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Year 1 Modules

There are six modules in the 1st year. The five core modules are taken by all the engineering students and each student can choose one optional module.

Core modules

Engineering Mathematics and Systems Modelling

AIMS AND KEY TOPICS: To present, in context, and provide skills in the application of fundamental Mathematics and systems modelling concepts that underpin all of Engineering. Key topics include: Mathematics: Functions, Algebra and Algebraic Manipulation, Co-ordinate Geometry, Differentiation, Vector Algebra, Matrices and Determinants, Matrix Algebra and Linear equations, Complex Numbers, Integration, Applications of Integration, Solution of 1st and 2nd Order Ordinary Differential Equations, Laplace Transforms, Probability Theory, Discrete and Continuous Probability Distributions. Systems Modelling: Modelling of elementary translational, rotational, electrical, and thermal systems, 1st and 2nd order linear systems, response to forced inputs, transient response, frequency response.

CREDIT: 15 credits or 12.5% of the first year

TIMETABLED TEACHING: 28 hours of lectures and 4 hours of workshops

ASSESSMENT: 100% examined in Summer term

Mechanics, Structures and Thermodynamics

AIMS AND KEY TOPICS: To present, in context, the fundamental concepts of Mechanics and Thermodynamics that underpin all branches of Engineering. In mechanics and structures key topics will include basic vectors, equilibrium of simple structures, sliding friction, elementary hydrostatics, analysis of the pin-jointed frame or truss, structures that cannot be truly ‘rigid’, stress-strain relationships, beam equation, compatibility equations for indeterminate beams, kinematics for particles and plane rigid bodies, Newton’s second law of motion and the forces and moments involved in the non-equilibrium behaviour of particles and plane rigid bodies. In Thermodynamics key topics will include forms of energy; Energy methods in problem solution; Storage of energy, power, Ohm's law, basic conversion of energy (interconnection), energy dissipation; first and second law of thermodynamics and Introduction to engine and refrigeration cycles, Flow of energy, heat transfer, heat exchangers.

CREDIT: 15 credits or 12.5% of the first year

TIMETABLED TEACHING: 33 hours of lectures and 10 hours of workshops

ASSESSMENT: 90% examined in Summer term, 10% coursework (laboratory report)

Circuits, Devices and Power Systems

AIMS AND KEY TOPICS: To present, in context, the fundamental concepts of circuits, devices and systems that underpin all branches of Engineering. Students will study fundamental mathematical operations of AC quantities including phasors, vectors and complex numbers. Students will study basic electronic components that make up more complex electrical and electronic circuitry. Students will also study basic control systems theory relevant to all engineering disciplines including negative feedback systems. Students will also study the basics of electrical power.

CREDIT: 15 credits or 12.5% of the first year

TIMETABLED TEACHING: 33 hours of lectures and 10 hours of workshops

ASSESSMENT: 100% examined in Summer term

KEY TOPICS: 90% examined in Summer term, 10% coursework (laboratory report)

Design for Function

AIMS AND KEY TOPICS: Design is a major activity within all branches of engineering. Similar design methods and skills can be applied at many levels of detail from the conceptual arrangement of a complex system down to the physical embodiment of its constituent parts. Designers use a range of skills and a repertoire of prior knowledge to synthesise an appropriate solution that satisfies the various constraints of the problem. Their efficiency and success depend on judicious use of analysis, experience and creativity. All engineering products are made from materials processed via a range of technologies. A primary skill required by the engineer is to be able to select suitable materials and processes such that it will satisfy the design criteria for its properties, durability and cost. This module aims to introduce students to the complexities of the design task and equip them with some of the techniques and experience required to design for a function and manufacturing/construction process within their discipline.

CREDIT: 30 credits or 25% of the first year

TIMETABLED TEACHING: 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars, 44 hours of laboratories, 2 hours of workshops

ASSESSMENT: 40% examined in Summer term, 60% design based coursework (including a presentation and project work)

Introduction to Engineering Business Management

AIMS AND KEY TOPICS: Ultimately, most professional engineers apply their skills within a business organisation. A key objective of business is to be commercially successful. Hence it is important for engineers to appreciate the impact of economic factors on the competitive performance of a business, the process and importance of strategic marketing, the factors contributing to effective, constructive management of people and the benefits of effective project time and cost management, and health and safety. Engineers have legal, ethical and moral obligations in the organisation and mobilisation of human resources and this course also develops an understanding of the framework of these and aims at generating a professional approach to their work.

CREDIT: 30 credits or 25% of the first year

TIMETABLED TEACHING: 60 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars, 4 hours of laboratories, 5 hours for a company visit, 2 hours of seminars, 2 hours of tutorials

ASSESSMENT: 60% examined in Summer term, 40% coursework (including multiple choice tests, written report and oral presentation)


Optional module, one of the following:

To view the module aims and learning outcomes for each module click on the module title. The optional module is worth 15 credits or 12.5% of the year.

  1. Biomedical Engineering
  2. Multimedia Technology
  3. Technology in International Development
  4. The Aesthetics of Design
  5. A Modern Foreign Language, such as French, German, Italian, Russian or Spanish (a 15 credit module can normally be taken in up to 5 levels of difficulty, refer to the Language Centre website for more details )

Students with no higher level Mathematics

For students with higher level Physics but no higher level Mathematics (i.e. A2 or HL) their optional module is replaced with our Foundation Mathematics module. This provides an entry route for students who have not had the opportunity to study Mathematics to a higher level or who decided late to study for a degree in Engineering and did not choose to study Mathematics at a higher level. This module is not available for any engineering student who has taken higher level Mathematics to select as their optional module. However, all engineering students are welcome to attend the lectures if they wish to revise a particular topic.

Foundation Mathematics