Racing Engine Systems


Start dates: January 2024 / September 2024 / January 2025 / September 2025

Full time: 12 months for September start, 17 months for January start

Part time: 24 months for September start, 29 months for January start

Location: Headington

Department(s): School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

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Train for advanced design roles with engine manufacturers and their supply chains. Our Racing Engine Systems postgraduate degree meets industry requirements and is the only one of its kind in the world. You’ll study race engine theories and learn how to design winning engines. And you’ll discover how to build the hybrid and electric engines of the future.

Many high-performance engines are designed in the UK’s motorsport valley. Being in Oxford means you’re right in the middle of it. This gives you unrivalled access to the industry - insight you can use during your studies.

You’ll be taught in state-of-the-art laboratories, in a specialist engineering building, by some of the best minds in the engineering business. And our experts will help you prepare for your career.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Great location

    Oxford is home to many high-tech businesses and we have good links with the industry.

  • Industry approved

    The Racing Engine Systems module meets the FIA Formula One Powertrain Regulations.

  • Brand new facilities

    All Engineering and Motorsport courses are moving from the Wheatley Campus to brand new, custom designed buildings at our main Headington site. These buildings are expected to open in September 2024, but as with any large-scale building project those timescales could change. You'll benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and equipment including a VR cave and material science labs, composite lab, autodynamics workshop and wind tunnel, as well as social learning spaces, teaching rooms and cafe space.

  • Work with professionals

    You’ll be learning from industry experts, and their advice can help shape your research and career direction.

  • Good job prospects

    Many of our graduates on this course secure employment before completing their dissertation.

  • Accreditation(s)

    This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) for the purpose of meeting the further learning requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. This course is also accredited by The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

    • Engineering Council
    • Institution of Engineering and Technology
    • Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Course details

Course structure

The modules you study combine practical experience, theory, and simulation to help prepare you for working in the industry. These include Racing Engine Systems, Advanced Powertrain, and Electric Powertrain. You’ll learn to review powertrain performances, understand the business requirements behind engineering and how to predict engine fracture and failure.

For your dissertation, you’ll study a specific topic of your choice at an in-depth level. They will help shape your research, planning and project management skills too.

You could take an industry-sponsored project from the likes of Ford, AVL, or a local racing team. Or you may prefer to work on your own project in the UK or abroad, and collaborate closely with a research or commercial organisation of your choice.

Student working on a motorsport car in the Brookes garage

Learning and teaching

Teaching methods include:

  • lectures and seminars to provide a sound theoretical base
  • practical work to demonstrate important aspects of theory or systems operation.

We also invite visiting speakers from business and motorsport industry to provide valuable insights to your learning.


You will be assessed through the following methods:

  • coursework exercises
  • essays
  • presentations
  • laboratory exercises
  • examinations.

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Powertrain Engineering (20 credits)

    This module 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.

  • Engineering Business Management (20 credits)

    This module provides you with an understanding of the management skills and knowledge that are important in engineering industries.

  • Advanced Strength of Components (20 credits)

    This module 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.

  • Racing Engine Systems - System Integration (20 Credits)

    This module deals with advanced racing engine design subjects. Students will be given a thorough understanding of the relevant theoretical and practical considerations associated with the design and functioning of a racing engine, energy recovery and storage systems specific to racing applications. Students will learn to perform advanced design analyses using various tools for selecting and optimising the performance of racing engines. Practical analyses will be carried out using advanced analysis tools relevant to the Racing Engine Industry. The content covered in this module will focus on design principles relevant to components, systems, and system integration for optimising the performance of the racing power unit.

  • Electric Powertrain Systems (20 credits)

    This module provides an understanding of areas such as electric powertrain system requirements and modelling concepts for evaluating the performance of electric powertrain systems.

  • Racing Engine Systems - Thermal (20 Credits)

    This module deals with advanced racing engine design subjects. This module will enable the students to gain thorough understanding of the relevant theoretical and practical considerations associated with the design, performance, regulatory requirements and functioning of a power unit specific to racing applications. The central theme of this module is aimed at principles for designing and optimising thermal systems of the racing engine. Students will learn to perform analyses using various tools for selecting and optimising the performance of racing engines.

Final project

Compulsory modules

  • MSc Dissertation (60 credits)

    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.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


The emphasis in our research groups is producing high-quality research for the real world. Our industry focused research includes an award-winning project with Yasa Motors and BMWi development.

Staff have close links with industry through research projects and consultancies. You can find out more on our department research pages.

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. 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.


Many of our students secure work before completing their dissertation. They now have careers with motorsport companies, Formula One teams and their suppliers, and research laboratories. They’re working on developing next generation engines. 

Our careers support system is available for help and advice with your career.

Student profiles

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year, your fees will increase each year.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

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.