Automotive Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng (Hons)

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This is a four-year version of our popular BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering course, with an integrated foundation year. See past the aesthetics of a vehicle and learn about the mechanical beauty of how it works. Learn how to change the future of motor vehicles and the current environmental challenges the industry faces in today's commercial climate. Equip yourself with the skills needed for a wide range of careers in the automotive industry.

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Overview

This course will equip you with the skills you need to be an accomplished Automotive Engineer. In your second year you'll develop an excellent foundation in engineering, and then from the third year you will specialise in vehicle systems.

As a centre of excellence in Automotive Engineering, we host the Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP). This has allowed us to forge excellent links with many local industrial companies including the Nissan plant and its supply chain, among others.

Why us?

  • You will be supported by staff with a wealth of academic and industrial experience
  • You have the opportunity to take part in Sunderland’s Formula Student project
  • We are a University that is nationally recognised for supporting learners particularly from non-traditional backgrounds and many students come to us with no formal qualifications but with valuable work experience
  • BSc (Hons) Automotive Engineering is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as partially fulfilling the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status
  • We have a strong track record of graduates gaining employment in the automotive and associated sectors

Course structure

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work, laboratory projects and e-learning. We encourage you to develop independent study skills. You will also have opportunities to present ideas to other students and develop concepts within groups.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include exams, coursework and projects.

Foundation Year

The Engineering Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules: 

  • Essential Study Skills (20 credits)
  • Maths (20 credits)
  • Foundation module (40 credits)
  • Project (20 credits)
  • Subject Specialism (20 credits)

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Electronic and Electrical Principles (20 credits)
  • Applied Mechanics (20 credits)
  • Design, Drawing and Practical Skills (20 credits)
  • Engineering Mathematics (20 credits)
  • Manufacturing and Materials (20 credits)
  • Energy Conversion (20 credits)

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Vehicle Chassis Engineering (20 credits)
  • Computer-Aided Engineering (20 credits)
  • Engineering Mechanics (20 credits)
  • Thermofluids and Engines (20 credits)
  • Design Methods and Applications (20 credits)
  • Microprocessors and PLC (20 credits)

Year 3:

Work placement (optional)

Final year (national level 6):

  • Automotive Design and Materials Selection (20 credits)
  • Manufacturing Systems Design (20 credits)
  • Project (40 credits)
  • Automotive Dynamics and Control Systems (20 credits)
  • Professional Management Techniques (20 credits)

The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912323,-1.373368

  • Our specialist facilities include laboratories for electronics and electrical power, and robotics and programmable logic controllers. We also have advanced modelling software that is the latest industry standard.

    In addition, the University is the home of the Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP), which builds on Sunderland’s role as a centre of excellence in the manufacturing and assembly of cars.

    Engineering facilities - automotive
  • Formula Student is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Backed by industry and high profile engineers such as Patron Ross Brawn OBE, the competition aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers.

    Students are challenged to design, test, build and race a 600cc single-seat racing car against other universities in the Formula Student contest. The University of Sunderland's Formula Student Team is supported by industry and we are currently working with companies such as Wurth and Alice Racing. We operate a number of test vehicles and have access to the test track adjacent to Nissan MMUK in Sunderland.

    Formula Student / SU Racing
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on engineering topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Some of the most important sources for engineers include:

    • British Standards Online which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
    • Abstracts from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Institution of Engineering and Technology, including journals, technical reports and dissertations 
    • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier, with journals such as ‘Engineering Structures’, ‘Advanced Engineering Informatics’ and ‘Electric Power Systems Research’
    • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text engineering and management articles
    Library Services - engineering

Facilities

You will be based at the David Goldman Informatics Centre. Our specialist labs include:

• Product Development Lab
• Electronics Lab
• Automation Lab
• Project Lab
• Material Characterisation Lab
• Formulation Lab
• Thermofluids Lab
• Mechanical Engineering Lab

You will have access to a range of industry leading technologies at the Industry Centre, the home of the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice as well as access to industrial standard software to help prepare you for a future career in a digital context.

Entry requirements

The Integrated Foundation Year is specially designed to support you where you have just missed the grades required for direct entry onto a three-year degree, or if you have relevant work experience and are now looking to broaden your subject knowledge but want more time to develop study skills before starting your degree.

Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.

Eligible entry qualifications:

1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent ), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
OR
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.

If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!

** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

For more information about Integrated Foundation Year programmes, including more detailed module information, please see our Help and Advice articles.

Fees and finance

The Foundation Year will be £4,000. For the following three years, the annual fee will be £9,250, but you will receive £1,250 cash-back in the first and final year of the three years.

In addition, you will receive free travel across the Tyne and Wear region, and you may be eligible for means-tested scholarships if you are from a low-income household.

Register with StudyPLUS and enjoy up to £200 worth of books and university study essentials.

If you are a full-time UK student you will be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fee and maintenance loan for the full four years.

Please note, this course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

Recent graduates have secured graduate jobs that pay around £28,000 a year, with companies such as McLaren Automotive, General Motors and Nissan.

Graduate success

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for companies such as McLaren Automotive, General Motors, Jaguar, Perkins Engines and Parametrics Technology. Other graduates conduct research within major automotive manufacturers such as Ford, Vauxhall and Nissan.

Placements

To further enhance employability we encourage you to apply for a 48-week placement where available between your second and final year. Placements are subject to availability and interviews are required. They are usually paid, with past students having earned an average salary of £14,000-£18,000 a year depending on location.

Placements are an excellent opportunity to put your learning into practice and understand the context for your new knowledge. The contacts made during placements can also be valuable for future job offers. Examples of companies that have offered placements to Sunderland students include Jaguar, Vauxhall, Nissan, Caterham Cars, Cummins Engines and Tata Steel.

  • People too often think of engineers as working on a production line and that simply isn’t true.
    Dan Thompson, Automotive Engineering

    Dan Thompson

  • The skills I acquired in my degree and as part of the Formula Student Team have proved invaluable.
    John Wood, Automotive Engineering

    John Wood

  • I am two years out of university and one small step away from management level.
    Julie Liddle, Automotive Engineering

    Julie Liddle

Meet our academics

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