BEng Mechanical Engineering
|Typical offer||AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32|
Mechanical engineers advance the world we live in by constantly improving and inventing technology, not just preserving existing systems. Making our lives easier and everything we use more efficient, mechanical engineers are responsible for some of the most innovative breakthrough designs of our times; such as The London Eye, wind turbines and surgical robotic technology.
Becoming a mechanical engineer opens doors to nearly every area of industry, from manufacturing to construction; working on problem-solving projects from design stages through to commissioning and production. There is a broad range of employment opportunities within this diverse discipline involving design, manufacture, research, development, management and marketing.
Here in Exeter, mechanical engineers are making considerable breakthroughs in innovative research involving, for example, human bone implants, break-pads made from sustainable resources like hemp and cashew nut resin and a machine that can produce customised 3D chocolate products of any shape. This research is undertaken and supervised by the same lecturers who tutor undergraduates from year 1; enabling them to cascade their exciting results and discoveries to students thus enhancing development through the engineering programmes.
Why choose Mechanical Engineering at Exeter?
- This degree is professionally accredited under licence from the Engineering Council. Visit the Careers tab for further information.
- The multidisciplinary first year ensures an excellent foundation in mechanical engineering, while encouraging you to sample other engineering disciplines, such as electronic or civil engineering, broadening your knowledge as you progress with mechanics.
- Practical, hands-on experience is gained from the first year, when you design and make a mechanic water-wheel.
- Our first-class equipment and excellent facilities includes the latest Additive Layer Manufacturing technology and 3D visualisation suite.
- Students directly benefit from our strong links with the mechanical engineering industry , with companies like Airbus and Jaguar providing interactive student tours.
Exeter was ranked highly in the league tables for Mechanical Engineering and there were lots of opportunities for practical ‘design & make’ projects to be undertaken. These were not only more interesting than the purely theoretical modules but built useful soft skills, boosting employability.
Will Ross-Skinner, MEng Mechanical Engineering graduate.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The multidisciplinary ethos of the first year builds your theoretical and practical knowledge in mechanical, civil, materials, manufacturing, electronic and engineering mathematics.
By the end of this year's course you will have experienced your first encounter with "Solidworks" as well as gained more experience with AutoCAD, have been introduced to every phase involved in engineering a new artefact and will be more confident in writing and presenting your findings. Speakers from engineering institutions also visit to offer an introduction to the benefits of joining their professional bodies.
From the second year onwards the core and optional modules start to take a more specialised pathway with a focus on your chosen degree
You will narrow down your specialist areas to fluids, manufacturing and computational engineering which are complementary to each other. You will learn about ways to model fluid flows and compute the energy efficiencies of designs and processes, theoretical and numerical approaches in analysing mechanical systems and also the use of software such as finite element packages.
Entry requirements 2018
AAA-ABB; IB: 36-32
Applicants studying one of the following BTEC Extended Diplomas will be considered without GCE AL requirement(s): Applied Science, Building Services Engineering, Construction and the Built Environment, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Operations and Maintenance Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Sustainability. In place of science requirement only, A level Maths still required.
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
Engineering at Exeter combines a breadth of academic expertise with a caring and supportive learning environment. Our student-centred approach to teaching is validated by our excellent results in the National Student Survey.
Our programmes make use of a variety of teaching styles with contact hours ranging from 25-32 hours each week depending on the year of study. These include:
- Lectures for the presentation of new topics and class exercises;
- Workshops where you have hands-on use of equipment, discussion and solution of sample problems, with experts available to answer questions and provide support;
- Tutorials involving small group work on problems relating to topics covered in lectures;
- Projects of longer term practical work undertaken either individually or in teams, with sessions for consultation with staff;
- Engineering Design Activities (EDAs) which provide direct experience of putting engineering design into practice while learning the underpinning principles and mathematical skills in other modules.
There are plenty of opportunities to discuss material in more detail with members of staff. Our academics are happy to meet with students individually during their advertised office hours or receive questions by email.
A research and practice led culture
We believe every student benefits from being taught by experts active in research and practice. You will discuss the very latest ideas, research discoveries and new technologies in seminars and in the field and you will become actively involved in a research project yourself. All our academic staff are active in internationally-recognised scientific research across a wide range of topics. You will also be taught by leading industry practitioners.
There are always numerous engineering research projects in progress, funded by industry, charities, government departments and research councils. Our undergraduate students benefit through access to up-to-date equipment, industrially linked projects and staff expertise.
Student projects are often linked to our research activities and may involve working with industrial partners. Recent projects have involved the design and construction of an autonomous hovering platform, modelling of airflow around a car and 3D CAD representation of the Met Office headquarters in Exeter, which has close research links with the College.
Modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment through small practical exercises, project work, essay writing, presentations and examination.
All of our programmes are assessed in a similar way. During the first two years you will have an even mix of examinations and coursework, each accounting for about 50%. In the third year 25% of the year is taken up by the individual project.
You must pass your first year assessment in order to progress to the second year, but the results do not count towards your degree classification. Written examinations are held in January and June of the first and second years and in the third term of the third year. For most modules, coursework also contributes to the assessment of the module.
Mechanical engineering is a challenging and exciting subject that affects nearly all aspects of our lives. Our main objective is to provide you with the knowledge and flexibility to enable you to play a leading role in the creation of the technology of the 21st century.
This programme is suitable for those who wish to pursue careers as professional engineers employed by industry or research laboratories requiring electro/mechanical engineering or manufacturing engineering expertise. The programme is also well suited for those who aim to become managers in industry and commerce and wish to start with a sound background in modern engineering.
Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and a strong employment record. Our graduates excel in specialist engineering fields and across a broad range of other sectors, as shown on our Graduate destinations web page.
We offer a very wide range of opportunities for you to develop the skills employers are looking for, including industrial placements and study abroad. Visit our Employability web page to find out more.
All our undergraduate students can choose to take an optional Commercial and Industrial Experience module during the vacation before the third year. This opportunity allows you to gain paid work experience in a commercial setting while earning credits towards your degree programme. Industrial experience not only develops your CV but helps you to determine your career aspirations.
Students can also request permission to temporarily interrupt their studies and spend a year working in industry, as long as they work in a suitably demanding Engineering role.
Our undergraduate engineering programmes are enriched by a network of industry links which have been established through collaborative research and consultation. Project work is a core element of each programme, providing invaluable experience of problem-solving, engineering design and working in multidisciplinary teams. Projects are typically industrially driven, are commercially relevant and often directly involve a company.
A team of undergraduate students has developed new machinery which can produce 3D chocolate in any shape. The project set out to push the boundaries of additive layer manufacturing (ALM) technology as chocolate is a particularly difficult material to work with. James Bulleid, project team leader said, “chocolate exists in about six different forms, only one of which is nice to eat. We had to make sure that our end result still tasted as good as the original ingredient.”
The team secured a variety of sponsors from international heavy weights such as Cadbury to Tiverton based HepcoMotion, manufacturers of linear motion products, and Farnell, a specialist electronic component supplier.
It is hoped that once the prototype has had further development, the technology will be affordable enough to be sited in shops and available for individuals to use over the internet, making it possible to produce totally personalised chocolate items.
Throughout your degree you will have the opportunity to meet with graduate employers. Professional engineers visit the College to hold mock interviews and to discuss your career opportunities at an early enough stage to inform your choice of modules and placement decisions.
Find out more about the industrial experience opportunities available to our engineering undergraduates.
My year in industry at Caterpillar was probably one of the best things I did. I was able to take everything that I’d learnt about engineering into a real world situation.
Working with ‘grown up’ Engineers forced me to step up my game and really pulled me forward in terms of teamwork and dealing with people; I was presenting to Directors, so dealt with people from all levels of the company, which brought me on massively in terms of maturity. I even got to go to Sweden for 6 weeks (on double pay!) with a small team, which was amazing and taught me a lot. I also made really good industry contacts, which can open doors in the future.
When I came back to do my final year I was so much more focused because I had seen what the job was like and I really wanted to work towards that. My time management was far better than it had been before. I looked at things completely differently; I had learnt how to manage big projects and also how to manage people.
William Priest, BEng Mechanical Engineering graduate
This degree has been accredited by the Institution of Mechancial Engineers (IMechE) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council.
An accredited MEng degree fully satisfies the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
An accredited BEng (Hons) degree 1. fully satisfies the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and 2. partially satisfies the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). A programme of accredited further learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng.
Experience of working in your chosen field is a real advantage when entering the graduate job market. It’s also a great way to try out different jobs and to make contacts within companies you’re interested in working for. All of our engineers have the opportunity to spend time working as part of their degree, either through a summer placement or through a full year’s experience.
Year in industry
What is it? A full year’s worth of work placement. The words ‘with Year in Industry’ appear in your degree title for future employers to see.
Who is this for? Available for all BEng and MEng programmes in Engineering.
When does it happen? Typically takes place in your third year and usually last at least nine months.
Does it count towards my degree? Yes, it’s worth 120 credits.
What else do I need to know? During this year you will pay a reduced tuition fee. In 2016/17 the fee was £1,850 (or 20 per cent of the maximum fee for that year). You can apply for this programme through UCAS or transfer to it at the end of your first year. Your degree will take an extra year to complete.
What is it? A two to three month work placement that contributes towards your degree. The module title ‘Commercial and Industrial Experience’ will appear on your transcript for future employers to see.
Who is this for? All engineering students. This is a popular optional module - we recommend that all students take it.
When does it happen? Summer placement, takes place between years two and three.
Does it count towards my degree? Yes, it’s worth 15 credits.
What else do I need to know? You can base your third year individual project on your placement, giving you an extra 30 credits of industrial experience.
We will help you to prepare for your work placement from early in your studies. A special module ‘Employability and Placement Preparation for Engineers’ takes place at the start of your second year. This isn’t marked and is an opportunity to start thinking about your placement well in advance. You will also be invited to attend workshops offering guidance and support such as ‘Making the most of your placement’ and ‘How to use your placement as an individual project’.