Mechanical Engineering (including Foundation Year)
University of Chester
University of Chester
Chester Campus (L3) and Thornton Science Park
Undergraduate Modular Programme
Classroom / Laboratory,
4 years FT
Annual - September
Science & Engineering
Intention to seek accreditation with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)
Learning and Teaching Institute (L3) and Science and Engineering
Monday 18th January 2016
This degree programme has been designed to satisfy the accreditation requirements of the relevant professional institution which are themselves based on the Engineering Council’s UK Specification of Engineering Competences (UK-SPEC). This enables engineering degree programmes to be based around a common core of subjects. The individual engineering degree programmes differ at the level of module content, particularly during the higher levels of study, but share common aims and outcomes.
The BEng programme aims to:
Offer an interesting, challenging, and industrially relevant degree programme that lays the common foundations of mechanical engineering principles across a core engineering curriculum, delivered with design as an integrating theme;
Develop in students the ability to evaluate evidence, solve problems, exercise sound judgement and lay the foundation for creative thinking that they will need in their careers as professional engineers;
Equip students with an awareness of engineering in the wider commercial, social, environmental and ethical context;
Provide opportunities for access and personal development that will enable students to reach their full potential in all aspects of University life;
Create highly motivated and creative graduates with the ability to evaluate evidence, solve problems and exercise sound judgement that will be in demand by a wide spectrum of organisations.
The BEng programme of Mechanical Engineering further aims to deliver a systematic understanding and coherent knowledge of the core subject areas, including tools for analysis and design of mechanical systems. Leading on from this, the course enables the students to specialise (Control Engineering, Power and Energy or Materials Engineering) in their final year based on their engineering interests.
At Level 3
Demonstrate a knowledge of terms and concepts relevant to the subject-specific modules.
Use academic study skills at the required level for further study at the University.
Identify how theory can be applied to practice.
Be aware of how undergraduate study prepares students for a professional career.
At Levels 4 - 6
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, theories, principles and the underpinning engineering science of their chosen engineering specialism, together with an appreciation of the wider multidisciplinary context of mechanical, chemical, electronic & electrical engineering (SE4006, SE4014, SE4015, SE4016, SE4017, SE4023, SE4024, SE5044, SE5045, SE5046, SE5047, SE5048, SE6023, SE6021, SE6005, SE6006, SE6007, SE6022).
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts, principles and models that is relevant to the analysis and solution of engineering problems (SE4003, SE4016, SE4017, SE4006, SE5001, SE5040, SE5044, SE5045, SE5046, SE5047, SE5048, SE6021, SE6006, SE6007, SE6022).
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic context of engineering processes, including an awareness of management techniques, which may be used to achieve engineering objectives (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039, SE6023, SE6037, SE6040).
Apply the principles, processes and methods of design (SE4001, SE4006, SE5018, SE5021, SE6005, SE6021).
Understand how social, environmental, sustainability and ethical considerations should affect engineering decisions (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE6023, SE6037, SE6040).
At Level 3
Analyse, interpret and summarise information.
Write in an academic manner.
Begin to reflect on their own learning and use feedback as part of this process.
Demonstrate independent learning.
Integrate a variety of information sources to develop academically and professionally.
At Levels 4 - 6
Plan and conduct a technical investigation into an engineering problem, and identify constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations, health and safety and risk assessment issues (SE5018, SE5021, SE6023).
Apply the appropriate engineering and mathematical tool, technique or model to analyse engineering systems, processes or components, and have the ability to assess the limitations of particular cases (SE4006, SE4014, SE4016, SE4017, SE4023, SE4025, SE5040, SE5041, SE5044, SE5045, SE4046, SE5047, SE5048, SE6021, SE6006, SE6007, SE6022).
Synthesise of ideas from a range of sources to generate innovative designs for systems, processes or components (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039, SE6023).
Manage and adapt the design process and methodologies to accommodate a range of commercial, industrial, quality, human and environmental constraints, and be able to evaluate the outcomes (SE4001, SSE5018, SE5021, SE6023).
Use creativity to establish innovative solutions to engineering problems and ensure fitness for purpose (SE5018, SE5021, SE6023).
At Level 3
Retrieve and collate information from a variety of sources.
Use proficient reading and writing skills in preparation for the next level of study.
Demonstrate ability in Engineering and Computing applications.
Present computing and numerical skill in the production of their assessed work.
Work with others for problem-solving activities.
At Levels 4 - 6
Identify standard engineering workshop equipment and be able to demonstrate its safe and competent use (SE4001, SE5018).
Use laboratory equipment to extract and accurately record data or experimental evidence (SE4014, SE4016, SE4017, SE4023, SE4025, SE5040, SE5041, SE5044, SE5045, SE5046, SE5047, SE5048, SE6023, SE6006, SE6007, SE6022).
Demonstrate extensive knowledge of the characteristics of a wide range of materials, equipment and processes or products (SE4014, SE4015, SE5045, SE6023, SE6022).
Have an awareness of key operational constraints such as cost, quality and risk, and the legal frameworks that apply to engineering activities, and be able to apply these considerations during the design process (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE6023, SE6037, SE6040).
Apply appropriate computer software or computer techniques to solve engineering problems (SE4003, SE5001, SE6005).
Be able to work with technical uncertainty (SE4001, SE6023).
Take responsibility for their own learning and development in unfamiliar situations (All modules).
The ability to exercise independent thought, and the confidence to make value judgements based on limited information (SE6023).
Show a commitment to maintaining a high professional and ethical standard (All modules).
At Level 3
Communicate the ideas of others and their own ideas in an academic format.
Use IT applications effectively for research and presentation purposes.
Discuss and debate relevant topics and ideas as part of the learning process.
Convert researched information to a summarised form.
At Levels 4 -6
Application of Number
Information Literacy and Technology
Improving own learning and performance
Working with others
The engineering competencies demonstrated within this programme that also provide coverage of the QCA list of categories are;
To communicate effectively through written, graphical, interpersonal and presentation techniques to both a technical and non-technical audience (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039, SE6023).
The ability to identify such data that is pertinent and apply it in the solution of an unfamiliar problem (SE4003, SE4006, SE4014, SE4015, SE4016, SE4017, SE4023, SE4025, SE5040, SE5041, SE5044, SE5045, SE5046, SE5047, SE5048, SE6023, SE6024, SE6005, SE6006, SE6007, SE6022).
Use ICT effectively to find and manage information from technical and other sources (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039, SE6023).
Develop, monitor and update a plan to reflect a changing operating environment (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039, SE6023, SE6037, SE6040).
Work in collaboration with others (SE4001, SE5018, SE5021, SE5038, SE5039).
Understand and adopt a systems approach to the solution of engineering problems (SE4006, SE5040, SE6023).
The IMechE define Mechanical Engineering as being concerned with “the innovative application of engineering and management sciences that underpin existing and emerging technologies to the complete life cycle of all mechanical devices, machines and systems”. A Mechanical Engineer is therefore a creative person who is able to integrate knowledge based on mathematics, science, design, materials, manufacturing, business and management in order to solve problems that provide infrastructure, goods and services to our society. With this in mind, this curriculum has been developed to provide a general mechanical engineering education, and produce graduates with the strong academic background who are ready to enter cutting edge industry.
The structure and content of this programme has been determined from a variety of sources;
UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence: Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer Standard, Engineering Council UK, January 2013.
The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes: UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence, Engineering Council UK, January 2013.
Guidance Note on Academic Accreditation, Engineering Council UK, October 2011.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers Academic Accreditation Guidelines, IMechE, April 2013.
IET Learning Outcomes Handbook Incorporating UK-SPEC for BEng and MEng Degree Programmes, May 2012.
Accreditation of chemical engineering degrees. IChemE, February 2012.
The UK Quality Code for Higher Education. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, April 2012.
The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, August 2008.
The Northern Ireland Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (NICATS): Principles and Guidelines 2002.
Beyond the honours degree classification; The Burgess Group final report, October 2007.
Proposals for national arrangements for the use of academic credit in higher education in England, Final report of the Burgess Group, December 2006.
Following the approach used in UK-SPEC, the programme is designed to build competence through each year and level of study. The threshold levels relevant for achievement of each level and exit award within this programme are:
Certificate of Higher Education: 120 credits Students will have a firm knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of core engineering subjects. They will have learned how to take different approaches to solving standard problems. Students will be logical, numerate and able to communicate accurately. They will have developed both independent learning and team working skills.
Diploma of Higher Education: 240 credits Students will have developed a sound understanding of the principles involved in core engineering subjects, and will know how to apply those principles to solve more advanced problems. They will be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Students will be numerate and able to communicate effectively. In employment, they will be able to take personal responsibility and work individually or as part of a team.
BSc (Hons) Engineering Science: 360 credits Students who fail the Individual Project module at the first attempt may, upon successful reassessment, exit with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science following successful completion of at least 360 credit points. Students cannot advance towards the award of BSc Engineering Science, and accreditation with the IMechE will not be sought for this qualification.
Bachelors of Engineering - Honours: 360 credits Students will have developed an understanding of a complex and coherent body of knowledge relevant to mechanical engineering. They will have developed analytical and problem-solving skills that can be brought to bear in a range of advanced engineering problems. Honours graduates will be effective communicators and able to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions and reach sound judgments. In employment they will be motivated, efficient, and able to take personal responsibility and make decisions in complex and unpredictable circumstances.
The first two years of study lay the common foundations of engineering principles. The final year provides an opportunity for students to deepen their education in through a broad range of specialist modules that are integrated within the structured learning environment.
In the first year of the BEng Mechanical Engineering programme, students will take;
Professional Skills for Scientists and Engineers
Mathematics for Scientists and Engineers
Principles of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanics of Solids
Dynamics of Mechanical Systems
Introduction to Thermodynamics
Introduction to Fluid Mechanics and Transport Processes
In the second year of study, students will take;
Mathematics and Modelling
Mechanical Engineering Integrative Design Project
Mechanical Engineering Industry Based Project
Industrial Engineering – Overseas Manufacturing Systems Project
Industrial Engineering – Overseas Industry Based Project
Foundation Certificate in Engineering and Computing: 120 credits Students who achieve 120 credits at level 3 may exit at the end of the year with a Foundation Certificate in Engineering and Computing.
Certificate of Higher Education in Engineering: 120 credits Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 may exit at the end of the year with a Certificate of Higher Education in Engineering.
Diploma of Higher Education in Engineering: 240 credits Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 may exit at the end of year two with a Diploma of Higher Education in Engineering.
BSc (Hons) Engineering Science: 360 credits Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6, but fail to satisfy PSRB (Professional, Statutory Regulatory Body) requirements for the individual project at the first attempt may exit with the alternative qualification of Bachelor of Science (with honours) in Engineering Science.
Bachelors of Engineering - Honours: 360 credits Students who achieve 120 credits at level 4, 120 credits at level 5 and 120 credits at level 6 will exit the programme with a BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering.
F4.2 Module Assessment within Undergraduate Programmes
Where a module at Levels 4, 5 and 6 comprises two or more components of assessment, successful completion of the module shall require a mark of at least 30% in each assessment component, as well as the overall mark being at least the normal pass mark of 40% (or being passed by compensation subject to F4.3). This requirement only applies to assessment elements that contribute more than 30% towards the final module mark (see ref 1 pp 1&2 and ref 2 pp2).
F4.3 Compensation for Failure in Assessment
Compensation at Level 4 will be limited to 20 credits (see ref 3 pp5).
F4.8 The Determination of the Final Degree Classification
The classification calculation shall include all modules taken at Levels 5 and 6 (see ref 1 pp 2 and ref 2 pp 2).
F2.9 Regulations Governing Failure and Reassessment
Major individual projects for BEng (i.e. the BEng Third Year Project) must be passed at first attempt (see ref 2 pp2). Students failing this module may resit for the award of a BSc.
The derogation in Section 24d has been put in place to meet the requirements of the IMechE.
The admissions data provided below was correct at the time of creating this programme specification. Please refer to the prospectus pages on the corporate website www.chester.ac.uk for the most recent data.
180 UCAS points from GCE A Level or equivalent (such as BTEC/OCR Diploma). GCSE grade B in Maths required.
GCE A Level:
A2 Level: Maths or Physics
BTEC Diploma: MM; Extended Diploma : MMP - MPP
Grades CCCC in 4 subjects, including Maths and one other physical science subject
24 points, including 5 in Maths
Access to HE Diploma (Maths at Level 3)
Although not part of the entry requirements, we would recommend that students take mechanics modules as part of their course.
Mature students (21 and over) that have been out of education for a while or do not have experience or qualifications at Level 3 (equivalent to A-levels) will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The QAA Subject benchmark statement for Engineering (2015) defines the academic standard of graduates with an engineering degree. Rather than reproducing the required learning outcomes from the UK-SPEC in full, the learning outcomes in this benchmarking statement are expressed for the threshold level that engineering students would be expected to attain on graduation and covers engineering degrees at the honours level (BEng) and the integrated master’s level (MEng) as defined in The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The defined learning outcomes are those published by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC): The Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (2015) and programme teams are now directed to draw upon these ‘output standards’ to establish standards for a diverse range of programmes.
The diversity of practice in teaching and learning activities is recognised by the QAA as a particular strength of the engineering discipline. Achievement at level 3 reflects the ability to identify and use relevant understanding, methods and skills to complete tasks and address problems that, while well defined, have a measure of complexity. It includes taking responsibility for initiating and completing tasks and procedures as well as exercising autonomy and judgement within limited parameters. It also reflects awareness of different perspectives or approaches within an area of study or work. During the core level four and five year syllabus, a broad combination of strategies is used to reflect the student’s diverse background, to ease the transition from School to University and to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. As the student progresses, a greater emphasis is placed upon team and group working, the use of industrially relevant problems, and transferable skills including communication skills. During the specialist final year or two years, emphasis is placed upon a deepening technical understanding that is informed by the research and scholarship of academic staff and involves substantial project work. The development of the learning outcomes, and reinforcement of the student learning experience is promoted through the following teaching and learning methods:
Lectures are the primary means of conveying academic material and information. Most lecture courses provide problem sheets, worked examples and/or case studies. Students will also be directed to suitable resources involving a range of ICT to enable then to develop their understanding of the subject matter during their private-study.
Tutorial Classes are normally delivered to smaller (than class sized) groups of students. These classes provide an opportunity for academic staff to resolve problems in the students' understanding, and to provide developmental feedback.
Workshops are used to enable students to work on “open-ended” and/or hands-on problems related to real engineering situations. They also provide good opportunities for developing team-working and communication skills as well as individual skills.
Laboratory Classes are used to introduce experimental techniques and practical methods. They provide an excellent opportunity for students to practise team-working and communication skills. Students will have significant exposure to hands-on laboratory work throughout their degree programme. Students may be required to work independently or in small groups.
Industrial visits, seminars and projects are used so that graduates will be aware of modern commercial, managerial and technical practices appropriate to the engineering industry. The department will make the maximum use of industry-university links and opportunities for industry touch-points will be included within modules whenever they become available.
The Individual Project is completed in the third year of the degree programme. This project represents a substantial, individual research project on an aspect of mechanical engineering. It is conducted under the supervision of a member of staff. This project provides an excellent opportunity for the student to pull together many aspects of their development during the programme.
A particular strength of this programme is the range of different assessment strategies that are deployed to ensure that the student has the best opportunity to demonstrate the attainment of a learning outcome. During the first and second years, a broad range of methods is used to reflect the student’s diverse background and to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning. As the student progresses, problems become more open ended, and a greater emphasis is placed upon team and group working, the use of industrially relevant problems, and transferable skills including communication skills.
Opportunities for the student to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes are provided through the following summative assessment methods:
Written Examinations are typically of 2 hours duration. The content of these exams is previously unseen by the student, and many modules use written exams to assess knowledge and understanding, and selected subject-specific intellectual skills. Different modules will use open or closed book, multiple choice, open ended and essay type exams as appropriate to the subject matter.
Coursework Assignments are used throughout the curriculum where students are required to seek additional information so that they can develop and demonstrate their understanding of the course material. The exact form of assignment reflects the subject matter. In particular Laboratory Reports and/or Portfolios are used where the attainment of a subject specific practical skill is relevant. Technical Reports are used where the use of primary source material and some form of evaluation or analysis is required. Coursework may constitute the only or the major form of assessment in some modules (particularly design work), and can be conducted on an individual basis at the beginning of the degree programme, or increasingly as small groups as the student progresses.
Oral and Poster Presentations are often included as part of coursework assignments. These presentations allow students to develop their communication skills.
Computer Based Tests and Assessed Simulations are used in modules that involve a substantial computer-based element, and are used to demonstrate attainment of practical skills.
Peer Assessment is often used in modules that involve a substantial team-working element. Normally, students will moderate the final marks for the group project to reflect the contributions of different team member to encourage full an equal participation by each student. Students may also peer review other students' coursework to develop their critical thinking skills, but in this case, the quality of the peer review is assessed.
Demonstrations of Prototypes and Exhibitions are used to assess practical workshop skills and allow students the opportunity to demonstrate the realisation of a design project.
Class Tests are conducted during the course of the academic year to assess students' progress. The results from class tests provide a useful opportunity to give developmental feedback to students.
The Individual Project is the largest individual project and is undertaken during the third year of the degree programme. The project is assessed on via a written dissertation, an oral presentation and the student’s response to questions. It is expected to be at a professional level.
Formative Assessments do not contribute to the final marks achieved for each module, but provide an opportunity for students to monitor their own academic progress. They also provide a useful opportunity for lecturers to give feedback to the students and to monitor and improve the students learning experience. These assessments will take the form of diagnostic tests, in-class tests and on-line tests during lectures, and evaluation and discussions relating to logbooks and equipment during laboratory and workshop classes. Students will have opportunities to develop their oral and presentation skills during tutorials and workshops.
According to the QAA (2010), the creative way of approaching all engineering challenges is regarded as a “way of thinking” and hence generic across all disciplines. Therefore, engineering graduates will:
Be rational and pragmatic, interested in the practical steps necessary for a concept to become reality.
Want to achieve sustainable solutions to problems and have strategies for being creative, innovative and overcoming difficulties by employing their knowledge in a flexible manner.
Be numerate and highly computer literate, and capable of attention to detail.
Be cost-and value-conscious, and aware of the social, cultural, environmental, health and safety, and wider professional responsibilities they should display.
Appreciate the international dimension to engineering, commerce and communication.
When faced with an ethical issue be able to formulate and operate within appropriate codes of conduct.
Be professional in their outlook, capable of team working, effective communicators and able to exercise responsibility.
Graduates of the BEng Mechanical Engineering programme will be in demand by a broad spectrum of engineering organisations, particularly those within the automotive, aerospace and manufacturing sectors. The transferrable skills developed during this programme will mean that graduates are also able to enter careers in teaching, finance, IT and the armed forces.
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
The programme is delivered in English and provided the student has attained the defined standard there are no other cultural issues.
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