Programme information

TRIBOS - Joint Master Programme in Tribology of Surfaces and Interfaces is a two year Erasmus Mundus master programme of total 120 ECTS. It is divided into four semesters during two years (from the 1st of September 20xx to the 30th of August 20xx+2), with a chance of internship with one of several groups and renown supporting and associated partners.


The key goal of the TRIBOS Joint Master Programme is to provide the students with the high-level contemporary knowledge, required for the next generation of engineers to tackle highly-interdisciplinary tribology-related problems through an interdisciplinary and complementary joint master programme about tribological surfaces, interfaces, lubricants, lubrication, as well as wear and friction mechanisms at nano and macro scale, and computational, modelling, analytical and experimental skills that are urgently needed in fields of transport, industry, medicine and energy, and cannot be obtained in a single university or even single country at so comprehensive and advanced level.


info-graphFirst year

The first two semesters are dedicated to acquire fundamental tribology knowledge, mandatory for all students, to gain a selection of key interdisciplinary basic courses related to friction and wear mechanisms at different scales, as well as contacts and role of surfaces and lubricants, which is obtained at University of Leeds and University of Ljubljana.

First semester

All the students of each edition obtain the required fundamental knowledge about lubricants and lubrication, tribochemical reactions that additives provide at different materials (surfaces), and required conditions to achieve the formation of boundary films – thus, all fundamentals related to lubricants and surrounding environment conditions of the contacts, in the first semester at University of Leeds, UK, which is highly specialised in this area. The first semester is also purposely performed at University of Leeds, an English speaking country, for the students to equal and advance in professional terminology in English at an early stage of the international study programme.

Second semester

In second semester, all the students allocate to Ljubljana, where the group is specialising in surface wear and friction phenomena and the role of contact engineering at different scales. Students learn about contacts and role of materials and surfaces, wear and friction mechanisms, nano and macro scale contact specifics, contact mechanics and diagnostics of mechanical components. Thus, all necessary tribological fundamentals mainly related to solid part of the contact. The University of Ljubljana also provides high-level experimental equipment to develop skills in these subjects, for students being able to experimentally and theoretically, using literature and independent study, analyse, apply, select and develop ideas about required properties of tribological surfaces, lubricants and interfaces in the contact.


Students are encouraged to explore summer placement opportunities to be taken in July and August between 1st and 2nd year. TRIBOS partner universities and associated industrial partners will provide support but securing the placement opportunity should be done by the student.

The internship is not obligatory, but is highly recommended experience and advancement of the students’ understanding of the subject, to link theoretical and practical skills, as well as set grounds for their employment reference.


Second year

The second year is focused on obtaining more specialised scientific knowledge and increase the level of skills towards final competences. Students select their preferences – whether further specialise in lubrication-oriented tribology or surface-oriented tribology, which are very well defined areas, with many specifics that need to be treated separately at the level of implementation. So, we offer to students exactly these two complementary areas for continuation of study, with two highly specialised and leading groups in these fields: University of Coimbra, Portugal, with expertise in materials and coatings processing, coatings development, materials and surface characterisation, and Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, with renown and leading position in integration of lubrication to mechanical components with sophisticated lubrication technology and modelling know-how.

Third semester

The third semester given at University of Coimbra, Portugal provides in-depth specific knowledge on surface and materials processing and development, and their properties and characterisation for specific tribological output. At Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, however, students gain profound understanding on lubrication modelling, and lubrication design required for specific mechanical components, which are also comprehensively studied. A part of the third semester – in a larger “Master thesis preparation” module - also focuses on integration of so-far obtained knowledge from both fundamental-components aspects (solid-surfaces and lubricants), combined with acquired in-depth specialisation, into a definition of requirements and developing strategy toward solutions for specific tribological problem.

Fourth semester

The fourth semester is dedicated to Project work and Master thesis, related to selected field of specialisation. Preferentially, the students stay at the two universities of specialisation - University of Coimbra and Luleå University of Technology, but each student and local mentor will closely collaborate also with mentors from University of Ljubljana and University of Leeds. Depending on projects offered each year, and students’ selection of topics, students could fully or partially perform experimental project work also at University of Ljubljana or University of Leeds, and have mentors from all four partner universities. The thesis defence is performed at the university where most of the work was done. Co-mentors from other universities are envisaged in most of the thesis.