Degree Structure

quadrangleEach academic year corresponds to one Stage of the degree programmes. Stages 1 and 2 are common to all the programmes. These core modules provide a broad base in mechanical engineering. In Stages 3 and 4 you have the opportunity to specialise in a particular area in which the School has research strengths. This structure allows you to find out more about the different specialist areas of mechanical engineering before you are committed to studying them in depth.

Stages 1 and 2

The modules that you will take in Stages 1 and 2 consist of the core engineering subject areas as described below. The approximate percentage of time spent on each subject for Stage 1 only is given in brackets.

Design and manufacture (21%): Design and manufacturing are inextricably linked. We teach them together as our synthesising study strand, bringing together the knowledge and skills developed in the other strands. Learning (including drawing and CAD to BS308) is largely project-based.

Engineering sciences (51%): Technical innovation springs out of fundamental science and a key feature of the first two years is a rigorous grounding in understanding and applying it. We cover not just the mechanical sciences (34%) but also materials (8%) and electrical engineering (8%) which have driven most recent mechanical engineering developments.

Mathematical methods (17%): Engineering is about expressing and applying the sciences, optimisation, simulating processes, understanding economics and costing, analysing data and uncertainties, so mathematics is the "language" of engineers. We focus on your ability to use its techniques rather than on developing the subject as mathematicians do, particularly through calculus, matrix and vector algebra, and statistics.

Management and enterprise (6%): Engineering skills and innovation are nothing if they can't be implemented in the real world. In the first two years we focus on accountancy, law and enterprise before the third year moves onto operations, project and supply chain management.

Computing and simulation (6%): Digital methods are at the heart of most modern engineering and you will be introduced to a range of useful software tools that will support various strands of your course.

Stages 3 and 4

After the common Stages 1 and 2, the content of the degree programmes differ, depending on whether you are taking the three-year BEng programme or one of the four-year MEng Honours options. The general outlines of the BEng and MEng degrees are shown in the table below. Further information on the content of the individual Honours options, that you may wish to specialise in, is given under the specific degree titles.


Stage 3

Stage 4 (MEng)


25% (individual project)

42% (team project)

Core management subjects



Specialist programme modules