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MEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Study at one of the largest Engineering Schools in the UK
Study at one of the largest Engineering Schools in the UK
Fine tune your designs, using our Cruden F1 race simulator
Fine tune your designs, using our Cruden F1 race simulator
Use our rolling road dynamometer, one of only a few in the UK
Use our rolling road dynamometer, one of only a few in the UK

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

  • This MEng in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport gives you the opportunity to design, build and race a single-seater race car in the UK Formula Student Competition and can get involved from your first year onwards, if you wish
  • You will have use of our excellent facilities within the Automotive Centre i.e. advanced engine test cells and a vehicle ride simulator for the testing of car suspension systems, plus the latest software packages for CAD/CAM
  • You will benefit from studying at a very well established university within the automotive industry as we have been running automotive degree programmes for some forty years
  • Our MEng Automotive Engineering with Motorsport students have previously completed work placement years at companies including: McLaren Automotive, Mercedes-Benz Grand Priz Limited and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains;
  • Your MEng studies involve an extra year and will provide you with a broader and deeper understanding of the subject;
  • Recent Automotive Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including: Williams Grand Prix Engineering, McLaren Racing Limited, and Renault Sport.

What's the course about?

Motorsport’s not just exciting entertainment, but also an important part of automotive development. It challenges engineers to be innovative in using the latest technologies to design high-performance vehicles. You’ll find most modules on this course are common with those on our general automotive engineering degree. However, you’ll also learn about aerodynamics of high- speed vehicles and high-performance engine design, testing and mapping. In your MEng year, you’ll deepen your understanding of the industry. One of the big highlights is to get involved in designing, building and racing a car at the IMechE Formula Student events. This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the first step towards chartered engineer status.

What will I study?

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. 

Motorsport is not just exciting entertainment but also an important part of the development side of the automotive industry.  It challenges engineers to be innovative in using the latest technologies to design high-performance vehicles. Many of our students opt to take part in Formula Student, either as a volunteer in the early years or through project work in the Fourth Year. A highlight for MEng students is the MEng Final Year team project where you have the opportunity to take part in the IMechE Formula Student events and competitions to design, improve, build and race a unique vehicle.

What you will learn

You will learn about the aerodynamics of high-speed vehicles, high-performance engine design testing and mapping, engine mapping, suspension, tyres and road holding.  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. In the following year of your course you will develop the specialist skills and knowledge of a motorsport engineer and you may choose to represent the University as a member of the Formula Student team.

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, and 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, motorsport design and project management, and product development.

Third Year

You have the option of taking an integrated one-year professional placement.

Fourth Year

You will study vehicle engineering design, vibration, noise and vehicle dynamics, vehicle structural analysis and manufacture, motorsport engineering, mechanics and properties of materials, aerodynamics and engine design for motorsport, and an individual major project.

Final Year (4th or 5th)

You will study human resources management, team project, successful project delivery, advanced engine and power systems, finite element analysis (FEA) and applications, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques.

Student Blogs

Dobromir - Week at a glance

My week at a glance

Hello! This is what a typical week looks like for me as a student at the University of Hertfordshire!

At first, as a newly arrived second-year student, my week schedule was chaotic but trust me, once three or four weeks of the semester have passed you will have already got used to the pace and will have developed at least a basic schedule for your week, as I did. For me, it is all about the balance between university, part-time work, and social life.

Monday

On Mondays, as I have a part-time job, I usually go to work in the morning until lunch and then head back to university for two hours of face-to-face teaching in the early afternoon. After I finish lectures, I dedicate my late afternoon to revisiting lecture notes and working on assignments, sometimes ahead of their time, to avoid falling behind. My evening is usually spent in the gym and then resting.

Tuesday

Tuesdays are quite hectic for me, as I am out from 09:00 to 20:00. I spend the first half of my day at lectures and, after a short break in the afternoon, I head to work and stay there until 20:00. As you can expect, after such a long and exhausting day, all I can do when I’m back home is just to relax and get some good sleep.

Wednesday

My Wednesdays are flipped Mondays, since I go to lectures in the morning, refresh and then head to work, where I spend my afternoon. At evening time, I go through and catch up on lecture and tutorial notes, if I have missed something, and work on assignments. In Engineering, most projects require you to work in a group with other fellow students. The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is where you will work on group projects as it is most convenient for gathering people. The environment is very relaxing and much of the time is spent chatting and having fun, so be ready to spend a substantial part of your time in the LRC!

Thursday

My whole Thursdays are spent at university as I have lectures from 09:00 to 18:00 and I am keen on attending all of them. Don’t get intimidated, there are regular breaks between lectures that give students more than enough time to refresh! As you can imagine, after my last lecture, I would rather do some exercise, so I will go to the gym and let go of excessive energy.

Friday

On Fridays, as my schedule is quite free, I take my time in the morning to meet up with fellow students and work on assignments. Getting through afternoon lectures is easy and feels like it happens instantaneously as everyone is excited about the end of the workweek and wants to go out. And, as you can expect, that is exactly what happens on a Friday afternoon. I go out for a walk with friends, if the weather is nice, and in the evening, we go to a pub and celebrate the end of the workweek.

Saturday

I value my free time and for that exact reason, I spend the first half of my Saturday studying and working on assignments. I avoid distractions, as the sooner, I finish, the sooner I will be able to go out and have fun. Afternoon time is usually spent shopping, going to a café with friends or at the gym

Sunday

My Sundays are almost identical to my Saturdays with the only difference that at evening I take 30 minutes, sometimes even less, to check my progress with my assignments, make sure I don’t miss any deadlines and plan out a schedule for the upcoming week. Then it is time for a good recharge before the week starts.

At first, all the things you must do as a student sound like a lot to handle, but, trust me, it will all come naturally, and you will eventually learn to handle your tasks with ease!

Things you need to know before studying Engineering at Herts

Preparation

When you arrive at university, you will be overwhelmed with many emotions: some students get excited about all the new people they are about to meet, others feel intimidated by the new environment. Regardless of how you feel, try not to compare university to anything you have experienced before. I have already gone through this stage and I can tell you that university life is differs a lot from anything I have experienced so far. If you feel nervous, know that you are not alone. You are on the same boat with more than 1500 other newly arrived students, so just open yourself up for this new opportunity and go out and speak to people. You won’t believe how easy it is to make friends, especially during Fresher’s Week and at The Forum.

Qualifications

Many people believe that you can only be a good Engineering student if you have taken A-Levels in Mathematics, but you will be pleased to hear that this is not true. I graduated from high school with a diploma in foreign languages and my knowledge in mathematics has always been average. Nevertheless, my performance in all mathematics and mathematics related modules in university has been excellent so far. The teaching staff is so good and there is so much support at uni, that you can rest assured you will receive the best help you can get if you struggle with studies.

Reading

As a student in engineering, you will not be required to read too many articles or books. Do not get me wrong, there will be a lot of work and you will really have to put effort into studying if you want to have good grades. For most of the time, you will be working on various software programs, you will spend a good portion of your time in laboratories and at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and you will also, depending on how good you are at maths, have to invest some or a lot of your time into solving exercises. Group projects are also an essential part of your experience at university.

Assignments

The nature of a job as an engineer in almost any company requires you to work well in a team. University is really good at preparing you for that and therefore most of your assignments will require you to work well in a team. Some people are naturally good at that, others, like me, are not that good at it, but you will learn fairly quickly. Be prepared to spend the majority of your time working on assignments with fellow students. The environment is really relaxing and, often times, working together is so fun that you don’t notice how time flies.

Assessments

In engineering, you will be assessed mostly through group or individual assignments, practical lab works and exams. The ways of assessing you are very similar to how your performance at a company will be assessed: some of them test your ability to work in a group and others test your performance under pressure. Either way, every type of assessment has benefits that will prepare you for a career as an engineer.

Time Management

Managing your time wisely is crucial for succeeding at university and later on in life. So, a piece of advice I could give to you would be to learn to regularly check your schedule and plan out your activities at least a week in advance. It’s very helpful that you can download the lecture timetable on your mobile device and easily keep track of your engagements and work other activities around them.

Student Blogs

Dobromir - Things you should know

Things you need to know before studying Engineering at Herts

Hello! I am a second-year student in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport and in this guide, I will give you the basics you need to know about before you start studying at university!

Preparation

When you arrive at university, you will be overwhelmed with many emotions: some students get excited about all the new people they are about to meet, others feel intimidated by the new environment. Regardless of how you feel, try not to compare university to anything you have experienced before. I have already gone through this stage and I can tell you that university life differs a lot from anything I have experienced so far. If you feel nervous, know that you are not alone. You are on the same boat with more than 1500 other newly arrived students, so just open yourself up for this new opportunity and go out and speak to people. You won’t believe how easy it is to make friends, especially during Fresher’s Week and at The Forum.

Qualifications

Many people believe that you can only be a good Engineering student if you have taken A-Levels in Mathematics, but you will be pleased to hear that this is not true. I graduated from high school with a diploma in foreign languages and my knowledge in mathematics has always been average. Nevertheless, my performance in all mathematics and mathematics-related modules in university has been excellent so far. The teaching staff is so good and there is so much support at university, that you can rest assured you will receive the best help you can get if you struggle with studies.

Reading

As a student in engineering, you will not be required to read too many articles or books. Do not get me wrong, there will be a lot of work and you will really have to put effort into studying if you want to have good grades. For most of the time, you will be working on various software programs, you will spend a good portion of your time in laboratories and at the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and you will also, depending on how good you are at maths, have to invest some or a lot of your time into solving exercises. Group projects are also an essential part of your experience at university.

Assignments

The nature of a job as an engineer in almost any company requires you to work well in a team. University is really good at preparing you for that and therefore most of your assignments will require you to work well in a team. Some people are naturally good at that, others, like me, are not that good at it, but you will learn fairly quickly. Be prepared to spend the majority of your time working on assignments with fellow students. The environment is really relaxing and, oftentimes, working together is so fun that you don’t notice how time flies.

Assessments

In engineering, you will be assessed mostly through group or individual assignments, practical lab works and exams. The ways of assessing you are very similar to how your performance at a company will be assessed: some of them test your ability to work in a group and others test your performance under pressure. Either way, every type of assessment has benefits that will prepare you for a career as an engineer.

Time Management

Managing your time wisely is crucial for succeeding at university and later on in life. So, a piece of advice I could give to you would be to learn to regularly check your schedule and plan out your activities at least a week in advance. It’s very helpful that you can download the lecture timetable on your mobile device and easily keep track of your engagements and work other activities around them.

Student Blogs

Dobromir - Guide to the facilities

Guide to the Engineering facilities

Hello! This is my guide to all engineering facilities, how I use them and how you can benefit from them.

As an engineering student, you will spend most of your time on College Lane Campus, like lectures, tutorials, practical lab works, and assessments are all held at the School of Engineering and Technology. There are plenty of facilities available to you, however, speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that the one you will use the most will be the Learning Resource Centre (LRC).

Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

Most of the modules will not require you to read too many articles or books other than the ones you already use in class. However, you will have a lot of assignments that consist of working on a project in a group with other fellow students. There is one LRC on College Lane Campus and another one on de Havilland Campus. Both LRCs have study rooms with projectors and desks, which make them very convenient for group gatherings. Both LRCs are identical, and you will use the one that is closer to your accommodation, regardless if it is on-campus or off-campus. If you, for any reason, wish to go to the LRC located further away from you, there is a shuttle bus that can take you from one campus to the other in less than five minutes. If the weather is nice and you wish to walk instead of taking the bus, it’ll take you less than 15 minutes to get from one campus to the other.

The LRCs have many computers, equipped with all software you use in class, and there are laptops for loan. There are study rooms you can book, especially useful for group gatherings, there are desks you can study at, or if you prefer silence, the last floor of each LRC is for silence study. If you study better at complete isolation, there are silent rooms, designed for just a single person (they are perfect if you don’t want to get distracted by anything). If you want to take a break, each library has a café, which offers a range of snacks, as well as coffee.

Online Library

If you prefer to stay home, instead of going to the LRC, the online library is a perfect option for you. You can access the University’s online library, where you can find any book that you can otherwise find at the LRC. Most books related to engineering have online copies available, so if you feel more comfortable studying at the comfort of your home, rest assured you can do so.

Support

During your studies at university, you can be sure that there will always be dedicated support at your disposal. As an engineering student, you will have several modules in mathematics and if that is something you struggle with, you can always use the Math’s support service, which is found at College Lane LRC. In addition to that, you can always speak to your lecturers in class or after class, or you can email or go to a drop-in session, if necessary. Same goes for all other modules as well, no lecturer will ever send you back. In fact, they may invite you to attend their drop-in session, where they will have a better opportunity to help you.

In terms of preparing yourself for starting and developing a successful career as an engineer, or if you want to get a part-time job, you will need to write a perfect CV (Curriculum Vitae) that will make you stand out from the others. For this purpose, you can use the Careers and employability service, where you will get advice and help from professionals in the branch. You can book a session, during which you will be able to discuss you CV and Cover Letter, if you wish to apply for a placement or a graduate scheme, and get advice on how to improve them.

Alumni Stories

Lee Stretch

Meet Lee Stretch who has achieved great success in motorsport engineering since graduating in 2011. He currently works as a Vehicles Dynamic Engineer for Ferrari's Formula One team.

Current job roleVehicles Dynamic Engineer
Year of graduation2011
Course of studyMEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport

Lee Stretch

Facilities and experience

Lee made his decision to study at the University of Hertfordshire when he attended an open day, which included a visit to the Formula Student automotive workshop. 'The students had designed and built a single seat racing car which they raced against other universities. It blew me away!' His love of Formula Student became the catalyst for where he is today.

Lee felt the course itself was well rounded, covering all aspects of engineering, with a focus on design, which he enjoyed. Crucial moments of Lee's studies, from submitting his final year project, to designing a racing car in parallel with his full-time sandwich year job, taught him what is possible with determination, and a deadline.

This culminated in second place at Formula Student Germany - the best result ever for a UK team. 'Without these experiences, perhaps I wouldn't have had the guts to move to Italy.' He says, 'I've applied so many of the topics I studied at Herts to my career at Formula One. I regularly find myself reaching for my student notes from five years ago!'

Exciting career

After graduating, Lee worked with Mercedes GP as a Performance Simulation Engineer where he worked with some of the most sophisticated lap simulation tools in the industry. 'It was a very hard three years at Mercedes but equally rewarding, with the 2014 World Championship being the icing on the cake.'

Lee's passion and commitment was recognised by the only other team that he would have considered moving to - Ferrari. Lee moved to Italy and spent time learning Italian. After only six months in the role, he had contributed to next year's cooling system, and continues to develop the team's lap simulation tools. 'To help return Ferrari to the top of Formula One would be a dream come true!'

Despite working in a relatively specialised group of vehicle performance, Lee's role demands sound mechanical understanding, thermodynamics, practical design considerations and even pure mathematics in simulation. 'Communication is paramount, so all the report writing, presentation and team working skills necessary in the final two years of my degree have proved hugely beneficial.'

The only thing better than winning the 2014 World Championships with Mercedes, would be to win it again with Ferrari. Without the unforgettable experiences I shared with my peers and staff at the University, I don't believe I'd have had the courage to take on this challenge.

Alumni Stories

Dan Jones

BSc(Hons) Motorsport Technology, 2006
Chief Designer, Flybrid Automotive Ltd

Driving to success

For anyone interested in cars or racing, being able to say that you were part of the team that raced the first hybrid system ever at Le Mans 24hrs in 2011 must be a dream come true. However, this is Dan Jones' day job.

Dan typically splits his time between management and design work, heading up a team of designers and analysts working on the design and development of high-speed flywheel based mechanical hybrid systems. These systems are already used in motorsport, and under development for use in mainstream automotive vehicles, commercial vehicles and off-highway markets. "There is no typical day, which is one of the attractions of the job. I oversee all projects from the initial concept design through to drawing release for manufacture."

Formula Student

It was Dan's involvement in Formula Student during his studies that helped him land his current role. "I'd previously met both Jon Hilton (Managing Partner) and Doug Cross (Technical Director) through competing in Formula Student. I was able to secure my initial post at Flybrid as Design Engineer through a combination of my degree result and the experience gained from successfully leading the University's Formula Student team in my final year." Getting involved in Formula Student is something that Dan can't recommend highly enough, not least for the relevant experience that can be put on a CV.

He has stayed involved with Formula Student, and now holds 2 important roles as a member of the organising committee: the UK Representative on the FSAE Rules Committee (a group of around 15 engineers who set the technical rules and regulations for all FSAE/Formula Student events held around the world) and Chief Technical Scrutineer for the UK Formula Student event.

Looking to the future

After starting his career with a year-long placement with Nissan at their European Technical Centre in Cranfield, followed by 9 months working as a suspension design engineer at Bentley Motors, Dan has now been with Flybrid for 5 and a half years. The company has grown significantly since 2007, and Dan believes that it's never been a better time to be an engineer, particularly in the automotive sector, even though competition for the best jobs is fierce.

He's excited about what the next five to ten years will bring at Flybrid, as the company moves from prototype systems to volume production. With all this change and development, what's been the highlight of his career so far? "It's difficult to pinpoint one thing in particular, but I'd probably say spectating trackside at Le Mans in 2011. It's amazingly rewarding to see your efforts in action on the racetrack!"

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.