School of Engineering

MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with Composites

Could you see yourself designing high performance bikes, working with racing car teams or producing ground breaking medical components? You could follow in the footsteps of some of our graduates and begin shaping your own exciting career in mechanical engineering.

You will distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)* and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) for Chartered Engineer status. *The 5-yearly IMechE accreditation renewal process began during the 2017/18 academic year and is expected to be completed in 2018.

Key features

  • Open the door to a successful future. Our graduates have gone on to work for Ferrari, Honda, British CyclingRolls-Royce, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, Activa, Babcock Marine, Princess Yachts and more.
  • Primed for your career: 85 per cent of our students are in a professional or managerial job six months after graduation. (Source: unistats)
  • Benefit from an optional 48 week paid work placement.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)* and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) for Chartered Engineer status.
  • Develop a strong foundation in mechanical engineering principles and materials science.
  • Choose from specialist modules in composites engineering, design and manufacture.
  • Experience modern laboratory facilities for practical work which is a core part of the degree.
  • Benefit from working on industrially relevant problems within composite materials and design of composite structures.

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

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 undertake a popular hands-on module in manufacturing methods. Modules are shared with the MEng and BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and the MEng and BEng (Hons) Marine Technology.
    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
  • In Year 2, you’ll build your knowledge of composite materials in preparation for specialist modules in the final year. The central role of design integrates with other modules like structures and materials. You'll also study modules on thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, business dynamics, mathematics and control and quality management.
    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
  • In Year 3, you're strongly encouraged to do a year’s work placement to gain valuable paid professional experience. We will support you to find a placement that is right for you. Our students have worked for a variety of companies from BMW Mini, Bentley, Babcock Marine to NASA. A successful placement could lead to sponsorship in your final year, an industrially relevant final year project, and opportunities for future employment.
    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.

  • Year 4
  • In Year 4, you’ll specialise in composites design, engineering and manufacture. You’ll undertake an group design project. Additional modules of study include statistics and quality management. You'll also develop your knowledge and skills through an in-depth project on a topic of your choice.
    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.

    • MATS347 Composites Design and Manufacture

      The module provides an integrated approach to design, materials and processing selection for composite materials. MATS 347, MATS 348, and MFRG300 are the specific components of the Mechanical Engineering with Composites pathway

    • MATS348 Composites Engineering

      This module introduces stress analysis and appropriate numerical methods and integrates the learning from the parallel module MATS347 in a practical assignment to produce a prototype composite component. MATS 347, MATS 348, and MFRG311 are the specific components of the Mechanical Engineering with Composites pathway.

    • 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.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you'll extend your existing skills in engineering design, analysis and control theory. Broaden your knowledge by studying subjects such as entrepreneurship, advanced information technology and marine renewable energy. You’ll also work in a design team with students from other engineering disciplines working on projects such as design, materials and environmental issues related to bioenergy production, gas/nuclear power stations, energy from the sea and eco villages.
    Core 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.

    • MECH532 Applied Computer Aided Engineering

      Finite Element Analysis (FEA) develops an understanding of the underlying concepts of the FEA method and its application in the analysis of structures. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) develops skills required to apply appropriate CFD techniques in a typical industrial project. Existing CFD skills are expanded to cover cases such as conjugate heat transfer or transient behaviour.

    • MECH534 Product Development and Evaluation

      In this module, students bring engineering design work to life. The emphasis is on practical realisation of a product/device. Students will evaluate an existing CAD model and revise it if necessary, build a prototype and then test its performance. The prototype is then iteratively improved. This gives students first-hand experience of identifying and overcoming the inevitable unforeseen problems in CAD design.

    • MECH544 Data Processing, Simulation and Optimisation of Engineering Systems

      Data Processing part of the module explores the benefits and limitations of data processing in engineering practice. State of the art tools and techniques will be introduced in this module. Simulation and Optimisation of Engineering Systems part will provide the tools to enable the students to develop dynamic simulation of engineering systems, predict their behaviour and optimise their performance using MATLAB/Simulink.

    • PRCE513 Interdisciplinary Design

      This module enables students to undertake a major project to solve an Interdisciplinary Design Problem. Students, working in groups will select and implement a design project from initial concept to a fully documented, planned, and costed proposal for potential stakeholders. Students are expected to address a broad spectrum of design outcomes (infrastructure, structures, integrated systems etc).

    • ROCO505Z Fundamentals of Robot Manipulators

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:

MEngMechanicalEngineeringWithComposites ProgrammeSpecification September2018 4451

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

128 - 136

A level: Typical offer will be 136 UCAS points including minimum grade C in mathematics and minimum grade C in second science/technology/relevant subject (excluding general studies). Applicants with UCAS points lower than the typical offer will be considered on individual case.

International Baccalaureate: 32 overall to include 5 at Higher Level mathematics and 5 at Higher Level science / technology subject. English and mathematics must be included.

All BTEC courses: Not accepted for MEng, unless the applicant has additional qualifications or experience. 

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.

All Access courses: Not accepted for MEng, unless the applicant has additional qualifications or experience. 

GCSE: mathematics and English language grade C or above is required.

Other qualifications also considered, please enquire.

English language requirements

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

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

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.

For more information about our fees and funding please visit

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 Plymouth

Dr Stephen Grove, Associate Professor, School of Marine Science and Engineering, and final year student Craig Pemberton discuss what it’s like to study here and show you some of our facilities.

Watch our video to find out more about studying mechanical engineering at University of Plymouth.

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.

Final year project

Our final year student project open day showcases the excellence of engineering skills development and the high levels of achievement of our undergraduates.

Browse poster examples, and view previous project open day photographs below.

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 the 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.

Alexandra Trebilco – graduate profile (BEng)

Project Engineer at McLaren Automotive, Alex Trebilco, tells us about travelling to the US during her studies and to Spain as part of her current job
Alexandra tells us more about her role

Clara Moyano Mora – graduate profile (BEng)

The course gave me a great insight into what industry would be like: solving real case studies, designing and manufacturing advanced materials and analysing them with state-of-the-art equipment.
Clara talks about her journey since graduation

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.