School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering

Are you fascinated by technology and design? Primarily problem solvers, mechanical engineers design, create and use tools and methods in every industry from atomic physics to space exploration. They play a vital role in tackling problems that affect us all such as energy security; efficient manufacturing and smart cities. Our engineering students are taught by enthusiastic staff with strong industry links who use laboratory sessions and physical demonstrations to reinforce academic learning.

Our accredited BEng Mechanical Engineering is designed to start your journey to becoming a qualified professional mechanical engineer. Our engineering programmes rely strongly on practical work and you will develop your design skills throughout the programme. We offer the opportunity to undertake a paid placement year to help consolidate and develop your engineering knowledge and many students receive job offers as a result of their time in industry.

Specialise further:

Our BEng and MEng Mechanical Engineering and Marine Technology course can all be taken with composites engineering as a specialist pathway. For more advice on which course is right for you, see our 'Which course?' advice. 

Opportunities available...

  • A course-specific scholarship scheme is available: for more information, see the 'Fees, costs and funding' section, below.
  • Excellence schemes: we may make you a personalised offer if you are a strong candidate – visit our webpage for details.

Pre-register for Clearing

If you are yet to make an enquiry to study with the University of Plymouth and are interested in securing a place for September 2020, you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Read our Clearing advice

Key features

  • Open the door to a successful future - with starting salaries from £23,000, our graduates have gone on to work for Hoare Lea, Babcock Marine, Becton Dickinson, e2v, Edwards, the Shaw Group and the Ministry of Defence.
  • Define yourself with an IMechE accredited degree - the course has been designed to fully satisfy the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partially satisfy the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
  • Be flexible – our combined first year allows you to switch to marine technology or civil engineering in line with your career ambitions.
  • Be unique – our courses are the only ones in the country to have a named 'with composites' pathway; choosing this will allow you to stand out in the job market.
  • Learn hands-on with the latest industry-standard software, laboratory sessions and practical classes.
  • Aim higher – you may progress onto the MEng course at the end of your second year if you are doing well.
  • Put learning into practice by taking a paid year in industry, many of our students receive job offers or sponsorship as a result of their placements.
  • Go on to thrive in sectors as diverse as aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and energy. 

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In the first year of your mechanical engineering course, you will study alongside other engineering students to learn about the fundamental principles underpinning the subjects studied throughout the course. You will develop your mathematical skills and study engineering materials, structural mechanics and fluid mechanics. You will learn about generic design processes and computer-aided design, and work in a team to undertake a real-world design challenge. Laboratory sessions will form an important part of your learning.

    Core modules

    BPIE115 Stage 1 Mechanical Placement Preparation

    This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    ENGR101 Engineering Design

    This module introduces students to engineering design practice appropriate to civil, marine and mechanical engineering disciplines. Students will develop sketching and technical drawing skills and use computer-aided design (CAD) tools to create digital models of technical systems. Working in a team, students will be tasked to create sustainable solutions to real-world technical design challenges.

    ENGR102 Engineering Practice and Experimental Techniques

    The mainly experimental basis of this module allows students to extend their engineering knowledge and practical competence using a guided, student-centred, and laboratory-based approach to develop fundamental understanding of a range of engineering topics. The module will help students acquire good study skills and competency in technical communication.

    ENGR103 Engineering Science

    This module introduces students to the fundamental scientific principles of fluid mechanics appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications; the fundamental concepts of thermodynamics relating to the interaction between systems and their surroundings, including both flow and non-flow processes, heat engines, and mechanisms of heat transfer; and the fundamental principles of electrical engineering.

    ENGR104 Engineering Mathematics

    This module provides students with a number of fundamental mathematical skills, and techniques, which are essential for the analysis of engineering problems.

    ENGR105 Mechanics and Structures

    This module introduces students to the fundamental scientific principles of engineering mechanics and structures appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications. Deeper understanding of these scientific principles will be developed through practical applications using hand calculations and computer software tools as appropriate.

    ENGR106 Engineering Materials

    This module introduces students to a broad range of engineering materials appropriate for civil, marine and mechanical engineering applications. The module will consider the relationship between structure, manufacture and properties, presenting practical applications wherever appropriate. Students will also be introduced to standard material test methods.

  • Year 2
  • The second year introduces subjects like control systems engineering and quality management while further developing your thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mathematics and design skills. These subjects are explored in lectures, in laboratory sessions and workshops. At this point, you can opt in to the 'with composites' pathway.

    Core modules

    MATS235 Materials & Structural Integrity

    This module’s study of design is based upon principles of engineering mechanics and application of finite element analysis (FEA). We will utilise appropriate software tools eg Solid-works, ANSYS etc. in a practical mechanical design context. Students will learn to follow a structured design process to enhance creativity, logical analysis and commercial awareness then apply this process to solve a design challenge.

    MECH233 Manufacturing Processes

    This module provides students with a comprehensive introduction to manufacturing. It will cover both the fundamentals of forming, shaping, joining and traditional machining processes in relation to a range of engineering materials and the relationship between structure, manufacture and properties. It will also include hands-on workshop activities to reinforce understanding and to develop additional engineering competences

    CONT222 Engineering Maths & Control

    This module provides engineering mathematical techniques and methods (Laplace transform and linear algebra) for the analysis of practical engineering problems and introduces classical control systems theory.

    MECH235 Mechanical Engineering Design & Commercialisation

    This module’s study of design is based upon principles of engineering mechanics and application of finite element analysis (FEA). We will utilise appropriate software tools e.g. Solid-works, ANSYS etc. in a practical mechanical design context. Students will learn to follow a structured design process to enhance creativity, logical analysis and commercial awareness then apply this process to solve a design challenge.

    MECH234 Thermo-Fluids

    This module will introduce student’s key concepts in thermodynamics and fluids mechanics theory (1st and 2nd laws) pertaining to mechanical engineering. It will also include an introduction to heat transfer and its application in design and performance of heat engines and other applications.

    MFRG209 Engineering Quality Management

    This module provides the student with an understanding of the importance of Total Quality to a manufacturer, its measurement and some of the tools available to the designer/manager to ensure it is profitably achieved. It introduces the concept of the World-Class organisation, its culture and management as well as the international (ISO) management systems (quality, environment and H&S) involved.

    BPIE215 Stage 2 Mechanical Placement Preparation

  • Optional placement year
  • By taking the opportunity to spend an optional year in paid employment whilst still a student engineer, you will obtain recordable professional experience, build a network of industry contacts and often obtain offers of summer work, sponsorship or employment on graduation. Our placements team will support you in finding a placement, and we have an extensive network of employers across all sectors.

    Optional modules

    BPIE335 Engineering Related Placement 


  • Final year
  • In your final year, you will deepen your understanding of computer aided engineering tools and control systems. You will also focus your specialism choosing to further your understanding of thermofluids and design methodology or choosing to study the theoretical and practical aspects of composites engineering on the 'with composites' pathway. Your dissertation project enables you to research the topics that interest you and will allow you to bring together all you have learnt so far.
     

    Pure mechanical engineering pathway
    Core modules

    PRME307 ME Honours Project

    In this module students will carry out Independent project work closely aligned to their programme of study. This will be carried out under the guidance of an appointed supervisor.

    MECH341 Computer Aided Engineering (FEA/CFD)

    In this module, students learn to use two of the Computer Aided Engineering methods that are most commonly used in industry; finite volume Computational Fluid Dynamics (to solve fluid flow problems) and Finite Element Analysis (to solve structural problems). Students gain an overview of the theory that underpins these methods, and learn how to use a validation process to assess reliability of simulation results.

    CONT317 Control and Intelligent Systems Design

    This module explores the application of control engineering and artificial intelligence techniques in the design of engineering control systems.

    THER307 Thermo-Fluid Engineering

    This module provides further studies in thermal and fluid engineering relating to specific topics relevant to mechanical engineering.

    MECH342 Mechanical Engineering Design in Practice

    This module further develops a methodical approach to engineering design. Students will create solutions to a complex engineering problem, embodiment designs using CAD tools, validate functionality, optimise technical performance and consider design for excellence targets across the product lifecycle. The module also considers the professional responsibilities of engineers, codes of conduct and typical ethical issues.

    Mechanical engineering with composites pathway
    Core modules

    PRME307 MEC Honours Project

    In this module students will carry out Independent project work closely aligned to their programme of study. This will be carried out under the guidance of an appointed supervisor.

    MECH341 Computer Aided Engineering (FEA/CFD)

    In this module, students learn to use two of the Computer Aided Engineering methods that are most commonly used in industry; finite volume Computational Fluid Dynamics (to solve fluid flow problems) and Finite Element Analysis (to solve structural problems). Students gain an overview of the theory that underpins these methods, and learn how to use a validation process to assess reliability of simulation results.

    CONT317 Control and Intelligent Systems Design

    This module explores the application of control engineering and artificial intelligence techniques in the design of engineering control systems.

    MATS347 Composites Design and Manufacture

    The module provides an integrated approach to design, materials and processing selection for engineering composite materials.

    MATS348 Composites Engineering

    This module introduces stress analysis and appropriate numerical methods in the context of composite materials and integrates the learning in a practical assignment to produce a prototype composite component.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BEng Mechanical Engineering Programme Specification 0138

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Engineering and Navigation Excellence Scheme.

A level: Typical offer will be 112 points including Grade C at Maths (or Mathematics MEI) and Grade C at second relevant subject: Applied ICT, Applied Science, Applied Business, Biology, Business/Business Studies, Chemistry, Computing, Computer Science, DT (Product Design Resistant Materials), DT (systems and Control Tech), DT Product Design (Textiles Tech), Economics, Economics and Business, Electronics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Design and Technology, ICT, Physics, Science, Statistics, Further Maths, Use of Maths, Pure Maths. Excluding General Studies.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDD in a relevant science or engineering subject. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate: 26-30 overall to include 5 at Higher Level Maths and 5 at Higher Level second relevant subject

Access to HE Diploma in a Science or Engineering: pass Access in engineering to include 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits including at least 12 credits at level 3 in mathematics with distinction and 12 credits at level 3 in a second relevant subject with merit. Must have GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent.

GCSE: mathematics and English at grade C or above is required. 

For other qualifications, please enquire.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Please note: We understand that many applicants remain anxious about meeting the exact terms of our standard conditional offers. We will look again at your application and revise our offer for those applicants who we continue to believe are a good match for our courses, once we have the certainty of your actual results in August.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,800 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £770 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

The Plymouth Engineer Scholarship: Mechanical engineering and marine technology degrees.

Up to £1,000. Students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science or technology subject. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2019. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Welcome to mechanical engineering at the University of Plymouth

Joshua Wood – graduate profile

Discover how Joshua Wood’s placement year powered him straight into his perfect graduate role.

“When I started university, I always wanted to leave feeling equipped for work. I can honestly say studying at Plymouth has done just that. My whole university experience, including my studies, placement year and student support services, have all prepared me for my graduate job.”

Find out more about Joshua's story

Optional work placement year


Get your career off to a great start by spending a year working professionally as a student engineer between years two and three. You could earn £15,000 a year or more, and possibly gain sponsorship through your final year(s) at university. 

Gain experience that will help you find a job when you graduate and a Certificate of Professional or Work Experience in addition to your degree award.

"I spent a year on work placement with Plymouth-based Fine Tubes, a manufacturer of precision tubes for a wide range of industries including aerospace, oil and gas, medical. As a result of my performance, the company sponsored the final year of my degree and offered me a job"

Russell Lloyd – BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in computing and engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship at the University of Plymouth through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.

People

*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.