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BSc (Hons) Design Engineering (Top-up)

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    Full time according to Funding Council definitions, Part-Time

This influential programme brings together sophisticated computer tools, engineering and creativity to produce design engineers for the twenty-first century.

On this course, you'll learn how to use the latest solid modelling, rendering and product simulation tools to model and evaluate your designs, as well as gaining an in-depth understanding of the engineering principles underlying the product development process. Designed to develop your abilities in this exciting area, the course content integrates technology, arts, market awareness and the skills needed to use advanced product development tools.

The second year is based upon an individual project, which usually is based at your place of work. During the second year you'll have easy access to all the university facilities as well as guidance and advice from academic staff. What's more all students will have the opportunity to showcase their work at our annual Festival of Design & Technology.

This degree has been accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Accreditation is a mark of assurance that the degree meets the standards set by the Engineering Council in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). An accredited degree will provide you with some or all of the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills for eventual registration as an Incorporated (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng). Some employers recruit preferentially from accredited degrees, and an accredited degree is likely to be recognised by other countries that are signatories to international accords.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


1 year full-time


Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) & the Engineering Council and the Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE)

Relevant subjects:

Engineering, electronics or computing

Required subjects:

All subjects considered

Entry requirements:

A Foundation degree accredited to Partial IEng/EngTech level or academic qualifications that have been approved at Partial IEng/Eng Tech level through the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) Education and Training Committee or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 (Academic) or above.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Final Design Project: You'll direct, organise, manage and document a final design project, applying computer-aided design (CAD) tools. You'll justify design decisions throughout specification, concept and detail design stages, and design for the needs of people, technology, industry or society.
  • Business Development: Learn the importance of strategic management and how it interacts with the business development process. This will heighten your entrepreneurial spirit and business insight.
  • Advanced Mechanics and Simulation: Develop systematic procedures for analyse, communicating work and ideas, practical and aesthetic aspects in design and responsible use of technology. You'll work independently and participate in engineering design disciplines by becoming competent with industry standard simulation technologies.
  • Research Based Electronics: Work in a team to address a set of technical problems following individual research. You'll develop problem-solving skills and a learning-centred approach to analysing problems, identifying the required learning for selecting and communicating a solution in your professional life as a design engineer.

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the final year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

  • Learning and teaching: 222 hours
  • Independent learning: 978 hours

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Design Engineering (Top-Up).

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background and experience

For Design Engineering (Top-Up) we are looking for applicants who can demonstrate:

  • The ability to think both laterally and logically
  • An interest in design history & futures, especially of Industrial Design
  • An ability to communicate visually - 3-D form, composition, texture, pattern, graphics, etc.
  • An interest in learning and promoting the use of digital media and computer design visualisation systems as design modelling tools
  • Making technology serve people by leading the use of industrial methods, processes and materials.

We hear much about saving the planet and systems of consumption that end in unnecessary waste.The type of applicants we are looking for are people who see themselves becoming designers of a sustainable future, designing expressive, humane, but commercially viable products. Design engineers typically are capable of handling a broad portfolio of consultancy work. For example the designer Santiago Calatrava is described as an artist whose medium is engineering. Consequently, we are looking for applicants whose studies have incorporated a combination of the following topics: design, technology, art or graphics, psychology, business studies and/or a philosophy, literature, or media studies subject.

Selection methods

Applicants for this course are required to attend an informal interview, where you will be asked to show a portfolio of your work to support your application. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Full entry requirements

Foundation degree accredited to Partial IEng/EngTech level or academic qualifications that have been approved at Partial IEng/Eng Tech level through the IED Education and Training Committee or equivalent.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs or equivalent at grades A* to C, including Maths and English.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.


Engineers are constantly in demand and this course will give you all the skills and knowledge you require to do well in this varied and fascinating sector. When you graduate, you'll be equipped to take on a range of design and engineering roles across sectors as diverse as the aerospace and automotive industry to consumer electronics and domestic products design.

We have an excellent employment record with graduates from our Design Engineering course, with 88.9% in work or further study within six months of finishing their course. Among the organisations they are working for are Aish Technologies Limited, Canyons, General Electric Aviation, Made Lovingly Made, Modulift, Pall Aerospace, Stanley Investments Building Services and Visteon, among many others.

The jobs you could take on include:

  • Mechanical design engineer
  • Production supervisor
  • Design engineer
  • Design draft person
  • FEA engineer.

This course is accredited by the IED and the Engineering Council, which means you will have all the skills you'll need to get started in the industry as soon as you graduate.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • A2-A0 Plots for CAD coursework

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Student section of the website

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you  may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit.  

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.


Institution of Engineering Designers & the Engineering Council

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer.

Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE)

This course fully meets the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng).

What our students say

David Maw

My placement involved work as a commercial structural engineer using Autodesk and Solidworks Finite Element Analysis software to model, analyse and optimise structures

What our students say

Sophia Anoa

The knowledgeable staff and holistic approach to the industry really appealed to me. I love the variety on my course – I’ve covered everything from model making to business studies.

What employers think


Every year we’ve taken on a placement student and it works very well for us, gives us a different perspective and supports our technical and design capabilities.

Facilities & opportunities

Innovation Centre

Innovation Centre

Learn about our Innovation Centre, where students craft their prototype products using a range of tools and equipment.

festival of design

Design & Engineering Festival

This showcase for the Faculty of Science & Technology provides a window into final-year students’ product design, engineering and creative technology innovations.

Additional information

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Open day walking courtyard

Open Days and tours

Discover what makes our Open Days and tours so enjoyable and useful – and register to attend one of our events.

Purbeck House common room

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.