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Manufacture materials design

Introducing materials processing from the perspective of a design engineer, this entirely online module explores how to make components. You will focus on the interactions between manufacturing, materials and design rather than studying each one independently. Online texts are combined with investigative learning activities to help you develop the ability to make manufacturing decisions. The manufacturing processes covered are casting, forming, cutting, joining, additive manufacturing, and surface engineering. By gaining a deeper understanding of the scientific and technological principles that govern these basic processes, you will be able to play a more effective role as a professional engineer. Additional topics introduce management of the supply chain and key ideas in assuring the quality of production. Manupedia, an online database of manufacturing processes, plays a key role in your study.

Vocational relevance

This module is for engineers with an interest in manufacturing, whether from a production, materials or design perspective.


T805 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards F05 and M03, which are no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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What you will study

From an external perspective, the world of product manufacture has changed beyond recognition in the last fifty years. But underneath it all there are only so many basic ways you can convert materials into objects – through casting, forming, cutting and joining. Even the rapidly developing world of additive manufacturing (or 3D printing), which looks set to disrupt our whole approach to making things, still relies on the scientific principles of casting, cutting and joining to build components.

You will study all these techniques in depth, along with the technologically vital field of surface engineering, where a wide variety of methods are used to modify the surface properties of a shaped component. Many of the factors that result in one process being preferred over another relate to both the design of the product and the commercial environment in which it is being manufactured. Therefore you will look at a number of aspects of the business context that influence the choice and operation of manufacturing processes.

The main study texts are presented exclusively online. Each of the separate topics covered in the online texts is complemented by a number of investigative or exploratory learning activities. One of the key elements in your study will be our online database of manufacturing processes – the Manupedia. You will use this as a rich source of information about different processes and you will create your own Manupedia entries based on your investigations. You will use these to build up your own portfolio of information which you will then draw on to complete your assignments. 

The end-of-module assessment is an extended case study, based on a product that you will research, drawing on the full range of information in the module and allowing you to demonstrate the skills you have developed.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will be responsible for monitoring your progress on the module, marking and commenting on your written work and whom you can contact for advice and guidance. Your tutor will mediate an online forum for your tutor group in which participation is optional. There is a separate online forum for all students on this module. You will also have the opportunity to engage in real-time online tutorials.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

Future availability

Manufacture materials design (T805) starts once a year – in May. This page describes the module that will start in May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2023.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    This module can be studied on a standalone basis or as a module of a postgraduate qualification.

    It is expected that you hold a bachelors degree in an engineering-related subject (or the equivalent) from a UK university, giving you a basic understanding of mechanics and materials engineering and an ability to follow mathematical models involving simple calculus.

    If this is your first postgraduate module, it is important for you to appreciate the substantial differences between undergraduate and postgraduate study. At postgraduate level, you are expected to evaluate, synthesise, review, and reflect on material. Independent study is an important component and you will be expected to draw on resources beyond those provided by the module. This module includes materials that should assist you if you don’t already have these skills, or if your skills need polishing. In particular, preparatory activities and reflective questions in the assessment are there to help you develop the academic critical skills that are characteristic of a masters-level qualification.

    Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

    If you have any doubts about whether your level of English is good enough for you to study this module you may find it helpful to look at our Skills for OU Study site.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 May 2020 Oct 2020 £1400.00

    Registration closes 09/04/20 (places subject to availability)

    01 May 2021 Oct 2021 Not yet available

    Registration opens on 01/10/20

    This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2023.

    Future availability

    Manufacture materials design (T805) starts once a year – in May. This page describes the module that will start in May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in May 2023.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Study materials

    What's included

    The module is delivered entirely online and study material is accessible via the module website. Many of the study activities require you to locate and retrieve materials in online journals and other publications and you will use what you find out to complete your assessment.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    This module is studied via online materials, some of which can be downloaded to view offline. The downloadable material has functional in-built accessibility features if used on a supported ebook reader. You will be expected to view animations and videos and access the content on Manupedia as well as create your own Manupedia content.  Figure descriptions of essential images and transcripts of any audio content will be provided. We have tried to avoid using inaccessible resources but some material that is core for the module many not be easily accessible if you use assistive technology. If you have any concerns about accessing the study material you are advised to contact us about the support we can provide to meet your needs.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.