Materials engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Materials 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 products 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 economical and societal context. The challenge for the materials engineer lies in understanding the relationship between these aspects of materials, to improve their properties and to communicate these findings.

In addition, materials science and engineering is a 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 developer both in theory and practice and besides becoming an expert on materials, you will also represent a bridge between researchers and constructors.

Educational methods

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

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in XXX, or a combination thereof. ​​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

Other master's programmes that might interest you

Applied mechanics, MSc
Physics, MSc 
Materials chemistry, MSc
Nanotechnology, MSc
Production engineering, MSc



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​​

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Page manager Published: Tue 05 Oct 2021.