To create high-performance materials, you need a solid background in materials science. This degree will put you at the forefront of innovation, enabling you to develop materials that are lighter, greener and stronger.

 

Faculty
Faculty of Science
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Award
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
Commencing Terms
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3
Duration (Full Time)
4 Year(s)

Overview

Everything we use is made of materials, yet only a handful of these materials occur naturally. All the rest have been microscopically engineered originally by nature, but increasingly by materials engineers/scientists.

Materials science is the foundation for creating high-performance materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. In this degree, you’ll learn about developing high-performance materials that are lighter, greener and stronger – for use in every aspect of technology. You’ll also develop the theoretical and practical skills to improve materials for aerospace, automotive, biomedical and information technology-based industries. 

This degree builds a foundation in mathematics, chemistry and physics, before moving into the fundamental properties and structures of materials. You’ll investigate aspects of engineering design and the application and selection of materials before concentrating on a research project to sharpen your experimental and analytical skills.

This multidisciplinary degree uses a combination of lectures, practical hands-on laboratory work and research and design projects. It also incorporates components of professional communication, management aspects of business and industrial training. 

Key features

  • Specialisation options
    Tailor your study to your interests with one of our specialisations:

• Physical Metallurgy: involves the shaping, alloying, heat treatment, joining, corrosion protection and testing of materials

• Functional Materials: explores the use of functional materials, which possess highly specific native properties and functions

• Process Metallurgy: extracting metals from their ores to make refined alloys

• Materials Engineering: making materials lighter, greener and stronger

• Ceramic Engineering: using ceramic raw materials to manufacture products

  • Accredited degree
    This degree is accredited by Engineers Australia - the largest professional body for engineers in the country. Through your membership with Engineers Australia, you’ll connect with over 100,000 professionals and enjoy the benefits of being connected to your future profession’s biggest advocate.
  • Practical training
    Industrial training gives you the opportunity to put what you learn into practice and develop technical, interpersonal and communication skills. It’s also an opportunity for employers to make early assessments of potential future employees. The connections you gain during your training could give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs after you graduate.
  • Double degree options
    A career in materials science is highly specialised. Depending on the nature of the industry you wish to work in, you may need to specialise further in areas such as biochemical engineering, computing, law, business, finance or policy studies through combined programs. This degree can be taken with commerce, engineering science or the Master of Biomedical Engineering.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Study with the best
Materials science at UNSW is ranked 39th in the world.* The School of Materials Science and Engineering is well equipped with a wide range of advanced computing, thermal analysis, mechanical testing, X-ray and optical and electron microscopy facilities. You’ll be provided with education and industrial training that will prepare you for a significant and impactful professional career.

Our unique course offering
UNSW’s School of Materials Science and Engineering is the only school in Australia that offers professional courses in ceramic engineering, metallurgical engineering and materials engineering. We also provide postgraduate specialisations in these fields.

Leverage our industry partnerships
We have a number of partnerships and collaborations with leading industry names such as Boral, CSIRO, Hitachi Chemical Limited, OneSteel and Weir Minerals. Our strong industry links will provide you with great opportunities to develop valuable relationships with Australian materials engineering enterprises.

Connect with industry-leading research centres
UNSW is home to advanced developments in the field through its highly regarded research centres including the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and TechnologyMaterials and Manufacturing Futures Institute and ARC Centre of Excellence for Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies.

*QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021

 

Program Code
3131
CRICOS Code
088873A
Campus
Kensington
UAC Code
429600
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
192
Indicative Enrolments
186

Want to see more from UNSW Science?

Entry requirements

2021 Lowest Selection Rank
85
2021 A levels
14
2021 IB Diploma
31
2021 Lowest ATAR
76.75
    1. 2021 Lowest Selection Rank
      The 2021 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021.
    2. 2021 A levels
      The 2021 A levels score is based on four Advanced Level (A2) subject. Entry scores are calculated from the best three or four A2 subjects (excluding repeated subjects) using the following values: A*=6, A=5, B=4, C=3, D=2, E=1. At most one Applied A Level subject may be included in the best four subjects used to calculate the aggregate.
    3. 2021 IB Diploma
      The 2021 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2021. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. 2021 Lowest ATAR
      The 2021 Lowest ATAR is the lowest ATAR (before adjustment factors were applied) to which an offer was made. Where <5 is listed, this indicates that less than 5 ATAR-based offers were made and so the score has not been published. N/A indicates no offers were made on the basis of ATAR.

Assumed knowledge

Mathematics Extension 1, Physics

Adjustment factor schemes

We offer a range of adjustment factor schemes that reward students for academic performance and extra-curricular achievements. These schemes also take into account a range of personal and educational disadvantages that may have affected your studies. 

HSC Plus 
This scheme rewards students who perform well in Year 12 subjects that are relevant to their preferred UNSW degree. You may be awarded up to five points. 

Elite Athletes, Performers and Leaders (EAPL) 
This program recognises achievements in the areas of sport, academia, leadership and music at an elite level. You may be eligible for up to five points.

Educational Access Scheme (EAS)
Factors such as illness, financial hardship, language difficulties or attending a particular school can mean you don't always get the best possible marks in Years 11 and 12. If one of these situations applies to you, submit an application for the Educational Access Scheme (EAS) via UAC. Eligible students can receive between 1 and 10 points towards their chosen UNSW degree.

Alternative entry pathways

Your ATAR is not the only measure of your potential to succeed, which is why we offer a range of pathways into university. Explore your options below and get in touch with our future student advisors to discuss your path to UNSW. 

Gateway Admission Pathway
This scheme is open to students in Years 11 and 12 who attend Gateway schools. It significantly adjusts the ATAR requirements for your preferred UNSW degree and provides you with an early conditional offer to UNSW. 

Entry programs for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
We offer entry programs for Indigenous Australians, including the Indigenous Preparatory Programs and the Indigenous Admission Scheme (IAS). The entry pathway program you apply for will depend on the degree you want to study. 

English language requirements​

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

International direct entry

We do not accept secondary qualifications from this country. We may accept tertiary study results, please contact us for more information.

Please contact us for direct entry requirements.

Pathway programs

UNSW Global has university pathway programs that will help you transition into university so you can achieve your academic and career goals. Learn more.

English language requirements​


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

UNSW Global offers courses and programs designed to help you reach the English language level required for entry into your chosen degree. Different options are available depending on your current English language level. Learn more.

Program structure

Your studies begin with a strong foundation in mathematics, chemistry and physics. You’ll then delve deeper into the discipline with courses in fundamental properties, structures of materials, application and selection of materials and aspects of engineering design. Your study will become more specialised in the later stages of the degree through electives, practicals and the honours research project.

Full program structure

The Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering (Honours) is offered as either a standalone degree or as part of a double degree:

  • Materials Science and Engineering (Honours)/Commerce
  • Materials Science and Engineering (Honours)/Engineering Science
  • Materials Science and Engineering (Honours)/Master of Biomedical Engineering

As a single degree, the Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering (Honours) is made up of 30 courses taken over four years of full-time study. This includes the following components:

  • core courses
  • a materials science and engineering specialisation
  • professional electives
  • general education courses
  • a final-year honours project
  • 12 weeks of industrial training.

As a double degree, the Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering (Honours) is made up of 26-28 courses taken simultaneously with courses from your other degree. Students undertaking a double degree do not take general education or free elective courses.

Specialisations

  • Physical metallurgy Involves the shaping, alloying, heat treatment, joining, corrosion protection and testing of materials. This specialisation provides training appropriate to both the metal and product manufacturing industries. The profession is very broad and includes careers in metal manufacturing companies, product manufacturing companies (e.g. white goods, automotive, aircraft), utilities, airline overhaul and maintenance operations, consulting companies and research organisations. Graduates may be employed in production, technical control and development, quality assurance, technical marketing and management.

    Find out more

  • Functional materials are those which possess highly specific native properties and functions such as ferroelectricity, piezoelectricity, magnetism and energy storage. They are found in all classes of materials: metals, ceramics, polymers and organic molecules. Functional materials show great promise for many strategic technological advances that will change the way in which materials are used. Typical applications include:

    • devices for electromagnetic applications
    • energy generation
    • electro- and magneto- caloric materials for energy storage
    • solar harvesting functions
    • semiconductor logic and memory technology.

    Find out more

  • Process metallurgy is concerned with extracting metals from their ores to make refined alloys. This specialisation provides training appropriate to the primary metallurgy industry. The profession is very broad – you could be involved in production, technical control or development in metal or mineral producing industries.

    Find out more

  • This specialisation is concerned with making materials lighter, greener and stronger. It covers:

    • creating and applying the properties of materials to use in the design and development of specific components
    • supervision of manufacturing
    • evaluation and certification of specifications and characteristics
    • production of new, novel and value-added products
    • research
    • general engineering and project management.

    Find out more

  • This specialisation is concerned with the use of ceramic raw materials, which include clays as well as high-purity chemicals, to manufacture products that can show useful properties such as:

    • thermal stability (refractories)
    • wear resistance (abrasives and cutting tools)
    • chemical durability (glass)
    • structural stability (bricks and tiles).

    Find out more

Future careers

Materials processing is at the heart of fabrication and design for every commercial-scale product that is manufactured. Materials scientists design and oversee a huge range of industrial functions that are used to develop new products and to improve on product design. Professionals in this field research the processes that go into developing the physical properties of materials that make up finished products.

Sustainability in materials processing 

Sustainable processing engineers help to reduce our ever-growing pollution problems by developing and modifying new materials that replace non-biodegradable materials. Sustainable materials processing, particularly of our mineral resources, is vital to the long-term future of Australia and the international industry. 

Career opportunities

This degree will prepare you to work in a range of areas, including:

  • fundamental scientific research
  • manufacturing and materials processing
  • quality control
  • safety
  • the environmental impact of materials
  • the commercialisation of materials technologies.

Many successful professionals in the field also go on to do postgraduate study in a specialised area, such as the Master of Materials Technology - a degree unique to UNSW.

Accreditation

This degree is accredited by Engineers Australia - the largest professional body for engineers in the country. Through your membership with Engineers Australia, you’ll connect with over 100,000 professionals and enjoy the benefits of being connected to your future profession’s biggest advocate.

Our alumni

"I was drawn to the interdisciplinary possibilities of Materials Science. Bridging science and engineering, the subject matter had a good coverage of both the theory of why and how materials have the properties they do, and practical applications in industry. Being both a scientist and engineer meant working with a diverse group of students and academics, so I had a fantastic time at uni! In the later years, the close-knit community at MSE really shone through, especially the support we gave each other during our honours thesis research projects."

Holstein Wong

Business Development Manager, Emesent

"I chose materials science because it was a unique field of study that bordered on both science and engineering. There are aspects of materials science which draw heavily on fundamental chemistry, biology and physics, and another side which is focused on real life applications of materials technology. Being one of the top 50 universities in the world, I could not think of a better place than UNSW to begin my career as a materials scientist."

Alan Xu

Materials Scientist at ANSTO & Adjunct Lecturer at UNSW

How to apply

Applications for undergraduate study from domestic students (Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holders and New Zealand citizens) are processed by the Universities Admissions Centre (UAC).

Visit the Apply section of the UAC website and you can nominate up to five degrees in order of preference, with the first being your most desired degree and university.

On-time applications for admission usually close at the end of September each year for Term 1 admission. Late applications can be submitted, but a late fee will apply. For study starting in Term 1, the majority of offers are made in December and January. Visit the UAC website for key dates for admission outside of Term 1.

Ready to apply?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

*If you are an international student studying an Australian qualification, go to the Universities Admission Centre (UAC) for application and UAC key dates. Note: If you are under 18 years of age, you need to make special arrangements. Read more.

Ready to apply?

Fees & Scholarships

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$7,950*

Commonwealth Supported Place: Student Contribution Band 2

*The student contribution for a Commonwealth Supported Place is an indication only of the amount payable in Year 1 based on a standard full-time load of 48 credit points (1.0 EFTSL). The actual student contribution you will be liable for depends on your individual program of study and the calendar year in which you enrol. Actual fees are calculated upon enrolment. Student contribution amounts are subject to annual review by the university and may increase each year during your studies (subject to caps determined by the Australian Government), effective at the start of each calendar year.

The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only - other fees and charges are not included.

 

2021 Indicative First Year Fee
$47,760*
2021 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$199,840*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed below.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

 

Scholarships

At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.

Featured scholarship


  • Top 50
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2022.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

UNSW has a strong focus on industry collaborations with opportunities for students to network.
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