School of Engineering

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering

Are you fascinated by technology and design? Build a solid foundation in the principles of mechanical engineering, starting with an exciting interdisciplinary module set up with funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering and progressing on to tackling a technically challenging group design project. The skills you’ll acquire could enable you to follow in the footsteps of our graduates working in fields from racing car design to engineering consultancy.

You will distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)*. You’ll engage in experimental work in excellent laboratories and workshops. You’ll also benefit from an optional 48 week paid work placement. Employment may lead to sponsorship and future employment opportunities. *The 5-yearly IMechE accreditation renewal process began during the 2017/18 academic year and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Key features

  • Our National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 return shows that 94 per cent of students felt the course was intellectually stimulating.**
  • Open the door to a successful future. With starting salaries from £23,000, our graduates have gone on to work for Hoare Lea, Babcock Marine, Becton Dickinson, e2v, Edwards, the Shaw Group and the Ministry of Defence.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)*. The course has been designed to fully satisfy the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partially satisfy the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng).  A programme of accredited Further Learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng.
  • Choose specialist modules in control systems engineering or thermo-fluid mechanics, and learn from engineering failures.
  • Benefit from an optional 48 week paid work placement. Employment may lead to sponsorship and future employment opportunities.
  • Engage in experimental work in excellent laboratories and workshops.
  • Take advantage of a flexible course. The first two years are common with BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Composites and the first year is common with BEng (Hons) Marine Technology, allowing you to swap courses.
  • Progress onto the MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering at the end of the second year if you are doing well on the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering.

*The 5-yearly IMechE accreditation renewal process began during the 2017/18 academic year and is expected to be completed in 2018.

** These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In Year 1, you'll acquire a sound foundation in design, mechanics, materials, electrical principles, thermo-fluids, mathematics and business, learning by active involvement in real engineering problems. You’ll also undertake a hands-on module in manufacturing methods. Modules are shared with the BEng (Hons) in Marine Technology and in the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Composites.
    Core modules
    • A5MFT1 Mech BEng 1 MFT Session

      The course provides a basic practical workshop experience that enables students to appreciate the cutting of metals. This is achieved by the manufacture of a specific test piece using lathes and milling machines and includes the use of Computer Aided Manufacture / Machining.

    • BPIE115 Stage 1 Mechanical Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH189 Engineering Mathematics

      The module provides students with a number of fundamental mathematical skills and techniques which are essential for the analysis of engineering problems.

    • MATS122 Manufacturing and Materials

      This module introduces students to a range of engineering materials and the relationship between structure, manufacture and properties. Standard methods of testing are covered, presenting practical applications wherever appropriate. An introduction to manufacturing covers both the fundamentals of forming and shaping and traditional machining processes.

    • MECH117 Mechanics

      The module introduces the basic concepts relating to the interaction between systems and their surroundings.

    • MECH118 Basic Electrical Principles

      This module introduces the basic concepts of electrical principles and their applications.

    • MECH120 Skills for Design and Engineering (Mechanical)

      An introduction to the forms and role of engineering drawings and CAD in engineering design. Basic engineering drawing procedures, basic 2-D CAD and 3-D parametric associative CAD.

    • MECH121 Team Engineering (Engineering Design in Action)

      This module helps students foster a technology-based, innovative and creative design identity. This is achieved through development of critical skills coupled with professional, multi-disciplinary teamwork. A practical focus is provided by a range of multi-facetted group design and engineering science projects based upon open-ended, real-world problems.

    • THER104 Introduction to Thermal Principles

      This module introduces the basic concepts of thermal concepts relating to the interaction between systems and their surroundings.

  • Year 2
  • Year 2 consists of modules covering materials and structures, which are integrated through the central design theme, providing a holistic approach to mechanical engineering. Core subjects like thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and quality management, are supported by further studies in business, mathematics and control.
    Core modules
    • BPIE215 Stage 2 Mechanical Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • CONT221 Engineering Mathematics and Control

      This module provides mathematical techniques and methods for the analysis of practical engineering problems and an introduction to classical control systems theory.

    • HYFM230 Fluid Mechanics 1

      Fluid mechanics for engineering applications (everything from water pipes to airliners)

    • MATS234 Materials

      This module extends the knowledge of the heat treatment of steels and alloy steels and other important engineering alloys. Polymer materials are developed by considering additives and co-polymers. There are major sections on corrosion and corrosion controls; diffusion with practical applications such as sintering and surface treatment; and fibre reinforced composite materials.

    • MECH232 Engineering Design

      This module focuses on development and application of engineering science knowledge in a practical design context. It also aims to develop a structured approach to engineering design work. Initial focus is on parametric design of engineering components, optimising for a specific set of design constraints. The module then moves on to develop creativity and design logic/process in a practical design project.

    • MFRG208 Quality Management l

      This module introduces the importance of quality to all aspects of the successful organisation by emphasising the costs associated with waste. Several of the tools and methodologies the designer/manager of manufacturing and business systems might use to build in and monitor quality are discussed.

    • STO208 Business for Engineers

      The module will enable participants to explore management techniques in an engineering context. The module will engage participants in managerial decision making and project management. Legal, HR and risk and ethical frameworks will be introduced as foundations for the practice of management. These perspectives will be considered theoretically and within practice contexts.

    • STRC203 Engineering Structures

      This module covers basic theories of structures and their applications in mechanical and marine engineering. Contents include the bending and shear of beams, torsion of shafts, buckling of struts, stress and strain analysis, and structural dynamics. Design of structural components using strength theories will also be introduced.

    • THER207 Applied Thermodynamics

      This module provides the application of thermodynamics theory (1st and 2nd laws) to a range of applications pertaining to mechanical engineering. Extension and application of the thermodynamic theory to IC engines including design and performance; Gas Turbines; Reciprocating Compressors; Refrigeration and Heat Pump systems. Introduction to heat transfer and its application in the design and performance of heat exchangers.

  • Optional placement year
  • You're encouraged to take a paid work placement to gain valuable professional experience. Many of our students go on to obtain sponsorship following a successful placement. We will support you in finding a suitable position.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE335 Mechanical Engineering Related Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll specialise in either thermal and fluid engineering, or control and intelligent systems. You'll study manufacturing, failure mechanisms and mechanics, quality management and statistics and practise design and computer-aided engineering. You'll also research a topic of interest for your individual project.
    Core modules
    • HYFM322 Computational Fluid Dynamics

      Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) focuses on practical use of CFD to complement experimental methods and/or empirical/analytical calculations in predicting the behaviour of flowing fluids. The module also provides an overview of the theory that underpins a typical Finite Volume CFD code.

    • MECH339 Manufacturing and Structural Integrity

      This module introduces a range of additive and other advanced manufacturing technologies including lean manufacturing principles and the relevance of health and safety to the modern manufacturer. It also investigates fundamental failure mechanisms that affect engineered components and structures such as wear, fatigue, fracture, and creep and introduces techniques used to establish relevant `Failure Control Plans¿.

    • MECH340 Engineering Design

      This module continues the theme of a structured, logical process for conducting engineering design work. It focuses on the latter stages of the design process. Emphasis is placed on the importance of aspects such as material, manufacturing process, tolerances, structural performance, cost, assembly, maintenance and sustainability. The module also considers ethical issues.

    • MFRG311 Quality Management II

      This module introduces the concept of the World-Class organisation, its culture and management as well as the international (ISO) management systems (quality and environment) it must address. Achieving World-Class status by developing appropriate relationships with all its stakeholders is also considered.

    • PRME307 Honours Project

      Independent project work.

    Optional modules
    • CONT317 Control and Intelligent Systems Design

      This module explores the application of control engineering and artificial intelligence techniques in the design of control systems

    • THER307 Thermal-Fluids Engineering

      This module provides further studies in thermal and fluid engineering relating to specific topics relevant to mechanical engineering.

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

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

BEng Mechanical Engineering programme specification 0138

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 120

A level: typical offer will be 120 UCAS points including minimum grade C in maths and minimum grade C in 2nd science/technology/relevant subject (excluding general studies). Applicants with UCAS points lower than the typical offer will be considered on individual case.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDD in a relevant science or engineering subject. Must include mathematics units.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate: 30 overall to include 5 at Higher Level mathematics and 4 at Higher Level science/technology subject. English and mathematics must be included.

Access to HE Diploma in a Science or Engineering: pass Access in engineering to include 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits including at least 12 credits at level 3 in mathematics with distinction and 12 credits at level 3 in a second relevant subject with merit. Must have GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent.

GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above is required. 

For other qualifications, please enquire.

English language requirements for international applicants.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Welcome to mechanical engineering at University of Plymouth

Joshua Wood – graduate profile

Discover how Joshua Wood’s placement year powered him straight into his perfect graduate role.

“When I started university, I always wanted to leave feeling equipped for work. I can honestly say studying at Plymouth has done just that. My whole university experience, including my studies, placement year and student support services, have all prepared me for my graduate job.”

Find out more about Joshua's story

Optional work placement year

Get your career off to a great start by spending a year working professionally as a student engineer between years two and three. You could earn £15,000 a year or more, and possibly gain sponsorship through your final year(s) at university. 

Gain experience that will help you find a job when you graduate and a Certificate of Professional or Work Experience in addition to your degree award.

"I spent a year on work placement with Plymouth-based Fine Tubes, a manufacturer of precision tubes for a wide range of industries including aerospace, oil and gas, medical. As a result of my performance, the company sponsored the final year of my degree and offered me a job"

Russell Lloyd – BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering graduate

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at University of Plymouth through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Engineering we recognise that our students are the future of the growing engineering profession. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2018, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Engineering. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme