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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered byDepartment of Materials Engineering
Course coordinatorAssociate Professor Graham Edward (Department of Materials Engineering)


We are in a materials revolution, the way of the future. The ability to understand and manipulate materials and their properties is often a key factor in industrial processes or technologies. Materials science looks at different types of materials (metals, polymers, ceramics, glasses and composites) and the fundamental reasons for the astounding range of properties displayed. The discipline is intended for science students who seek an understanding of the structure and properties of solid materials and the relationships between them. Studies in materials science are offered by the Department of Materials Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering. Throughout a major in materials science, structure property relationships are studied among all classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, glasses and composites), and the contents of individual units focus on an understanding of microstructure and properties, materials synthesis, and their technological significance. In addition, nanomaterials and biomaterials are becoming important parts of existing industries, and leading to the creation of many new ones. Materials Science is crucial in all of these enterprises.


On completion of the major sequence in materials science students will:

  • have a clear understanding of how materials science knowledge is constructed, and appreciate the importance of certain materials in everyday life and in manufacturing technology
  • have an understanding of fundamental aspects involved in the microstructure of all classes of materials (metals, ceramics and polymers) at all scales from the macro to the nano
  • be able to apply this knowledge of material properties to their functionality in devices
  • have an understanding of techniques used in the characterisation of materials and an appreciation of the limitations of such techniques at the experimental level
  • have acquired computational and IT skills, an ability to plan experiments, and experimental skills
  • have some exposure to the 'real world' of materials science through visits to materials industry and/or laboratories
  • have developed, in the context of the discipline, the graduate attributes of effective communication, quantitative literacy, information and communication literacy, inquiry and critical thinking, and ethical, social and international understanding
  • know the key principles underlying Occupational Health and Safety in laboratory practice
  • have a foundation for further learning in materials science and related disciplines, for employment requiring analytical, quantitative and experimental skills.


Level one

  • MSC1010 Structural and functional materials

Level two

Level three

  • MSC3111 Materials durability
  • MSC3121 Microstructural design in structural materials
  • MSC3132 Functional materials and devices
  • MSC3142 Materials characterisation and modelling

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in materials science (24 points)

Major sequence in materials science (48 points)

Requirements for honours in materials science

  • Distinction level average in 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which at least 18 points are materials science units

Additional information

A major in materials science can be combined with a wide range of other majors, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, or another option. For example, students with an interest in biomaterials may choose to combine materials science with a physiology major. A materials science major commences at level two. A major in materials science will equip graduates with the skills and attributes necessary to commence a career in areas as varied as the development of a new process or product, fundamental research, or work in industrial production facilities. The program provides a broad foundation in all areas of materials, recognising the diverse future careers of graduates given the above-mentioned broad variety of other majors possible.

Level two

The three level-two units have no formal prerequisite requirements from level one but students must have successfully completed at least 12 points of science units at level one before they may enrol in any science unit at level two. It is recommended that at least one mathematics units is undertaken at level two. MSC2011 and MSC2122 are core units, as outlined above.

Level three

Four 6-point units are offered at level three, and these generally comprise 32 hours of lectures and tutorials and a weekly practical session.


In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the Science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. See the entries for:

  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.

Relevant Courses

Single degrees

  • 0050 Bachelor of Science
  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 1120 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Double degrees

  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3537 Bachelor of Arts (Global) and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 3711 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 1633 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 3278 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science
  • 3282 Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering and Bachelor of Science
  • 0085 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering
  • 0086 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)