School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

MSc Advanced Engineering Design

Engineering design is the creative activity that forms technical solutions to everyday problems. This MSc is for graduate engineers who are motivated to advance their knowledge, skills and understanding of modern engineering design practice. You'll explore the methods, tools and technologies used by engineering designers, while advancing your professional competency and readiness to tackle complex engineering challenges.

Careers with this subject

This programme will enable you to develop your career to an advanced level of design management in most industrial sectors. It will also support your progression to registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Key features

  • 3 Designed so that graduate engineers can fulfil the educational requirements of the CEng Standard.
  • J Develop a rigorous understanding of engineering design methodology; modern design tactics and practice, and the theory of technical systems.
  • ? Acquire deeper understanding of computer-aided engineering techniques; the modelling and analysis of engineering systems, and verification, validation and optimisation techniques.
  • A Deepen your knowledge and understanding of a technological subject or aspect of professional practice that is pertinent to your own professional development needs.
  • @ demonstrate innovation and creativity involving a complex engineering problem in your dissertation project.
  • ' Exploit the broad range of engineering research and technical facilities of the University.
  • ' Advance your professional competency and work place readiness.
  • & Study over one year full time or two years part time.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • The programme involves 180 credits of study at Level 7 with flexibility to meet your individual development needs. The core modules are complemented by negotiated study and a 60-credit design dissertation project. 

    You explore systems design, product modelling, design management, and the strategies and tactics of modern design practice. You develop competency in computer-aided engineering and design practice through a project-based learning approach. You learn about design research and the  methods used to create new insights and understanding of design science. The 60-credit  dissertation project allows you to carry out a substantial research investigation on a topic of your choice and demonstrate innovation and creativity in the development of novel solutions to challenging  problems.

    You start recording and planning your professional development to assist any future application for CEng registration.


    Core modules
    • ENGR501 Engineering Research Methods and Professional Development

      You will use a methodical approach to engineering research that helps identify and define projects that are practically realistic and academically worthwhile. You will plan your research project and select ethically suitable quantitative and qualitative research methods. Your progression towards professional registration will be appraised and plans made for your personal development.

    • MECH539 Computer Aided Engineering

      This module will develop knowledge and understanding of contemporary finite element analysis (FEA), kinematic analysis, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques applied in the context of the engineering design process. The module will put emphasis on the importance of validated and verified approaches to computer aided engineering analysis and associativity with the CAD model of the technical system.

    • MECH541 Engineering Design Dissertation

      This module allows students to demonstrate the practical skills and knowledge of research methods to plan and implement high quality research. Students will carry out a substantial research investigation on a topic of their choice and report upon the aims, methodology, data analysis, interpretation, synthesis, and conclusions through a high quality, scholarly and professional write-up of the project.

    • MECH551 Advanced Materials Engineering & Nanotechnology

      This module develops an enhanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary engineering materials (metals and alloys, polymers, composites, rubbers, ceramics and glass and nanomaterials). Students will investigate product failure; critically evaluate a broad range of alternative materials; and use the principles of eco-design for sustainable development to optimise material usage.

    • MECH552 Advanced Engineering Design Practice

      This module will develop your knowledge of Design Science - the knowledge base of engineering design that includes design thinking; design methodologies; theories of technical systems; and the strategies, tactics, and tools of contemporary engineering design practice. You will also develop proficiency in the use of industrial standard CAD tools through a team-based design task.

    • MECH553 Advanced Engineering Design Project

      This module will further advance your knowledge and understanding of contemporary strategies, tactics, and tools of engineering design practice. Working in a team, you will develop environmentally sustainable solutions to a complex design challenge. You will demonstrate innovation and creativity in the use of technology and present your proposed solutions using industrial standard CAD tools.

    Optional modules
    • MAR528Z Mechanics of MRE Structures

      This module will cover engineering aspects of marine renewable energy conversion. The module comprises lectures and tutorials, invited industry lectures, a field trip visit to a marine engineering company and a wave energy converter performance experiment in the COAST lab.

    • MECH543 Nanotechnology and Medical Engineering

      This module will develop specialised knowledge and understanding of the materials (metals and alloys, polymers, ceramics, composites, elastomers, engineered nanomaterials) used in medical engineering applications and biomaterials; examine the properties for materials selection; identify analytical techniques used for characterising the materials microstructure; and evaluate material-tissue interactions.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Advanced Engineering Design Programme Specification 5822 Sep 2019 5822

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A 2:2 BEng (Hons) degree or a 2:1 BSc (Hons) degree in mechanical engineering or other closely related discipline, with a demonstrable aptitude for design from workplace experience or study.

If you have considerable professional experience and can evidence an academic ability to undergraduate degree levels you may also be considered.

If you have overseas qualifications you can check your comparability with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The level of proficiency that is required can vary with the type of programme for which you are applying. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Course requires ATAS

ATAS is the Academic Technology Approval Scheme which was introduced by the British government to certify students from outside the EU who wish to study or conduct research in Britain in certain sensitive technology related fields. For selected courses, obtaining a valid ATAS certificate is a requirement for gaining visa approval so should be taken seriously as part of any application. Areas related to ATAS include chemistry, engineering, physics, biophysics, metallurgy and microbiology. ATAS is used at all British universities and is enforced by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. More information.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,500 £9,800
International £14,400 £14,800
Part time (Home/EU) £550 £550
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumnus meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20% discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM, MSc Psychology, MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc Occupational Therapy, MSc Environmental Consultancy, MSc Sustainable Aquaculture and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward. Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible.

For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Find out about the postgraduate scholarships available to you as an international student

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

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