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BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering

Course Overview

This course provides you with an opportunity to develop specialist knowledge in automotive engineering, supported by a foundation in the fundamentals of mechanical engineering.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as partially meeting the educational requirements stage for chartered engineer status (CEng). This programme is designed to provide a route to membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Institution of Engineering and Technology as well as to registration as Chartered Engineer (CEng) and European Engineer (EurIng).

The five main areas of competence defined in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence, UK-SPEC, published by the Engineering Council UK, ECUK, have been used to inform the content and curriculum of the programme. These areas of competence are: 1. Use of general and specialist engineering knowledge and understanding 2. Application of appropriate theoretical and practical methods 3. Technical and commercial leadership and management 4. Effective interpersonal and communication skills 5. Commitment to professional standards and recognition of obligations to society and environment.

Key information

    Course name

    BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering

    Total academic credits

    360 credits

    Qualification awarded

    BEng with Honours

    Awarding body

    University of Brighton

    Professional recognition

    The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

    Academic level

    Undergraduate (QCF_NQF Level 6)

    Study mode

    Full time – Classroom & Laboratory based


    3 years or 4 years with placement year

    Tuition fees

    £13,800 per year



    Work placement


    Course location

    Moulsecoomb campus, Brighton

Academic entry requirements

BBC including maths and a physical science.


International Baccalaureate
28 points, specified subjects including maths and a physical science at higher level.

Access to HE Diploma
pass with 60 credits overall. Level 3 units in maths and a physical science required. At least 45 credits at level 3, with 24 credits at merit or above.

GCSE (minimum grade C)
GCSE grade C or above in a minimum of five subjects including English language, maths and science.

Foundation course with maths and a physical science, with an average of at least 55 per cent.

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.0 overall, with 6.0 in writing and a minimum of 5.5 in the other elements.

Progression route

Further academic study of MEng, MSc, MPhil, PhD or professional career.

Career opportunities

The hands-on and design-based approach of this course, and the well-established links with industry are significant factors in the excellent employment record in the automobile industry.


Year 1

In your first year you will apply topics including mathematics, conceptual design, manufacturing and automotive systems to a design project. Project-based work brings students together to work in small groups and develops not only your engineering ability but also your team working, communication and graphics skills.


  • Design and Applications Project (20 credits)
  • Aircraft and Automotive Systems (20 credits)
  • Computer-aided Engineering and Design (20 credits)
  • Materials and Manufacture (20 credits)
  • Mathematics (20 credits)
  • Engineering Concepts (20 credits)


Year 2

In your second year you will build on the knowledge and skills you have developed in your first year.


  • Fluid Mechanics (10 credits)
  • Thermodynamics (10 credits)
  • Materials (10 credits)
  • Manufacturing Engineering (10 credits)
  • Computer-aided Engineering (10 credits)
  • Dynamics (10 credits)
  • Automotive Instrumentation and Testing (20 credits)
  • Mathematics and Control (20 credits)
  • Engineering Design and Management (20 credits)


Placement year

You have the option to spend a year in industry which we will help you to arrange. On placement, you will significantly develop your engineering skills.The experience will enhance your CV and boost your employability. You may even secure a job offer which you will be able to accept upon graduation.


Year 3

In your final year you will be given more flexibility and asked to pick two out of three option modules. You will also embark on a major individual project which is often supported by industry.


  • Advanced Fluid Mechanics (10 credits)
  • Control Systems (10 credits)
  • Power Train Engineering (10 credits)
  • Vehicle Design (10 credits)
  • Product Innovation and Management (20 credits)
  • Individual Project (40 credits)

Options include

  • Radio and Navigation Systems (10 credits)
  • Materials Engineering (10 credits)
  • Engineering Simulation (10 credits)


Assessment methods
Tests, online tests, written examinations, logbooks, presentations, reports and viva-voce.


Learning facilities available

Throughout the course you will have access to specialist laboratories and custom-built workshops, all equipped with professional-standard equipment and developed in partnership with industry experts. The equipment meets professional engineering standards so that our students are fully prepared to apply their knowledge to the workplace.

Engineering facilities

  • General purpose electronics laboratories
  • Hydraulics laboratory
  • Thermal dynamics and avionics laboratory
  • Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories
  • Hybrid vehicle experimentation laboratory
  • Socata Rallye TB9 flight simulator, with three projections giving aeronautical engineering students an unrestricted view of the landscape and scenery
  • Brighton Product Lab
  • Drawing studio 
  • Woodwork and modelling shop
  • Advanced machine tool facility


Main learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Apply appropriate scientific principles and mathematical methods to analyse practical problems and develop engineering solutions for these problems
  • Evaluate unfamiliar problems, solve them by selecting and applying appropriate computer based engineering tools, and critically assess the solution with reference to the underlying limitations of the selected tool
  • Integrate knowledge of design principles, codes of practice, safety, engineering materials and components to enable appropriate design solutions within unfamiliar situations
  • Demonstrate understanding of management and business practices within legal, professional and ethical constraints
  • Display an understanding the processes involved in the design of internal combustion engines and apply critical judgements to the selection of appropriate power train components
  • Evaluate the performance an automobile through the synthesis information gathered from the application of theoretical appropriate engine modelling and analysis software and the use of engine test cells
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the constraints imposed by environmental legislation and customer demand on the whole life energy required to produce and operate a vehicle and its supporting infrastructure
  • Design and conduct laboratory experiments and critically evaluate the outcome in terms of the measurement system employed and underlying scientific principles
  • Design, manufacture and test a functional mechanical product
  • Evaluate technical and business risks within the requirements of commercial and industrial constraints
  • Plan and manage a programme of work
  • Recommend well-justified proposals based on appropriate decision making processes and effectively communicate within a business and social context
  • Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, and independently develop knowledge and skills in related disciplines