Manufacture materials design

This module introduces materials processing from the perspective of a design engineer. You’ll study manufacturing processes, including casting, forming, cutting, joining, additive manufacturing and surface engineering. By gaining a deeper understanding of the scientific and technological principles of these processes, you’ll become a more effective engineering professional. You’ll also explore how components are made, focusing on the interactions between manufacture, materials and design. Additional topics introduced are supply chain management and quality assurance. 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 option module in our:

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
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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 module is presented exclusively online. Each of the separate topics is presented using online study texts 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

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.


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

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Manufacture materials design (T805) starts once a year – in May.

This page describes the module that will start in May 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in May 2026.


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 2025 Oct 2025 £1660.00

Registration closes 10/04/25 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2026.

Future availability

Manufacture materials design (T805) starts once a year – in May.

This page describes the module that will start in May 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in May 2026.

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Ways to pay for this module

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

The module is delivered entirely online through a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assignment details and submission section
  • online Manupedia database
  • online tutorial access.

Many of the study activities require you to use literature review skills to locate and retrieve materials in online journals and other publications. You’ll use the information you find to complete your assessments.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

  • This module’s materials are online, some of which you can download to view offline. The downloadable material has functional in-built accessibility features if viewed on a supported ebook reader.
  • You’ll need to view animations and videos, access content on Manupedia, and create your own Manupedia content.
  • We’ll provide descriptions of essential images and transcripts of audio content.
  • We’ve tried to avoid using inaccessible resources, but some core module material may not be easily accessible if you use assistive technology.
  • The third-party COMSOL software (used in industry) may not be fully accessible.
  • You may need to work with an assistant on some tasks.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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