School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering

Summary Degree Structure

Summary Degree Structure

Each academic year corresponds to one Stage of our degree programmes. Stages 1 and 2 are common to all the programmes. In Stages 3 and 4 you have the opportunity to specialise in a particular area.

Stages 1 and 2 are common to all our degree 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.

We also have a Stage 0 (Foundation Year entry only).

Stages 1 and 2

In Stages 1 and 2 your modules come from the 5 core engineering subject areas listed below.

The number in brackets tells you the approximate percentage of time you'll spend on each subject area in Stage 1.

Design and manufacture (21%)

Design and manufacturing are inextricably linked. We teach them together in synthesis, also bringing in the knowledge and skills developed in the other subject areas. Learning (including drawing and CAD to BS308) is largely project-based.

Engineering sciences (51%)

Technical innovation springs from fundamental science, and so 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. Maths is the 'language' of engineers. We focus on your ability to use its techniques through calculus, matrix and vector algebra, and statistics, rather than on developing the subject as mathematicians do.

Management and enterprise (6%)

Engineering skills and innovation are nothing if they can't be implemented in the real world. In Stages 1 and 2 we focus on accountancy, law and enterprise. In Stage 3 you'll move on to operations, project and supply chain management.

Computing and simulation (6%)

Digital methods are at the heart of most modern engineering. You'll be introduced to a range of useful software tools that will support various parts of your course.

Stages 3 and 4

In Stages 3 and 4 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.

You'll also do a range of projects in Stages 3 and 4.

The general outlines of the BEng and MEng degrees are shown in the table below. For more information on the content of the individual Honours options, look at our specific degree titles.

ContentStage 3Stage 4 (MEng)
Project 25% (individual project) 42% (team project)
Core management subjects 8% -
Specialist programme modules 67% 58%