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Material engineering/ science course

Hiya! I’m thinking about doing material science/engineering (hopefully at Oxford) is material science and material engineering the same thing? Also is the course itself really hard? If I do graduate from this would it be hard to get a job? Thank you so much
Basically it is the same. Most courses are called materials science and engineering in that area to highlight that they are engineering courses too, but if in doubt look at the accreditation - usually materials courses that prepare you to be an engineer are accredited by the IOM3 (Oxford's course is for example).

As for difficulty, that's very relative. It's probably about as hard as any other engineering or physical sciences course. Note materials tends to be a tad more mathematical than most engineering disciplines though (with the joy of tensors, which most don't deal with). The physics side also often includes a bit more higher level physics as you may go into more depth for some of the semiconductor physics and so on. Often times materials courses, along with EE courses, are the only engineering courses that are accepted as preparation for a masters in physics.

Job prospects very much depend on you and what you do to make yourself employable. If you show up to lectures and exams for 3-4 years and don't have a single internship or any relevant transferable skills from involvement in leadership roles in uni societies etc, then you aren't going to be much more employable than a school leaver. If you do make a point of making yourself employable then there are quite a range of roles materials engineers can go into (particularly as it's quite closely allied with manufacturing engineering as a discipline which is unsurprisingly a big field generally).
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
Basically it is the same. Most courses are called materials science and engineering in that area to highlight that they are engineering courses too, but if in doubt look at the accreditation - usually materials courses that prepare you to be an engineer are accredited by the IOM3 (Oxford's course is for example).

As for difficulty, that's very relative. It's probably about as hard as any other engineering or physical sciences course. Note materials tends to be a tad more mathematical than most engineering disciplines though (with the joy of tensors, which most don't deal with). The physics side also often includes a bit more higher level physics as you may go into more depth for some of the semiconductor physics and so on. Often times materials courses, along with EE courses, are the only engineering courses that are accepted as preparation for a masters in physics.

Job prospects very much depend on you and what you do to make yourself employable. If you show up to lectures and exams for 3-4 years and don't have a single internship or any relevant transferable skills from involvement in leadership roles in uni societies etc, then you aren't going to be much more employable than a school leaver. If you do make a point of making yourself employable then there are quite a range of roles materials engineers can go into (particularly as it's quite closely allied with manufacturing engineering as a discipline which is unsurprisingly a big field generally).

Thank you so much! This made me feel a bit more confident! Now I just need to get the grades and a placement spot
Hello! Unrelated but I'm thinking of applying to Oxford for Materials science and I think my personal statement is really bland because I've had no work experience. Do you think it will disadvantage my application process?
Original post by Rough_circle
Hello! Unrelated but I'm thinking of applying to Oxford for Materials science and I think my personal statement is really bland because I've had no work experience. Do you think it will disadvantage my application process?

No. It's extremely difficult to get relevant engineering work experience pre-university. Companies by and large just don't offer it, hence hardly anyone will have any.
My first degree was Mat Sci and Eng - its not that difficult to get stuff to write about imo

I worked in a bike shop and learnt all about all the different materials used for different items and why they were the right materials, how they behaved, what their limitations were etc. Even did some experiments on failed items - its amazing how some aluminium alloy components are so malleable and others so brittle

My mate at Uni had entered the Young Engineer of the Year competition (and won). Others were in engineering socs at school and built stuff etc. Another volunteered in Africa over a summer helping build self powered water pumps
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by ChiefBrody
My first degree was Mat Sci and Eng - its not that difficult to get stuff to write about imo

I worked in a bike shop and learnt all about all the different materials used for different items and why they were the right materials, how they behaved, what their limitations were etc. Even did some experiments on failed items - its amazing how some aluminium allow components are so malleable and others so brittle

My mate at Uni had entered the Young Engineer of the Year competition (and won). Others were in engineering socs at school and built stuff etc. Another volunteered in Africa over a summer helping build elf powered water pumps

Hello! Thank you for the reply. I have just done reading and research-based projects regarding Materials, but I think I will get a hands-on one soon. Do you reckon that's enough to write about if I did not do any fancy competitions?

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