corrosion, friction and wear; introduction to surface engineering
- Construct crystal structure models and use software to analyse structures
- Describe salient features of common crystal structures (metallic, ionic and covalent)
- Label lattice planes and directions
- Understand the basics of X-ray powder diffraction
- Relate crystal structure to mechanical and electrical properties of materials
- Materials processing: primary, secondary and tertiary processes; secondary/tertiary materials process selection criteria: re-shaping, removal and build-up techniques; surface and heat treatments
-Case studies of structure-property relationships and materials processing in engineering applications.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment32.006.00
Independent online learning hours40.00
Private study hours86.00
Total Contact hours74.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Review of lecture notes each week
- Directed reading supporting lectures
- Revision for written exams/tests
- Online additional coursework and exercises.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1 x Assessed material selection assignment
3 x Self learning exercises

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
AssignmentMaterials Selection20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Resits of the Materials Selection Assignments may be individual, rather than team-based.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 30 mins30.00
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

The examination resits may be run as remote online (uninvigilated) tests.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/07/2022


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