Surface engineering, coatings and tribology are all essential in understanding the science of interaction between the surface of a material and its environment in order to control its use, performance and operational lifetime. This course provides a thorough professional knowledge of surface engineering and coatings, which includes advanced understanding of tribology, wear, corrosion, electroplating, composite coatings, and vapour deposition.
Led by world-class experts from the National Centre for Advanced Tribology at Southampton (nCATS), this masters course provides a comprehensive and academically challenging exposure to modern issues ranging from the traditional concepts of friction and wear to the cutting edge developments in surface engineering.
This one-year industry-led course will explore cutting edge developments in tribology and surface engineering. You will develop an advanced understanding of wear, corrosion, electroplating, composite coatings and vapour deposition.
The year is divided into two semesters. You will study core modules, as well as having the opportunity to select specialist modules, from Advanced Sensors and Condition Monitoring to Biomaterials.
Practical sessions form a large part of the course. You will design, operate and test tribological systems and assess the sustainability and limitations of machines. The last four months will be spent working on an industry-relevant research project. You will also benefit from nCATS state-of-the-art facilities and its many partnerships with industry.
The course is designed for those with a mechanical engineering or scientific background. Careers in surface engineering and coatings are available in a range of engineering industries; from automotive, aerospace and oil and gas, to marine and medical engineering.
You can apply for this course through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, visit How to Apply.
The deadline for applications is the 30th June each year.
The course has been accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.
The full-time MSc course lasts for 12 months. The first 8 months are spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (semesters 1 and 2), and with exams at the end of each semester. The final 4 months are spent full-time on a research project, for which some preparation is done in semester 2.
The taught component of the MSc course is assessed independently of the research project component. The MSc award depends on passing the examinations and on successful completion of a dissertation on the project. The possible exit points are:
Upper second class honours degree (2:1 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University) in Engineering, Physical Sciences or a related subject. Those candidates with relevant employment experience will be considered if they do not meet the requirements. Applications are assessed individually, and any candidates who do not match the standard profile but who have appropriate academic qualifications and/or industry experience are encouraged to apply.
English Language Requirements
If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our courses, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.
60 students per year (total 6 themes)
All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The courses may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.
The modules have a common outcome namely the design, lubrication, operation, monitoring, testing and modelling of a tribological system. In addition to the taught element of the course you will undertake an individual research project studying the design, operation and testing of a chosen tribological system.
The full-time MSc course lasts for 12 months. The first 8 months are spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (semesters 1 and 2), with exams at the end of each semester. The final four months are spent full-time on a group design and research project, for which a considerable amount of preparation is undertaken in semester 2. A strict timetable of milestones for the starting in semester 2 ensures maximum time is devoted to the project as the manufacture, integration and testing of physical artefacts is involved.
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the
programme and the learning outcomes that a typical
student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage
of the learning opportunities that are provided.
More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide
Fees & funding
Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are
listed for UK,
EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course
Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you
through your course.
Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or
your country of origin.
These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.
Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such
essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the
academic requirements for each programme of study.
There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the
Approved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
Where a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source.
Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Design equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile.
For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
Field equipment and materials: A number of essential items will be provided to you e.g.: field notebook(s); compass-clinometer; geological hammer; steel tape measure; map case; pocket lens (x 10); safety helmet; safety goggles; bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid.
However, you will need provide yourselves with a ruler; a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; calculator, penknife. These can be purchased from any source.
Field course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copying
In some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
Optional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated
with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also
ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and
Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.
Learning & Assessment
Teaching and learning
The range of subject matter covered in the modules calls for varied teaching and learning techniques. These will include lectures, tutorials, individual and group planning exercises and practical work. You will be encouraged to openly communicate your professional experiences, exchange ideas and knowledge share. One-to-one tutorials are also arranged to cater for individual learning differences.
Candidates wishing to obtain an MSc will carry out a research project and complete a dissertation. Research projects may concern any of the areas covered by the course. The research project will bring together all the acquired skills learnt on the course, and demonstrate in-depth knowledge of one or more of the subject areas studied. It will involve sourcing and gathering information, critical analysis, and evaluation and presentation skills. The project should contain your own original ideas. It should also exceed the existing standard of technical design, and address a novel problem that requires the application of new research.
Your education will be timely and relevant while you are taught by our world-leading academics who are at the forefront of their field. This is especially important in engineering where technology is advancing rapidly. We also have a global network of companies, shared facilities and expertise to draw on to advance your learning curve.
Assessment and examinations
Assessment is conducted through a combination of written examinations and assessed coursework in the form of problem solving exercises, laboratory reports, design exercises, essays, and individual and group projects. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises and oral presentations.
Every student is assigned a personal academic tutor from the start of their degree.
We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for postgraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.