BEng (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 BEng Honours in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport will give you the opportunity for hands-on motorsport from your first year onwards, if you wish by getting involved in the design, build and racing of a single-seater race car in the UK Formula Student Competition;
  • Your studies will reflect the latest thinking in the industry as the School is supported by a Motor Industry Advisory Panel which includes representatives from many well-known automotive companies;
  • 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. One of the big highlights is to get involved in designing, building and racing a Student Formula car. This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and is the first step towards chartered engineer status.

Your main campus is College Lane

This is where the creative arts, science and health related subject are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

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. 

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.

Final Year (3rd or 4th)

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.

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

Meet Dan Jones who utilised his university experiences to land his dream job designed racing cars. He is currently the Chief Designer at Flybrid Automotive Ltd.

Current job roleChief Designer
Year of graduation2006
Course of studyBSc(Hons) Motorsport Technology

Dan Jones

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.

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.

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.