In the beginning, one hears mainly physical, chemical, material science and mathematical basics. In the first semester the emphasis is on getting everyone up to speed (in math, physics and chemistry). The subject matter clearly goes beyond the school curriculum, but not yet to a great extent. In addition, you will get a deep introduction to crystallography, which should be completely new for most people.
The second semester has the clear focus on thermodynamics with phase diagrams (in MaWi 2) and the complete basics in physical chemistry 1. Furthermore, the mathematical and physical knowledge is deepened. Already in the first two semesters there are practical courses, on the one hand the MaWi basic practical courses and on the other hand the physics basic practical courses, which are organized by the department of physics. In the first two semesters, the practical courses are organized by the Department of Physics. During the practical courses, students get an insight into measurement methods of different physical quantities and an overview of the physical fields of electricity, nuclear physics, mechanics, optics and thermodynamics. In the MaWi practical courses, the focus is initially on the measurement of various material parameters (strength, electrical conductivity, etc.).
In the third and fourth semester, the focus of the studies is clearly on the materials side of materials science. In MaWi 3, students learn how defects in crystals affect the strength and other properties, and in technical mechanics how components deform and how to calculate their load. In the fourth semester, the students learn about crack propagation under peridodic loading in MaWi 4 and a short introduction to the finite element method using numerical methods in order to be able to calculate such loading cases in reality. In addition, one gets an insight into the different production methods of metals and ceramics and their advantages and disadvantages in material production and processing.
At the same time, the introduction to electrical engineering in the 4th semester slowly starts the track of functional material properties. This will then be expanded significantly in the 5th semester. On the one hand you learn the basics of quantum mechanics in Physical Chemistry 2 and on the other hand you learn the basics of solid state physics in MaWi 6. In short, the following questions are answered: Why and how do solids like metals conduct heat? How can the heat capacity of these solids be predicted and how can their dependence on temperature be explained? Why do metals conduct electricity well? Why are there semiconductors and insulators and what does conductivity depend on?
Building on the knowledge gained in the 5th semester, the 6th semester will continue with MaWi 7 in this field. At the same time the topics are perhaps even more exciting: How does a superconductor work and why does superconductivity exist at all? How do the different types of magnetism work and what causes them? At the same time, Construction Materials provides a more in-depth introduction to the most important construction materials in materials science. This subject is divided into two parts. The first part gives an introduction to the most important alloys such as steel, aluminum alloys, superalloys and titanium alloys. The second part then deals with ceramics (including coatings), composites and polymers. An important aspect in each case is why certain materials have better properties than others. This aspect is much more important than memorizing characteristic values.
In the 6th semester the bachelor thesis is written. Many write this externally in companies, but most of them at the university. For the bachelor thesis you can basically choose a subject area that makes particularly interesting things from your perspective. For example, if you are interested in magnets, you would ask in the group “functional materials”, which has magnetic materials as its main focus. Most of the time it is no problem to find a job for a thesis in the desired group (at least I have never heard that it didn't work out). Often you can ask for a special topic or you will simply get suggestions from which you can choose one. You should then also get a PhD student or postdoc as a supervisor who will help you with all your questions and give you introductions to the different laboratories.