School of Engineering

BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture

Open the door to an engineering career on this accredited degree, with a strong practical focus. This course will provide you with the skills and knowledge essential for a career in a range of industries such as transport, communications, or energy which require mechanical engineering skills. You’ll have the opportunity to develop your team work and problem solving abilities in a range of engineering contexts and work on technical innovation and engineering problems that need rapid solutions.

You will take advantage of modern laboratory facilities for practical work, a core part of the degree. You’ll benefit from an optional 48 week paid work placement and develop your skills in a work environment, opening the door to a successful future. Our graduates have gone on to work for Ferrari, Honda, British Cycling, Rolls-Royce, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Activa, Babcock Marine, Princess Yachts and more.

Key features

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In the first year, you’ll acquire a range of key skills such as computer-aided engineering techniques and problem solving, preparing you for further study and a future in industry. Modules include mathematics, computing and IT, design and CAD, engineering science, manufacture and materials, and quality and project management.
    Core modules
    • AB1EAW EA1 Workshop

      The course provides a basic practical workshop experience that enables students to appreciate the cutting of metals. This is achieved by the manufacture of a specific test piece using lathes and milling machines and includes the use of Computer Aided Manufacture / Machining.

    • 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.

    • MATH117 Engineering Mathematics

      This module aims to review and introduce mathematical methods to improve student ability in solving problems in engineering and technology.

    • MECH116 Engineering Science 1

      An introduction to the important principles and theories which underpin mechanical and electrical engineering science as applied to marine engineering and mechanical engineering technology.

    • MECH120 Skills for Design and Engineering (Mechanical)

      An introduction to the forms and role of engineering drawings and CAD in engineering design. Basic engineering drawing procedures, basic 2-D CAD and 3-D parametric associative CAD.

    • MECH121PP Team Engineering (Engineering Design in Action)

      This module helps students foster a technology-based, innovative and creative design identity. This is achieved through development of critical skills coupled with professional, multi-disciplinary teamwork. A practical focus is provided by a range of multi-facetted group design and engineering science projects based upon open-ended, real-world problems.

    • MFMT102 Manufacturing and Materials 1

      This module provides an introduction to manufacturing and materials for all BSc students. It includes forming and shaping processes, and introduces the concept of process-structure-property relationships in engineering materials.

    • MFRG110 Quality and Project Management

      This module examines the use of quality management, project planning, process involvement, inventory control etc. in manufacturing systems and how such systems may be evolved with reference to the concept of 'World Class Industry' examining the philosophies and tools developed by major contributors from Europe, USA and the Far East.

  • Year 2
  • In Year 2, you’ll develop an understanding of the importance of design as a unifying theme. You’ll undertake an individual or group case study, preparing you for the type of work you might face in industry. The modules you'll study will include computer aided engineering mathematics, engineering design, manufacturing systems, engineering science, manufacture and materials, mathematics, and mechatronics.
    Core modules
    • BPIE215 Stage 2 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 build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH257 Computer Aided Mathematics

      Students will be taught advanced mathematical techniques and their application using the MATLAB computer software package to solve engineering mathematics problems. The module will also introduce the students to the theoretical fundamentals of finite element analysis (FEA).

    • MECH230 Engineering Science 2

      This module provides an extension of previously taught solid mechanics and an introduction to the principles of fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics and heat transfer. The principles of basic dynamics are also covered in this module.

    • MECH231 Engineering Design

      The module comprises a course of lectures and project based assignments that aim to provide the essential knowledge and skills required to plan, manage and conduct engineering design investigations.

    • MFMT202 Manufacturing and Materials 2

      This module extends the Stage 2 introduction to Manufacturing and Materials technology to cover additional aspects of materials behaviour (such as property enhancement techniques, composite materials, corrosion and an introduction to failure modes), and includes forming processes for sheet metalworking, material removal processes, as well as important permanent joining processes.

    • MFRG216 Manufacturing Systems

      The module provides an introduction to the primary objectives, opportunities and constraints in manufacturing organisations and the people, departments, systems and tools that influence these factors. Alternative approaches to the design, management and control of successful manufacturing systems is investigated.

    • PRRO203 Mechatronics System Design Project

      An introduction to the design, build and testing of practical mechatronic systems.

  • Optional placement year
  • In Year 3, you have the opportunity to do an optional placement year. This provides valuable professional paid experience. We'll give you support to find a suitable position. Although the work placement year is optional, we strongly encourage you to take this opportunity as placements may lead to sponsorship in your final year, an industrially relevant final year project and opportunities for future employment.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE335 Mechanical Engineering Related Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll use your developed knowledge and skills through both a group design project and an in-depth individual project. You’ll undertake specialised studies in advanced materials, engineering statistics, manufacturing processes and simulation of dynamic systems. You'll study additional topics including environmental aspects in the technological life cycle and studying in depth an area of interest for your individual project.
    Core modules
    • CONT316 Systems, Instrumentation and Control

      This module introduces students to basic systems engineering, instrumentation and sensor technology, and linear feedback control systems.

    • MATS345 Advanced Materials

      This module extends the introductions given in Level 4 and Level 5 materials sciences to cover a more in depth treatment of creep, fracture and fatigue mechanics and to introduce new developments in advanced materials and composites.

    • MECH310 Computer Aided Engineering

      This module will build upon the fundamentals of finite element analysis (FEA) already covered in MATH257. The module will introduce the students to the ANSYS FEA software. It involves the application of the software to simulate and analyse simple and intermediate engineering problems.

    • MFRG320 Manufacturing Processes

      Provide students with a good understanding to a range of rapid prototyping and other advanced manufacturing technologies, their applications and current trends in manufacturing processes and systems. Lean manufacturing processes are also examined as is the relevance of health and safety to the modern manufacturer.

    • PRDT304 Engineering Project 1

      This module involves: Working as part of a team on an integrated `whole product' or `system' based engineering design project. Planning and preparation for a specific individually run technical investigation.

    • PRME306 Engineering Project 2

      Independent project work

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:

BScMechanicalDesignAndManufacture ProgrammeSpecification September2016 2499

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

80 - 96

A level: Typical offer will be 80 points, to include grade D in a relevant science or technology subject. You must have GCSE Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above. Excluding general studies.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: MMM in a relevant science or technology subject. Must include mathematics units.

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 overall to include 4 at Higher Level science/technology subject. English and mathematics must be included..

Access to Higher Education at level 3: pass Access in engineering to include 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits at merit or above to include at least 12 credits in mathematics. 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.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements for international applicants

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU Check with School To be confirmed
International Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Our BSc mechanical engineering and marine courses are accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET); any student embarking on our courses are eligible to apply for a number of IET engineering scholarships. Amounts can vary between £1,000 and £3,000 per annum, and closing dates for applications are usually at the end of June. For more information on the different scholarships available, details on how to apply and confirmed closing dates for applications, please visit the IET Awards and Scholarships web pages.​

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 Plymouth

Dr Stephen Grove, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science and Engineering, and final year student Craig Pemberton discuss what it’s like to study here and show you some of our facilities.

Watch our video to find out more about studying mechanical engineering at Plymouth University.

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.

Final year project

Our final year student project open day showcases the excellence of engineering skills development and the high levels of achievement of our undergraduates.

Browse poster examples, and view previous project open day photographs below.

The Tamar Engineering Project

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

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at Plymouth University 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.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Duncan Hine – BSc (Hons) Mechanical Design and Manufacture graduate

Studying at Plymouth gave me the opportunities to expand my horizons and to learn social, team working, and life skills which are so crucial for any career. It’s a cliché but university gives you the chance to discover who you really are.

Since graduating, Duncan Hine has set up his own company and has worked with businesses and corporations such as BMW and Channel 4

Read Duncan's profile

Emily Johns - graduate profile

Now I am working as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer and am hoping to obtain my IEng with the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Find out more about Emily

Matthew Scott - graduate profile

I would recommend a KTP partnership to anyone as the training and career opportunities are amazing.
Find out more about Matthew Scott

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Engineering we recognise that our students are the future of the growing engineering profession. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2017, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Engineering. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.

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