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Automotive Engineering

BEng (Hons), MEng

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

The BEng is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer. The MEng is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

What you will study
This course will teach engineering principles and analytical techniques, alongside hands-on experience. On this course you will study mathematics, engineering principles, design and management. You will work in small groups to deepen your knowledge and understanding of automotive design through practical activities in the laboratories. You’ll develop analytical skills through the study of dynamics, thermodynamics and stress analysis applying them in automotive engineering design projects. In your final year you will study specialised automotive engineering subjects such as vehicle aerodynamics and automotive engines. 

What next?
The course has been developed with input from the sector and our graduates are highly sought after. Our work placement programme is commended by professional bodies as a model of excellence. Many of our students progress to further study. Employers of our graduates include Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Cosworth, Cummins, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan. 

This programme is going through the process of reaccreditation with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in February 2019.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120 UCAS Tariff points for BEng or 128 UCAS Tariff points for MEng, to include A level Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Wheatley Campus

Course length

  • Full time: BEng: 3 years, or 4 years sandwich; MEng: 4 years, or 5 years sandwich
  • Part time: BEng: up to 8 years; MEng: up to 9 years

UCAS code

H330 BEng
H341 MEng

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

To succeed on this course, you should want to become a designer of cars. You will need an aptitude for practical engineering, perhaps with some experience of building, driving, maintaining or designing automotive-related products.
  • As part of this programme you will be given an opportunity to gain a Monitored Professional Development Scheme (MPDS) accreditation by IMechE through a work placement with one of the University's industry partners. 
  • You will benefit from the strong links we have forged with the automotive industry. These companies support the course in many ways and are actively involved in shaping its content and style. 
  • You have the opportunity to undertake an Industrial Placement year; our students have gone to engineering roles at major automotive companies such as BMW, Cummins and Nissan.
  • We have active research interests in vehicle design and refinement, considering issues such as vehicle aerodynamics, powertrain, suspension dynamics, noise vibration and harshness, fuels, engine emissions and environmental impact. 
  • Our students are regular prize winners of Formula Student competitions, all students are eligible to get involved with this.
  • You will be learning in modern, state-of-the-art workshops, laboratories, computer facilities, and media studios.
  • You will have opportunities to mix with the local engineering community through local IMechE events and lectures.

Our course is taught in modern, purpose-built premises with impressive facilities. The modules you take in Year 1 cover fundamental work in engineering, applied mathematics, manufacturing techniques and ancillary subjects such as electronics, CAD and Business Management.

In Year 2 you will build on these subjects to gain an understanding of how basic principles can be applied to more complex problems, and to develop analytical techniques. There will be an element of group work focusing upon design and analysis. You also have an option of undertaking a placement before progressing to third year of academic study.

In your final year you will study specialised automotive engineering subjects. For example, you will learn to use software to analyse the dynamic behaviour of a car when it undertakes manoeuvres. As well as studying automotive aerodynamics and automotive engines. You will also select a project of personal interest from our research and industrial activities.

Many students undertake a work placement between the second and final years, and all students may apply to join our internationally successful Formula Student team.

If you wish to extend your degree you may seek selection for the four-year MEng course. The first three years of the MEng run parallel with the BEng course, while the final year of the MEng allows you to broaden and deepen your studies. You may enrol on either course when joining the university but progression onto the MEng is only possible for the most able students. You can also apply from elsewhere to join our MEng in the third year.

Study modules

As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules available may vary from those listed here.

Year 1

  • Engineering Mathematics and Modelling I (double)
  • Engineering Design and Practice I (double)
  • Introduction to Thermo Fluids
  • Introduction to Materials
  • Introduction to Stress Analysis
  • Introduction to Statics and Dynamics

Year 2 through to final year of MEng

Year 2

  • Design and Practice II (double)
  • Stress Analysis and Dynamics (double)
  • Automotive Electronics
  • Engineering Mathematics and Modelling II
  • Thermo-Fluids
  • Materials Engineering

Year 3


  • Engineering Project (double)
  • Management, Ethics, Energy and Sustainability (double)

Optional, 2 from:

  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Vehicle Aerodynamics 
  • Automotive Engines

Optional, 2 from:

  • Vibration Control and NVH
  • Design of Machines 
  • Vehicle Crash Design

Year 4 (MEng)


  • Group Design Project (double)
  • Advanced Engineering Management

Optional, 1 from:

  • Noise, Vibration and Harshness
  • Vehicle Crash Engineering
  • Advanced Powertrain Engineering

Optional, 1 from:

  • Advanced Vehicle Dynamics
  • Advanced Vehicle Aerodynamics
  • Advanced Materials and Strength of Components

Optional, 1 from:

  • Computation and Modelling
  • Sustainable Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Reliability and Risk Management

Work placements

Our work placement programme has been commended by professional bodies as a model of excellence. We have placement opportunities with local, national and international Engineering companies. These are advertised through our placement office and support and guidance in applying for placements is provided.

You will be encouraged to undertake a work placement for one year between the second and final years of your course. Placements are highly valued by prospective employers, as they recognise the benefits of obtaining industrial experience. The placement helps with consolidating their understanding of mechanical engineering in general and having the opportunity to apply their knowledge in an industrial environment. On returning to the university for their final year, the experience they have gained invariably improves their academic performance.

Students will typically have to arrange their own accommodation during their placement year and will have to cover their own transport and living costs.

Past industrial placements have been undertaken at:

  • Rolls Royce
  • BMW
  • Nissan
  • Vauxhall
  • Ford
  • Mercedes AMG HPP
  • Nitron Racing Systems
  • AP Racing Ltd
  • X-Trac Ltd

We have an excellent record of students gaining full-time employment on graduation with their industrial placement-year company. 

Study abroad

Great opportunities to study or work abroad

You may be able to go on a European or international study exchange while you are at Brookes. Most exchanges take place in the second year.

Studying abroad provides an amazing opportunity to add value to your studies by:

  • increasing your employability within an international market
  • boosting your language skills
  • building your confidence in adapting to new situations
  • improving your knowledge of different cultures.

While on exchange you will gain credits which count towards your degree.

We have more than 100 partner universities around the world. Funding is available through the Erasmus scheme, and also via some international programmes such as the Santander Student Awards.

There is also a European work placement programme which gives you the chance to work abroad as part of your studies.

For more information, visit our pages on studying abroad and exchanges.

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.

Additional costs

First year Engineering students spend some time in laboratory sessions as part of the course for which protective equipent is mandatory. This typically costs around £25-40 although you are able to use your own, if suitable.

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.

Teaching and learning

Teaching and learning methods include seminars, lectures, and practical work in the laboratory, at a computer or in a workshop. The importance of information technology in modern engineering practice is emphasised, and in several modules almost all of the teaching is based around computers.

Time spent in different learning activities

Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 29%71%0%
2 27%73%0%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 18%82%0%
Year Lectures, seminars or similar Independent study Placement
1 29%71%0%
2 18%82%0%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 18%82%0%
5 23%78%0%
6 (sandwich year)20%80%0%

Approach to assessment

All modules use a mix of examination and coursework for assessment. Coursework assessment varies but can include the following:
  • oral examinations
  • group presentations
  • design or laboratory reports
  • technical reviews
  • poster presentations.

Breakdown of assessment methods used on this course

Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 51%0%49%
2 45%6%49%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 33%0%68%
Year Written exams Practical exams Coursework
1 51%0%49%
2 35%0%65%
3 (sandwich year)0%0%100%
4 35%0%65%
5 25%0%75%
6 (sandwich year)42%0%58%

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

Home/EU - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £1,380. 2019/20: £1,380.

International - full time: 2018/19: £14,000 2019/20: £14,280

International - sandwich placement fee: 2018/19: £3,920

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120 UCAS Tariff points for BEng or 128 UCAS Tariff points for MEng, to include A level Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

A-Level: BBB (120 UCAS Tariff points) for BEng or ABB (128 UCAS Tariff points) for MEng, to include Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points (BEng) or 33 points (MEng) to include minimum grade 5 in Higher Level Maths and Physics

BTEC: BTEC National Diploma in an engineering subject, plus A-level Maths at grade B for BEng, A-level Maths at grade A for MEng.

Advanced Diploma

  • BEng: Engineering grade B, plus A-level Maths at grade B
  • MEng: Engineering grade A, plus A-level Maths at grade A

Specific entry requirements

A-Level: Grade B in Maths, and Grade B in Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Engineering or another suitable science subject.

GCSE: English Language grade C minimum

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Please 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.

How to apply

International applicants

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.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxford is a great place to study automotive engineering. Our location  means you will benefit from our strong links with BMW, Honda, EP Barrus, Renault F1 Team, Lotus F1 Team, Red Bull, Mercedes GP, Williams, McLaren, Force India and AP Racing, including work placements and recruitment opportunities.

Support for students studying Automotive Engineering

The department offers additional support through the Open Support Seminar Programme.  At designated times a member of staff is available to provided tailored support relating to module content within the Engineering building.

Specialist facilities

You'll have access to a broad range of up-to-date facilities, including computer equipment, audio and video media facilities and software for Computer Aided Design and analysis.

We also have the following well-equipped engineering laboratories and workshops:

  • Mechanical Engineering Workshop and Projects Lab - providing machining and fabrication facilities.
  • Joining Technology Research Centre (JTRC) - used for teaching and research into adhesively-bonded joints and structures.
  • Stress and Materials Laboratory - where all machines are digitally controlled and capable of static and fatigue testing.
  • Dynamics Laboratory - with several pieces of high performance equipment for vibration monitoring and recording as well as acoustic measurements and modelling, including a damper dyno.
  • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory - housing a Plint and Partners open loop closed working section wind tunnel, with data logging and Dantec multi-channel hot wire anemometry system.  A laminar and turbulent flow rig, internal flow and centrifugal pump testing apparatus.
  • Automotive Laboratory - fully-equipped with workbenches, shelving and cabinets containing engineers' hand tools, automotive and racecar test and measurement equipment (including a four-post rig for vehicle dynamics analysis), pneumatic and electric power tools and lifting equipment.
  • Thermodynamics Laboratory - supporting the engine testing and emissions analysis teaching and research programmes within the department.  The laboratory also supports combustion modelling work using Computational Fluid Dynamics.

General support services

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.

Professional accreditation

The MEng has been fully accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) under the Engineering Council's guidelines (UK SPEC). It provides complete exemption from the Engineering Council exams parts one and two.


The IMechE has given the BEng course the maximum accreditation level available to a BEng course under the Engineering Council's guidelines (UK SPEC). Upon graduation you will have fully satisfied the academic requirements for Incorporated Engineer status and have a well-defined path to Chartered Engineer status with the IMechE and the Engineering Council. 

Career prospects

The UK motor industry employs thousands of graduates each year and has a highly successful automotive industry. Whether your aspirations are to design the next new Mini or the latest executive saloon with an international pedigree, this course will prepare you to achieve them.   

Graduates from Automotive Engineering typically obtain engineering roles within the sector and our degree in Automotive Engineering provides the right balance of education and practical experience to equip you for this exacting profession.  There are also postgraduate learning opportunities open through the department at MSc or PhD level.

Graduates from Automotive Engineering  have gone on to secure roles with companies including:

  • Aston Martin
  • Bentley
  • BMW
  • Cummins
  • Ford
  • Jaguar Landrover
  • Nissan

Further study

Many students progress onto MSc or PhD programmes upon completion of a BEng or MEng degree. There are a range of MSc programmes offered by the department enabling BEng graduates to specialise in a specific engineering field or for MEng graduates there are PhD opportunities.