This multidisciplinary course appeals to both engineers and scientists. Engineers have been making devices of an ever-decreasing size while, in contrast, scientists have been building and using molecular structures of an increasing size. The convergence of these top-down and bottom-up manufacturing approaches will generate new types of devices and lead to a change in the functionality of existing ones. Very few industries will escape the influence of nano-microfabricated technologies. The US National Science Foundation predicts that the market for nanotechnology products and services will reach $1 trillion by 2015.
Expect an emphasis on areas with a high level of employment demand including microfabrication, nanomaterials, microsystems, miniaturised diagnostics systems and biosystems.
Expect opportunities in the chemical, pharmaceutical and engineering sectors or progress to teaching or higher degree-level study.
On each master's degree you'll complete an industrially-related project. This, along with the involvement of industrialists, practitioners and academics in the delivery of these courses, ensures that they are relevant to the demands of the process manufacturing industries.
Our master's degrees can lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate at Stage 1 (60 credits - 3 modules), a postgraduate diploma at Stage 2 (120 credits - 6 modules) or, on completion of a research project, the MSc.
Block release study
Our master's degrees are available on a block-release basis: you'll study for one week between 9.00am and 6.00pm with follow-up days in the next four weeks together with accompanying assignment work.
Introduction and Professional Studies
This module is designed to introduce you to the issues related to studying beyond undergraduate level. It applies to students on taught postgraduate courses and those who are embarking on a programme of research. The module encompasses issues such as enrolment, health and safety, using Blackboard, report writing and referencing, ethics, plagiarism, time management and numerical techniques. You will also examine discipline specific areas pertinent to your pathway, which will offer you a particular grounding, skills base or understanding required at the early stage of your study. You will be introduced to personal development planning, by keeping a formal log book.
This module describes the theory underpinning major analytical techniques currently used in both biology and chemistry. The first part of the module provides a common grounding in techniques common to both the chemical and biological sciences. In the second part you will consider a deeper analysis of techniques specific to either chemical or biological pathways.
Practical Skills for Scientific Research
This is a practical module designed to provide you with advanced training in important laboratory or field techniques. There are two streams - in the laboratory stream you will work on biology skills in microbiology, cell biology, microscopy, chemical and biochemical analysis. In the field stream you will work on qualitative research methods, interview and survey techniques, sampling and quantitative field analysis using portable equipment.
This module provides a context for modules such as Microfabrication. It also provides you with an understanding of the principles and characteristics of measurement systems and elements, together with an understanding of the principles of relevant electronic signal conditioning and interfacing systems.
This module builds on the module in Microsystems by introducing you to applications for miniaturised devices as well as their fabrication. It features photolithography and emerging lithographic approaches for device fabrication. You will discuss wet and dry etching methods and their relative merits. The use of surface micromachining, LIGA and micromoulding approaches are also described. The module provides laboratory and CAD experience for miniaturised device development.
Project Management and Enterprise
This module is designed to equip you with the necessary skills to successfully project manage new product developments focusing on project management skills and processes, quality assurance issues, new product development processes and statistical analysis techniques. It provides you with an opportunity to develop a project plan for a programme of research based on scientific literature, with particular reference to key concepts such as innovation, enterprise and originality. This fundamental project management basis is interlinked with developing an understanding of entrepreneurial best practices to enable you to transfer your ideas into the commercial arena. This element of the module will focus on intellectual property rights, legal, regulatory and ethical issues, business start up processes and will include an element of foresight thinking.
This is the culmination of the programme of studies. You will undertake a challenging problem related substantially to your discipline. The project is linked where possible to an industrial or external partner organisation, which may even host your work and substantially direct the activity. Where this is not possible, a real or simulated real problem may be chosen as subject for the work. It is, however, expected that even where the problem is simulated or hypothetical, it will be treated as if real. The project outcomes project should be at a publishable standard.