MEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering

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
  • You will have use of our Automotive Centre with advanced engine test cells and a vehicle ride simulator for the testing of car suspension systems
  • You will gain a practical education based around several specialist laboratories including an aerodynamics laboratory with five wind tunnels of varying speeds.
  • This MEng degree course in Automotive Engineering will give you the opportunity to design, build and race single-seater race car in the UK Formula Student Competition and can get involved from your first year onwards, if you wish.
  • Our MEng Automotive Engineering students have previously completed work placement years at companies including: 3M UK Plc, Bentley Motors, and Millbrook Proving Ground
  • Recent Automotive Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including: JCB, Nissan, Ford Motor Company, Nissan Technical Centre Europe, Jaguar Land Rover  and McLaren Automotive.
  • Your MEng studies involve an extra year and will provide you with a broader and deeper understanding of the subject.
  • 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?

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. How? As with the BEng, this course focuses on vehicle design, taking into account performance, consumer demand, safety and sustainability. It follows the same structure as the BEng, but includes an extra year where you’ll deepen your understanding of the automotive industry. This course is also accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

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 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.

Fourth Year

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.

Final Year (4th or 5th)

This year 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.  The multidisciplinary team project involves applying your skills to solve a challenging problem, for example, the design and development of an electric-powered car.

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.

Alumni Stories

Ross Barrow

Meet Ross Barrow who pursued a career in the automotive industry after graduating. He currently works as a Lead Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleLead Engineer
Year of graduation2010
Course of studyBSc(Hons) Automotive Technology with Management

Ross Barrow

University experience

While at university, Ross took every opportunity which was offered to him. Seizing the chance for a sandwich year, he accepted a 1-year work placement in Research and Development at Sabric Innovative Plastics. Based in the Netherlands, Ross had the best of both worlds. He was able to gain professional work experience and discover a new culture, new friends and a new way of life.

His placement focussed on quality improvement and generating design ideas. When the opportunity arose to become certified in Six Sigma (a strategy for improving business processes) he jumped at the chance to gain sought after transferable skills.

When he returned to university to finish his studies, he used the knowledge and contacts he’d gained at Sabric Innovative Plastics to inspire his final year project. Collaborating with the company, he agreed on a brief to create a new portfolio of materials and information. His sandwich year directly impacted the success of his final year project and the company are still using his resources today.

Career progression

Upon graduating, Ross believed it was vital for his career prospects to find work with an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). After a few interviews, he decided to work with RLE International, a consultancy, engineering and recruitment agency. This gave him the opportunity to work on large-scale projects with Ford and Nissan.

His first role at Ford was as a Component Design Engineer for the Ford Transit Custom vehicle.  He later progressed to Platform Launch Leader. At Nissan, he was responsible for the delivery of the body sides for the Nissan Leaf.

'I made the decision to leave RLE International after three years, in order to work as a permanent member of staff at a major OEM. As a result, I'll have a constant role in developing the vehicles of the future within a single organisation.'

Ross now works at Jaguar Land Rover as the Lead Engineer in the Body Engineering team. His role focusses on strategic planning.  This involves solving cross-vehicle key engineering issues and developing techniques to apply new body structure technology to future vehicle programmes.

It was an amazing and life-changing experience to work abroad and something which really matured me.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2021/2022. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.