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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MECH1280 Engineering Materials

20 creditsClass Size: 350

Module manager: Dr Anthony Herbert

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

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Admission to all UG MECH programmes

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides students with an introduction to engineering materials, with an emphasis on structure-property relationships and how these can be controlled by different manufacturing methods. These concepts will be used throughout the students’ undegraduate degree programme


Attain knowledge and a good understanding of engineering principles relating to structure-property relationships and how these can be controlled by various manufacturing methods including heat treatment. Students should be able to distinguish between microstructure, crystal structure and other material aspects determined by intrinsic bonding.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes relevant to the subject:

1. Identify the five material selection parameters, along with the important associated materials properties, when considering the use of a material for an engineering purpose.
2. Identify and differentiate the key differences between atomic bonding and materials properties of common engineering materials. In addition to this you will be able to describe the fundamental differences between metals, ceramics and polymers.
3. Identify the relationships between stress, strain and moduli and how these vary for typical engineering materials.
4. Identify key mechanical, non-mechanical and surface properties of engineering materials and the common test methodologies to assess these.
5. Identify and explain the roles of monomer chemistry and polymerisation on the mechanical properties of polymers. This includes and understanding of visco-elasticity.
6. Identify and explain the phase transformation and non-equilibrium processes of metallic materials and how this influences the mechanical and surface properties of metals.
7. Identify the common processing methodologies for metals, polymer and ceramics.
8. Be able to effectively identify and choose materials based on the engineering needs or performance criteria for a number of applications.

Upon successful completion of this module the following Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:
9. Apply knowledge of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles to broadly-defined problems. Some of the knowledge will be informed by current developments in the subject of study. [B1]
10. Select and evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to address broadly-defined problems. (B4)
11. Evaluate the environmental and societal impact of solutions to broadly-defined problems. (B7)
12. Use practical laboratory and workshop skills to investigate broadly-defined problems. [B12]
13. Select and apply appropriate materials, equipment, engineering technologies and processes [B13]

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:

a. Teamwork & collaboration,
b. Information Searching,
c. Laboratory practice


1. Classification of engineering materials, bulk properties (elastic and plastic behaviour), mechanisms of deformation, hardness, toughness and brittleness
2. Metallurgy of alloying
3. Crystal structure and microstructure
4. Steels and their phase transformations
5. Ceramics, composites and polymers
6. Fracture mechanics
7. Fatigue and creep deformation.

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of;

2 x Lab Report
2 x In-class test

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours148.00
Total Contact hours52.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative quiz after delivery of major section (relatable to 1 whole exam question).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/04/2024


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