BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering


Faculty of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing


School of Engineering













Date of  approval event:

March 9th 2015

Date Approved by QMSC:













  1. Name  of programme (name not title - eg Basket Weaving – not BA Honours Basket-Weaving)


Automotive Engineering



  1. Award title (eg BA Honours)

BEng Honours


  1. Programme linkage

Is this part of group of linked programmes between which students can transfer at agreed points? (eg a version with / without a placement year, a group of programmes with a common first year etc)




If yes:

This programme is one of a group of related programmes which also includes:

  • BEng (Hons) Manufacturing Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Electronic & Electrical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering


It is possible for students to transfer between these programmes at certain points. This is subject to the student satisfying the learning requirements of the previous Stage of the programme they wish to join.


  1. Is the programme a top-up only?




  1. Does the programme have a Foundation Year (level 3) associated with it so that students enter for a four-year programme and progress directly from the Foundation Year to Stage 1 without having to re-apply? (ie an ‘Extended Studies’ programme)




Successful completion of any strand of the Extended Engineering degree suite of programmes 


  1. Level of award (eg Level 6 for BA/BSc)




  1. Awarding body: University of Sunderland


  1. Which department is it in?


Faculty of Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing: School of Engineering


  1. Programme Studies Board?


Engineering Programme Studies Board



  1. Programme Leader


Dr Nida Naveed


  1. How and where can I study the programme?


At Sunderland:


Full-time on campus

Part-time on campus

As work-based learning full-time


As work-based learning part-time


As a full-time sandwich course


As a part-time sandwich course


By distance learning



At a partner college:


Full-time in the UK 


Part-time in the UK


Full-time overseas

Part-time overseas


By distance learning


As a full-time sandwich course in the UK


As a part-time sandwich course in the UK


As a full-time sandwich course overseas


As a part-time sandwich course overseas


As work-based learning full-time in the UK 


As work-based learning part-time overseas


Other (please specify)



This documentation is for a full three year degree programme, four year with placements.


  1. How long does the programme take?



Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months


3/4 years

9 years


6/7 years

9 years

Distance learning



Work-based learning




For start-dates please see the current edition of the Prospectus or contact the relevant department at the University.




Use Outline Programme Proposal Form for ADC (AQH-B2-2), for questions 13 to 25


  1. Learning and teaching strategy. 


Within all levels of the programme students gain experience of a wide range of different approaches to learning, from traditional lectures and tutorials to directed study and on-line resources. The modules are delivered using a variety of relevant and appropriate learning experiences, for example, formal lectures, tutorials, case studies, software based learning, problem based learning and directed reading. It is anticipated that as and when new/additional facilities become available there will be move towards placing greater emphasis upon problem based learning across all levels of the programme.

All modules utilise the virtual learning environment. The degree of this utilisation will be determined by the module team based upon the nature of the module. A ‘fit for purpose’ approach will be adopted when determining the extent of this utilisation.


The BEng programme will require students to understand engineering concepts, techniques used to analyse engineering systems and the processes used for the synthesis of solutions to engineering problems. Students will need to demonstrate that they can apply their knowledge and understanding to an increasingly complex and realistic range of engineering systems. The key skills of organisation and time management will also need to be exercised, in both an individual and a team context, to produce timely solutions to assignments, together with communication and presentation skills to adequately describe their solutions, either in reports, or by presentation to staff and their peers.  Thus, a range of learning and teaching methods, appropriate to the subject and the situation will be utilised, to encourage understanding, develop skills and abilities and to motivate students. Also, where appropriate, expertise and facilities within the School and the Faculty developed through research and reach-out activities will be utilised to enhance the student learning experience and to reinforce the relevance of the programmes’ content to industry.


Conventional lectures and tutorials will be used where appropriate. For example to deliver introductory analytical modules where the development of theory in a structured and logical sequence, reinforced by students' work sheets and tutorial support, has been found to be the most satisfactory technique. The practical application of engineering theory will be reinforced by laboratory sessions, in which students will have to maintain appropriate records, analyse and critically appraise their results and present their findings in a lucid and succinct laboratory report. ‘The critical appraisal’ component of laboratory work is introduced in taught modules at Stage 1 and developed by appropriate tutorial, design and coursework assignments and examinations at Stages 2 and 3.


A broad base of engineering skills and knowledge is introduced in Stage 1 of the programme to provide students a solid working background from which are developed the skills salient to the programme’s specialist theme of automotive engineering. Students face increasing levels of academic challenge as the prior knowledge gained in the earlier stages of the programme is built upon to develop their ability in the final Stage to that required of a professional automotive engineer. For example Applied Mechanics and Design, Drawing and Practical Skills and Electronic & Electrical Principles are introduced at Stage 1 and respectively enhanced at Stage 2 by the higher level modules Engineering Mechanics, Design Methods & Applications and Automation for Manufacturing. Students’ engineering skills, knowledge and abilities are further developed and combined with essential management skills in the final year modules Manufacturing Systems Design, Professional Engineering Management Techniques and Automotive Design and Materials Selection. The final Stage project module provides further opportunity for students to combine, apply and enhance knowledge and understanding gained from various modules at all Stages of the programme.       


To encourage engagement with the analytical subjects’ coursework, ‘directed tutorials’ are included in the Learning and Teaching strategy which help to build student confidence and develop skills needed in these areas. In mathematics additional support is also available via ready access to tutors and study packs developed in conjunction with the University’s Learning Support (ULS) department.  Students who feel they would benefit from additional support in the area of mathematics are directed to the supplemental tutorial sessions provided by the University maths tutor. In recent years volunteer mentors from higher Stages of the engineering programmes have undertaken weekly maths tutorial support sessions with the Stage 1 students. When the sessions are available they become part of the weekly timetable.


In contrast to analytical subjects, the synthesis of solutions to open ended automotive engineering problems, requires a different approach and involves a process which is much more student centric. This is facilitated by the opportunity to temporarily suspend judgement, to postulate and explore alternative solutions. In subjects exploring system design issues, challenging assignments, often involving teamwork, will be used to encourage creativity and provide the opportunity to combine, select and apply the analytical skills and abilities, acquired in the individual modules of the programme, to the solution of ‘real’ problems, thus integrating learning across the programme.


Students will also be exposed to a range of practical engineering skills, including the safe use of hand and machine tools. This ‘hands on’ experience of basic manufacturing methods will give a direct appreciation of the ‘process capability’ of such methods. There will also be the opportunity for the acquisition of practical skills by the design and construction of the Formula Student (see later) car and in laboratory sessions.  Hand drawing skills and draughting conventions will be taught and students will go on to develop skills in using industry standard, commercial engineering software to support their studies.


Presentation methods will be varied to suit circumstances, to maintain interest and provide alternative routes to acquire understanding to suit the preferred learning style of a particular student. Use of the University’s virtual learning environment,  is expected and encouraged in all modules. The value of this resource not simply as the host of learning materials but as a focus for communication with and between defined groups of students is widely acknowledged and is expected to play an increasingly supportive and valuable role as a learning tool.


Further, students will be encouraged to take increasing levels of responsibility both for their own learning and the support of their fellow students and to recognise the value of doing this in the context of lifelong learning. In this context the programme provides a framework for students to acquire the core transferable skills of numeracy, group working and communication abilities via reports, drawings and presentations; confidence in the use of IT and modern software tools; the ability to conduct independent research.


Students are encouraged to extend the scope and depth of their learning experience by undertaking an industrial placement year. In almost every case, students find this a motivating and maturing experience which enhances their personal qualities, frequently leads to the identification of interesting and challenging individual final year projects and enhances their employability. Some students return to their placement employer on graduation. A professional placement service, within the Faculty, assists with the identification of appropriate placement opportunities. In addition, the University’s Careers and Employability Service facilitates placement applications through the provision of advice on the preparation of CVs and developing interview skills. To provide further encouragement and support, the Engineering Team Leader compiles an email list of Stage 2 students across all programmes and sends regular emails to students, throughout the academic year, which contain details of local, national and international placement opportunities. Presentations at the University are arranged for companies wishing to host a placement student for the academic year ahead and all Stage 2 students are invited and encouraged to attend.    


Some learning opportunities have a particularly strong motivational character. For example students on the programme are invited to join the Formula Student project, in which a single seater, formula restricted racing car is designed, manufactured and entered into a competition that is open to all undergraduate students across the world. Managed by a member of academic staff, students run the project themselves and are responsible for raising money from sponsorship to fund the exercise. The Formula Student team is allocated a design and a build area, currently at the University’s Industry Centre, in which they have access to manufacturing and other facilities to enable them to complete the project.


A strong emphasis is also placed on non-engineering subject areas which primarily occurs in Stage 3 of the programme when students have developed a solid understanding of the relevant engineering subject disciplines. The Professional Engineering Management Techniques and Manufacturing Systems Design modules provide students with the management techniques which employers expect them to demonstrate and apply soon after graduation.


Professional Engineering Management Techniques focuses on the responsibilities of the professional engineer through exploring “the constraints placed on the engineering professional by UK Environmental and Health and Safety legislation and probes how this impacts the systems and procedures that need to be developed in the workplace” (See Module Descriptor). Students’ management skills and awareness of the role of the engineer in society are also developed in this module. It investigates and applies resource scheduling and control techniques applied to the management of a project.


The Manufacturing Systems Design module concentrates on the application of appropriate management tools to maximize productivity in manufacturing and on advanced maintenance strategies.


At each Stage of the programme there are modules which have a clear focus on design.  In Stage 1, the Design Drawing and Practical Skills module, EAT100, introduces and explains the design process rationale. The Stage 2 design module, EAT206 provides an introduction to Design for Manufacture (DFM) and Design for Assembly (DFA) techniques. In the final year, the Automotive Design and Materials Selection module EAT341 provides students with various opportunities to demonstrate and apply their knowledge of design philosophies acquired from the earlier modules. The design modules provide a unifying theme for the programme through combining various aspects of the other modules in the solution of a problem-based assignment which helps to develop students’ problem solving and time management skills. The design modules also raise students’ awareness of the practicalities of the engineering profession and that there is rarely a single correct solution to a given problem. Instead, the nature of the design modules helps them to realise that in the real world there is most often a need to achieve an optimum through a compromise which can satisfy, for example, the demands of performance, cost and aesthetics, while taking heed of environmental and ethical requirements.


  1. Retention strategy

To promote retention and progression at Stage 1, the course team redesigned the mode of assessment undertaken at that level. Having recognised the need for new students to develop good study skills practice and exam technique the assessment regime in all Stage 1 modules is divided into a number of assessments appropriate to the module spread throughout the year. This promotes student engagement with the learning material from an early stage in the academic year. Students receive correspondingly early feedback on their academic performance which develops further engagement and improves performance. These processes also serve to illuminate areas of the syllabus that are causing difficulty, enabling members of staff to identify revisit topics if necessary. This strategy has been very successful and has generally resulted in much better overall performance at Stage 1 which has subsequently improved performance and retention in the later Stages of the programme.


  1. Any other information




  1. What is the programme about?

The aim of the programme is to give graduates the knowledge and skills which a professional automotive engineer will need in order to work effectively in the modern automotive industry.


  • To integrate a broad range of knowledge and skills in automotive engineering and gain a deeper understanding of this subject discipline.
  • To develop graduates with the specific knowledge, analytical ability and design skills appropriate for a professional automotive engineer and hence prepare graduates for employment in the automotive engineering sector.  
  • To understand apply engineering techniques in accordance with the recognised ethical requirements expected of, and by, professional engineers.
  • To provide an educational experience which meets the aspirations of students and the market needs, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to gain industrial experience via a placement year.
  • To acquire a range of transferable skills including communication skills, team work and inter-professional working.



  1. What will I know or be able to do at each Stage of the programme?


Learning Outcomes Stage 1 – Skills  



By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate the ability to:


  • S1undertake basic mathematical modelling of simple engineering systems.


  • S2compile, manipulate and interpret basic commercial information.


  • S3use appropriate software to assist in basic analysis, communication and design methodologies.




Learning Outcomes Stage 1 – Knowledge


By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate knowledge in:


  • K1basic Engineering mathematics including calculus.


  • K2introductory mechanical and electrical engineering and manufacturing technology and processes.


  • K3processes involved in carrying out and reporting a simple engineering project.


  • K4environmental issues as they impinge upon engineering activity.


Learning Outcomes Stage 2 – Skills as above plus


By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate the ability to:


  • S4Use appropriate methodologies to solve engineering problems.


  • S5Carry out a time and effort managed team based project that integrates various elements of study.


  • S6Assess the requirements and specify the parameters of measurement systems.


  • S7Develop and analyse mathematical models which describe and predict  the behaviour of a component or system subject to external influences


  • S8Use appropriate software to model and analyse engineering components and systems


  • S9Evaluate the performance and suitability of various vehicle chassis systems for a specified application.



Learning Outcomes Stage 2 – Knowledge as above plus


By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate:


  • K5Analytical knowledge of sensors, signal conditioning and display elements of a measuring system.


  • K6Critical knowledge of a range of physical principles which govern the behaviour of a component or system due to external influences.


  • K7Knowledge and critical understanding of the design principles of manufacture and assembly methodologies in engineering


  • K8Critical knowledge of the function and operating principles of vehicle chassis systems.


Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – Skills as above plus

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate the ability to:


  • S10 Independently plan and execute a project, critically appraise and effectively report the outcome of a project, and demonstrate initiative, creativity and financial awareness.


  • S11Critically apply engineering principles and methodologies to formulate judgements, analyses, designs and to predict and solve problems in engineering.


  • S12Critically apply the design process, analysis and software tools to produce an innovative design in compliance with a given specification for a mechanical or automotive artefact.
  • S13Model vehicle system components using computer simulation and implement simple control strategies using appropriate hardware.
  • S14Critically evaluate vehicle suspension and steering systems and design new systems.


Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – Knowledge as above plus

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students will demonstrate:


  • K9Expert knowledge of an area of engineering evidenced in the form of an independent project.
  • K10 Advanced knowledge of current manufacturing processes including techniques in design, industrial management and project life cycle design and methodology.
  • K11Critical understanding of the dynamic behaviour of a motor vehicle and the management and control of major systems.



  1. What will the programme consist of?


Each undergraduate programme consists of a number of Stages from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4, each of which is equivalent to a year’s full-time study. The summary below describes briefly what is contained in each Stage. Most programmes have a mixture of core (ie compulsory) modules and optional ones, often with increasing choice as you move through the programme and gain in experience. In some programmes the choice of optional modules gives you particular ‘routes’ through the programme. The programme structure including a detailed list of modules can be found in the programme regulations.


The programme is a standalone programme which forms part of a suite of engineering undergraduate degrees which share a common first year and some, relevant to the named theme, modules in subsequent Stages of the programme. With the exception of the Placement, all modules across each of the three Stages are core modules.


Stage 1: Core modules: 120 credits


MAT135 Engineering Mathematics, 20 Credits

  • Basic numeracy; Algebraic manipulation; Equations; Elementary trigonometry; Differential calculus; Integral calculus; Differential equations: Matrix algebra; Vector algebra.


EAT100 Design, Drawing and Practical Skills, 20 Credits

  • Engineering drawing

Engineering drawing to ISO standards; Views, sections, dimensions and tolerances; Arrangement, detail and assembly drawings; 2D CAD drawing

  • The Design Process
    Techniques for problem identification and specification writing; Structured design methodologies for the generation of ideas; Systematic evaluation techniques (including the Weighted Objectives Method)
  • Basic Workshop Practice

Workshop safety; Basic production processes;   


EAT103 Applied Mechanics, 20 Credits

  • General theory

Dimensions, Units (basic and derived); Identification of force, types of force; systems of force resolution of a two-dimensional force into components; resultant of a two-dimensional concurrent force system; moments of a force, the couple and torque. static equilibrium; “free body” principle applied to solids.


  • Machine dynamics

Uniform motion; Newton’s laws of motion; work, energy and power; plane motion of rigid bodies and interconnected systems; momentum, impact, impulse, coefficient of restitution; simple harmonic motion; friction power transmission systems.


  • Strength of materials (structures)

Elastic properties of materials.  Direct stress and strain; properties of section; second moment of area; moment of inertia; bending and torsion; stresses and strains in pin-jointed frames; simple beams and thin cylinders; statically indeterminate systems; compound bars.



EAT104 Manufacturing and Materials, 20 Credits   

  • Materials & Manufacturing

Properties and processing of Engineering materials; Fundamental manufacturing methods; Manufacturing process selection; Software-aided materials and process selection; Systems and organisation in manufacturing industries; Economic considerations and product costing; Quality control methods;


  •          Ethics in manufacture

Ethical and environmental issues e.g. energy consumption raw material conversion; environmental issues at the end of the useful life of the product; environmental pollution; potential hazards caused during the manufacturing process.


EAT118 Energy Conversion, 20 Credits

  • Thermodynamics and fluid mechanics:

Introduction to thermodynamics; definitions of thermodynamic systems; properties; temperature; pressure; ideal gas law, heat capacity. Heat and work transfer. Steam and steam tables. 1st Law of Thermodynamics; Heat engine theory. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics; Fluid Statics; Fluid Dynamics: conservation of mass, momentum and energy; primary and secondary losses in pipes. Dimensional analysis.


  • Electrical and Magnetic Circuit Theory

Electrical and magnetic; Electrical terms and units; Electrical components; Basic electrical circuit theory. Basic magnetic circuit theory.


  • Electrical Systems

Simple electrical systems; operating principles and behaviour as energy conversion systems. Motors; Generators; Transformers; Power distribution systems.


EAT119 Electronic & Electrical Principles, 20 Credits

  • Basic Electrical Theory

Voltage, Current and Power. Kirchoff’s Voltage and Current Laws.


  • Passive Electrical Components

Resistor: Insulators, Conductors, Resistivity and Resistance. Ohm’s Law, Series & Parallel connection, Potential Dividers, Circuit loading and practical selection.

Capacitor: Electrostatic and Electric field theory, Capacitance, Analysis of Simple Circuits. Inductor: Electromagnetism, Lenz’s Law, Analysis of Simple Circuits.


  • Circuit Analysis

Mesh and Nodal Analysis, Superposition, Norton and Thevenin.


  • AC Theory

Peak, rms, frequency and phase shift. Resistance, reactance. Impedance and phasor diagrams.


  • Basic Electronic Technology

Semiconductor theory. The operation of diodes, transistors and thyristor’s and the analysis of simple circuits that include them.


  • Digital Logic

Logic gates, truth tables, Boolean logic, Logic implementation and minimisation.


  • Practical Issues

Electrical Safety, Electrical Measurement, Interference and grounding.



Stage 2: Core modules: 120 credits


EAT216 Computer Aided Engineering, 20 Credits

  • Modelling & Simulation

Static and dynamic system modules; Differential Equation models; mathematical modelling of engineering problems;

  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Finite element analysis applied to engineering problems. Static structural encountered in engineering. Steady state thermal analysis. Model building & properties; mesh and material properties, loading and restraints. Manipulation and display of results.


  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Introduction to CFD; Turbulent & Laminar Flow; Characteristics; Fluid Flow Conservation Equations and Averaging; Turbulence Modelling; Numerical Discretisation of Conservation Equations; Boundary Conditions; CFD to Solve Engineering Fluid Flow Problems; Describing Flow in Engineering Problems; Building a Mesh; Fluid Flow Parameters;


EAT206 Design Methods and Applications, 20 Credits

  • CAD

Solid modelling; solid protrusions, rotated protrusions, shells, sweeps, straight and rotated cuts, Trouble shooting models, order of construction. Exploded drawings and 2D manufacturing drawings from 3D solid models. Complex assemblies from components. Machine elements, e.g. bearings systems.


  • Design for Manufacture, Design for Assembly

Functionality, handling, fitting analysis and optimum solutions. Process Selection, basic processing costs, relative costs, material and wastage coefficients, assessment of suitability for manufacture. 

EAT224 Vehicle Chassis Engineering, 20 Credits

Engine types: petrol and diesel engine operation, working cycles, 2 and 4 stroke, combustion process, introduction to electric and hybrid power units

Engine performance: power and torque curves, fuel economy, efficiency, emissions and environmental considerations

Engine layout: multi-cylinder arrangements, concept of firing order and balancing issues, relative benefits/drawbacks of different layouts

Transmissions - manual: clutch behaviour, gear design, gearbox layout, synchronisers

Transmissions- automatic: torque converters, hydraulic layout, epicyclic gears, control of automatic gear selection

Drivetrain: differential, comparison of front/rear and four wheel drive train layouts

Axle loadings: static, steady state running, acceleration, braking

Performance: steady state running, fuel economy, gradability, efficiency, emissions calculations

Acceleration: engine and gearbox matching, traction and power limited performance, choice of gear ratios, introduction to traction control

Braking: deceleration calculations, brake proportioning design, efficiency, adhesion utilisation, introduction to antilock braking

Legislation: FMVSS and EC regulations relating to vehicle safety

Crashworthiness: Test requirements and means of testing and meaning of results simple crush calculations

BIW design: requirements for body shell stiffness and method for obtaining this including simple calculations


EAT240 Automation for Manufacturing, 20 Credits


  • Instrumentation, Sensing and Measurement for Programmable Systems

The properties and operation of a variety of sensor technologies. The role of sensors and measurement devices in programmable systems. Use of simple signal conditioning circuit applications. The role and operation of Analogue to Digital Converters (ADCs) and Digital to Analogue Converters (DACs).


  • Problem Analysis and Program Design

Use of a flow chart to design a program for a range of manufacturing applications of embedded systems. Consideration of hardware requirements in the design process.


  • Microprocessors and Microcontrollers

Use of microprocessors and microcontrollers in taking and processing measurements from sensors and performing simple processing operations. Programming techniques including C programming and graphical approaches. Basic programming skills will be developed through practical activities.


  • PLCs

The internal architecture of a PLC system will be explored alongside their application to a range of industrial problems. The hardware design of PLCs will be studied relative to the areas in which they are applied.


  • PLC Programming

The various programming methodologies for PLCs will be investigated and students will gain experience in programming a PLC building on the earlier design stage of the module using a problem based learning framework.


  • Actuators

Common actuators will be introduced and the principles and practice of controlling their operation automatically will be explored.



EAT223 Thermofluids and Engines, 20 Credits

This module extends the students’ knowledge of the mechanical engineering disciplines of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. Topics studied are as follows:


Thermodynamics: Air standard cycles (Otto, Diesel, gas turbine); vapour power cycles; gas mixtures and combustion.


Fluid Mechanics: Incompressible flow, boundary layers and frictional drag; compressible flow; turbomachinery.


Heat Transfer: Conduction and convection; heat transfer through composite walls; radial heat transfer.


The following mathematical techniques are used at various times throughout the module: differentiation and integration; solution of simultaneous equations; ordinary differential equations.


EAT203 Engineering Mechanics, 20 Credits

This module extends the students’ knowledge of the mechanical engineering discipline of applied mechanics. The idea of mathematical models as a basis for solving more complex engineering problems is further developed to enable the student to apply the appropriate techniques for modelling and analysing engineering problems. Topics studied are:


Machine dynamics:

  • Introduction to vibration. Single degree of freedom vibrating systems. Identify the sources of damping, including the vibration absorber, and the resulting motion for both free and forced vibrations.
  • Kinematics and dynamics of plane mechanisms. Velocity and acceleration diagrams.
  • Kinematics and dynamics of geared systems.
  • Balancing of rotating systems.


Strength of materials (structures):

  • Bending theory applied to elastic structures. Deformation of members due to bending for statically determinate and indeterminate systems.
  • Shear stresses in simple and built-up sections.
  • Stresses due to combined loading. Principal stresses in plane stress systems. Elastic Theories of Failure.
  • Introduction to experimental stress analysis. Introduction to the electrical resistance strain gauge. Stress concentration factors.
  • Strain transformation relationship. Stress strain relationships.
  • Determination of stress levels from strain measurement.
  • Introduction to fatigue. Repeated loading.



The following mathematical techniques are used and developed at various times throughout the module: differentiation and integration; solution of simultaneous equations; ordinary differential equations; trigonometry; vectors.


EAT241 Engineering Placement, 120 Credits (optional, Sandwich students only)

The student will spend 35 weeks minimum (excluding holidays) working in industry in a position approved by the placement tutor and programme leader. The student is responsible to an industrial supervisor within the placement company, and will negotiate and agree a learning contract with the industrial supervisor. The visiting academic tutor will subsequently vet and approve the learning contract. Throughout the placement, the student will compile a portfolio of supporting evidence to demonstrate the achievement of the objectives identified in the learning contract, and the academic supervisor will authenticate this evidence.


Stage 3: Core modules: 120 credits


ENX313 Project, 40 Credits

The identification of an engineering problem. Construction of a project brief. Research and preliminary work. Submission of an interim report. The undertaking of a substantial piece of work that must involve the solution of an engineering problem, in addition to a literature survey. The submission of a final report and a project viva.


ENX300 Manufacturing Systems Design, 20 Credits

  • Manufacturing Systems Design and Analysis

JIT, theoretical and practical implementation of JIT techniques, Lean Manufacturing, maintenance, tools of analysis and improvement.  Overall Equipment Effectiveness(OEE), pull and push production systems, Theory of constraints, kanban systems (theory and application), Single minute exchange of dies (SMED),control of inventories, Rank-order clustering, Product flow diagrams.


  • Maintenance Strategies,

‘Run to failure` (RTF), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) and Condition Based Maintenance (CBM),


  • Manufacturing Analysis

Continuous and breakthrough  improvement approaches. Analysis of existing performance, 6 sigma (DMAIC), Kaizen, Ishikawa diagrams



EAT340 Professional Engineering Management Techniques, 20 Credits

  • Business practices in engineering management:

Human Resource management, Operations, Marketing, Finance, Personal development and Project Management.


  • Health, Safety and the environment

Constraints on engineering profession by UK Environmental and Health and Safety legislation. Development of appropriate systems and procedures in the workplace. Risk assessment and risk mitigation, hazard spotting, safety management systems and strategies. Environmental management and ISO 14001.


  • Team-working

Appraisal systems and ethical behaviour, ‘Belbin’ team roles and team-problem solving techniques, ethics in engineering and ethical principles in codes and practices of professional bodies.


  • Quality, Marketing and Finance.

Total Quality Management (TQM); The philosophies of Deming, Crosby, Tagucci and Peters; Quality circles and quality assurance techniques. The marketing function and strategies adopted to promote and sell products e.g. 4 Ps, SWOT, PERT and competitive analysis. Operational Finance: product costing - direct, marginal, standard. Profit and loss accounts; Cash flow, break-even analysis, Managing and controlling Budgets.

  • Project management.

Full project life cycle: project planning, feasibility, evaluation and control. Project Management techniques: WBS activity sequencing, cost benefit analysis (discounted cash flow, payback, return on investment ROI etc.) earned value and project risk.


EAT341 Automotive Design and Materials Selection, 20 Credits

There will be a single design exercise based upon a real automotive engineering problem in which students will apply the design process and undertake the selection of appropriate materials from which specified components or assemblies would be made.

Students will work in groups to prepare a group report, submitted in stages, in which there will also be individual submissions to provide the opportunity for differentiation of students. In so doing the student will accomplish the following: -

Clarify an initial design brief and write and agree a specification with the customer.

Devise a range of possible conceptual design solutions, using sketches to illustrate the ideas, and select one for further development.

Carry out the embodiment design of their chosen solution using appropriate analytical tools, and an awareness of financial, legal, ethical and environmental issues relating to engineering design and manufacturing methods, a consideration of the human interface in relation to the designed artefact and the needs of the range user(s), the techniques of materials selection, and a solid modeller to produce an arrangement drawing.

Prepare an engineering drawing depicting the principal components.

Write a report outlining each stage of the procedure.


Materials Selection

Concept of the performance index. The performance index in terms of functional requirements, geometric parameters and material properties. Procedure for the derivation of a performance index. Function, free variables, objectives and constraints. The procedure for selecting materials. Primary constraints, performance maximising criteria multiple constraints and multiple design goals. Worked examples and case studies.


Concept of the materials selection chart. The materials selection chart as both graph and map. Location of the various classes of engineering material on selection charts. Selection charts for mechanical, electrical and thermal properties. Incorporation of cost factors in selection charts. Use of logarithmic scales on selection charts. Selection charts and performance indices used in conjunction. Worked examples and case studies on the combined use of selection charts and performance indices.


Consideration of computer-based materials property databases and selection packages.     Retrieval of property data from computer databases. Comparisons of property data from a number of different computer-based sources. Use an industry standard material selection software to generate materials selection charts. Performance indices and computer-generated materials selection charts.


Nature of viscoelasticity. Damping. Creep. Stress relaxation. Models for viscoelastic behaviour. Application of creep data. Isochronous and isometric creep data. Creep      modulus. Creep rupture. Computer-based information sources. Pseudoelastic design principles.


Review of brittle fracture. Strength-controlling factors (time, temperature, fabrication). Design with brittle materials. Statistics of strength - Weibull statistics.


This will be a student centred module. There will be an introductory lecture or lectures, possibly delivered by staff from the company providing the problem. Subsequently there will a series of tutorials/workshops, with academics present in a consultative and advisory capacity.



EAT325 Automotive Dynamics and Control Systems, 20 Credits

The module includes an overview of developments in emission control, and considers conventional Internal Combustion engine management systems versus the emerging electric and hybrid technologies.

Key to the understanding of these technologies is the application of vehicle sensors, signal processing, control and communication systems.

Aspects of dynamic performance, such as vehicle ride, handling and stability are also included in the module. This includes suspension components, suspension design, the tyre as a suspension component, straight line and cornering performance and the design of vehicles for different operating parameters. (E.g. Road, race, off road...)

Control is fundamental to the safety and performance of all vehicles and their sub-systems. The theory of the system components will be developed into integrated vehicle system technology such as CAN and K-line, and its interaction with entertainment and external information systems such as GPS.

The delivery of the module will be a blend of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical activities.




  1. How will I be taught?

Scheduled teaching activities

Lectorials. Laboratory practicals. Workshops. Seminars.

Independent study

Self study. Directed reading. Open learning. Preparation for assessment. Project work.


Yes (Optional)


The rationale behind the teaching and learning strategy used on the programme is to apply a broad range of methods which reflect the different types of learning that students undertake in terms of both skill development and knowledge acquisition. The strategy is also designed to provide a diversity of learning experiences that aims to address the different learning styles of the students.  The programme modules are delivered using a variety of relevant and appropriate learning experiences, for example, formal lectures, tutorials, case studies, software based learning, problem based learning and directed reading.


Skills acquisition is an important focus of the programme and its aims are:

  • To provide, within a modular framework, a programme which, while embodying a balanced common core with other engineering programmes, provides the academic integrity and professional focus for engineers and technologists in a range of engineering industries.
  • To provide an educational experience which meets the aspirations of students and the market needs, locally, nationally and internationally.
  • To provide a rewarding and supportive environment where students can develop not only knowledge and practical abilities in specific areas, but also key transferable skills.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to gain industrial experience via a placement year.


  • To produce graduates with the specific knowledge, analytical ability and design skills appropriate for a professional engineer working in the automotive sector and who can apply these skills in the diverse range of engineering industries in which automotive engineers are employed.


  • To produce graduates who can work responsibly and as a professional engineer in accordance with the requirements of the professional engineering bodies.


  • To produce graduates with a range of key transferable and intellectual skills that can be applied to the role of professional Automotive Engineer.



Employability is a key feature of this programme and the development of transferable skills including teamwork, problem solving, IT skills, oral & written communication, analytical & critical thinking as well as discipline specific engineering skills forms a fundamental part of the programme. Concepts of professionalism related to engineering are introduced at Stage 1 in the design module and developed at the later stages of the programme.


The Programme team is well aware of the need for graduate engineers to work effectively as part of a team and places great emphasis upon the benefits of group work throughout all Stages of the degree to encourage and facilitate this. Group work is an integral part of many of the modules, for example in laboratory work in EAT103, EAT104, , , EAT223, and EAT203 and is structured into the assessment regime within a number of the modules, e.g. EAT100, EAT206, and EAT341. Group working in the form of informal tutorial support groups is also encouraged at all Stages of the programme. 


Through the Stage 1 module, Design, Drawing and Practical Skills students are introduced to basic workshop practice and workshop safely. Part of the assessment regime is a group project in which students are required to design, build and test an engineering artefact to achieve a given function. The design begins in Semester 1 and combines elements of the engineering design process along with applications of an industry standard CAD programme, both of which are delivered within the module itself. Students are taken into the workshop where they are a given a series of lectures on essential workshop safety before undertaking an introduction to manual engineering skills and machining. The skills learned are then applied in producing the required artefact which is subsequently tested against the given design brief and against the design specification prepared by the students. Students also develop their communication skills in the module through the writing of a technical design report.



A list of the modules in each Stage of the programme can be found in the Programme Regulations.


A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching.


  1. How will I be assessed and given feedback? 

Written examinations

Short and long answer questions.

Data interpretation. Mathematical modelling of engineering systems. Case study analysis. Computer based examinations e.g. CAD


Laboratory reports. Portfolios. Case study. Posters. Essays. Data interpretation. Reflective assignments. Computer based assignments. Project work. Problem based learning.

Practical assessments

Oral presentation.


A summary of the types of teaching, learning and assessment in each module of the programme can be found in the Matrix of Modes of Teaching.


The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found here. Some programmes use subject-specific assessment criteria which are based on the generic ones.


This programme uses the Generic University Assessment Criteria



This programme uses the Subject Specific Assessment Criteria




The University regulations can be found here.


The Programme will conform to the University Modular Credit Scheme Regulations except as defined below:


1)      Students may be compensated up to a maximum of 20 credits out of 120 credits at any level of their programme of study. The University regulations covering eligibility for compensation will continue to apply. (See AQH-F1-1 Undergraduate Regulations 2012-13 Version 9.0 June 2012, Section 5.2 Compensation between Modules.



2)      The classification of the Honours degree awarded is determined on the basis of a weighted mean average of:



• the marks for all 120 credits obtained at Stage 2


• the marks for all 120 credits obtained at Stage 3


The mean average for the 120 credits at each Stage is obtained and then weighted so that the Stage 2 marks are worth 20% and the Stage 3 marks are worth 80%. A final mean average is obtained on the basis of this weighting and this determines the degree classification.



3)      The final year (stage) individual project cannot be compensated. Students who are referred in the project and subsequently pass on resubmission will be eligible for accreditation.



4)      The threshold at which accreditation applies to graduates is a lower second class honours degree (2:2), or above.



5)      In modules which comprise two or more elements of assessment the qualifying mark for each element of assessment will be 30%. (NB This requirement only applies to elements which contribute more than 30% to the final module mark.



6)      To qualify for the award of an IET accredited degree students must complete, at least, all of the modules from the final two stages of the degree. Students who complete a top up degree will not be eligible of the award of an accredited degree, regardless of the classification achieved.  


The programme team acknowledges that learning can often be driven by assessment and the assessment strategy reflects this link. Assessments are therefore arranged to ensure that the key learning goals of the modules are covered.

In setting assignments care will be taken to ensure that they can be can be completed within the learning time associated with the module and module/programme leaders will counsel students on the importance of good time management. To assist with this, assignments will normally include guidance as to the amount of time to be expended and the nature of the required outcomes.

Regarding the nature of assessments there is a balance to be struck between formal examinations and coursework assessment. Examinations make an efficient use of staff time, reduce the likelihood of plagiarism and help to ensure that the students are working under a time pressure that is typical of some employment situations. The professional engineering institutions have for a number of years now indicated a preference towards this form of assessment and so the programme team have determined that, where appropriate, examinations will form part of the assessment regime.



Experience has also shown that it is easy to overburden students with assessment. The programme team has therefore deliberated on the number of assessments in each module and, in accordance with all of the above considerations, has formulated the following, typical Assessment Regime


A typical assessment regime is as follows:


Stage 1

50:50 Blend of exams and coursework appropriate to the module. 


Stage 2

70:30 Blend of Exams and coursework appropriate to the module.


Stage 3

Exams and coursework to reflect the most appropriate way to assess the subject matter and learning outcomes.


Typically, coursework more accurately models the types of assignments that might be undertaken in industry, while the expanded timescale involved in this assessment format means that a more in depth and/or holistic view may be taken. Some subjects lend themselves more readily to coursework assessment, e.g. Computer Aided Engineering, engineering design while others, e.g. mathematics, applied mechanics, are better assessed by means of examinations/TCTs or a combination of the two. The most appropriate model is employed in each case.


In some subjects, e.g. design, students are required to undertake a project that lasts the entire year. Experience has shown that they fare better if the task is broken down into elements that are submitted at regular intervals throughout the year, e.g. concepts, concept selection etc. The strategy imposes good time management on students, ensuring that they don’t leave the work until it is too late for it to be completed. Whilst additional submissions are required, there is no increase in the assessment burden for students. This approach tends to replicate real world activity and promote engagement and deeper learning.


Students are also expected to develop core transferable skills in addition to technical understanding and abilities; assessments are in place to encourage this development. For example, presentations form an integral part of the assessment of a number of the modules and especially the final year individual project. Presentations are also sometimes employed to assess progression through a task e.g. in the first year design and build project, but do not necessarily form part of the assessment regime. Reference to the tables describing the learning and teaching methods also shows that students are required to participate in seminars and group work, developing communication and interactive skills, and undertake case studies requiring information search skills. In all of these activities they will be encouraged to use IT skills for gathering, analysing and presenting information. Exposure to this wide range of learning opportunities is reflected in the wide range of methods used to assess the learning outcomes for each module as students’ capabilities in these various activities form a component of the assessment for many of the modules.


The assessment strategies for the various modules used in the programmes are summarised in the tables in Appendix 2. They illustrate the wide variety of assessment methods and that modules are typically assessed by more than one method.

The programme team makes extensive use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, to deliver assessments and provide feedback. This has proved to be a very useful strategy in promoting prompt, clear and detailed feedback on assignments submitted and in addition provides useful ‘back up’ copies of marked student work.


  1. Teaching, learning and assessment matrix See Appendix 2


  1. How does research influence the programme? 


Many of the academic staff teaching on the programme are research active and in a variety of areas. This informs the teaching on and the development of the modules on the programme particularly in the areas of e.g. lightweight materials, crash dynamics, control engineering, and maintenance practices. 


Students learn about the process of research and develop research skills in a number of modules on the programme. For example in Stage 1 students undertake a design and build project which requires them undertake small scale research to determine critical data for the successful completion of the design aspect of the project. This is subsequently developed through the other Stages of the programme and in the final year project students undertake a literature review and required to critically appraise the data they have gleaned from the literature.





  1. How will the programme prepare me for employment?


The BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering programme has been designed to provide you with the opportunity to develop the broad range of skills required by the automotive industry.

The programme aims to provide students with a good range of engineering skills and knowledge not only in the area of automotive engineering and management but also many transferable skills in the areas of mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines.


In Stage 1 of the programme you will be introduced to areas such as Manufacturing & Materials, Engineering Design, Electronic Principles, Electrical Principles, Applied Mechanics and Thermofluids.  In Stage 2 development and/or application of these knowledge and skills will continue. On successful completion of Stage 2 you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement where you will be able to apply, in an industrial setting, the knowledge and skills you have acquired.


The benefits of undertaking a year’s paid industrial placement within an engineering company are widely acknowledged. Employers put great value on the interpersonal and communication skills developed by students during the placement year.  As a consequence, students who have taken a placement year are viewed by employers as being significantly more significantly employable than those who have not.  In addition, research has indicated that on graduating, students who have taken the placement option are likely to achieve one degree classification higher than they would otherwise have achieved. All on campus, full time students are strongly encouraged to undertake a placement and support is provided in a number of ways to help student achieve this.


The Engineering Team Leader prepares a mailing list of Stage 2 students and circulates placement opportunities, from a variety of local, national and international sources to all of them.  Face to face training in the writing of CVs and placement applications is arranged with the University’s Careers and Employability Service who also offer practice interviews for students.  The Engineering Team Leader liaises with potential placement providers to organise visits to the University so they can make presentations to students to raise their awareness of the placement opportunities available to them within their organisations. 


A similar mailing list is prepared for final year students and all Stage 3 students receive emails detailing local, national and international vacancies open to them.


To support students in obtaining a placement or post graduate employment training can be provided on specialist software available within the University. 


The assessment regime employed across all stages of the programme is designed to encourage and develop the required skills and knowledge demanded by employers. Examinations make an efficient use of time, reduce the likelihood of plagiarism and help to ensure that the students are working under a time pressure that is typical of some employment situations. Students are often required to work in groups in completing an assessment and this helps to promote group working and interpersonal skills so highly valued by employers and the professional engineering bodies. An identified and firm hand in date for all assignments replicates the deadlines commonly encountered in the world of work and so promotes student employability.


As a professional automotive engineer you will need to be familiar with and able to apply management techniques to ensure satisfactory and timely completion of projects and to plan for this appropriately. Your employer may also require you to manage the design of a new component, assembly or product. The specialist knowledge and skills required to do this effectively, within various automotive industries, are provided across a number of modules in Stage 3 of the programme.    


Employability as a professional automotive engineer is the key feature of this programme and the development of transferable skills including teamwork, problem solving, IT skills, oral & written communication, analytical & critical thinking as well as the essential engineering skills form a fundamental part of the programme. Concepts of professionalism and engineering ethics are introduced at Stage 1 and subsequently developed in the later Stages of the programme.


All students are actively encouraged to engage with ‘Sunderland Futures’ which offers a range of CV enhancing opportunities and a chance to make a submission and be awarded the Sunderland Professional Award (SuPA) which is a nationally recognised award for the extra-curricular activities undertaken by students during their time of study that employers find so attractive.


  1. Particular features of the qualification (optional)



  1. Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation.  .


PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 

PSRB accreditation is will be sought for this programme


This programme currently has PSRB accreditation


The BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering programme is accredited by the IET upon meeting the criteria detailed in section 33.




Use Programme Regulations Form, for questions 39 and 40




  1. What are the admissions requirements?


The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations. Programme-specific requirements which are in addition to those regulations are given below. 


For Stage 1


  • At least 2 GCE Advanced Level qualifications (or Advanced Certificate in Vocational Education) one of which must include Mathematics or Physics.  A minimum of 112 UCAS points.                            
  • BTEC National Diploma / GNVQ must be in an appropriate engineering discipline.


  • A UK Advanced Diploma in Engineering with at least a category D pass in the Mathematics and Engineering Science modules.


For Stage 2


  • An HNC in a relevant engineering discipline and have covered all of the major subject areas in sufficient depth. (Analytical subject areas need a pass at the level of Merit or above.)


For Stage 3


  • An HND in a relevant engineering discipline and have covered all of the major subject areas in sufficient depth. (Analytical subject areas need a pass at the level of Merit or above.)


Can students enter with advanced standing?






The University has a process by which applicants whose experience to date already covers one or more modules of the programme they are applying for may seek Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Full details can be found here but if you think that this may be relevant to you, please contact the department which offers the programme you are interested in.


  1. What kind of support and help will there be?
    1. in the department: describe the student support in place in the department/ faculty -

The BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering programme has an active Programme Space on the university’s virtual learning environment. This is a very useful mechanism to maintain communication between students whilst at the University and also whilst in the workplace on placement; it will also be used to address frequently asked questions. Further, it will provide:


  • Information (programme handbook, training manuals)
  • Calendar (key events can be highlighted)
  • Communication  (email and discussion tool)
  • Relevant link sites


The overall strategy for support and guidance is three-pronged: accessibility to staff and resources; provision of relevant and reliable information; and operation of a responsive system for managing problems as they arise.


Support and guidance is offered to students through a comprehensive set of mechanisms.  All new students are given a week-long induction programme during which time they are exposed to various aspects of student academic life and much information on the University and its Services, the School and their chosen programme of study.  They are provided with programme information talks by programme and module staff, library visits, talks by representatives from Student Services, the Student’s Union, and the careers office.



All students have individual access to their Programme and Module leaders.  All engineering staff supplement this with an open-door policy. There is also extensive use of programme VLE SPACES,   Flexible and efficient communication is encouraged to address day-to-day issues.


The first year of study for engineering students is treated as one continuous induction period into University life. Close monitoring of student attendance is undertaken by the university wide electronic attendance monitoring system and, where necessary, one-to-one interviews with students who default on expected attendance levels to identify any underlying issues.


Personal Tutor meetings are arranged throughout the programme with the Programme Leader and each student in line with the University wide personal tutoring guidelines.


  1. in the university as a whole:

The University provides a range of professional support services including health and well-being, counselling, disability support, and a Chaplaincy. Click on the links for further information.


Additional support is also available via ready access to the University’s Maths Support Tutors and study packs developed in conjunction with the University’s Learning Support department. 


  1. What resources will I have access to?


On campus


In a partner college


By distance learning



On campus

Tick all that apply

General Teaching and Learning Space












Performance space


Other specialist (Personal copies of subject specific software)


Technical resources 



The programme has excellent teaching resources including:


  • The latest teaching and learning facilities, including the new Learning Laboratory, IT suites providing access to engineering simulation and CAD software.


  • Multi-disciplinary Engineering laboratories, including new facilities for machine vibration analysis


  • Dedicated students’ workshop facilities at both St Peter’s Campus and The Industry Centre which are attended by specialist technicians. Students undergo training in the safe use of hand and machine tools at Stage 1 of the programme in the dedicated engineering workshop at the St Peter’s Campus engineering workshop where students can access and use conventional hand tools and smaller scale versions of industrial machine tools, e.g. drilling machines and lathes.


  • Where possible and license agreements permit, personal copies of specialist software is also provided to students for use during their studies.


  • Social learning spaces including:
    • Student learning areas adjacent to the PC cells in the Goldman Building.
    • Open access computers (with technical support) access to the usual range of Microsoft Office applications.


The School has engineering laboratories situated within the David Goldman building and at the Industry Centre within two miles of the St Peter’s campus. In essence the light, quiet and clean activity is conducted on the St Peter’s campus while the larger pieces of equipment are housed at the Industry Centre. The Formula Student activity is carried out at the Industry Centre.


Also situated at the Industry Centre is the Institute of Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP). AMAP provides training and consultancy services for companies within the region and has available most modern digital engineering technology (DET) software applications. AMAP personnel are actively involved in teaching and supervising students doing projects on the school’s courses.  AMAP also provides the faculty with access to state of the art computer controlled machine tools and rapid prototyping equipment and training in the use of a particular relevant software may be offered to students who are about to undertake a placement or begin post graduate employment.


Information about the University’s facilities can be found here.



  1. Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?


No, but all students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials.


Yes (optional) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some additional costs for optional activities associated with the programme (see below)


Yes (essential) All students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials. In addition there are some are essential additional costs associated with the programme (see below)



Students may need to purchase some Personal Protection Equipment, e.g. a laboratory coat or boiler suit and safety footwear is advisable if students engage in Formula Student activities.


  1. How are student views represented?

All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each Stage (year-group) of each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Various Faculty committees, particularly Faculty Academic Experience Committee, Academic Development Committee and Quality Management Sub-Committee also have student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. There is a parallel structure at university level on which students are represented by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union.

The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here.


Undergraduate programmes only: Final-year students are also invited to complete a National Student Survey (NSS) which asks a standard set of questions across the whole country. The results of this are discussed at Programme Studies Boards and at Faculty Academic Experience Committee to identify good practice which can be shared and problems which need to be addressed. We rely heavily on student input to interpret the results of the NSS and ensure that we make the most appropriate changes.


The academic staff who deliver the programme are very responsive to student feedback and all offer an open door policy which encourages and supports direct contact with students. This facilitates an open and on-going dialogue between the students and the staff about the programme, its content and delivery methods. As a result communication regularly occurs in face-to-face made but also frequently via email. Communication and dialogue through the student representative for each stage of the programme is used less as a result of these media but is still used.


An aim of the programme is to produce professional engineering graduates who will behave in a professional manner and this is supported by all team members expecting and welcoming student feedback that is objective, informative and developmental. In turn we respond positively to this feedback and endeavour to operate a “you said, we did” approach.





  1. National subject benchmarks


The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education publishes benchmark statements which give guidance as to the skills and knowledge which graduates in various subjects and in certain types of degree are expected to have. These can be found here.


Are there any benchmark statements for this programme?




The subject benchmark(s) for this programme are:


QAA subject benchmark(s) applicable:


QAA Benchmark statement for Engineering


The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here.


  1. How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?


The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression from one Stage to another, and a good fit (alignment) between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress between Stages of the programme and degree classification, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Faculty Quality Management Sub-Committee which in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC) and Academic Experience Committee (AEC).


External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.


All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. The University is subject to external review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education on a six-year cycle. Their review reports for Sunderland can be found here.


Further information about our quality processes can be found here.


Please also complete the SITS form.