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Racing Engine Design


Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

The MSc in Racing Engine Design is the only programme of its kind in the world - it has been developed with the needs and requirements of the race engine manufacturers in mind. The programme is designed to produce highly-skilled graduates who are ready to undertake advanced design roles with major engine manufacturers and their supply chain.

The UK is a world leader in motorsport and high performance engines industry - many of the world's most advanced high-performance engines are designed not far from our location in the UK motorsport valley. The department’s unrivalled access to motorsport industry informs and directs development and delivery of the programme.

In addition to the strong theory-based modules, graduates gain a comprehensive understanding of how winning engines are created. Our teaching is centred around our state-of-the-art laboratories in a purpose-designed engineering building.

Available start dates

September 2018 / September 2019

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: 1 year (12 months)
  • Part time: 2 years

UCAS Postgraduate code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We are known as a premier institution for Motorsport education - our motorsport legacy is recognised worldwide and many of our graduates progress to work for most advanced high-performance engine manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Mercedes HPP, all F1 teams and major suppliers to motorsport industry, such as Riccardo, Xtrac, Prodrive, and Hewland.
  • Our programme has been developed with and delivered in collaboration with the automotive and motorsport industry: you will be taught by staff with many years of racing engine experience, from performance road cars, Rally, IRL, Kart and F3 right up to F1 and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, that include four engine test cells, analytical and mechanical test equipment and the latest 3D printing technology, in addition to a range of racing cars. Industrial aspect of delivery is enhanced by our visiting speakers from business and industry, providing professional perspectives, preparing you for an exciting career, for more information see our industrial lecture series schedule.
  • Our close industry links can also be seen through research projects and consultancies that enable us to feed the latest technology and developments into our teaching as well as providing opportunities for students to undertake projects with neighbouring companies, also based in the UK Motorsport Valley, whilst our well-funded research programmes in areas of current concern such as vehicle end-of-life issues, modern composite materials and electric vehicles offer. In the most recent REF (2014) 57% of the department's research was judged to be of world leading quality or internationally excellent with 96% being internationally recognised. Our research incorporates the latest developments within the sector with high profile visiting speakers contributing to our invited research lectures.
  • You will have the opportunity to join our acclaimed Formula Student team (OBR), mentored by our alumni and visiting lecturers from motorsport industry. You can put theory into practice by competing with the best universities from around the world. Find out more about Formula Student at Brookes by visiting the Oxford Brookes Racing website. You will have an opportunity to work on our novel V-twin engine design and also select this as your dissertation topic, which may lead to the possibility of furthering their studies towards a PhD research degree.
  • Regular visits to F1 teams, Formula E teams and major suppliers to the motorsport industry provide students with opportunities to explore technical challenges and the latest technology -- to get a flavour of the activities within our department see our departmental news.

The course is structured around three time periods: Semester 1 runs from September to December, Semester 2 from January to May, and the summer period completes the year until the beginning of September.

To qualify for a master's degree you must pass the compulsory modules, two optional modules and the dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

  • Racing Engine Design will give you a thorough understanding of the theoretical and practical considerations associated with the design and functioning of a racing engine. You will learn to perform advanced design analysis on each area, such as the block, valve-train, head design and thermal management. Practical analyses will be carried out using advanced analysis tools such as GT-Power, ANSYS, and ADAMsEngine.

  • Advanced Materials and Strength of Components develops knowledge and skills in fatigue and fracture analysis which are used to predict the conditions for fatigue failure and fracture and the life of mechanical components.

  • Advanced Engineering Management provides you with an understanding of the management skills and knowledge that are important in engineering industries.

  • The Dissertation (core, triple credit) is an individual project on a topic from race engineering, offering an opportunity to specialise in a particular area related to high performance engines. In addition to developing your expertise in a highly specialised field, including use of industry-standard software and/or experimental work, the module will also provide you with research skills, planning techniques, project management. Whilst a wide range of industry-sponsored projects are available (e.g. McLaren, AVL, VUHL etc.), students are also able undertake their own projects in the UK and abroad, to work in close co-operation with a research, industrial or commercial organisation.

Optional modules (choose a maximum of two):

  • Advanced Powertrain Engineering provides an understanding of areas such as powertrain system requirements, energy flow in the driveline, engine and powertrain modelling concepts for evaluating the performance of powertrain systems.

  • Computation and Modelling presents finite element modelling of structures containing composite materials, advanced simulation techniques using ADAMS and an introduction to MATLAB.

  • Crash Impact Modelling will give you an understanding of material, component and structural behaviour when subjected to medium-to-high-impact events. This includes the design, testing and modelling of motorsport and automotives vechicles with regard to crash worthiness.

  • Laptime Simulation and Race Engineering looks at advanced race vehicle performance subjects, including laptime simulation, data acquisition, instrumentation and telemetry. You will learn to assess the performance of racing cars, develop strategies to race engineer them and determine their ultimate performance using leading professional laptime simulation software.

  • Engineering Reliability and Risk Management covers the principles and techniques for improving the reliability of engineering components and systems, predicting their life and managing technical risk.

  • Data Acquisition Systems will provide you with an understanding of the theoretical and practical issues relating to the acquisition and analysis of data.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly, the choice of modules available may differ from those described above.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include lectures and seminars to provide a sound theoretical base, and practical work to demonstrate important aspects of theory or systems operation. Visiting speakers from business and industry provide valuable insights.

Approach to assessment

Coursework exercises, essays, presentations and laboratory exercises form the basis for continuous assessment.

Assessment methods include examination and coursework reflecting the development of academic content from the more practical aspects to the more conceptual.

Specialist facilities

We have purpose built teaching and research facilities with the very best equipment and resources required to study and practise motorsport engineering, including a four-post test rig, state-of-the-art engine test cells, analytical and mechanical test equipment, scanning electron microscope and the latest 3D printing technology. 

The department also makes use of Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques for in-cylinder combustion modelling. Our dedicated computer suites provide access to the latest industry-standard design software - find out more here.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £6,850 2018/19: £6,990

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £3,490 2018/19: £3,560

International - full time: 2017/18: £14,300 2018/19: £14,580

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

If you are UK/EU student, this is a great year to study Masters in the UK as the UK government has just introduced a new scheme, available to all students (under the age of 60).

Postgraduate loan scheme: /studying-at-brookes/finance/postgraduate-finance---uk-and-eu-students/postgraduate-loan-scheme/

Departmental scholarships:http://mems.brookes.ac.uk/scholarships/index.html

UK/EU: /studying/finance/pg-home/support/ /studying/finance/pg-international/support

A number of external organisations are also offering awards of up to £2,000 which you may be interested in to supplement any other funding you find. As these are external awards, please contact the companies involved if you have any queries:

Findamasters: http://www.findamasters.com/fundingAwards/

TARGET Courses: http://targetcourses.co.uk/bursarycompetition

Postgrad.com: http://www.postgrad.com/editorial/bursaries/

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a first degree, equivalent to at least a British lower second-class bachelor's degree, in mechanical, automotive or motorsport engineering or a related discipline. Applicants with relevant professional experience will also be considered.

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you will require a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 6.0 in all components.


An equivalent English language qualification acceptable to the University.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the university's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.

Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.


Our graduates enjoy the very best employment opportunities, with hundreds of engineering students having gone onto successful careers in their chosen industry. Many of our students go on to work with leading motorsport companies, including directly into F1 teams and suppliers. Click here to view a range of student profiles.

Students are also able to make full use of the University Careers support system

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Research highlights

The results of the most recent REF (2014) exercise showed that 96% of research in the department is internationally recognised, and 57% was judged to be of world leading quality or internationally excellent, compared with 45% in 2008. More specifically, 50% of the impact case studies returned were judged to be internationally excellent, and 72% of the research outputs were judged to be internationally excellent or world leading.

Research areas and clusters

The emphasis in our research groups is producing high-quality research for the real world. Staff have close links with industry through research projects and consultancies. Click here to find out more about the department.