BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • Study at one of the largest engineering schools in the UK
  • Fine tune your designs, using our Cruden F1 race simulator
  • Use our rolling road dynamometer, one of only a few in the UK
  • 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.
  • We are members of the CDIO Initiative (Conceive Design Implement Operate), a worldwide network of academic professionals, industry representatives and engineering leaders who have a passion for engineering education and engineering leadership. The CDIO framework has been embedded into our undergraduate degree programme, ensuring you’ll put into practice what you learn through “Design and Build” projects during your studies.

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 subjects 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 our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. 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 headshot

Alumni Stories

Katie Dobson

Meet Katie Dobson who is working for the Williams Formula 1 team

Read more stories MEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport
Current job roleAerodynamic Design Engineer
Year of graduation2017
Course of studyMEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport
Katie Dobson

Katie knew that she wanted to pursue a career in Motor Sport and saw the course at Herts as the perfect pathway to follow her dream.

She is currently an Aerodynamic Design Engineer with the Williams Formula 1 team and explains a bit more about her role and what it entails, ‘I was lucky enough to join Williams F1 as a Junior Aerodynamic Design engineer after completing my MEng in Automotive Engineering with Motorsport at Herts.

My role involves designing mechanical and aerodynamic components for the wind tunnel. I lead the research and development for the wind tunnel front wing design and work closely with the aerodynamicists to improve design concepts and make wind tunnel tests as streamlined as possible.’

Working in Formula 1

Katie really enjoys the challenge of the role and the industry which is fast-paced on all fronts.

‘Working in Formula 1 is very enjoyable and very rewarding when you see results on the track. Seeing Williams back on the podium and scoring points again in 2021 were particular highlights.

I also enjoy the fast-paced environment and continual research and development required to keep up with technology and rules changes.’.

Why Herts

Katie chose to study at Herts because she was impressed with the large range of studies provided by the Engineering department and the range of facilities which provided crucial hands-on experience to work in industry. She adds,  ‘I was particularly impressed with the extra-curricular groups and studies provided by Herts such as the Formula Student team.’

When she talks about the best part of her course she says, ‘It was being able to apply what I had learnt during my A-Levels to further my knowledge of engineering and the knowledge and enthusiasm my lecturers had to further my studies.'

Formula Student

Knowing that hands on practical experience is so important in the industry Katie became a member of the successful Formula Student team at Herts. She is certain that it helped when it came to her career and says, 'Participating in Formula Student particularly aided my ability to gain my current role in industry.

It was able to provide me with this expertise and allow me to broaden my field of study outside of the classroom or lecture hall.’

Favourite memories

Unsurprisingly Katie’s best memories revolve around her experience with the Formula Student Team and the success on and off the track.

‘My favourite memories at Herts were the times spent designing and manufacturing UH19 and UH20 with great friends. My favourite of them being completing at FSUK, FS Czech and FS Germany with the most successful UH FS car of all time as well as winning design at both the UK and Czech competitions.’

The future

Katie has set her sights high when it comes to the future and what it could bring. ‘My future plans are to advance my career further in motorsport, and to hopefully win a Drivers and Constructors Championship in F1.’

Find out more about the Formula Student Team

If you have a great story like Katie's, please contact us!

Participating in Formula Student particularly aided my ability to gain my current role in industry. It was able to provide me with this expertise and allow me to broaden my field of study outside of the classroom or lecture hall.

Alumni headshot

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.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
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.