What is Material Science and Engineering?
The simplest way to put it, materials science and engineering is just as the name would suggest. It is about the science behind materials and why we use them. Using the knowledge that we have, we then try to solve problems, such as the need for renewable energy, sustainable development, and more. This course combines theoretical knowledge as well as practical applications to enhance your understanding.
What are the subjects covered by the course?
Different universities will focus on different modules. But the core modules usually comprise of:
Some universities in the UK like Sheffield and Swansea will focus more on metals, while universities like Manchester may focus more on electromagnetism and graphene. It depends on the university, so doing some research would help. But beyond that, usually you are free to choose your desired modules in your third and fourth years, tailored to your interests
What are the requirements to study the course?
What does the education pathway look like?
Most people finish their pre-university courses and go on to do their Bachelor’s degree. Joining the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) is helpful because it gives you access to training and opportunities in the materials industry. Furthermore, IOM3 is also a global organisation, with locations in the UK and Hong Kong. Some people decide to obtain a Chartered Engineer title in Malaysia, under the Board of Engineers Malaysia. That may entail taking a few examinations and training courses
What are the career prospects for this course?
A materials scientist or engineer is quite flexible in what they learn. Due to the flexible nature of the course, we are not restricted to one field. Examples of some fields that employ materials engineers are the power industry (oil & gas) as we have knowledge in corrosion which is useful for pipes, telecommunications (fibre optics), sports equipment (shoes, tracks), and product manufacturing (plastic packaging). Some Malaysian-based companies that employ materials engineers are Petronas, Shell and Intel.
What skills do you need for this course?
You need to be good at maths and science, as well as a bit of IT. You also need to be a keen problem solver and have analytical skills. Besides that, it helps to have communication and team work skills, as there is no doubt that large companies will definitely require those traits.