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    Advanced Mechanical Engineering

    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

    Strengthen your knowledge and understanding of mechanical engineering. Choose from a wide selection of optional modules to tailor your studies to your interests.
    Mechanical Engineering postgraduate

    Course description

    This highly flexible course is designed to strengthen your knowledge and understanding of mechanical engineering. It offers a wide selection of optional modules, allowing you to tailor your studies to reflect your interests, and graduates go on to work in many areas of engineering. You’ll also have the chance to further explore a subject that interests you through your individual research project.

    Previous study

    To give you a fair chance of succeeding on your course, we need to make sure you have enough experience in relevant subjects. All of our MSc courses are designed for students who have completed a degree similar to our BEng Mechanical Engineering.

    Many of our MSc students come from different subject backgrounds, including aerospace, automotive, civil and marine engineering courses, as well as mechatronics, manufacturing, mathematics and physics.

    We would like to see evidence of experience in the key subject areas listed below:

    Key Subject

    Some (but not all) of the topics you should be familiar with:

    Solid mechanics

    Mohr's circle, 2D elasticity including plane stress and plane strain, bending of beams, buckling of columns, plasticity, fracture mechanics.

    Statics, dynamics and control

    Equilibrium, free body diagrams, kinematics and kinetics of mechanisms, vibrations, resonance, block diagram representation of feedback control, Laplace domain models.

    Fluid mechanics

    Laminar and turbulent flows, Reynolds number, Bernoulli’s equation, calculation of pressure drop in pipework.

    Thermodynamics and heat transfer

    First and Second Laws, Carnot, Rankine and Otto cycles, general conduction equation, convection, Nusselt number, emissivity, view factors.

    We would normally expect to see a strong performance in these subjects on your transcript. If you have studied these topics as part of modules with very different titles, you will need to indicate this on your application form.


    We are currently seeking re-accreditation from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for 2024-25 entry.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    Core modules:

    Technical Communication for Mechanical Engineers

    This module teaches professional technical writing and speaking skills to enable students to communicate Engineering concepts accurately and appropriately. Sessions are delivered using a blended delivery model, with materials and tasks given in workbook format for students to prepare in advance for seminar and problem solving classes style with a focus on pair/ work and group work activities. Written assessment is based on assignments submitted within other relevant MEC modules and are synoptically marked for this module.

    5 credits
    Experiments and Valid Computer Models

    You will undertake three experiments and compare results with analytical solutions obtained using appropriate theories and software. The experiments will be performed on different established areas of mechanical engineering such as: thermofluids, solids and dynamics. The experiments are similar to those carried out by practising engineers and therefore provide experience of the challenges in acquiring meaningful results and the issues involved in producing a useful theoretical model. You will be required to produce three full laboratory reports.

    15 credits
    Strategic Engineering Management and Business Practices

    This module aims to provide fundamentals of what strategy is and distinguish it from activities, tactics and goals of an organisation. It explains its important role in the continual success of organisations. It also introduces how strategy can be translated into business practices, methods, procedures to achieve the goals of an organisation's strategy.

    The module is designed to develop your analytical and critical skills in the strategic management issues facing engineering organisations in today's fast-changing environment. It is a unique opportunity for you to equip yourself with the essential industry-relevant skills to excel as a future leader.

    15 credits
    Masters Research Mini Project

    This module is concerned with initiating a research project. You will identify a topic of the research for the allocated project and prepare a report that proposes initial study as well as providing the justification for performing the research. This module uses an extended case study approach as an introduction to your specific discipline and to build your cohort experience. You will work in groups to review a current engineering challenge. Drawing on relevant literature and technical sources you will work with the support of a mentor to assess the context of the problem, propose a forward plan, carry out a sustainability assessment of that plan as well as detail the regulatory compliance and carry out a risk assessment. The results will be presented in the form of infographics aimed at showcasing and disseminating the results of your study online.

    10 credits
    MSc Individual Research Project

    This module will provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate planning and management skills, to show your initiative and to display your technical skills. You will work on an industry focused research project. You will be supervised by an academic member of staff. The technical components of your project may be experimental, theoretical, analytical or design based and most projects will require proficiency in a number of these. Your project is assessed on the basis of interim presentation, conduct, final report and viva.

    60 credits
    Professional Development Portfolio

    This module is designed to build your skills for graduate-level study and life beyond your degree as an agile learner and professionally responsible engineer committed to your ongoing development.
    You will:
    (a) acquire and develop professional skills, such as communication, collaboration, information management and research skills
    (b) have an opportunity to practise and build your creative and practical skills
    (c) explore the professional responsibilities of an engineer.

    In addition, the module provides space for you to reflect on and build your profile by undertaking supported independent professional development in an area you choose based on your career plans beyond your degree.

    15 credits

    Semester 1 optional modules - choose maximum two from:

    Industrial Applications of Finite Element Analysis

    The module aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the principles of finite element modelling and its application to solve industrial engineering problems. A set of industry-relevant problems will be provided to students along with experimental results for model validation. Students will be allocated one of their preferred projects and will have to devise a modelling strategy to solve their particular problem. Knowledge will be drawn from lectures introducing the theory behind finite element modelling of dynamic problems for modal and transient analyses, non-linear problems including contact, material behaviour and large deformation as well as fracture.

    15 credits
    Fundamentals and Applications of Tribology

    Many practicing engineers use tribology regularly without a true understanding of its importance and its role in engineering design. This module introduces fundamental science that explains surface phenomena of wear, friction and lubrication. Students learn through industrial case studies, techniques to assess a range of engineering and machine contacts, from bearings to hip joints and banana skins! Theoretical and practical techniques will cover contact mechanics, friction, wear and lubricant films in hydrodynamic and elasto-hydrodynamic lubrication regimes. Students will learn to evaluate failure mechanisms and compare key design features that can be used to diagnose failure as well as improve design.

    15 credits
    Advanced Engineering Fluid Dynamics

    The module introduces advanced subjects in fluid mechanics and focuses on the theory and applications of the fundamental physical laws governing fluid flows. The Navier-Stokes and the continuity equations are revisited and the energy and the general Scalar Transport Equations for fluid flows will be derived. Creeping flows, laminar/turbulent boundary layer flows, shock and expansion waves, drag rise and supersonic aerofoils, etc. will be discussed. A key skill developed is problem solving in the area of advanced fluid mechanics through how equations, models and boundary conditions may be adapted and simplified to describe a wide variety of engineering fluid flows.

    15 credits
    Additive Manufacturing - Principles and Applications

    This module will provide you with a comprehensive introduction to Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), providing you with an insight into the technologies themselves, when and how they might be applied, and the broader economic, social and industrial context within which these techniques sit. Our aim is to provide you with an understanding of the underlying principles and considerations relevant to this area, so that you are able to apply this knowledge confidently and effectively during your future career.

    15 credits
    Mechanics and Applications of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies

    In this course students are introduced to advanced conventional manufacturing processes including sheet/bulk metal forming and Machining operations and the relevant mechanics of the processes and materials deformation. Analytical modelling techniques are also introduced and their applications are explained in order to determine the deformation of materials under the applied loads. Fundamentals of deformation and relevant force calculations together with mechanics of machining in metallic materials will be covered as the secondary manufacturing operations. The module provides a greater range and depth of knowledge related to the deformation of materials and process analysis in primary and secondary manufacturing operations using theoretical and experimental learning methods. The students will be equipped with tools to analyse and design manufacturing operations utilising various manufacturing methods within a wider engineering context.

    15 credits
    Computational Biomechanics of Musculoskeletal System

    This module aims to provide you with an overview of the state-of-the-art approach for modelling the musculoskeletal system from a biomechanical point of view. The course starts with a brief review of vectors and tensors, followed by anatomy and physiology of the musculoskeletal system. You will then be introduced to a range of modelling and experimental methods applied to a variety of bones and muscles. More specialised topics will be introduced towards the end of the course giving examples where biomechanical models can be used in various clinical applications.

    15 credits
    Engineering Commercial Success: And making the world a better place!

    Students work in interdisciplinary teams to create solutions to a real problem provided by a real customer. Typically the customer will be a member or members of the community e.g. children with disabilities, terminally ill people, etc. Student teams learn how to solicit needs from user interviews and go on to create (and where possible prototype) solutions that meet functional, commercial and social requirements. Teams pitch their concept and business start up proposals to an invited audience and assessors.

    15 credits
    Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport

    Transition from undergraduate engineering to real-world application is the focus of Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport. This module introduces the interdisciplinary field of railway transport through application of mechanical engineering in the context of creating a sustainable transport system. Linking engineering fundamentals to application in the rail industry it focuses on skills and expertise needed to make rail transport and its operation resilient to technological, demographic, economic, social and environmental change.

    Evaluation and problem solving for rail transport issues provides context for developing widely applicable transferable skills. These include justification of engineering decisions through evaluation of data, and assessment of engineering's economic and social impacts. Themes are explored using a local field trip.

    15 credits
    Advanced Dynamics

    In this module we will explore how linear/nonlinear structures vibrate and how we can model them in order to understand and optimise their complex behaviour both analytically and numerically. We will uncover the behaviour of theoretical nonlinear models and we will explore and evaluate the fascinating world of advanced dynamics, random vibration, nonlinear systems and chaos through lectures and dedicated reading. We link advanced engineering with concepts from physics and maths that are of core importance in the new era of engineering, considering structures from light aerospace structures to offshore wind turbines and space shuttles. Furthermore, we will discover the world of Hamiltonian mechanics by capturing its fundamental physics. The learning will be supported by dedicated tutorial sessions.

    15 credits
    Industrial Experimental Methods for Engineering Problems

    The module aims to provide students with an understanding of how experimental techniques can be used to solve industrial engineering problems. The students will be introduced to the theory behind, and practice of, a range of measurement techniques, common to static and dynamic problems, through a combination of lectures and labs and tutorial sessions. Working in small groups the students will be tasked to design and execute a suitable experiment to address an industrially relevant problem; analysing data and making informed decisions within the context of the problem.

    15 credits

    Semester 2 optional modules - choose up to three from the list below so that you have a total of 4 optional modules across the year.

    Applied Modelling Skills and Virtual Reality

    This module aims to combine computational modelling with state-of-the-art virtual reality and demonstrate the synergistic value of these technologies. You will apply advanced finite element and finite volume modelling skills to investigate biomechanics problems associated with both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, and deliver your results in the virtual reality format. You will also experience clinical radiation technologies such as X-ray and Angio systems through VR. The course involves a combination of theory (lectures) and computational labs. You will use the virtual reality tablets to study human anatomy and the virtual reality lab to deliver your final presentation.

    15 credits
    Design and Manufacture of Composites

    This module is designed to provide you with an understanding of both the design and manufacture of polymer composites and is presented in two sections. First, the design of composites is taught via tutorials on classical laminate theory. An extended series of worked examples provides you with the basic tools you need to design effective composite parts. Second, the manufacture of composites is taught via lectures. You will learn multiple routes for making composite parts alongside practical issues such as defects, machining/joints, failure, testing and non destructive testing, repair and SMART composites.

    15 credits
    Automotive Powertrain

    This module considers the performance, design and emissions of automotive powertrain - from the combustion chamber to the driven wheels. Environmental and societal developmental drivers of the attributes required of modern, globally applicable powertrain will be established. It will enable students to apply specialist knowledge (thermofluids, dynamics, materials) to internal combustion engines and their associated driveline components. Students will perform analysis of powertrain performance and select materials and design features to maximise efficiency before reviewing peers' proposals. The industrial state of the art and future technologies from research will be examined e.g. variable valvetrain, hybridisation and electric drive, modern combustion strategies.

    15 credits
    Advanced Energy and Power

    This module will introduce students to the rapidly changing landscape of conventional power generation. The course will provide a greater depth and range of specialist knowledge for advanced plant design for the future including carbon capture. This will provide a foundation for leadership and a wider appreciation of future conventional power station design. Students will become knowledgeable in the sources of pollutants and mitigation techniques employed by the industry and a wider appreciation of social and environmental considerations. The course will permit the students to engage in fundamental design of key components in power generation (burners, boilers) as well as in the simulation of carbon capture plant.

    15 credits
    Cardiovascular Biomechanics

    This module will enable student to apply fundamental engineering principles to analyse the physiology of the cardiovascular system. The module starts with a brief review of relevant theories in Fluid Mechanics, followed by anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system, including blood rheology and vessel tissue mechanics. Students will learn the cardiovascular anatomy using state-of-the-art Virtual Reality equipment. The second part gives students an overview of the modelling, analytical and experimental methods applied to several parts of the cardiovascular system. The final part will focus on more specialised topics, like the application of modelling techniques to investigate correlations with disease.

    15 credits
    Aviation Safety and Aeroelasticity

    This module covers the area of engineering related to aeroelasticity and safety by means of analytical techniques and study cases. The students will develop a fundamental knowledge of aeroelasticity and its implications for aircraft design and operation and evaluate aircraft loading; be able to analyse different manoeuvres using heave/pitch aircraft models; and be able to calculate internal loads in different manoeuvres. The course will provide students with an understanding of aeroelastic phenomena including flutter and divergence. This course provides the methodology and techniques for prediction/detection of a number of aeroelastic effects.

    15 credits
    Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport

    Transition from undergraduate engineering to real-world application is the focus of Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport. This module introduces the interdisciplinary field of railway transport through application of mechanical engineering in the context of creating a sustainable transport system. Linking engineering fundamentals to application in the rail industry it focuses on skills and expertise needed to make rail transport and its operation resilient to technological, demographic, economic, social and environmental change.

    Evaluation and problem solving for rail transport issues provides context for developing widely applicable transferable skills. These include justification of engineering decisions through evaluation of data, and assessment of engineering's economic and social impacts. Themes are explored using a local field trip.

    15 credits
    Human Factors and User-Centred Design

    The module is designed to give students an introduction to human factors and user-centred design and how they are used within the design process (alongside engineering analysis, manufacturing considerations, marketing etc.). The module concentrates on developing an understanding of how populations are characterised and how that influences design decisions. It gives an overview of the theory and practices surrounding design with humans before asking students to apply those theories in a series of case studies. The module gives students an opportunity to work within a team and learn from peers as they tackle the case studies.

    15 credits
    Human Movement Biomechanics

    Biomechanics of human movement is the science concerned with the internal and external forces acting on the human body and the effects produced by these forces. This module will teach the students both the kinematics (the branch of biomechanics of entailing the study of movement from a geometrical point of view) and kinetics (the branch of biomechanics investigating what causes a body to move the way it does) of human movement and leverage on practical laboratory sessions to expose them to the most advanced technologies to measure and model the associated mechanical phenomena of interest.

    15 credits
    Sustainable Materials Manufacturing

    Materials production technologies are often energy intensive resulting in high CO2 emissions as well as other environmental impacts. Many of these materials are also essential in enabling the green transition. This module will examine methods for carbon reduction across a range of the materials industries including steelmaking, bulk glass production and cement manufacture. The development of new production technologies and/or alternative compositions will be examined. This will be supported by a consideration of life cycle assessment and the potential for industrial symbiosis approaches for minimising the overall environmental impact of materials manufacturing processes. 

    The overall aims of the module are to develop your knowledge and understanding of a) the environmental impacts of a range of current and novel materials production processes and b) potential approaches, and their technological limitations, to the decarbonisation of a range of materials production processes, c) the use of life cycle analysis in assessing the environmental impacts of materials processing routes.

    15 credits

    The Railway Engineering and Sustainable Transport module spans the full academic year. It counts as one of your optional modules.

    The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year full-time


    We use a variety of teaching methods to support your learning, including tutorials, lectures, practical work, group project work, virtual learning environments and individual research.


    Our assessment methods are designed to support the achievement of learning outcomes and develop your professional skills. This may include integrated projects, examinations and portfolio work.

    Regular feedback is also provided, so you can understand your own development throughout the course.


    Department of Mechanical Engineering

    The Engineering Heartspace

    When studying an MSc in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Sheffield, you will have direct access to world leading teaching facilities at The Diamond. Opening in 2015, The Diamond building is dedicated to learning and teaching engineering. Here you will use our dedicated teaching laboratories which have enough equipment for everyone to get hands-on experience. That means you get to do all the experiments yourself, rather than watching a demonstration.

    You will also have access to state-of-the-art lecture theatres as well as the iForge, our student-led makerspace, where you can use a huge range of manufacturing techniques to make prototypes to support both your studies and your own personal hobbies and interests.

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering is based in the Engineering Heartspace which opened in 2020. Here you will find spaces to socialise with your friends, the student support office, the offices of our academics, and many new research labs. 

    We pride ourselves on our world-class research, and our research-led teaching means that you learn from the experts. 

    Your modules and individual research project will therefore focus on tackling current and future engineering challenges facing society and may be linked to our industrial partners, e.g. Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Network Rail.

    All our MScs have been carefully designed with a focus on employability to give you the best possible opportunity to achieve your personal career goals. They are carefully structured to support you to plan beyond your MSc and, because everyone has different aspirations, our MScs contain multiple opportunities to tailor your experience accordingly. This can be achieved through our broad range of elective modules, initiating your own individual research project, and through our Professional Development Portfolio module which is dedicated to employability.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree in mechanical engineering or a related subject.

    You should have a strong background in those modules most relevant to this course. Please see the previous study section above for more details on what we expect.

    We may also consider your application if you do not meet the standard academic requirements but you have relevant professional experience.

    We also consider a wide range of international qualifications:

    Entry requirements for international students

    Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

    Pathway programme for international students

    If you're an international student who does not meet the entry requirements for this course, you have the opportunity to apply for a pre-masters programme in Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield International College. This course is designed to develop your English language and academic skills. Upon successful completion, you can progress to degree level study at the University of Sheffield.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.