Mechanical Engineering Design

BEng (Hons)

UCAS code: 5Y12

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years, or 4 years sandwich

Part time: up to 8 years

Location: Headington

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

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Become an incorporated engineer, faster. Our Mechanical Engineering Design degree combines practical, hands-on learning with the essential theories for working in this industry. Then practice your new skills through our extra-curricular activities and specialist facilities.

You’ll learn how to become an inventive problem-solver. After reviewing a product, you’ll consider how to improve it and test your ideas using industry-standard software. Tools you’ll use include computer-aided design (CAD) and stress and analysis packages.

Our teaching staff are industry professionals and experts in their fields. You can apply their insights to your coursework and to your job applications when you graduate. Your analytical skills will be highly relevant to any other postgraduate study you choose to take.

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Mechanical Engineering Design BEng (Hons) degree course student with lecturer at Oxford Brookes University

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Flexibility

    First year modules are shared with BEng Motorsport Technology, so you can switch to BEng Motorsport Technology if it better suits your goals.

  • Earn while you learn

    Take a paid work placement and gain industry experience to help your CV stand out when applying for jobs.

  • 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.

  • Professional advice

    Learn from industry experts, and apply their advice and experience to your projects and job applications.

  • View career options

    Prospective employers come to Oxford Brookes as part of our Industrial Lecture series, letting you ask questions about career routes.

  • Free language courses

    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.

  • Study 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. Although we will help as much as we can with your plans, ultimately you are responsible for organising and funding this study abroad.

  • Accreditation(s)

    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. 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

You’ll begin your first year with the Stirling Engine design project. You’ll work with students from across our engineering courses to draw the engine’s parts, discover its physics, and test its thermodynamics, dynamics, and stress analysis. Then you’ll set up sensors to measure key performance indicators before you market and sell it on a global online marketplace.

Year 2 is your opportunity to gain a broader range of analytical skills and work on more group design tasks. Modules include Control Technology, Materials Engineering, Electronic Systems and Thermal Systems.

You can go on a professional work placement before starting Year 3. Here, you’ll apply what you’ve learned so far on the course to industry projects. You’ll come back with new skills to apply in your third year, and experience that makes your CV competitive. Students have gone on placements at companies including Caterpillar, Cummins, and JCB.

Mechanical Engineering Design BEng (Hons) degree course student in workshop at Oxford Brookes University

Learning and teaching

Our teaching methods include seminars and lectures. You’ll have practical work in:

  • laboratories
  • computer labs
  • workshops.

We emphasise the importance of information technology in modern engineering practice. Almost all our teaching involves computers and engineering software. 


All your Year 1 modules involve continuous assessment.

In Years 2 and 3 we assess you through written examinations. However some modules are assessed through coursework only. 

Study modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Engineering Design and Practice I (30 credits)

    Through a subject-specific engineering product as a case study, you will delve into technical drawing, CAD/CAE, modelling, management, and machining, gaining a holistic understanding of the engineering design process. Additionally, this module introduces you to electrical and electronic circuits, laboratory testing, and experimentation, providing invaluable hands-on experience. You will develop mathematical proficiency to solve complex engineering problems, master the design and analysis of electrical circuits, and critically evaluate system architectures. By honing your technical drawing skills and adhering to international standards, you will effectively communicate engineering designs.

    By the end of this module, you will develop a deep understanding of electrical circuits, master the art of technical drawing, and gain proficiency in CAE tools for comprehensive design analysis.

  • IEng Mathematics and Modelling (30 credits)

    A solid foundation in mathematics is essential for budding engineers. This module sets the stage by providing the necessary mathematical tools to support the analytical aspects of year one engineering courses. You will delve into fundamental algebraic and trigonometric principles, explore the applications of differential and integral calculus, and develop skills in using related functions. Additionally, you will gain hands-on experience with mathematical models, applying them to real engineering problems using specialized software.

    By the end of this module, you'll gain the ability to tackle defined engineering problems systematically, choose appropriate problem-solving approaches, and apply differential and integral calculus to diverse engineering scenarios. Additionally, you'll become proficient in matrix algebra, essential for solving complex systems of equations, and learn the practical use of trigonometry in solving triangles. 

  • Basic Electrical Engineering (15 credits)

    This foundational module is designed to provide you with a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental concepts of electrical engineering. You will cover essential electrical quantities, parameters, and the operation of electronic components and circuits that are crucial for your journey as an engineering student. 

    By completing this module, you will develop crucial skills in problem-solving, circuit design, research, project execution, and effective communication. Moreover, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the general operation and behaviour of electrical circuits, enabling you to predict their outcomes. You'll gain hands-on experience in designing basic electrical and electronic circuits, with a focus on sustainability, legislation, and safety considerations. 

  • Basic Dynamics (15 credits)

    This course provides a comprehensive exploration of the foundational principles essential for assessing mechanical engineering designs concerning equilibrium and motion. These principles are applicable across a spectrum of primary mechanical and automotive parts, devices, and systems.

    On successful completion of this module, you will be competent in recognizing the different forces at play on typical engineering parts and devices under the influence of uncomplicated static loads. Additionally, you will cultivate the skill to craft and utilise free-body diagrams, along with shear force and bending moment diagrams, for an array of straightforward engineering devices, parts, and systems.

  • Basic Stress Analysis (15 credits)

    In this module, you will be introduced to the principles used in the analysis and design of mechanical engineering systems. This module will cover the fundamentals of engineering materials and their properties, which are crucial in the design phase. You will learn how to assess the influence of material structure on the mechanical behaviour of components, enabling you to make informed decisions regarding material selection for engineering applications.

    By the end of this module, you will be able to accurately calculate stresses and strains in simple components subjected to various loading conditions. Through diagrammatic analysis, you will evaluate loading and stresses effectively. Additionally, you will understand the importance of employing factors of safety to ensure structural integrity. 

  • Basic Thermodynamics (15 credits)

    In this module, you’ll explore the foundations of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Discover how these principles apply to real-world engineering scenarios, determining system characteristics and performance. Critically assess heat and work transfers, along with internal and external fluid flows. Evaluate the behaviour of gases and vapours as working fluids. You’ll also gain knowledge of flow measurement techniques and characteristics of internal and external flows. Understand the importance of energy efficiency and conservation through the evaluation of engineering systems. Enhance your practical skills with a short independent laboratory investigation. 

    By the end of this module, you will demonstrate your understanding of thermo-fluid concepts by applying relevant theories to analyse engineering systems numerically.

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Design and Practice II (double) (30 credits)

    This module places a strong emphasis on utilising modern computer technology, including computer-aided engineering (CAE) packages, to create solid models, conduct simulation analyses, and ensure designs are fit for purpose. By actively engaging with the integrated design environment and collaborating with peers, you will acquire invaluable skills in engineering design, problem-solving, and effective communication.

    As you progress through this module, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the engineering design process and its practical application in real-world contexts. You will learn to select and utilise appropriate industrial components, making informed decisions that contribute to the overall success of your designs. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, you will gain valuable experience working with others to produce design prototypes, simulating real-world scenarios encountered in professional engineering practice. 

  • Stress Analysis (15 credits)

    In this module, you'll delve into the intricacies of static stress analysis using closed-form solutions derived from fundamental principles. You'll also explore how this understanding relates to failure criteria and the material properties of the component. Practical application of theories will be facilitated through a hands-on laboratory session, offering a real-world context to the learned concepts.

    Through this module, you'll gain a profound ability to calculate stresses, strains, and deflections in beams undergoing bending and torsion. You'll be adept at determining various stress components like principal, octahedral, hydrostatic, and deviatoric stresses in three-dimensional components. This skill set will enable you to evaluate the strength and deformation suitability of a diverse range of components under static loading conditions. 

  • Electronics and Control Engineering 1 (15 credits)

    In this module, you'll develop a comprehensive understanding of electronic and electrical systems, their control mechanisms, and their integration with existing processes. The focus is on preparing you to analyse, apply, and predict the performance of these systems, especially in the context of high-level autonomous operations. 

    Upon completing this module, you'll be able to explain the operation and limitations of major control, electrical, and electronic systems. You'll have the skills to analyse complex electronics and control problems, design appropriate tests, and accurately assess outcomes. Leveraging industry-standard modelling and simulation software, you'll be capable of explaining and analysing the behaviour of electronics and control systems. 

  • Materials Engineering (15 credits)

    This module aims to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of materials used in mechanical engineering, with a focus on selection, design, manufacturing optimization, and environmental impact assessment. You'll delve into the specifics of metals and polymer composite materials, gaining valuable insights into their structure, properties, and manufacturing processes.

    By the end of this module, you'll have the underpinning knowledge and comprehension necessary to make informed decisions about materials selection for engineering applications. You'll explore how the structure and properties of materials are influenced by their manufacturing processes, leading to optimized performance in real-world scenarios. Additionally, you'll gain an understanding of the factors and processes involved in material degradation, enabling you to evaluate and account for these factors in your design work.

  • Engineering Dynamics (15 credits)

    This module is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of dynamic mechanical systems. The focus includes mechanical vibration, control systems, and the performance evaluation of single-degree-of-freedom systems, as well as first and second-order systems. Additionally, you'll explore the kinematics of mechanisms, gears, and epicyclic gears. The coursework is enriched with practical laboratory exercises, providing hands-on experience to complement theoretical learning. 

    By the end of this module, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively analyse the dynamic performance of mechanical systems. 

  • Electrical Machines and Drives (15 credits)

    In this module, you will delve into the realm of electrical machines and their drives, a critical area in the realm of Electro-Mechanical Engineering. The module focuses on designing drives for electrical machines and challenges you to create effective solutions, backed by appropriate specifications. You’ll engage in research and literature reviews, which will fine-tune your analytical skills. 

    This module will equip you with a comprehensive understanding of various electrical machines and their applications, encompassing both fundamental concepts and more intricate aspects where applicable. Through mathematical analysis, you will develop problem-solving skills in tackling intricate challenges. You will gain the ability to decipher the intricacies of electrical machines and predict their behaviour through analytical means. 

  • Thermal Systems (15 credits)

    In this module, you will build upon your foundational knowledge of engineering thermodynamics to explore the application of these principles in analysing and designing equipment and systems across various engineering domains. You will delve into the intricacies of gas mixtures, combustion chemistry, and thermodynamics, enabling you to evaluate key indicators and performance metrics. 

    This module equips you with valuable skills and knowledge applicable in diverse engineering scenarios. You will not only comprehend the inner workings of thermal systems but also learn to evaluate their performance under varying conditions. Through practical exercises and CAE modelling, you will compare mathematical models with real-world results, honing your ability to assess and optimise thermal systems' efficiency and effectiveness.

Year 3 (optional placement year - compulsory for sandwich year students)

Optional modules

Optional Work Placement Year

You will be encouraged to work in industry for one year, between the second and final years of the course. You will need to cover transport and living costs during this time. We have placement opportunities with local, national and international engineering companies and product manufacturing companies. These are advertised through our placement office where support and guidance in applying for placements is provided. We have an excellent record of graduates gaining full-time employment with the company hosting their industrial placement. Sponsored students spend the year with their sponsoring company. Students who are not sponsored will be assisted by our full-time placements officer in finding a suitable placement.

Year 4 (or year 3 if no placement)

Compulsory modules

  • Engineering Project (double) (30 credits)

    This module aims to provide you with a platform to delve deeply into a practical engineering issue, fostering a comprehensive understanding of real-world problem-solving. You will undertake a substantial project that goes beyond the scope of your previous coursework, allowing you to solidify your knowledge and hone the skills you've acquired during your studies. 

    Throughout the module, you will be required to meticulously document your project's journey, from its inception to its completion, in a comprehensive report. You'll learn to prepare effective project plans and Gantt charts, crucial tools for organising and executing the project in a systematic manner. Your ability to critically evaluate engineering practices through in-depth analysis of published literature will be nurtured. You'll also learn to apply a diverse range of both innovative and established techniques to address complex engineering problems, showcasing your problem-solving prowess.

  • Management Ethics, Energy and Sustainability (double) (30 credits)

    This module is designed to equip you with a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted challenges that intersect business, society, and sustainability. With a specific focus on the automotive, transport, and general engineering sectors, this module delves into critical topics such as project management, leadership, energy, environmental concerns, sustainable engineering, ethics, and social aspects of employment.

    By the end of this module, you'll possess a holistic perspective on business practices and their impact on the triple bottom line: economic, social, and environmental aspects. You'll learn to craft effective business plans, making compelling arguments that incorporate sustainability principles, echoing the shift towards a circular economy.

  • Advanced CAD/CAM (15 credits)

    In this module, you will learn to use cutting-edge design and manufacturing software to produce computer-generated solid models of engineering components, as well as analyse them to determine their manufacturability. You will also learn how to simulate various machining processes and produce lathe and milling cutting paths for use in NC machine tools. This knowledge is applicable to various engineering disciplines.

    Through this module, you will develop a range of skills with a strong foundation in advanced CAD/CAM techniques and you will be well-equipped to pursue a successful career in engineering.

  • Advanced Engineering Materials and Applications (15 credits)

    This module extends your fundamental knowledge obtained at levels 4 and 5. You’ll be exposed to the latest advances on materials development and this will help your interest in exploring and creating innovative and advanced materials for a range of engineering applications including:

    • Automotive
    • Motorsport
    • Construction 
    • and Aerospace sectors.

    You’ll gain a firm foundation of the characterisation and processing techniques of materials and engineering components. You’ll have hands-on experience to build practical skills through carefully designed lab experiments while developing your research expertise in materials science and engineering. The focus is on metals and composite materials. 

  • Electronics and Control Engineering II (15 credits)

    This module is designed to provide you with advanced knowledge and skills in the realm of electronics and control systems. The focus is on equipping you with the expertise to create, analyse, and critically evaluate complex electronic and control systems. The module will also explore the integration of these advanced systems with existing processes and applications, unveiling their impact on the technological landscape.

    Upon completing this module, you will possess the advanced capabilities required to excel in the design, analysis, and evaluation of intricate electronic and control systems. These skills will be invaluable in applications such as Computer Integrated Manufacturing, where the fusion of electronic systems and automation plays a pivotal role.

  • Sensors and Data Logging (15 credits)

    This module dives into the critical aspects that determine the suitability of a sensor for specific scenarios, considering factors such as data precision, calibration, and manufacturers' specifications. You will explore the operating principles of key sensors utilised in automotive applications, fostering a deep grasp of their functionality.

    This module equips you with the practical skills and theoretical insights required to manipulate sensors and data loggers effectively. You will develop the competence to make informed decisions regarding sensor selection, data acquisition, and processing for a wide range of engineering applications. This knowledge will prove invaluable in an array of scenarios, from automotive systems to other industries reliant on precise and reliable data analysis.

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.


Since mechanical engineering underpins all of the engineering profession, our graduates go on to work in a broad range of industries. This includes aerospace, manufacturing, defence, pharmaceuticals, and finance. They’re employed by companies such as Dyson, Airbus, and Lentus Composites.

Completing this BEng course meets the academic requirements for gaining incorporated engineer status. It’s accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET).

You’ll have the option to study mechanical engineering design, or another similar subject, at postgraduate level. So you may want to consider progressing to our MSc courses after completing your undergraduate programme.

Entry requirements

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

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 112

A Level: BBC

IB Points: 30


Contextual offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 88

A Level: CCD

IB Points: 27


Further offer details

We welcome applications from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

International qualifications and equivalences

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

Home (UK) sandwich (placement)

International full time

International sandwich (placement)

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

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

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

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.