FAQs

Teaching Quality & Style

Study Facility

Student Support

Can I change between different courses ?

Yes, in most cases. Most of our courses have a common core of subjects in years 1 and 2 and changing your degree specialisation, as you gain more experience of the subjects, is very straightforward. There are only a few changes that are restricted.

Can I change between MEng and BEng degrees?

Yes. Many students initially register for the MEng degree, but individuals may elect to change to the three-year BEng during the course. Restrictions are in place for course changes where overseas students have particular visa restrictions - follow this link to find out about the requirements for your country.

Students may also transfer from BEng to MEng provided they achieve a minimum of 2.1 marks in their third year exams.

Can I enter directly into year 2?

In principle yes, but it will depend on your qualifications. Each year we admit students who have studied at other Universities or Polytechnics, mainly from abroad, however these applications are assessed on an individual basis.

Are your degrees Accredited?

Yes. All of our BEng and BEng degrees are accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Students who achieve a MEng degree can immediately apply to become an Associate Member of the IET.  Students who achieve a BEng degree or class 2.2 or better will ultimately be eligible for IET membership after completing the necessary "approved" further study at some later stage in their career.

Can I do a year in industry?

Yes - many of our degrees offer you the chance to gain paid, practical engineering experience in well known companies.  These can either be for a year of for summer placements.

Do you offer part-time degrees?

No, we do not offer any part-time undergraduate degree courses.

Teaching Quality & Style

Who will be teaching me?

The policy of the department is to allocate lectures to academic staff who have first-hand knowledge, through their research and professional experience, of the subjects they teach to ensure that their material is relevant. Technical staff and PhD students also assist in the delivery of practical teaching and problem classes.

Follow this link to view the staff profiles of our current academics.

What methods of teaching do you use?

We use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, problem classes, tutorials, laboratory classes and project work. Problem classes offer you the opportunity to practice the techniques taught in lectures with help and support.

What is the balance between lectures and practical teaching?

A typical week in years 1 and 2 consists of 22 hours of contact time, of which lectures take up to 10 hours and the rest consists of laboratory classes, problem classes, tutorials and practical coursework. Whilst lectures are the method by which the bulk of the theoretical content is taught, the courses all contain a large amount of hands on work to teach the practical side of the design construction and testing of circuits, devices and systems as well as the skills needed to interpret results, write reports and make presentations.

This practical work will take place in the state of the art laboratories in The Diamond Building. These include the Electronics, Control, Electrical Machines, Computer and Mechanical Labs and our teaching Semiconductor Clean Room which is only one of a few to be found in a UK University.  Follow this link to enjoy a 360 degree virtual tour of The Diamond.

In addition to your scheduled lab sessions you can also add to your practical learning by using the iForge - a makerspace run by students for students.  Here you have access to equipment used across all Engineering disciplines ranging from 3D printers to circular saws - the only limit is your imagination! Click here to find out more about the iForge.

In years 3 and 4, project work, carried out mainly in research laboratories or specialist facilities like the Clean Rooms or Microprocessor laboratories, counts for a substantial % of your final degree assessment.

Is all the teaching done in large classes?

No. Each student is allocated a personal tutor on their arrival. In years 1 and 2, regular timetabled meetings, in tutor groups of five or six students, are used to solve academic problems and to develop team working and presentational skills. Tutors supervise progress throughout the course and provide invaluable personal contact and guidance. In practical classes, most work is carried out either individually or in groups of two or three. Project work in later years is carried out individually under the supervision of a member of staff. In year 4, project work is carried in a small group of four or five students working on an industrial project, with staff supervision and industrial partners.

How do you teach computing skills?

All students need to develop their skills in using software and writing programmes. Teaching is a combination of lectures classes to learn the necessary languages and practical computer workshops to put it into practice. We teach 'C' programmes in year 1 and specialist microprocessor languages in later years. Software packages such as MATLAB are used in later years and the University provides tuition in the use of 'office' software such as word processing, databases and spreadsheets. Assessment of computer skills is almost invariably based on continuously assessed assignments.

What is the workload like?

A typical week in years 1 and 2 consists of 22 hours of contact time, of which lectures take up to 10 hours and the rest consists of problem classes, tutorials and practical coursework. We expect students to put in a further 10 to 12 hours time in self study outside of the timetabled hours.

In years 3 and 4 we expect students to spend more time on self study and project work however you will have a meeting with your Supervisor at least once a fortnight.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment in each year is based on end of semester examinations in January and June and on continuously assessed coursework or project work. Both are assessed separately because we think they measure different types of abilities and skills. Years 2, 3 and 4 contribute to the final degree although the later years are weighted more heavily than year 2.

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Study Facility

Where do students take their lectures?

During your First and Second years the majority of your lectures will be in The Diamond Building.

Where do students do their practical work?

You will have access to the labs in The Diamond - click here to see the full list of labs that are contained in The Diamond.

  • A large number of specialist research laboratories used by third and fourth year students.
  • A third and fourth year project lab

What are the Computing Facilities like?

The University has a large computer network, distributed throughout the campus, including PC's, SUNs and MACs together with associated printing and plotting services. All students are allocated a user-name, e-mail address and disk space at entry to the university. A comprehensive selection of software is available on the network, together with web access. Within The Diamond and the Engineering Faculty there are a large number of computer suites.. In addition, the department has its own specialised microprocessor and computer suite and a number of additional computer networks dedicated to specific research facilities. All are used by undergraduate students.

Where can I do my own private studies?

Many students prefer to study away from their living accommodation and the University libraries all provide quiet study spaces for individual use.  There are plenty of small break-out rooms that can be booked by students conducting their group projects.

Do you have your own library?

The Information Commons offers 24 hour access to student materials - click here for more information.

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Student Support

How can I get help with my studies?

All our lecture notes are available online for you to refer to in your own time. You can also access Maths and Statistics Help via MASH which is a free service available to all students.  Take a look at their website to find out what they offer and how they can help: www.sheffield.ac.uk/mash

To help develop your understanding each lecture course has timetabled Problem Classes associated with it. Problem sheets designed to develop and test your understanding are provided and difficulties with these often form the basis of questions at the problem classes. The course lecturer and one or more support staff attend the classes and these are an opportunity to get individual help. Most of these classes are held in our student workrooms which are set out to encourage small groups of students to work together, and a lot can be learned from students collaborating in this way. Individual help via tutors or direct access to the lecturer is available if needed.

What support is available for project work?

Individual and Group projects in years 3 and 4 are carried out in research laboratories, working alongside research students and research staff. In addition to the guidance given by their project supervisors, many students find the on-the-spot support from research staff provides excellent expert advice. Technical staff are also available in many laboratories.

What role does my individual tutor play?

All students are allocated an academic member of staff as a tutor at entry to the Department. Each member of staff will typically have five or six tutees and they all meet as a group once every two weeks during years 1 and 2. These sessions usually have some form of technical or professional skill assignment and students come prepared to discuss their work. In addition, your tutor has a pastoral support role and acts as an advisor and mentor for a wide range of personal and academic issues. 

What personal support is available?

Your tutor acts a front line of support for non-academic personal issues. If more professional advice or support is needed then your tutor will direct you to one of the wide range of University Support and Welfare services. These include: Student Counselling, Health and Dentistry, hardship funds and Careers services and assistance with part-time employment.

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