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.
- Design Methods & Projects: Developing a creative, dynamic and structured approach, you'll solve a series of design problems using project and time planning techniques. This unit is led by Dr Khan and benefits from research informed education through our live project work in collaboration with The Tank Museum.
- Materials & Processing: Learn about important properties of metals, plastics, ceramics and composites and why and how they're picked for product design. Energy and other environmental issues of materials and their processing are also covered.
- Design Media: Present two and three dimension drawings, renderings and designs using manual and computer visualisation techniques. You'll learn how to professionally present your design media in an industrial situation.
- Engineering Principles: The theory and application of a range of mechanical engineering principles relevant to the design of components, structures and machines. You will be expected to apply mathematical analysis to the solution of statics design and dynamic problems and develop realisable solutions of design and engineering problems involving fluids and thermodynamics.
- Electrical & Electronic Principles: You'll gain practical experience through the designing and using polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) for an engineering system.
The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the first 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: 389 hours
- Independent learning: 811 hours
- Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 10.5 hours
- Design Projects: Approach complex designs creatively, dynamically and professionally. You'll combine methods from a variety of subjects to complete different projects.
- Manufacturing & Production: You'll learn about modern manufacturing processes for competitive product development.
- Visualisation Tools: Learn about applied 3-D modelling techniques to support your design visualisation, realisation and presentation. You'll learn to support your design process by using computer, physical modelling and presentation skills, and colour, texture and light using computer and manual techniques.
- Management & Commercialisation for Technical Projects: An introduction to business and management. You'll learn to identify and use a company's strengths and evaluate opportunities for competitive products. There will be a focus on consumer marketing, decision making, intellectual property rights, product liability and financial and management accounting.
- Engineering Simulation: Take part in engineering design practices and learn about new technologies for mechanical and electronic concepts. You'll become familiar with industry standard simulation technologies.
The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during the second 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: 295 hours
- Independent learning: 905 hours
Year 3 (Placement)
You will complete a (minimum) 40-week industrial work placement (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry) which can be carried out anywhere in the world. You'll get an opportunity to include a period of academic study during this time. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.
Year 3/4 (Final year)
Final Design Project: You'll manage an entire industrial design project through specification, conceptual and detail design and present this through CAD visualisation and digital media. You'll design for the needs of people, industry and society.
Business Development: The importance of strategic management in the business development process. You'll raise your entrepreneurial spirit and business decision-making. This will enhance your capacity to recognise and capitalise on competitive and innovative opportunities in a changing business environment.
Advanced Mechanics & Simulation: Systematic procedures for analysis, communication of work and ideas, practical and aesthetic aspects in design, and responsible use of technology. There's a mix of applied mechanics, biomechanical engineering, computer simulations, design, and energy science and technology.
Research Based Electronics: You'll work in a team on a set of technical problems after individual research. This will help you to develop problem solving skills and effectively communicate solutions in your professional life as a design engineer.
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 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.
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.
The experience that you will gain during your placement is invaluable in helping to make informed decisions about your future career path, as well as enhancing employment prospects upon graduation. During the placement year you will have the chance to develop your interpersonal skills and build on the theory and knowledge you have gained so far. Many of our students find that they are offered permanent jobs after graduation by their placement companies. Some of the organisations that have offered placements this year are:
- GE (General Electric)
- Bentley Motors
- Mercedes AMG Petronas
- Aish Technologies
- Robert Bosch Ltd
A recent report from High Fliers Research has highlighted the vital importance of work placements. The report found that more than a third of jobs for new graduates are being taken by people who have already had work experience with that employer through work experience during holidays or placements as part of a course. More than half of employers expect would-be recruits to have some kind of work experience, without which they are unlikely to be considered, regardless of their qualifications.
How long is my placement?
You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 40 weeks (or a minimum of 30-weeks for 2017 entry).
Background and experience
The overall philosophy of this course is to produce graduates who, starting from an initial need, can design and develop well considered and potentially commercial products. Therefore, the ability of the applicant to think both laterally and logically, in both artistic and scientific domains is crucial in order to satisfy aesthetic, ergonomic, technological, manufacturing, standards and economic criteria.
In addition to the need for a broad basic knowledge and the ability to communicate in a wide range of disciplines, is the recognition that applicants must be able to think both creatively and analytically. The applicant must also have a desire to be able to learn about design by producing working prototypes of their solutions.
Experience of CAD would be beneficial although not essential.
We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications – and you may also be invited to attend an interview. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.
You will need to attend an interview for this course - find out more about what to expect at an interview, including where the interviews are held, and what you need to bring. You can bring along a portfolio of your work to support your application, however this is not essential and may not be required. Please do not bring along educational certificates or other documents.
The dates of interview sessions will be available through myHub. You will receive details of how to access myHub once you have applied to BU.
Our offer making process
Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.
If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.
How we'll assess your application
We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.
If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 20-60 points below the published tariff.
Unconditional offer scheme - for September 2016 entry
Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.
We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.
2017 entry requirements
The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry. If you have applied in the 2016 UCAS admissions cycle, you will use the previous UCAS Tariff.
The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma DMM.
UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.
Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.
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.
GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.
We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.
Access Courses: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.
Extended Diploma: This course requires from Distinction, Merit, Merit.
Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to one A-Level or equivalent to acheive the overall tariff.
90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.
Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.
European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71-75% overall.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 28-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.
Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.
Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.
OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.
- Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.
Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.
Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.
International entry requirements
English language 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 of the 4 components) or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.
Academic entry requirements
You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.
Engineers are constantly in demand and this course will give you skills and knowledge to enter 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.
88.9%* of graduates from our Design Engineering course are 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:
- Business development agent
- Construction project manager
- Design and development engineers
- Mechanical 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.
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.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
If you’re not ready to apply just yet, there are plenty of things you can do to find out more about our courses, and what it’s like to be a student at BU:
The National Student Survey
The below information all comes from the National Student Survey completed by students who graduated from this course last year.
- Students agreed staff are good at explaining things – 67%
- Students agreed staff made the subject interesting – 48%
- Students were satisfied overall – 52%
- Students agreed they got sufficient advice and support – 52%.
At BU, we take our students’ feedback very seriously. We have reviewed all the responses to the NSS survey, and we are implementing a number of new initiatives for our students. We are continually investing in new buildings with dedicated workshop, laboratory, study and social spaces on campus. Why not visit us to see for yourself at an open day?
Other new support initiatives for our students:
- Ensuring you have access to our facilities and teaching team outside of lectures and seminars
- Relocated course administration and placement teams to be more accessible
- New students welcome pack with much more information about where to go for help and advice
- Recruiting new staff to help you Grow@bu – a Faculty support service run by recent graduates who really understand student issues
- ContriBUte: a brand new scheme run by the Student Union to give you the opportunity to get involved in making things happen at BU
Additional accreditation, affiliations or exemptions
This course is accredited by the IED and the Engineering Council.
74% of the course is assessed by coursework
Throughout the course you will use industry standard facilities, including detailed computer suites, technical workshops and state of the art prototyping facilities. Assessment methods reflect the variety of teaching and learning methods.
Final year students’ projects are assessed at BU’s annual Festival of Design & Engineering. Attended by industry employers, many of our students are head-hunted as a direct result of exhibiting at the Festival.
19% is scheduled learning and teaching activities
The above figure represents an average across three years.
Students are taught manual workshop skills in their first year, resulting in relatively high scheduled learning and teaching activity. These skills are further developed in the second year by introducing students to more advanced manufacturing tools such as CNC (Computer Numerical Controlled) milling and rapid prototyping.
Scheduled learning and teaching activity is less in the final year as students spend 50% of their time working on independent projects. You are not expected to produce a prototype for your final year project; many students use simulation tools to demonstrate the functionality of their design. Final year students are also introduced to group based Problem Based Learning activities which require minimal input from the academic staff.
*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.
The table below indicates any changes to the course content.
||Changes to this course
||Where the change was made
||Change of first year unit from Statics & Dynamics to Engineering Principles
||Course details content
Statics & Dynamics: Through a mix of laboratory and/or software-based exercises, lectures and seminars, you'll learn about a range of static and dynamics principles for design components, structures and machines. You'll mathematically analyse static design solutions and dynamic and kinematic design problems.