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TRIBOS - Joint Master Programme in Tribology of Surfaces and Interfaces, Master

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
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Tribology is the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and of related subjects and practices. The nature and consequences of the interactions that take place at the moving interface control its friction, wear, and lubrication behaviour. Understanding the nature of these interactions at micro and nano scale and solving the technological problems associated with the interfacial phenomena constitute the essence of tribology. Tribology incorporates a number of disciplines, including mechanical engineering, materials science, mechanics, surface chemistry, surface physics and a multitude of subjects such as surface characterization, friction, wear, lubrication, thin films and coatings, materials, lubricants, and the selection and design of lubrication systems and contact properties. It forms a vital part of the engineering sciences and is one of the key engineering areas. The field of tribology, functional surfaces and interfaces is thus highly interdisciplinary and is becoming increasingly advanced in recent times. TRIBOS Joint Master Programme provides the students with the high-level contemporary knowledge, required for the next generation of engineers and scientists to tackle highly-interdisciplinary tribology-related problems.

Students will obtain generic competences, such as:

  • Ability and understanding of the needs for life-long learning;
  • Ability of involving in multidisciplinary teams in discussing and solving technical problems;
  • Awareness of importance of administrative requirements, punctuality, and cooperation;
  • Communication abilities;
  • Integration abilities. 

Students will also obtain the following specific competences:

  • Understanding of the tribological contacts and systems, the inter-relation of parameters and ability to determine key effects from nano- to macro-scale;
  • Ability to develop theoretical and experimental routes to study and solve tribological problems;
  • Ability to integrate multidisciplinary requirements into a coherent solution combining the knowledge from different fields related to tribology;
  • Independent thinking, creativity and ability to tackle tribological problems in teams with individual responsibility;
  • Ability to work as an expert engineer and researcher in multicultural and interdisciplinary teams in the broad filed of tribology, surfaces, interfaces and maintenance;
  • Acquaintance with the industrial requirements, and specifics of industrial sector and academia;
  • Capability to evaluate, produce and apply scientific information and knowledge about tribological problems and solutions to industry;
  • Ability to identify the problem, analyse possible solutions, propose the routes and write clear proposals to achieve the required goals;
  • Ability to communicate with experts from academic and industrial background through written documents, presentations, and discussions;
  • Acquaintance with contemporary IT techniques for fast and efficient communication and information sharing;
  • Acquaintance with the mechanical systems, materials and lubricants production processes, surface and oil analyses;
  • Ability to work on and interpret the experimental techniques and results to solve tribological problems, such as tribometers, microscopes, spectroscopes, profilometers, etc.;
  • Internships experience at the industrial environment to link the application-related studies with theoretical education backgrounds.


A target of all four partners was to establish a Joint European master programme, accredited according to national legislation and institutional procedures to be valid and recognised in each of partner university countries. By achieving this goal the Consortium of the partner universities provides the students a true Joint Master Degree.

Programme Structure

1. semester - University of Leeds, UK

  • Lubricants and lubrication (Lecturer: Dr. Rob Hewson)
  • Oilfield chemistry and corrosion (Lecturer: Prof. Anne Neville, Dr. Xinming Hu)
  • Metals and alloys (Lecturer: Dr. R. F. Cochrane)
  • Computational and Experimental Methods (Lecturer: Dr. H. M. Thompson)
2. semester - University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Tribology (Lecturer: dr. M. Kalin)
  • Contact engineering (Lecturer: assoc. prof. dr. Bojan Podgornik prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin)
  • Nanotechnology (Lecturer: prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin)
  • Technical diagnostics (Lecturer: prof. dr. Jože Vižintin prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin)
  • Maintenance technologies (Lecturer: Prof. dr. Jože Vižintin prof. dr. Mitjan Kalin
Elective courses
3. a semester - University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Material selection and processes (Lecturer: Prof. Bruno Trindade)
  • Protection and degradation of surfaces (Lecturer: Prof. A. Cavaleiro)
  • Advanced characterization techniques (Lecturer: Prof. Maria Teresa Vieira)
  • Design of surface contacts (Lecturer: prof. Amílcar Ramalho)
3. b semester - Lulea University of Technology, Sweden
  • Mechanical components (Lecturer: Assoc. Prof. Andreas Almqvist)
  • Simulations in tribology (Lecturer: Prof. Roland Larsson)
  • Design of lubricated contacts (Lecturer: Professor Braham Prakash)
4. semester - Project work and master thesis writing
  • Master thesis project

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

  • This programme does not recognise GRE® scores.

    The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

General Requirements

Bachelor degree must be an equivalent of 180 ECTS and comparable to the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering RRP programme, with an average grade of at least 80% (grade point average GPA) in engineering, materials science, physical sciences or chemistry.

Students that have not yet obtained the bachelor degree, but are able to show with a high level of confidence that by the end of May they will obtain their bachelor degree, can also apply. A dedicated form is prepared to be filled by such applicant and her/his bachelor degree Mentor or appropriate University representative, such as Dean or Vice-Dean.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    8000 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8000 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Coimbra

  • 485 - 700 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Erasmus Mundus aims to enhance quality in higher education through scholarships and academic cooperation between Europe and the rest of the world by offering scholarships to students enroling to high-quality study programmes.

Applicants for TRIBOS master study programme can therefore apply for Erasmus Mundus Scholarship, provided by European Comission through the EACEA agency under Action 1 activity.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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