Entry requirements

An upper second-class degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent qualification).

Months of entry


Course content

The use of composites offers many benefits to the functionality of both materials and structures, making them integral to many engineering design considerations, including cost, sustainability, fuel efficiency, emissions reduction, and improved operational performance. As such, composites are replacing traditional materials for lightweight structures at an unprecedented rate due to global demand (for example in the aircraft, wind turbine, construction and automotive industries). The sector growth is expected to be rapid, in the region of 5-10% each year.

The composites sector is contributing significantly to industry developments. Advanced composites are technology-enabling and critical to the production of lighter, smarter wing structures; or more efficient wind turbines that yield cheaper, more abundant energy. With the already encroaching effects of climate change, composite materials and structures have an important role to play in contributing to reductions in CO2 emissions and the growing need for a more sustainable future.

The UK has invested heavily in the science, engineering, and technology of composite materials, including the establishing of the National Composites Centre at the University of Bristol. A highly skilled workforce and technical leadership are required to support the industry; this leadership requires a radical and innovative mindset that encompasses engineering knowledge as well as the physical sciences.

The development of future composites and their applications will require doctoral students with a knowledge of advanced materials science, engineering, and sustainability, together with practical experience of the resulting composites and structures. These highly-skilled engineers not only need to understand technical subjects but should also be able to apply their acquired knowledge within the context of the modern world.

Our Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) produces highly-skilled, collaborative leaders. Taught modules will lay the foundation and stretch your understanding of materials, engineering, manufacturing and computational analysis, including experimental and theoretical elements of composites engineering and science. An integrated transferable skills training programme is also included, covering communication, career development, innovation, management, and translational research skills. Collaborating with industrial partners, such as Rolls-Royce and Vestas, combined with world-leading expertise, including University of Limerick, we have produced an exciting integrated programme enabling you to become a leader in this field.

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

Enhanced EPSRC studentships covering fees and living costs are available to UK and international students.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions Team
+44 (0) 117 42 84619