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What to expect in your first year as an Engineering student in Sunderland

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Published: 9 April 2019

You’re interested in studying Engineering at the University of Sunderland and might have even made your application already. But maybe you’re still a little in the dark about what you’ll actually be learning when you get here? Read on to find out what to expect from your first year as a Sunderland Engineering student.

University of Sunderland engineering

Common First Year

Did you know that all four of our three-year undergraduate courses share a common first-year curriculum? You will cover the fundamentals of engineering alongside students studying other engineering disciplines, which is advantageous as it could enable you to change engineering courses at the end of your first year, should a different route appeal to you. It also means you will get a flavour of each engineering course we offer, which will help you upon graduation when working in the industry with other experts from different engineering disciplines.

Design and Build Challenge

An exciting part of your first year is the Design and Build Challenge, where you will be able to combine theory with practical experience. Working in interdisciplinary groups (i.e. from Mechanical, Automotive, Manufacturing and Electronic and Electrical engineering), you will design, produce and test an electromechanical artefact.

In doing so you will utilise the latest Computer Aided Design software, laser cutting machine and rapid prototyping machine. The module allows you to understand the full circle of project management, design, prototyping and manufacture. From concept to detailed design and from prototype to full manufacture, the module allows you to apply academic theory and put those theories into practice. The module offers a problem-based learning experience, which is vital in understanding the given engineering principles.

Engineering Lecture

Learning Materials and Facilities

You will be exposed to and will use industry standard CAD software and your tutorial sessions are supported with extensive online materials (including lecture materials, published on Canvas, our VLE), videos and live demos. A recent lab update has made the latest advanced manufacturing technologies available, which you will be using from the earliest stages of your course.

These updates have had a transformative effect on the quality of what our current students produce, and we have no doubt you will benefit from them too. Finally, you will be assigned a personal tutor, so you are always fully supported throughout your studies - from the first year and beyond.

IMechE challenge

You will also get the opportunity to use what you have learned in your first year to compete with other universities in the region.

The IMechE challenge is a national competition ran by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers which will see you design and build an artefact and compete in regional heats. If you successfully win the regional heat, you will then be invited to the prestigious IMechE headquarters on Birdcage Walk in London to go head to head with other Universities, nationally.

Check out the IMechE website for further information.

Engineers are revolutionising the way we live. From leading the war against pollution and making cleaner, faster cars, to saving lives by developing the latest medical equipment, and bringing the latest ships and aircraft to life. 

Here at the University of Sunderland, four of our courses are accredited by The Institution of Engineering and Technology:

Find out more here