Laboratory work on materials science (left) leads to breakthroughs in areas like solar cells (centre)

Materials science and engineering at Swansea has been voted top in the UK for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS). This latest success follows awards for the department’s pioneering work on renewable energy technology.

The NSS is a high-profile annual survey of nearly half a million students at universities across the UK, most of whom are at the end of their studies. The questions cover many areas, including their overall satisfaction with their experience, where the Swansea department rated top in the UK.

Materials Science and Engineering is an exciting field which includes elements of physics and chemistry and connects closely with most areas of engineering.

Swansea is one of the UK’s leading centres for the subject. The University’s industrial links create opportunities for students to undertake year in industry placements, as well as great research and employment prospects.

Swansea is ranked 6th in the UK for graduate prospects, with students going on to interesting careers at companies such as Tata Steel, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Atkins, GE Aviation, Mott MacDonald and Babcock International Group.

Find out about Materials Science and Engineering at Swansea

The top UK rating for student satisfaction comes after research led by the materials science and engineering department on renewable technologies was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, presented by HRH the Prince of Wales. 

The Prize was awarded for the work of SPECIFIC, an academic and industrial consortium established in 2011 to research the development of efficient low-cost photovoltaic technologies that convert solar energy into electricity.

SPECIFIC have pioneered the concept of Active Buildings, which generate store and release their own solar energy for heat and power. Two of these buildings have been erected on the University campus and have been running successfully, demonstrating that the technologies work.

SPECIFIC is also applying technology around the world by building solar powered buildings in India and working with Mexican textile screen printers to produce solar modules on flexible materials.

Read about SPECIFIC’s work on Active Buildings

Further plaudits for the department’s research came earlier this year when Professor Dave Worsley and Professor James Durrant, both experts in solar energy technology, received awards in the New Year’s Honours List. 

Professor David Worsley from the Materials Science and Engineering department at Swansea University said:

"The survey results shows our students really rate their experience at Swansea very highly – it is wonderful news that they’ve voted us top in the UK.

We have a great team here who are committed to the highest standards in teaching and supporting students. We can also offer great opportunities for links with industry. In our research we are finding solutions to the biggest problems of our time, especially the climate crisis.

As a new academic year approaches, we are looking forward to welcoming our new students. However they come to us – whether via clearing or any other route – we can assure them of a warm welcome and a fantastic experience here in Swansea.”

Find out more about studying at Swansea University 

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