Online course details

UK/EU fee

£1,010 (2020/21)

International fee

£1,010 (2020/21)

Course level

Level 7

Course credits

20 credits

Next course date

24 May 2021


10 weeks


Tutored online learning



Online course description

Unlike conventional production processes of materials removal, additive manufacturing is based on an incremental manufacturing philosophy. Traditional methods of manufacture are usually from homogeneous materials, where material property profiles, and hence their performance, are well known and predictable through conventional design and materials selection.

The specific materials selection challenges, with regards to design and materials selection in additive manufacturing, are due to the method of manufacturing. In additive manufacturing different material combinations can be used to accentuate design to the extent that designers are able to exploit the delineation of different materials to produce specific design features, as well as extra functionality layers, and the potential for variation of material composition through the component. These characteristics, which can be exploited and coupled with a derestricted geometrical limitation, provide an opportunity for exciting new approaches to product and engineering design.

Where components are manufactured on additive systems it is imperative that the functional behaviour as well as the aesthetic of the product can be ensured through correct design and materials selection. This is especially critical in the transport industry where the qualification of components is essential as any failures have potentially life threatening implications.

This course explores methodologies for determining how the interconnectedness of manufacturing and materials selection affects the design process. The concept of individual design or customisation and the wider issues which this entails will be brought together with a critical understanding of how the properties of materials can be optimised through the design and additive manufacturing process.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise different materials selection and manufacturing methodologies for products designed for additive manufacture and compare these to conventional design and manufacture processes
  2. Optimise components design and additive manufacture through the application of geometrical analysis and materials selection techniques
  3. Evaluate how the influence of wider contextual issues impact on material selection and component design for additive manufacturing in industrial contexts

Course content

Materials Selection and Design Methodologies

A brief review of the materials universe and their applications. A critical review of different materials selection and design methodologies including new product development, cost effectiveness and value analysis. Comparison with current manufacturing methods and materials. Present design and materials selection considerations such as design for reuse and recycling. Product lifecycles. Product liability and IPR.

Design for Additive Manufacturing

Design optimisation. Component analysis and testing. Quality processes. Digital materials, Additively Manufactured Composites.

Material Selection

Critical review of materials used in additive manufacturing techniques such as material extrusion, powder bed fusion, material jetting, binder jetting, directed energy deposition, vat photopolymerisation, sheet lamination and laser sintering.

Powder metallurgy and polymer material developments for additive manufacturing processes. Economic and environmental drivers and restrictions to materials development. Specific challenges for additive manufacturing material analysis. Materials specification and selection using Cambridge Engineering Selector and other techniques.

This course will make use of industrial case studies and speakers from industry throughout.


Offset course credits towards another qualification

Once you’ve completed this course you may be able to offset the 20 credits towards our online MSc Advanced Materials and Additive Manufacturing. This would reduce the number of modules you would need to study and the total cost of the course.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

UK/EU fee: £1,010

International fee: £1,010

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

UK/EU fee: £1,010

International fee: £1,010

About your fees

Prices are correct for the year of entry shown. These are subject to annual increase in subsequent academic years.

Course requirements

You will require:

If you don’t have a relevant degree, we can consider your application if supported by significant industrial experience within appropriate sectors.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification*. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.

Documents to support your application

When submitting your application, please ensure it is complete, with all the relevant documents requested in the application form. These are listed below:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

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Who will teach you

Justin Steele-Davies

Dr Justin Steele-Davies
Programme leader

Our Academic Lead for Engineering, Dr Justin Steele-Davies, has worked across both the technical and educational fields. He is intrigued by how new approaches and technologies can support higher education and is involved at the leading edge of development.

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