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Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Materials Science & Engineering)

Join one of Australia's top science faculties
The newly-redesigned Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Science and Engineering is boldly focused on social impact. Base your learning in science and engineering fundamentals to innovate more sustainable manufacturing processes. Join award-winning experts in a subject that ranks #2 in Australia and #38 globally.
Commencing Terms
Term 1, 2 & 3
Duration
4 Year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Campus
Kensington
Codes
UAC code 429600
Program code 3131
CRICOS code 088873A
Entry Requirements
ATAR/2023 lowest selection rank
85
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$8,000*
2024 Indicative full fee to complete degree
$35,500*

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Overview

Materials engineers are involved in every aspect of technology, from designing new materials for use in electronic circuits, electric vehicles, water purification systems, medical implants, and green energy generation and storage, to developing sustainable processes and recyclable eco-friendly products.  As we move forward in the 21st century, healthy living, sustainability, and environmental responsibility are becoming increasingly important considerations in materials development and application.

The UNSW School of Materials Science and Engineering is perfectly positioned to lead the rapid drive towards the next generation of materials and sustainable processes that will improve our environment, health, standard of living, national security, and economic prosperity. We have recently redesigned our Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree in Materials Science and Engineering to create one of the most contemporary degrees of its kind in Australia, with a strong emphasis on societal impact. This revised program is available to students commencing their studies in 2024.

The program begins by concentrating on fundamental science and engineering principles, providing you with a solid understanding of the relationship between the structure, properties, and performance of metallic, ceramic, polymeric, composite, nano-structured, and bio- & nature-inspired materials. As you progress, you will explore how these materials can be transformed into eco-friendly products and useful devices through sustainable manufacturing processes.

In the latter stages of your degree, the focus shifts towards the principles involved in designing, selecting, and processing materials for use in applications that positively impact society. Ultimately, the new degree program is designed to cultivate the necessary professional and socially aware mindset required for a successful career as a materials engineer.

This degree program integrates a combination of state-of-the-art lectures, practical hands-on laboratory work, and research and design projects. Additionally, it incorporates components of professional communication, computing, data analytics, engineering management, materials life cycle assessment, and industry training.

Key features

  • A strong emphasis on societal impact
    This degree is one of the first of its kind to prioritise the design and selection of materials and processes based on the impact they have on the world. A range of new societal impact electives, taken in the latter stages of your degree, allows you to focus on the design and application of materials in key areas such as medicine and health, electronics and communications, transportation and infrastructure, and energy and the environment. 
  • Fully 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 the biggest advocate for your future profession. Additionally, your degree is internationally recognised through the Washington Accord, enabling you to work as a professional engineer in every major country in the world. 
  • 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
    Depending on the nature of the industry you wish to work in, you may need to specialise further in areas such as biomedical or chemical engineering, computing, law, business, or finance through double degree programs. This degree can therefore be taken with commerce, chemical engineering, or the Master of Biomedical Engineering.

Why study this degree at UNSW?

Study with the best
Materials Science at UNSW is ranked equal 30th in the world and 1st in Australia.*  The School of Materials Science and Engineering is uniquely positioned to train the next generation of materials engineering graduates with a passion for making a positive difference to the world.  The School’s team of leading educators and state-of-the-art teaching, computing, materials processing, characterisation, and property testing facilities provides you with a world-class education and industrial training environment that prepares you for a significant and fulfilling professional career.

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

Connect with world class research centres, hubs, and institutes

UNSW is home to advanced developments in the fields of materials science and engineering, biomedical engineering, and sustainable materials processing, and many of our staff are affiliated with one or more of the following centres, hubs, and institutes: 

  • UNSW Centre for Sustainable Materials Research & Technology
  • UNSW Future Materials & Manufacturing Institute
  • The Australian Centre for NanoMedicine 
  • ARC Centre for Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies. 
  • ARC Research Hub for Connected Sensors for Health 
  • ARC Research Hub for Transforming Waste in Cost Effective Green Manufacturing
  • ARC Research Hub for Fire Resilience Infrastructure, Assets and Safety Advancements
  • ARC Training Centre for Innovative Composites for the Future of Sustainable Mining Equipment
  • Baosteel-Australia Joint Research Centre

*QS World University Rankings by Subject

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

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Entry requirements

2023 Lowest Selection Rank
85
2023 A levels
14
2023 IB Diploma
31
2023 Lowest ATAR
76.7*
    1. The 2023 Lowest Selection Rank (LSR) is the adjusted rank (ATAR plus adjustment factors) you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023.
    2. The 2023 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. The 2023 IB Diploma is an indication of the IB you would have needed to gain entry to this degree in 2023. It is to be used as a guide only.
    4. The 2023 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.
  • At UNSW, we are committed to ensuring prospective students have all the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their study options.

    To assist you in gaining a better understanding of how Admissions works at UNSW, we have provided you with a summary of ATAR offers and the student profile.

    We hope this information will help you identify the degree that is right for you.

Assumed knowledge

For students commencing in 2025 and 2026: Mathematics Extension 1, Physics however additional subject of Chemistry is highly recommended.

For students commencing in 2027: Mathematics Extension 1, Physics and Chemistry

Adjustment Factors


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.

Admission 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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

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.

Admission pathways


If you do not meet the requirements for direct entry into your chosen degree, you may be eligible for a pathway program with UNSW College. UNSW College provides alternative entry options using university-approved content so that you can start your UNSW journey with confidence. 

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. 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:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Program structure

Your studies begin with a strong foundation in mathematics, data analytics, chemistry, physics, computing, and engineering design. You’ll then delve deeper into the discipline with courses on fundamental properties, structure of materials, application and selection of materials and aspects of materials engineering design.

In the latter stages of your degree, the focus shifts towards the principles involved in designing and selecting materials that have a positive impact on society, culminating in a research thesis on a topic of your choice. 

A range of new core courses and societal impact electives provide you with the knowledge and skills to select and justify suitable materials for specific applications while considering environmental, sustainability, economic, and other factors. You’ll be able to choose from a range of societal electives that have been designed to highlight the importance of materials in thematic areas such as energy & environment, medicine & health, electronics & communications, and transportation & infrastructure. The electives and thesis offer you the opportunity to tailor your learning experience and specialise in areas that align with your interests and career aspirations.

On completion of your degree, you'll graduate with a specialisation in Materials Engineering.  

Full program structure

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

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

As a single degree, the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Materials Science & Engineering is made up of core, elective and general education courses taken over four years of full-time study. The single degree program includes the following components:

  • disciplinary core courses
  • enabling & thematic electives
  • free electives from any discipline
  • general education electives from outside the discipline
  • final-year honours project on a topic of your choice
  • twelve weeks of industrial training

As a double degree, the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Materials Science and Engineering is made up of a reduced number of courses taken simultaneously with courses from your other degree. If you undertake a double degree, you do not need to take general education or free elective courses.

Future careers

A Bachelor of Engineering degree in Materials Science and Engineering offers diverse career opportunities, including:

  • Materials Engineer: Conducts research and development to discover new materials or improve existing materials that positively impact the world around us.
  • Polymer Scientist: Develops and synthesises new polymeric materials or improving existing ones for structural and functional applications.
  • Biomaterials Engineer: Designs and develops materials that interact with biological systems, such as implants, prosthetics, and drug delivery systems. 
  • Forensic Materials Scientist: Analyses and identifies materials used in criminal investigations, such as trace evidence, such as fibres, paints, and glass, found at crime scenes.
  • Nanotechnologist: Works with materials at the nanoscale, exploring their unique properties and applications. 
  • Metallurgical Engineer: Specialises in the sustainable production, processing, and properties of metals and alloys.
  • Ceramic Engineer: Designs and manufactures advanced ceramic materials for various applications such as electronics, construction, and aerospace.
  • Materials Failure Specialist: Investigates material failures and determining the root causes to prevent future occurrences.
  • Semiconductor Scientist: Specialises in materials used in the production of microchips and electronic devices, working on improving performance, miniaturisation, and energy efficiency.
  • Aerospace Materials Engineer: Designs and optimises materials for use in aircraft and spacecraft, focusing on properties like strength, weight, and resistance to extreme environments.
  • Additive Manufacturing Technologist: Utilises 3D printing technologies to create complex and customised objects using various materials, pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing.
  • Materials Data Scientist: Applies data analysis techniques to extract valuable insights from materials-related datasets, facilitating materials discovery and optimisation.

These types of career paths are just the beginning, as the field of materials science and engineering is constantly evolving to meet a wide range of societal and environmental demands. 

Accreditation

This double degree is accredited by Engineers Australia, the largest professional body for engineers in the country. By becoming a member of Engineers Australia, you will have access to a network of over 100,000 professionals and enjoy the benefits of being connected to the biggest advocate for your future profession.

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 start your application?

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 start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$8,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$35,500*

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.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$54,500*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$237,000*

*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 here.

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 scholarships

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


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