With a 30-year record of producing skilled engineers for all branches of the automotive industry, Hertfordshire’s a great choice if you want to work in this cutting-edge sector. What’s more, you’ll get to take part in designing, building and racing a single-seater race car in the UK Formula Student competition. How? The course focuses on vehicle design, taking into account performance, consumer demand, safety and sustainability. You’ll use all the latest industry tools and techniques, and take specialist classes in vehicle structures, engine performance, aerodynamics, materials and manufacturing strategies. This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the first step towards chartered engineer status.
Why choose this course?
This BEng Honours degree course will give you the opportunity to design, build and race single-seater race car in the UK Formula Student Competition from your first year onwards
You will learn how to apply computer-aided engineering and industrial-standard software, recommended by the Automotive Industry Advisory Panel
Our BEng Automotive Engineering students have previously completed work placement years at companies including: Bentley Motors, Rolls Royce Cars, and Triumph Motorcycles
We have links with all the major UK automotive companies and most Formula One racing teams have one of our graduates working in their design team, so your degree will open doors for you
Recent Automotive Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including: Nissan, McLaren Racing, and Renault Sport Racing
The BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering course is accredited by RAes and IMechE and satisfies, in part, the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) registration for the cohort intakes from 2016 up to, and including, 2020
This programme prepares you for the many excellent career choices available to a professional chartered automotive engineer. Our placement students sometimes return to their final year studies with sponsorships and already holding job offers. We have links with all the major automotive companies in the UK and many abroad, and most Formula One racing teams have one of our graduates in their design team. Many other graduates decide to stay at the University and extend their automotive education at a postgraduate level.
What job can I get?
Our graduates’ employment prospects are excellent. You can expect to be employed in design, manufacturing or testing in one of the major automotive companies in the UK or internationally. In fact, most Formula One teamshave one of our graduates in their design team. Other graduates decide to stay with us and extend their automotive education at postgraduate level.
The School has a reputation for innovation in teaching and learning with most modules delivered through a combination of traditional face to face teaching and distance learning through the university's StudyNet web based facility. StudyNet allows students to access electronic learning resources, electronic discussion with staff and other students, and, for some modules, submit coursework 24/7 from anywhere in the world! With a heavy emphasis on Computer Aided Engineering, the school has a policy of using industrial standard software wherever possible. The school also operate an open access laboratory policy of when possible students doing experiments in their own time.
What you will learn
You will study vehicle structures, engine performance, aerodynamics using wind tunnel testing, materials and manufacturing strategies applicable to mass car production and specialist vehicle development. You will gain skills in commercial engineering software used in the industry, such as CATIA (a computer-aided design package), as well as finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics packages. There is also the opportunity to be involved with the Class 200 Formula Student car, where you will work on developing the previous year's Formula Student entry.
First Year: You will study motorsport and automotive technology, engineering mathematics, engineering applications of mathematics, materials and electrical science, mechanical science, introduction to manufacturing technology, introduction to design, as well as fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.
Second Year: You will study dynamics, thermofluid mechanics, further engineering mathematics, computer-aided engineering (CAE), structural mechanics, automotive electronics and control systems, integrated engineering systems design, and project management and product development.
Third Year: You have the option of taking an integrated one-year professional placement, or you can take the opportunity to study part of your degree abroad through student exchange programmes with other universities in the EU, USA or Canada.
Final Year (3rd or 4th): You will study vehicle engineering design, vibration, noise and vehicle dynamics, vehicle structural analysis and manufacture, manufacturing strategy, mechanics and properties of materials, thermofluid mechanics and heat transfer, and an individual major project. You will also have an opportunity to be involved with the development of the University's entry to the Formula Student competition.
You have the opportunity to spend a year working either in a professional research environment or within industry. The practical experience you gain will be of tremendous benefit both when you resume your studies and when you embark on a career. Students have previously undertaken placements in organisations such as:
Ford Motor Company
Rolls Royce Cars
This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad in the Sandwich Year through the University's study abroad programme. Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
This module introduces students to the process of engineering design, and to CAD tools for creating and documenting design solutions. The principles and standard practices of technical drawing and tolerancing are taught. The role and use of CAD in design is taught and practiced, both 3D solid modelling and 2D drafting. The nature of design as a structured process is considered, and demonstrated by students undertaking a variety of design exercise and assignments. The design activities are mostly done in small teams, thereby developing skills in teamwork, communication and leadership. There are staged assessments that require the students to present their work using a variety of methods and communication tools.
Career Skills Development - 0 Credits
This module will ensure students are able to utilise the University system for PDP (Personal Development Planning using MAPS (My Active Planning System). Using the PDP processes each student will be able to record and update their own records which will aid monitoring their progress personally and academically. Support will be provided on tools, techniques and good practices through a Study Skills programme, MAPS and relating this to future professional development. The student will be assisted using the support detailed above through the first weeks of the academic year by academic staff. There will be further sessions in the second semester.
Introduction to Manufacturing Technology - 15 Credits
This module introduces the student to a range of production processes and practice used commonly in the manufacture of products. Students develop a hands-on appreciation of production techniques including turning, milling, fabrication and assembly using manual and computer controlled plant and machinery. Transferable skills are developed in the application of the processes used to the manufacture of a range of products and sub-assemblies taking into account design and supply requirements.
Materials and Electrical Science - 15 Credits
This module encompasses (i) electrical science (fundamental concepts of electrical units and relationships, basic AC & DC circuit theory, digital systems and electro-mechanical machines) and (ii) engineering materials (classification of materials, mechanical and physical properties, structure of materials, testing, materials selection for metals, polymers and ceramics.
Please refer to the teaching plan for a more detailed description.
Mechanical Science - 15 Credits
This module encompasses statics (fundamental concept of units, forces, force systems, free body diagrams, couples, moments, direct & shear stresses, beams, frames, shear force-bending moment relationships) and dynamics (quantities and concepts, linear & angular motion, non-constant acceleration, forces and torques, moment of inertia, application of free-body diagrams, work-energy equation, impulse-momentum equation, simple harmonic motion, dynamic mechanisms, engineering vibrations).
Fluid Mechanics & Thermodynamics - 15 Credits
This module introduces students to the fundamentals of fluid flow and thermodynamics and provides a basis for higher level modules in aerothermodynamics, vehicle aerodynamics and thermofluid mechanics.
Lectures and tutorials are accompanied by laboratory sessions in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.
Assessment is through laboratory reports, written coursework and an examination.
Fundamentals of Motorsport Technology - 15 Credits
This module will introduce students to the fundamental terms, science and technologies commonly used in the automotive industry. Students will become familiar with the basic parts of a vehicle and gain an appreciation for how they are integrated together. They will be introduced to the parameters used to assess vehicle performance and through laboratory work learn how to use standard equipment to measure the performance a vehicle. They will also be introduced to how the methods the motorsport side of the industry enhances vehicle performance.
Engineering Mathematics - 15 Credits
The module builds on from A-Level mathematics (or equivalent qualification) to provide mathematical techniques required for engineering. The module includes the manipulation and applications of elementary functions (trigonometric, logarithmic and exponential), complex numbers, Boolean algebra and the techniques of differentiation and integration for functions of one variable.
Engineering Applications of Mathematics - 15 Credits
The module follows on from the module 4PAM1007 Engineering Mathematics to provide further mathematical techniques required for applications in Engineering disciplines. The module includes the techniques associated with the manipulation of matrices and vectors, evaluation of eigenvalues and eigenvectors, development of power series approximations of elementary mathematical functions, techniques for the solution of ordinary differential equations and the principles of probability and data handling. The mathematics material will be supported using a suitable software package, for example MATLAB, and will also be used to solve engineering problems.
Refer to the teaching plan for a more detailed description.
Automotive Electronics and Control Systems - 15 Credits
This module will extend the students understanding of electronics and applications within automotive vehicles. It will also introduce students to control theory and how to apply it to automotive applications. The content will include a revision of electrical basics, electrical power generation within vehicles, components and automotive electronic systems, instrumentation, actuators and sensors, digital systems and communication, introduction to control loops, transient and steady state performance and controller design methods.
Structural Mechanics - 15 Credits
This module includes shear force-bending moment diagrams, beam theory, combined loading conditions, direct stress/strain, shear stress/strain, torsion of shafts, bending stresses in beams with unsymmetrical sections, and power transmission.
Dynamics - 15 Credits
This module will further expand the students understanding of the basic dynamics principles covered in year 1 to include rotational motion in mechanical systems and the dynamic response to applied forces.
Through a combination of case studies presented in lectures, experiments and tutorial activities students will develop their ability to analyse the dynamic behaviour of mechanical systems including an introduction vibrational analysis and how to dampen the effect of vibration.
Project Management and Product Development - 15 Credits
To achieve and maintain market position the manufacturing industry must develop profitable and competitive products in time, to quality and within budget. This requires the functions of the company to be organised to achieve common objectives. This module examines the organisational aspects of product development from definition through design to manufacture. The team issues and techniques of project management are addressed as applicable to the product development process and in general terms. The project management content is taught first in order to support the product development content.
Integrated Engineering Systems Design - 15 Credits
This module will introduce the concept of integrated engineering system design to products. The main thrust of the module is to provide an understanding of common existing engineering systems such as hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical systems, and to show how many products in the market contain multi-systems within. The module will look at the system level interface with users of the product, via controls and feedback. The students via design assignments will be asked to top level system design a product comprising of various systems. The system design will be driven by a technical specification and some conceptual and feasibility work. The students will be expected to produce a system design flow chart for a product which shows the interactions, inputs and outputs between the various systems of the product. Some design engineering calculations will be performed at the system interface level.
Computer Aided Engineering - 15 Credits
This module introduces the students to three CAE systems, CAD solid modelling, stress analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) each with an equal weighting. The CAD component of this module enhances skills in solid modelling and shows the benefits and potential of 3D models in the design process. The stress analysis component introduces the concept of extracting the mid-surface of a solid CAD model and the various techniques to ensure that the surfaces are fully joined. Techniques for ensuring water-tightness and avoidance of initial penetration will also be introduced. The types of element to be used for any particular problem will be discussed. The effect of mesh density on the accuracy of the results will be looked at by using a classical engineering problem. Both static and modal analysis will be covered and reinforced by experimental tests. The CFD component introduces the concept of discretisation of the governing equations of fluid mechanics and covers setting up simple flow scenarios and geometries. Analysis is carried out with a view to parameters affecting result sensitivity.
Career Planning - 0 Credits
This module aims to encourage students to reflect on their career aspirations and review/plan for the development of appropriate skills necessary to realise these aspirations.
Many students will specifically use this module as an aid to prepare for the optional industrial placement year.
Students who undertake the placement will work within industry or a commercial organisation that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience within an engineering environment. This placement must be of at least 48 weeks duration. To be eligible for placement students should normally have passed the progression requirements to Level 6.
For students who do not go on placement, this module will be a precursor to the Level 6 Career s Portfolio module.
Further Engineering Mathematics - 15 Credits
The module follows on from the mathematics modules at Level 4 to provide further mathematical techniques required for applications in Engineering disciplines. The module includes numerical methods for ordinary differential equations, Laplace transforms, Fourier series, line and double integrals, as well as s using a suitable software applications package to solve engineering problems. Emphasis is put on techniques and applications rather than complete mathematical rigour.
Thermofluid Mechanics & Heat Transfer - 15 Credits
Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer - Steady state conduction heat transfer. Natural and forced convection. Heat transfer by a conduction. Overall heat transfer coefficient through multiple conductors. Thermal radiation and concepts of black and grey bodies. Stefan-Boltzmann constant and radiation heat transfer estimation. Principle of combustion. Laminar and turbulent flames. Combustion chemistry and calculations. Wet and dry analysis of combustion products. Gas power cycles. Joule-Brayton cycle. Real gas turbine cycle and its performance parameters. Reciprocating internal combustion engine cycles. Processes forming the Otto, diesel and dual cycles and performance parameters. Engines emission, major pollutants and methods of pollutants reduction. Turbo and super charging internal combustion engines.
Fluid Mechanics - Isentropic compressible flow in ducts. Subsonic and supersonic flow. Normal shock, oblique shock, and expansion waves.
Manufacturing Strategy - 15 Credits
The module argues for the case of a modern systems approach to manufacturing strategy, and describes the competitive environment that faces manufacturing in Britain today e.g. Globalisation. An important aim of the module is seen as placing the manufacturing systems in its proper perspective at the centre of the companies manufacturing strategy. The module will also serve a duel purpose i.e. to broaden the perspective of the manufacturing function, and to heighten the awareness of other functional critical areas involved in the task of formulating a successful manufacturing strategy.
Vehicle Engineering Design - 15 Credits
This module aims to:
(i)provide experience of automotive or motorsport design and the interactive requirements of engineering products,
(ii)extend the student's experience in the detail design and validation of vehicle components, units and systems, and
(iii)encourage a professional attitude to the application of engineering knowledge and skill, with specific reference to market/customer requirements, aesthetics, performance, cost, safety, legal requirements, standards and regulations.
It will also address the human issues relating to automotive or motorsport design and promote the innovative element of the design process.
It encompasses various individual assignments (addressing specific areas of vehicle engineering technology) and group projects (in groups of 4-6 students, including planning, monitoring and reviewing work done, management of manufacture, testing and presenting the result in written, graphical and oral forms). To an extent group members will be taking on a specialist role within group project work.
Vehicle Structural Analysis and Manufacture - 15 Credits
The structural analysis section of this module will extend the students' skills learnt in previous modules, particularly FEA methods, to the analysis of vehicle bodies including the development of body-in-white modelling, crash worthiness and occupant protection.
The Manufacturing section will further extend the students' understanding of joining, forming and finishing techniques particularly applied in the modern automotive industry.
Vibration, Noise & Vehicle Dynamics - 15 Credits
This module aims to provide an understanding of:
(i) vibration and dynamic responses of complex mechanical engineering systems and structures, this includes normal modes of vibration of both two and multi-degree of freedom systems. The forced response of these systems subject to harmonic excitations is also evaluated. The response of simple systems subject to random excitation is considered too.
(ii) the nature of noise and to achieve the ability to measure, specify and analyse noise spectra. It encompasses vibration modelling of complex mechanical engineering systems and structures and their dynamic responses, and also noise control which is the analysis to limit and control the levels of noise emitted by machines/vehicles. Principles of noise absorption and techniques of noise control are examined with particular reference to internal vehicle noise/room acoustics.
(iii) modelling and analysing the effects of dynamic excitation on the handling, ride, vibration and noise responses of a vehicle. Vehicle suspension dynamic characteristics are examined with reference to the ride qualities of vehicles. The lateral handling characteristics of a simple vehicle model are examined, and its steady state responses are analysed.
Mechanics and Properties of Materials - 15 Credits
This module will extend the students knowledge and understanding of structural analysis and the importance of selecting appropriate materials to meet the design requirements. Topics include: Plate theory, elasticity and plasticity, composite materials, viscoelasticity, creep and relaxation, fracture and fatigue, corrosion and non-destructive testing.
Individual Project - 30 Credits
The major project in the fourth year of study can take several forms ranging from design oriented work to investigative work. The project title and topic are chosen to provide intellectual challenge appropriate to an honours programme of study. The student is expected to firstly identify and elucidate the problems, then to plan and execute a relevant programme of work. Assessment is ongoing through the project via an individual supervisor, culminating with a comprehensive report of work done. Students would normally be expected to register their interest in the area of work, but are encouraged to suggest their own projects where appropriate.
Careers Portfolio - 0 Credits
This module will help students identify the employability skills necessary to enter their chosen profession. They will be required to develop a portfolio that evidences the following employability skills relevant for their chosen profession, from a combination of employment experience and academic modules. Skills include; Self Management and Development, Team Working, Communicating, Specialist Technologies, Professional Awareness and Problem Solving/Creativity.
Industrial Placement - 0 Credits
The optional placement year is undertaken in the academic year prior to the final year of study, and must meet University standard requirements for the length of placement to be considered for the conferment of “with Sandwich” upon graduation.
Students undertake the placement within an organisation that can provide an appropriate learning experience within an engineering or general STEM environment/role.
To be eligible for placement, students must normally have achieved sufficient credit at Levels 4 and 5 to be able to enter the final year upon completion of the placement.
While the School and University actively support the placements process ultimately it is the placement company that will select students, normally through an interview process.
During the placement, a member of School staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.
Year Abroad - 0 Credits
The Year Abroad will provide students with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first two taught years of the degree within a different organisational and cultural environment in a partner academic institution. The host institution will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator who will oversee the student's programme during the Year Abroad and will liaise with the appointed UH Supervisor.
*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.
The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.