Research course

Composite Materials

The University of Manchester · School of Materials
PhDMSc by research

Entry requirements

The Standard requirement for a Masters programme (either taught or research) is a Lower-Second UK Honours Degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant science or engineering discipline. For a Doctorate level programme (eg PhD) it is an Upper-Second UK Honours Degree, or international equivalent, in a relevant science or engineering discipline or with an additional UK Masters Degree (or international equivalent).

Months of entry

January, April, July, September

Course content

The Composite Materials research degrees are a forward-thinking area of research in the school. We have close links with the Northwest Regional Development Agency and other leading companies such as, Quickstep, a manufacturer of autoclave processing equipment, as well as a large number of suppliers in the aircraft industry.

Active research

Current research covers interfacial phenomena in composite materials, natural composites and rapid composites manufacture. The deformation mechanics of a range of high performance synthetic reinforcement fibres for composites are explored, as are those of natural and regenerated cellulose fibres. In the later case the main emphasis is on understanding the relationships between the microstructure and molecular structure of these materials and their mechanical properties. Molecular dynamics modelling together with experimental studies have been used to gain an improved insight into the behaviour of natural fibres.

Northwest Composites Centre

We are actively involved with the Northwest Composites Centre, a collaboration which incorporates researchers from several schools in the university, together with colleagues from the University of Liverpool, University of Bolton and Lancaster University covering a wide range of polymer and metallic composites. The hub of this activity is based here at the School of Materials, established through a £2.1m grant from NWDA, and has facilities for rapid processing of composites through a variety of new technologies, including microwave and radio frequency heating as well as Quickstep. There are also extensive facilities for the characterisation of composites.

There are a large number of researchers working in the centre, nearly all on the rapid processing of composites with a view to improving the cycle time and properties of composites. These involve not just the use of rapid curing techniques, but also textile structures for next generation 3 D composites. The evaluation of these materials is also an important part of the projects and therefore supported by state-of-the-art equipment.

Information for international students

IELTS (6.5 with no sub-test under 5.5); TOEFL (570 with 5.0 in TWE); CBTOEFL (230 with 5.0 in TWE).

Fees and funding

Please see

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months

MSc by research

part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Administrator
0161 306 3559
0161 306 4865