MSc Advanced Composites

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Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Open to international students Yes
Start date September 2017

Programme overview

Composite materials are increasingly replacing traditional metallic components in several industrial applications, such as aerospace engineering, wind turbine blades and the automotive industry. This MSc provides you with an in-depth theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of advanced composite materials.

The programme is based in the Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS), one of the world's leading centres in composite materials, which houses a number of state-of-the-art composites manufacturing facilities.

ACCIS has strong industrial and research links with companies like Rolls-Royce, Airbus, BAE Systems and GE Aviation as well as government research labs such as the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the European Space Agency and the US Army International Technology Centre.

Fees for 2017/18

Full-time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2017/18

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

Programme structure

Core units

  • Composites Design and Manufacture
    (design of composite structures; composites manufacture and practices)
  • Elements of Polymer Composite Materials
    (advanced composites processing method; properties of composites constituents)
  • Research Skills
    (literature review: research project related; journal club: advanced composites topics)
  • Mechanics of Composites
    (experimental mechanics of composites; numerical analysis of composite materials)
  • Composites Product Development
    (modelling of manufacturing processes; axiomatic design and CAD modelling)

Optional units

  • At least one of these materials units must be chosen:
    • Smart Materials
      (capabilities, understanding and modelling of smart materials and structures)
    • Nanocomposites and Nano engineering
      (properties, characterisation, processing, modelling and engineering applications of nanocomposites)
    • Nature's Materials - Biomimetics, Biomaterials and Sustainability
      (structure-function relationship of natural materials adaptivity and functional biological materials and biomaterials)
  • One of these structural units must be chosen:
    • Advanced Composites Analysis
      (finite element modelling of composite structures lamination theory, shell and plate theory damage and failure theories of composite materials)
    • Structures and Materials 1
      (architecture and properties of engineering materials)
    • Structures and Materials 2
      (generalised beam theory; introduction to elasticity theory and finite element modelling; processing and properties of advanced engineering materials)
    • Structures and Materials 3
      (laminate plate theory, finite element analysis; analysis of aircraft structures; manufacturing of aerospace materials and structures)
  • Other options might include:
    • Engineering Design for Wind and Marine Power
    • Ultrasonic Non-Destructive Testing
    • Structural Engineering 4
    • Advanced Techniques in Multi-Disciplinary Design
    • Nonlinear Behaviour of Materials


To complete the MSc programme you will carry out a research project, which may be either academically or industrially led.

Find out more about the programme structure and units available for MSc Advanced Composites

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering discipline or in a closely related field.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Application method Online application form
English language requirements Profile E
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.


Graduates from this programme could enter a career in one of the rapidly growing composites-related industries, such as aerospace, marine, automotive and wind turbine, materials testing/manufacturing or in engineering consultancy sectors. Some of our MSc graduates continue to PhD study, either at Bristol or other relevant PhD programmes.

How to apply
Application deadline:

18 August 2017

Early application recommended; places may fill before our deadline.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 38% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 55% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 6% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 1% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Postgraduate Admissions Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 5130 Email:

Faculty of Engineering
University of Bristol
Queen's Building
University Walk


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