Degree Structure

Each 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 specialize in a particular area in which the School has research strengths. This structure enables 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 enginerering subject areas as described below. The approximate percentage of time spent on each subject for Stage 1 only is given in brackets.

Manufacturing and Management (12%)

You will cover the basic principles of business and project management, as well as understanding of important manufacturing processes, and the relationship between design, materials and manufacturing process selection.

Engineering Design (15%)

You will learn to prepare, read and understand drawings and CAD (Computer-aided Design) to BS308 standard. In addition, you examine the specification of dimensions, tolerances and finishes of components, taking into account the limitations of manufacturing processes. As part of your studies, you will design basic assemblies using simple design calculations and also design, make and test a specific structure.

Mechanical Sciences (35%)

In your study of related mechanical sciences, you will cover: mechanics (statics, kinematics, dynamics of rigid bodies); strength of materials; thermodynamics; fluid mechanics.

Electrical Engineering (8%)

You will study basic electrical principles and circuits (DC, AC) and electromagnetism, as well as electrical power (machines, transformers).

Materials Engineering (8%)

You study the key engineering properties of materials, and the relationship between microstructure and properties for metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, as well as material selection parameters.

Engineering Mathematics (17%)

Engineering is about size, shape, performance, cost, modelling and prdicting behaviour and optimisation. Mathematics, therefore, is the 'language' of engineering and is an important element of all the subjects taught. You study calculus (including partial differentiation and numerical integration), first and second order ordinary differential equations, matrix and vector algebra, systems of linear equations and eigenvalue problems and statistics.

Computing (4%)

At Stage 1 you are taught some of the basic principles of software which forms the basis for work integrated into the other modules at Stage 2.

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 specialize in, is given under the specific degree titles.



Stage4 MEng


25% (individual project)

42% (team project)

Core management subjects



Specialist programme modules