- MSc in Materials Science (Host: AAU)
Duration (in semesters):4 semesters (24 Months)
Study credits/hours (per semester):36 ECTS/semester in the first year and 35 and 30 ECTS in 1st and 2nd semester, respectively in the final year.
Instructional Medium: English
The MSc Program in Materials Science is aimed to train skilled manpower required to meet the national demand of applications of Materials Science in the sectors of energy, industries, quality and standards testing centres, mining, pharmaceuticals and constructions. It also envisaged to meet the requirements of scientific personnel that can contribute to the understanding of national resources of the country and thereby help in the alleviation of poverty, and adapt sustainable use of resources.
To produce qualified and capable graduates as experts in Materials Science specifically:
- Professionals required accelerating the pace of development in the materials science, energy, mining, pharmaceuticals, constructions and industrial sectors of the economy.
- Researchers, who can initiate, undertake and supervise research projects that address challenges pertinent to the sub-Sahara, such as energy resources as well as environmental problems.
- Principals who can provide expertise and leadership in mid- and upper-level positions of management in STEM.
Structure and content:
The duration of studying MSc in Materials Science is a full-time program and will be offered in two years (four semesters) duration. The first year of the study is only course work and their second year, students will work on research-based MSc thesis.
The program interweaves concepts of materials science, engineering and mathematical and computational modelling methods throughout the curriculum. Core subjects offered at the MSc level covers Mathematical Methods for Materials Science, Physical and Chemical Properties of Materials, Quantum Theory of Materials, Synthesis and Characterization Process of Materials. Moreover, Special Topics in Materials Science-I, Special Topics in Materials Science-II, Research Methods and MSc Thesis (research) are the main part of the program.
The program also examines the contribution of advanced materials and those technologies (electrochemical energy storage and conversion devices, sensors, electronics, solar cells, etc) to the society. Mode of delivery is based on a combination of student-centered activities and lecture methods.
Students’ performance will be assessed through the range and variety of assessment methods (written and practical exams, projects, problem solving assignments, peer assessments of oral presentations, interactive computer and simulation assignments and group presentations, laboratory experiments and MSc thesis defence). Final grades for each course will be given to students after the required assessment has been finished.
Upon the successful completion of the MSc in Materials Science, the students will have acquired the following attributes:
- The requisite knowledge to teach Materials Science and electrochemistry at HEIs
- The specialized scientific expertise, and innovative approaches essential for identifying problems, designing and conducting research projects, and transferring findings to real-world scenarios..
- The integrity and ethos of a highly trained professional that is dedicated to addressing the pressing problems related to innovative Materials.
- Understand and apply the physical basis of the operation of instruments in Materials Science.
- Understand the essential mathematical descriptions of physical phenomena.
- Apply computer software to analyze data during computational modelling of materials.
- Experience an interdisciplinary, team-based approach to science problem solving for applied interest,
- Explore the creative nature of modern Materials Science,
- Improve writing, team work and oral communication skills related to scientific and technical projects,
- Use current and emerging Materials Science technologies,
- To be prepared for their next studies to pursue PhD in Materials Science or related applied science and technology,
- Pursue a career in industry, and government or private organizations..
- MSc in Materials Electrochemistry & Energy Technologies (Host: Witwatersrand University )
Duration (in semesters): 4 semesters
Study credits/hours (per semester): Research-only Masters
Instructional Medium: English
The Wits MSc program in Materials Electrochemistry and Energy Technologies (MEET) has been designed to develop the next-generation, world-class, African research leaders, skilled to meet the two national priorities: (i) value-addition to huge solid mineral resources, and (ii) energy security. The program is multi-disciplinary electrochemistry-related research interests spanning synthetic inorganic chemistry to electrocatalysis, renewable energy, materials science and engineering. Three key research areas are (i) Energy storage (modern batteries such as lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, electrochemical capacitors); (ii) Energy conversion (fuel cell technologies), and (iii) Electrochemical Sensors (chemical and immunosensors, gas sensors, focusing on poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, and drugs of abuse). The Wits MSc program is a highly multi-disciplinary research program that involves both basic and applied sciences and engineering. Research students are enrolled at different Schools/departments, including Chemistry, Physics, Biomedical, and Chemical Engineering. The program strongly aligns with the STEM thematic field.
Structure and content:
The Wits MSc is structured as RESEARCH-ONLY that allows the students to apply prior knowledge of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) during their undergraduate years and 1-year BSc (Hons) class in Chemistry, Physics or Engineering. Candidates from other universities may be encouraged by their supervisors to attend the 15-hour “Energy Storage and Conversion” course offered at the 1-year BSc (Hons) Chemistry class.
The research activities comprise various topics/subjects in the following three research clusters:
- Electrochemical energy storage systems: to include lithium-ion batteries, sodium-ion batteries, metal-air batteries, supercapacitors, lithium-ion capacitors;
- Electrochemical energy conversion systems: These include proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC); direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFC); electrolysers (water-splitting); and various electrochemical processes that allow the development of energy storage and conversion such as oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), oxygen evolution reaction (OER), hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR), hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), and alcohol oxidation reaction (AOR).
- Electrochemical sensors: These include sensing systems suitable for poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis, cholera, alcohol and drugs of abuse.
For the MSc degree, the candidate is given up to four (4) months to develop and submit a research proposal to the University for approval through the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC). MSc duration is 1 year (minimum) and 2 years (maximum).
For the MSc degree, the project is structured for the student to learn and apply advanced scientific research techniques, ranging from the synthesis of electrode materials to characterization using a plethora of modern spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. The student is given up to four (4) months to develop and submit a research proposal to the University for approval through the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee (FGSC). MSc duration is 1 year (minimum) and 2 years (maximum).
For the MSc, at the end of the programme, the student would be able to (i) independently carry out the synthesis of at least two electrode materials; (ii) characterize materials with advanced scientific research techniques used in materials science (notably, x-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)); (iii) independently run at least XRD and SEM; (iv) carry out various electrochemical techniques, including cyclic voltammetry (CV), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), square wave voltammetry (SWV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS); and (v) explain the principles that underlie each of these techniques, and (vi) to present research, poster or oral, at a conference.
There are several soft skills that are available for the MSc training for their total development: good scientific conduct & ethics in research, project management, collaboration and teamwork spirit, public speaking & conference presentations, business development & entrepreneurship.
- MSc in Solar Energy Physics/Materials Science (Host: University of Nigeria)
Duration (in semesters): Minimum of 1 Academic Year and Maximum of 2 Academic Years
Study credits/hours (per semester):13 credit units in the first semester and 17 credit units in the second semester (including 6 credit units for the Thesis) for a Master’s Degree.
Instructional Medium: English
The masters in Solar Energy Physics/Materials Science of the University of Nigeria has the following main objectives:
- Pursue a career in the energy industry, and government or private organizations related to materials science.
- Produce researchers, who can initiate, undertake and supervise research projects that address problems pertinent to the nation & Africa, such as solar energy, energy storage, energy materials as well as environmental problems.
- Offer the students state-of-the-art knowledge and hands-on techniques in the area of Solar energy and materials for energy generation.
- Strive to produce clean energy from solar power, through low-cost and environmentally friendly techniques
Structure and content:
The MSc in Solar energy programme is a two-year course and research-based programme. In the first year of registration, students are expected to take the following courses:
- Research Methodology and Application of ICT in Research
- Solar Energy Availability and Collection,
- Solar Energy Conversions and Storage,
- Synthesis of Nanomaterials and Nanostructures for Solar Energy Applications,
- Characterization Methods for Nanomaterials and Nanostructures,
- Semiconductor Physics,
- Project and
- Experimental Study of Solar Energy I.
After finishing courses, students need to carry out independent research in their specialization during their second year of registration in the programme.
Students’ performance will be assessed through exams, assignments, laboratory experiments, and oral presentations of the final thesis.
Upon completion of their MSc degree in Solar Energy Physics, students will be able to: (
- Understand the physical basis of the operation of instruments in solar energy physics.
- Acquire the requisite knowledge to teach solar energy technologies at the tertiary educational institutions
- Pursue a career in academia and industry related to energy storage and conversion technologies.
- Write, present and communicate scientific reports to the level of full research
- Contribute in the broader context of the solar energy field of study in terms of research and development in Africa
Their training also prepares them for careers in Government Departments, e.g. National Standard Organization; in Industrial research Establishments like National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, National Space Research and Development Agency, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, National Atomic Energy Agency, Sheda Science And Technology Complex Abuja; In oil, steel and other industries; and in commercial and technical firms needs the services of physicists.