Materials Characterisation and Processing PhD
About the course
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
We aim to undertake research into the development and processing of new materials including nanomaterials, nano-phosphors and nanostructured carbon, biofuels, polymers and bio-polymers. Our research on materials characterisation and processing harnesses multiple technologies for the processing and manufacture of novel materials, particularly biomaterials and polymers. There is a particular focus on phosphors and other materials for lighting devices. We have a world-leading collection of materials characterisation techniques at our disposal, including a recently commissioned transmission electron microscope. In this area we have relationships with a large number of SMEs.
There are currently around 50 academic and support staff , together with postgraduate students, associates and fellows attached to research programmes in our theme.
Find out more
Within the displays and lighting phosphor materials group, Professor Jack Silver and Dr George Fern are working with companies to make high brightness displays. They have worked with US and German industry to study quantum dots and rods, and these studies have led to members of the group being invited to give lectures at international conferences in the USA, Japan and Europe.
Our organic light emitting diode (OLED) work led by Professor Poopathy Kathirgamanathan has attracted a large EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) grant that will provide the group with funding for four years. The project, coordinated by Brunel and entitled FLEXOLIGHTING, will develop and scale up innovative and environmentally sensitive systems for the manufacture of OLED Lighting. With a total project award value of €4.3 million, the consortium brings together some of Europe’s most innovative SMEs and leading technology companies.
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Facts and Figures
In the recent REF 2014 Assessment Engineering and Design ranked amongst London's biggest and best.
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission
Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Teaching and Assessment
Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here: Materials Characterisation and Processing Theme Members Profiles
Fees for 2016/17 entry
Full time: £4,121 Part time: £2,060
Full time: £17,200 Part time: £8,600
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/17
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree and additionally, for a PhD, a Master’s degree or equivalent. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study: IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.