Interviewing in: Materials Science

Background on subject

Materials Science is an interdisciplinary subject, spanning the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering applications and industrial manufacturing processes. Modern society is heavily dependent on advanced materials: lightweight composites for faster vehicles, optical fibres for telecommunications and silicon microchips for the information revolution.

Materials scientists study the relationships between the structure and properties of a material and how it is made. They also develop new materials and devise processes for manufacturing them. Materials Science is vital for developments in nanotechnology, quantum computing and nuclear fusion, as well as medical technologies such as bone replacement materials.

The subject requirements for students are A-level Maths and Physics with Chemistry being recommended. Students have to sit the PAT.


Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied Materials Science at university to give a robust and rigorous practice interview in this subject.

Volunteers from the following subjects, or similar, will also be able to deliver Materials Science interviews:  

Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in Materials Science, which you may be asked to deliver. 

  1. Interview on 'application material' - asking the students' questions about their personal statement, or an essay they will submit as part of their application

  2. Interview on 'unseen material' - asking the students' questions on an article, study, or research paper they have not seen before, testing how they handle new material

SAMPLE Resources

Below you can access a folder of resources for conducting Materials Science interviews:

  1. Interview on application material - you can see a sample personal statement, highlighted with examples of questions which could be asked

  2. Interview on unseen material - you can see examples of articles which have previously been given to students, along with questions

These resources are intended for inspiration - to give you an idea of the level, length and themes of the material we use in our practice interviews. However, should you wish to use this material in the practice interviews you deliver, just let us know so we can make sure returning students haven't seen it before!


Jenny completed a BA in Biochemistry at Cambridge University, and is currently in her fourth year of Medicine also at Cambridge.

Jenny’s advice to the students she interviews is: ‘Firstly, don't worry if you don't know the answer... you are not meant to! Take your time and talk the interviewer through your thought process. Secondly, If they ask you about a book or paper you have read recently make sure it is one you are really passionate about, they can tell!”