MSc Programme

Materials Science & Engineering


As the asphalt repairs itself, you just continue driving. No road repair crews or traffic congestion involved! But what does it take to design and implement a material with such self-healing properties?


It only takes a moment to realise the importance of materials. Everything is made of a material, from homes, cars, roads and computers to ancient bronze sculptures… the list is endless. Every application requires specific properties of the material used. Materials Science and Engineering links the needs of applications to the ability of materials to satisfy them, and controls the manufacturing processes to convert the basic materials into final engineered products. And it boosts technological innovation through the design of new materials tailored to the needs of society in terms of performance, durability, environmental protection and economic benefit. Here is the promise of an exciting future in which material-based innovations will positively impact everyday lives.


The Materials Science and Engineering MSc programme covers study of the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of materials. It combines this with training in production techniques and material selection for a wide range of applications. Students learn to understand the behaviour of materials under different conditions and assess their suitability in products and industrial processes. More specifically, they study how to design material properties at nano and micro levels to suit applications on a macro scale. With a strong focus on the design of new materials, the programme finds itself at the forefront of modern technology. The ‘self-healing’ materials of the introduction, for example, specially designed with the property to automatically repair themselves, will play a growing part in generating tomorrow’s most revolutionary innovations. Covering subjects from atoms to applications, from design to disposal, the Materials Science and Engineering MSc programme attracts students from science as well as engineering backgrounds.


Our goals, your achievement

The goal of the programme is to provide students with a high-quality, multi-disciplinary training in Materials Science and Engineering and to turn out graduates capable of making immediate and significant contributions to a wide range of industrial and academic areas at a global level.

More specifically, the objectives are:

One of these jobs could become yours…

Graduates find professional careers in materials production, development and industry-led research or – as a materials expert – in high-level consultancy and management functions. Many work at steel and aluminium producing companies. Other fields include higher education and research, polymer and recycling industries, industries for high tech microdevices of biomedical protheses, patent offices, authenticity research of art works and support for museum & archaeological field studies.


Your two-year challenge?

The two-year MSc programme in Materials Science and Engineering is a combination of academic learning and active research. Course modules are delivered by lectures, workshops and seminars. Assessment is based on written and oral examinations, course work and a thesis derived from the final research project. The first year is a mix geared to the student’s needs and a number of core lecture modules supported by laboratory activities. The second year is primarily devoted to a specialisation, some additional elective modules (including a work placement) and a research project whose subject the student chooses in consultation with the supervisor.


Generic Course, Individual Programme   1st year, 1st semester

Students embarking on the programme are qualified in a wide variety of areas from applied engineering to more fundamental sciences.  So each student receives an initial, personalized assessment which serves to create a tailored introductory programme for the first six months. This consists of modules not yet covered at the Bachelor level and required for the second semester.


Generic Course, Core Programme   1st year, 2nd semester

This semester comprises a compulsory set of lecture modules focusing on Materials Science and Engineering fundamentals. These core modules are:


Š       Metals Science

Š       Polymer Science

Š       Ceramics Science

Š       Mechanical Properties

Š       Thin Film Materials

Š       Semiconductor Devices

Š       Computational Materials Science

Š       Technology & Society


This core programme offer a firm grounding upon which the student can develop more specialized or wider ranging interests.


Specialisation & Electives  2nd year

In the second year, students select a specialisation based on their interests. Each specialisation focuses on science, engineering and application-related issues in its own area. In addition some elective modules are selected, which also include the possibility of a work placement in industry.


The specialisations are:  


1  Metals Science and Technology

2. Advanced Functional Polymers
3. Materials for Energy and Environmental Impact
4. Materials in Art and Archaeology
5. Management of Technology


Research Project (Thesis)  2nd year

As final programme component the student performs a literature survey and independent scientific investigation that leads to a thesis. The thesis may relate to the specialisation chosen or another specific area of interest. The research project can be undertaken in one of the Materials Science and Engineering research groups, in another research group of TU Delft, outside the university in industry, or in collaboration with another educational institute. The thesis has the same emphasis on original, independent research as a PhD thesis, but is of reduced scope. This final research project culminates in a presentation and  oral defence of the written thesis.


What it takes to get in

Academic Bachelor’s degree

A broad range of engineering and science Bachelor’s degrees provide entry to this MSc programme. Applications are welcomed from students with a BSc degree in one of the following disciplines: Materials Science & Engineering, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology. Graduates from other BSc disciplines – e.g. Industrial Design, Electrical Engineering or Applied Earth Sciences – can be admitted after elimination of deficiencies. Upon entry, students are expected to possess a basic understanding of materials and to be familiar with calculus, linear algebra and differential equations.


Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch polytechnic institute (HBO)

This MSc programme is explicitly open to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree from a Dutch polytechnic institute. They will start with an additional, one-year pre-Master’s programme. Upon entry, this group of students is expected to possess basic understanding of mathematics.


International Bachelor’s degree

Student selection is based on the general contents of the Bachelor’s programme, the student’s grades and proficiency in the English language.



More detailed information on this MSc programme

Please look on under ‘Education MSE’.

Still have questions?

Contact the Programme Coordinator MSc Materials Science and Engineering

Michael Janssen

tel.       +31(0)15 278 5866



Application procedure

Scolarships and grants

Tuition fees and expenses

Special services for non-EU/EFTA nationals

Information on other TU Delft MSc programmes

Home students:   under ‘Masteropleidingen’

International students: under ‘Master of Science’


This programme is offered by

The Faculty 3mE;

The Offshore Engineering administrative offices are in

Mechanical Engineering,

Mekelweg 2,

2628 CD Delft,

The Netherlands.


Would you like to read more about studying in Delft?

Our Master Information brochure shows you our facilities for students and their associations, and covers issues ranging from admission requirements to honours tracks. To request this brochure, please send an email to


“The course modules are very intriguing, focusing on the study of physical, chemical and mechanical aspects of modern engineering materials and their implementation in design and production. The five specialisation options allow closer study of fields of interest such as metals, polymers, materials in energy, materials in archaeology, and so on. This means that studying Materials Science and Engineering is a great way to be exposed to scientific knowledge that can be found everywhere, from aerospace materials to materials in art! As far as educational quality is concerned, TU Delft is definitely worthy of its reputation. The faculty and laboratory facilities and lecture quality are at the least impressive. The university cooperates with various industrial companies & research centres so you can easily get an inside feel of real life professional work. I am looking forward to the future with confidence. With the MSc diploma in Materials Science and Engineering from TU Delft in my pocket, I will have the guarantee of a promising career in any part of the world!”

Ioanna Aslani, Greece

MSc student Materials Science and Engineering 2004-2006


During my education in materials science and engineering, I learned a lot about studying and explaining the behaviour of materials. In particular, I appreciated the opportunities to combine academic knowledge with practical work experience. I was able to do an work placement at the University of Pretoria in South Africa examining gold. A second opportunity was my thesis in cooperation with Robert Bosch A.G., one of the world’s leading technical companies. I looked into the feasibility of a new welding process for the push-belt of a continuous variable transmission.  Currently I am with TNO, the national Dutch organisation for applied research, as a trainee, where I hope to be able to use the knowledge I have gained over the last few years, and to keep on learning!

 Sytze Harkema - Materials Science and Engineering MSc graduate 2005