Lectures and Labs


From 2015 the majority of our students will take lectures and labs in our new Diamond Building.  Please also see the right link for further information on the Diamond

Much of the course material will be presented to you through lectures. These may be quite different to how you have been taught previously. You may be in a large or very large class with limited opportunity for interaction with the lecturer.

You will make the most use of lectures by doing the following:

  • attend all lectures (make this a matter of principle)
  • actively concentrate on what is being said
  • take appropriate notes during the lecture
  • bring previous notes to the lecture
  • review the lecture material at the end of the day and work on the problem sheets provided

The normal rules of politeness apply in a lecture: be on time, be attentive, and be professional.  Talking is not permitted in University lectures and, unless your lecturer requires you to use interactive features, please TURN OFF your mobile phone.


In years 1-3 you will have scheduled time in the Diamond (mostly in the afternoons).  See the Multidisciplinary Engineering Education web pages for information.  You will have been allocated a lab group, check the relevant modules page on MOLE for more information.  These practical sessions are to give you some hands-on demonstration of the material you have been taught in lectures.  You will learn good measurement practice and how to work in a team and how to conduct experiments. You can learn a lot from laboratory sessions and they can also be enjoyable and productive exercises. Follow these guidelines;

  • be on time - know where your laboratory session is taking place in advance
  • read the laboratory exercise instructions beforehand 
  • be alert and attentive
  • work as a team - share the tasks and organise yourself
  • keep good records in your logbook
  • no fooling around - you will be handling potentially dangerous equipment
  • think about what you are doing and what the measurements mean
  • link the experiments to the lecture material (that is what the labs are for).

Work in the laboratory is an essential part of any Engineering course.  Attendance at all laboratory classes is compulsory.  Absence may only be excused on medical or compassionate grounds.  In such cases the member of staff in charge of the laboratory must be informed at the earliest opportunity.

First Year Labs (Module MEC133)

Before each lab session in your first year you will need to undertake some pre-lab activity, (e.g. watching videos, or revising background theory).  This will include relevant health and safety information and will be assessed by a pre-lab MOLE quiz.  You will need to have passed this quiz (multiple attempts are allowed) an hour before your lab session or you will not be allowed to attend the session.

In the first year you will be provided with a bound lab book for use in laboratories.  You must use this in all lab sessions.  The use of loose paper will not be permitted.
All relevant information concerning laboratory assignments should be entered directly into the lab book.  Notes should include:

• a complete set of experimental readings,
• essential descriptive information,
• essential calculations and graphs,
• brief conclusions and comments on accuracy.

All additional material such as laboratory sheets should be glued into the lab book and not left loose. The lab book must be brought to ALL laboratory classes. At the end of each class the laboratory supervisor will discuss the quality of your entries. Note that the lab book is your RECORD of the work carried out and not a FORMAL REPORT.  One of the experiments in your log books chosen at random will be marked by a demonstrator and contribute 10% towards the module MEC133: Laboratory Skills for Mechanical Engineers.  You will also have to write two formal reports for a further 10%.

Lab sessions are treated as examinations, so, if you miss a lab, you will need to notify the department within 48 hours by contacting Jason Hawley in the undergraduate student support office (jason.hawley@sheffield.ac.uk). 

With each lab there is a post-lab MOLE quiz which, if you attended the session, will contribute towards your MEC133 module mark.

Any enquiries concerning labs should be directed to  Dr Adam Beagles -  a.beagles@sheffield.ac.uk

Second and Third Year Labs

After your first year, lab work is carried out as part of different modules.  Information will be provided by the relevant module leaders.