Materials engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Sign up for informationMaterials have always played a significant and defining role in human development, from the Stone Age to the material world of today. Materials are central to our prosperity and new materials hold the key to our future development. Material engineers, therefore, have an essential role in developing the materials of today and the future and in taking performance to the next level.

Materials engineering master's programme​ at Chalmers

Material-related issues can be found in all areas of life and engineering e.g. in biomedical, telecommunications, aeronautical, construction, chemical and mechanical, and in all aspects of a product's life, from an idea or discovery to a prototype or finished product and recycling. In the puzzle of innovation, material engineers focus on the application of materials, where they test, develop, and modify materials that are used in a wide range of products, from jet engines and snow skis to smartphones and diapers.

The ultimate performance of most products and processes is limited by the performance of materials, which are linked to the structure and resulting properties of a material. This in turn is affected by how the material is manufactured and processed. Materials must also perform in an economic and societal context. The challenge for the materials engineer lies in understanding the relationship between these aspects of materials, improving their properties, and communicating these findings.

In addition, materials science and engineering is key technology for environmentally sustainable development, and the importance of materials engineering is therefore growing in society.

The overall aim of the Materials Engineering Master’s programme is to offer both depth and flexibility in a comprehensive materials education focused on the application of materials. Courses are closely linked to the industry as well as contemporary research; the degree you receive here will have a wide application.

You will become an engineer of reality, a problem finder, and a developer both in theory and practice, and besides becoming an expert on materials, you will also represent a bridge between researchers and constructors.

Contemporary challenges in materials cut across the traditional lines of engineering and science. Methods of modern materials engineering rely on the mix of competence and knowledge, presence where the problems occur, effective testing, and model building. This is reflected in the education, which provides, for example, advanced experimental equipment, modern software for materials simulation applied to real material problems. In labs, with real-life problems provided by the industry, you will learn through a make and brake pedagogy, exploring the limits of new materials and concepts through experiments in both theory and practice. We also emphasise that interdisciplinary intercultural international communication and teamwork are essential parts of successful projects.

Courses are run by faculty from departments of Materials and Manufacturing, Chemical and Biological engineering, Applied mechanics, Microtechnology and nanoscience, and Applied physics. Courses cover metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites as well as topics of particular current interest in the industry, such as material selection and design, environmental adaptation, failure analysis, or materials innovation processes.

As a student, you will gain knowledge and skills to handle the complexity of materials problems and to find solutions to problems within the entire chain of a product from design, manufacturing, and use to recycling. You will learn how to understand failures, select materials, develop processes and develop properties, making processes more efficient, cost-competitive, reliable, and environmentally sustainable.

Topics covered

The subjects of material processes and surface science are fundamental areas in the Materials engineering master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as bioceramics, manufacturing and polymers.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree​. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of Compulsory courses, Compulsory elective courses and Elective courses.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with five compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Materials Engineering. Each course is usually 7.5 credits.

  • Metals engineering
  • Materials characterisation and failure analysis
  • Polymer processing and properties
  • Mechanical performance of engineering materials
  • Research methodology in production projects​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.

  • Tailored materials and commercialization aspects​​
  • Master’s thesis

Compulsory elective courses

During year 1 and 2,  you need to select at least 3 out of 6 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate.

  • Ceramics engineering
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Metal forming and joining
  • Composite and nanocomposite materials
  • Phase transformations
  • Material selection and design

Elective courses

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.​

Programme plan, syllabus, course description and learning outcomes


The master's programme in Materials engineering prepares you for a professional role in fields like lightweight design, recycling, biodegradable materials or corrosion resistant alloys. Future opportunities can be found in: Product development and testing, Technical design, Process development, innovative business development, R&D, Engineering and problem solving and sustainable development.

We also cooperate with large and well-established companies and institutes such as Volvo, Volvo Cars, GKN Aerospace, SAAB, SKF, SCA, Sandvik and SWEREA, but also smaller entrepreneurial companies such as ARCAM.

Research within Materials enginee​ring

Chalmers has a record of high quality research into e.g. microstructural characterisation, surface engineering, mechanical behaviour, polymer processing and synthesis, high temperature corrosion, powder metallurgy, biomaterials and liquid crystals. At Chalmers, PhD students are involved in teaching, and master’s students can perform small projects as well as large diploma projects within on-going research.

Graduates of the master’s programme in Materials engineering can also apply to the joint Chalmers Graduate School in Materials Science. On the PhD level, the cross-departmental graduate school in Materials Science provides genuine cross-disciplinary training and a common curriculum in materials science for PhD students from five different departments.​

Courses take place in several departments at Chalmers, cooperating within one of our Areas of Advance - Materials Science.

Department of Industrial and Materials Science​​​


​Sustainable development

Materials engineering is the melting pot of different perspectives, covering all the phases of the product life cycle. It can be everything from discovering new materials and properties, via concept development, engineering, and manufacturing to use and recycling.  

The programme is highly interlinked with the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). The table below provides an overview of the sustainable development goals and the associated targets within the programme.
SDGs for Materials engineering Chalmers

Goal 4: Quality education
A central idea in the programme is to empower materials engineers to participate in and facilitate the interaction between different roles and phases of the product life cycle to fertilize interdisciplinary understanding of the circularity of the product life cycle. Students with various backgrounds and experiences in the programme are encouraged to learn from each other while preparing for life-long learning when meeting different contexts.    
Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Learnings from the later phases of the product life cycle, for example, manufacturing, use and recycling, are essential inputs for sustainable product development and economical growth. 
If, for example, concept developers don’t understand how properties of recycled material vary, they will not be able to adjust concept design and utilize the waste of recycled materials. If engineers do not get updated material data and materials models for calculations and simulations, they cannot elevate product and process performance. Material engineers are the drivers for utilizing new materials and the knowledge gained in earlier product life cycles to facilitate the development of new products and to remove hurdles in the industrialization phase of all products in society.
Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The core purpose of material engineering is to bridge the gap between discoveries and innovation and large-scale prosperity. Without us, the discoveries would stay in the lab, products would remain as prototypes or on the drawing board, process performance and efficiency would flatten, and it would be tough to translate all ideas addressing the challenges of today into practice. Material Engineers are an essential cornerstone towards building a better future.

Student interview

The education has helped me to solve real-life problems”
Didarul, Bangladesh, Materials engineering

Why did you choose this programme?
– During my undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering, I got attracted by metals, composite materials, and their mechanical performance, which led me to choose a thesis topic on composite materials and the evaluation of their mechanical performance. My undergraduate thesis was further evaluated when it was selected as a conference paper, which made me more confident in pursuing a career as a materials engineer. While I was working on my undergraduate thesis, I experienced a sense of excitement for contributing to the advancement of physical material properties, which inspired me to seek out a research-oriented programme and that is how this master's at Chalmers piqued my interest. Because it provides a variety of in-depth courses on metals and composite materials. One of the key advantages of choosing Chalmers over other institutions is its tight relationship with the industry, and throughout each semester, one can gain hands-on research experience.

What have you been working on?
– I have been taking courses closely related to metals and manufacturing. Studying this master’s programme has helped me to solve several real-life problems. For example, during my second study period, I was in a project team, where we needed to perform a failure analysis of a design engineer valve bridge. During the project, we needed to select several material characterization methods as well as prepare the material for the analysis based on the material. During my third study period, we were tasked to design the front tube of a foldable bike and propose a suitable additive manufacturing process. During the time of this project, not only did I learn practical information on additive manufacturing, but also how to do design and conduct simulations for a practical product, which I believe will help me tremendously throughout my career as a materials engineer.

What do you like the most about your programme?
– So far, in all of the courses, I've been met by nice coworkers and inviting course instructors. I enjoy how we can choose from a range of courses based on where we want to go with our careers. Chalmers has a distinct teaching style that emphasizes a practical approach over academic study. Furthermore, during my first year here, I was able to meet a large number of guest lecturers from various industries and institutes, which helped widen my understanding of materials engineering. It also allowed me to converse with industry leaders, which is an important aspect of networking.

What do you want to do in the future?
– Throughout my studies, I found how enthusiastic I am about materials engineering. Because Chalmers is recognized for having strong relationships with industry and other institutions through collaboration on numerous research projects, I intend to do a master's thesis with one of the research industries, primarily in the field of additive manufacturing. During that time, I intend to have a deeper practical grasp of additive manufacturing, which will assist me in solving real-world difficulties that we are still encountering with this innovative technology, as well as achieving a sustainable future.

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Tue 17 Jan 2023.