Mechanical Engineering BEng
Department of Mechanical Engineering
You are viewing this course for 2021-22 entry. 2022-23 entry is also available.
Our BEng Mechanical Engineering provides an excellent alternative to an MEng course if you'd prefer to study for three years rather than four. Many students choose this course as they would like to enter the workplace earlier, while others continue their engineering education to an MSc.
This degree gives you a solid grounding in mechanical engineering. It covers all the essentials, with an emphasis on modelling and design. You'll be introduced to business and management in an engineering context, and you'll complete an individual project in an area that interests you.
In the first five semesters, you'll follow a core syllabus in the fundamentals of mechanical engineering, mathematics and management. Modules cover mathematics, applied dynamics, mechanics of fluids, mechanics of solids, applied thermodynamics, mechanical behaviour of materials, and electrical and electronic engineering.
In your third year you'll tailor your degree to your own interests, choosing from optional modules and exploring a topic of your choice for an individual project.
This is a practical course: our students learn by doing. You'll apply what you've learnt in the lecture theatre to engineering problems and experiments. You'll have the chance to manufacture and prototype your designs. You'll also develop the transferable skills employers look for, such as communication, project management and time management skills.
Depending on your performance, you might be able to switch between our degrees. For example, you may be able to switch to a BEng course with a year in industry at the end of your first year, or to one of our MEng courses at the end of your second year.
All our students get involved in week-long projects that develop the skills you'll need as a successful engineer. There's the Global Engineering Challenge in your first year, where you'll find creative solutions to real-world problems with engineers of different disciplines, and Engineering You're Hired! during your second year.
This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. This BEng meets, in part, the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer status. Students will need to complete some further learning to meet them in full.
The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.
Choose a year to see modules for a level of study:
UCAS code: H302
- Essential Mathematical Skills & Techniques
This module aims to reinforce students' previous knowledge and to develop new basic mathematical techniques needed to support the engineering subjects taken at levels 1 and 2. It also provides a foundation for the level 2 mathematics courses in the appropriate engineering department.20 credits
- Fundamental Engineering Science: Part 1
In conjunction with a similar module that runs in the Spring semester, this module will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and understanding that will underpin the rest of your mechanical engineering degree. This module focuses on statics, solid mechanics and manufacturing processes; you will learn about these topics from first principles and observe them as phenomena in the laboratory. You will then have the opportunity to apply them to a practical engineering problem in a separate, concurrent integrative project module.20 credits
- Autumn Integrative Project
This module will introduce you to what it means to be a professional engineer by supporting you through the process of tackling a typical, practical, engineering problem. Through a series of structured, timely activities you will integrate the fundamental knowledge, taught in a separate, concurrent module, with the skills and capabilities expected of modern engineers. In conjunction with a similar integrative project in the Spring semester, you will develop a holistic view of mechanical engineering that will provide a solid foundation for the rest of your degree, and your subsequent career, giving you the ability and confidence to address open-ended, engineering problems in a proficient and effective manner.25 credits
- Fundamental Engineering Science: Part 2
In conjunction with a similar module that runs in the Spring semester, this module will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and understanding that will underpin the rest of your mechanical engineering degree. This module focuses on dynamics, fluids, gases and thermofluids; you will learn about these topics from first principles and observe them as phenomena in the laboratory. You will then have the opportunity to apply them to a practical engineering problem in a separate, concurrent integrative project module.15 credits
- Spring Integrative Project
This module will provide you with further insight into what it means to be a professional engineer by supporting you through the process of tackling a typical, practical, engineering problem. Through a series of structured, timely activities you will integrate the fundamental knowledge, taught in a separate, concurrent module, with the skills and capabilities expected of modern engineers, building upon feed forward from a similar integrative project in the Autumn semester. In conjunction with the Autumn project, you will develop a holistic view of mechanical engineering that will provide a solid foundation for the rest of your degree, and your subsequent career, giving you the ability and confidence to address open-ended, engineering problems in a proficient and effective manner.40 credits
- Global Engineering Challenge Week
The Faculty-wide Global Engineering Challenge Week is a compulsory part of the first-year programme. The project has been designed to develop student academic, transferable and employability skills as well as widen their horizons as global citizens. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of 5-6, for a full week, all students in the Faculty choose from a number of projects arranged under a range of themes including Water, Waste Management, Energy and Digital with scenarios set in an overseas location facing economic challenge. Some projects are based on the Engineers Without Borders Engineering for people design challenge*.
*The EWB challenge provides students with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, inspiring, sustainable and cross-cultural development projects identified by EWB with its community-based partner organisations.
- Electric Circuits
This module provides a basic introduction to electric circuits for engineers of all disciplinary backgrounds. It introduces the passive circuit elements (resistance, capacitance and inductance), and explores their behaviour when driven by ideal voltage and/or current sources. DC and AC power delivery will be discussed, including batteries and transformers. The module also introduces the basics of electromechanical energy conversion, including common motor topologies. The module will include examples and applications of the electrical engineering concepts, to ensure it is relevant and accessible for all disciplines of engineering.10 credits
- Engineering - You're Hired
The Faculty-wide Engineering - You're Hired Week is a compulsory part of the second year programme, and the week has been designed to develop student academic, transferable and employability skills. Working in multi-disciplinary groups of about six, students will work in interdisciplinary teams on a real world problem over an intensive week-long project. The projects are based on problems provided by industrial partners, and students will come up with ideas to solve them and proposals for a project to develop these ideas further.
- Mathematics for Engineering Modelling
To further extend the student's understanding, developed in Level 1, of a variety of mathematical techniques and the application of these techniques in modelling engineering problems10 credits
- Computational and Numerical Methods
This module consolidates previous mathematical knowledge and develops new mathematical and numerical techniques relevant to Mechanical Engineering10 credits
- Dynamics of Structures and Machines
The aim of this module is to help students understand the fundamental concepts governing the dynamics of structures and machines. It covers two principal areas: structural vibration and rigid body mechanics. In structural vibration, the single degree of freedom model is used to study the free response and forced vibration of systems subjected to steady state, impulse and arbitrary loading. Aspects of rigid body mechanics include the analysis of common two-dimensional mechanisms and the dynamics of rigid rotors, including gyroscopic precession.10 credits
- Mechanics of Deformable Solids
The module continues the process begun in the first year of providing the essential knowledge, understanding and skills associated with the mechanics of deformable solids which students require to become competent Chartered Mechanical Engineers. The module covers analysis of mechanical components under stress and application of different methods to evaluate stress state and deformation of deformable solids. Plastic failure is also covered.10 credits
- Heat Transfer
Heat transfer mechanisms are introduced. Heat conduction, convection and radiation are studied in this order. Techniques for analysing heat transfer problems are then covered. Two applications, heat exchangers and fins are analysed in detail. At the end of the module, students should be able to:10 credits
1. State the fundamental processes of heat transfer and apply them to real world systems.
2. Understand how heat is transferred by conduction, convection and radiation.
3. Solve a variety of fundamental and applied heat transfer problems.
- Design of Engineering Components
The module develops both the knowledge and awareness of the student in terms of being able to make decisions based on limited data and include both ethical and economic considerations. Practical worked examples are developed which show how basic mechanical theory can be adapted and applied to `industrial' design situations. Assessment includes a 'design audit' in which a device is dismantled and each component analysed for design functionality. This exercise enables the student to develop their CAD skills.10 credits
- Materials Processing
This module provides an introduction to materials processing for mechanical engineers and places particular emphasis on the relationships between processing, microstructure and properties that are essential to defining and understanding the behaviour of a material under service conditions. The module covers all of the common classes of engineering material - ceramics, polymers, composites and metals - and you will, through the use of practical examples and case studies, learn about the strong dependence of final functional and structural properties on the processing route selected for processing and manufacture.10 credits
- Fluids Engineering
The module is designed to consolidate and extend the students' understanding of basic fluid flow properties, fluid flows and applying analysis techniques to solve engineering fluids problems. The module will cover the use of both integral control volume and differential analysis techniques. These will be applied to a range of simple engineering fluid systems;Newtonian laminar analysis will be applied to internal flows. The boundary layer will be introduced and related to the concepts of drag. The concepts of compressible nozzle flow, choking and shock waves will be covered. Sub-sonic and sonic compressible flow will be introduced. Students will also be introduced to the computational fluid dynamics using FLUENT and given hands-on experience.10 credits
- Design of Structures, Machines and Systems
The course brings together analytical, computational and empirical approaches to the design and optimisation of structures and systems. A specific design is used as a thematic project in which the functional analysis and eventual synthesis are brought together. The task is such that no optimal solution is readily available. This enables the student to develop their skill in formulating analytical and computational models and evaluating them so as to develop an optimal design solution.10 credits
- Managing Engineering Projects and Teams
The module is designed to introduce you to one of the key skills needed in your study and work. You will learn why projects are a key feature of engineering environments. You will also be introduced to the fundamentals of project management concepts and its terminologies. In addition, you will learn how to plan a project and deliver it for its successful completion.10 credits
It will introduce project management topics such as planning, scoping, scheduling, resources, cost and constraints. Additionally, you will develop an awareness of the importance of people for successful project delivery in practice, including stakeholders and team dynamics.
- Finance and Law for Engineers
The module is designed to introduce engineering students to key areas of financial and legal risk that engineers should be aware of in their working environment. The module will draw directly on practical issues of budgeting, raising finance, assessing financial risks and making financial decisions in the context of engineering projects and/or product development. At the same time the module will develop students's understanding of the legal aspects of entering into contracts for the development and delivery of engineering projects and products and an awareness of environmental regulation, liability for negligence, intellectual property rights and the importance of data protection. Through a series of parallel running lectures in the two disciplines, the module will provide a working knowledge of the two areas and how they impinge on engineering practice. There will be a heavy emphasis on group working, report writing and presentation as part of the assessment supplemented by online exercises and an individual portfolio.10 credits
- Integrity of Materials and Components
This module brings together knowledge gained of engineering science aspects of stress, deformation analysis, and material strength, and to apply them to engineering components. The module will broaden students' perspectives by introducing the 3D nature of stress, plastic analysis, fracture response and tribology. Practical aspects will be introduced by case studies.10 credits
- Advanced Engineering Thermodynamic Cycles
The course will consolidate and expand upon the fundamental and general background to Thermofluids engineering developed during first and second year courses. This will be achieved through the study of more realistic systems, machines, devices as well as their application.10 credits
To introduce students to more realistic energy conversion and power production processes. Use of irreversibility to analyse plant. Introduction of reheat and heat recovery as methods of achieving improved efficiency. To look at total energy use by means of combined gas and steam and combined heat and power cycles and understand some of the environmental issues. A variety of refrigeration cycles will also be illustrated as well as the Otto and Diesel cycles.
- Manufacturing Systems
The aim of this module is to enable students to understand the concepts and practices used by modern manufacturing organisations.10 credits
The course starts with lectures on current trends in manufacturing processes (in particular high-speed machining and additive manufacturing). Students are then introduced to ways of designing and evaluating a manufacturing system as well as the relevant theories, concepts and methodologies of controlling and managing a manufacturing shop floor.
- The Professional Responsibility of Engineers
The aim of this course is to provide a graduate engineer with the means to answer the question “Should we proceed (or continue with this engineering project?” Engineers use their skills to make a positive change to the world. The dilemma, however, is that what is good for some may not be so for others. What is a solution in one area, in one culture, in one industry could be a challenge and even a disaster in another.10 credits
The Professional Responsibilities of the Engineer (PRE) module will guide graduate engineers to 'understand their ethical responsibilities' (ABET, 2000) as well as to 'understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context' (Kerkert 1999).
In your degree, you have been trained to be technically able, curious, creative and ambitious professionals. In this module, we prepare you to enter a complex world, where every decision, every action can and will bring about change. Will it be the right change? This module gives you the means to answer that question.
During this course you will be equipped with the frameworks and tools to help you reach the best morally justifiable decisions. In order to assist you in identifying as many of the courses of action as possible, you will be asked to identify an engineering dilemma, present reasons for and against the issue, then share your view points with the public. By sharing you will be exposed to other ideas and feedback that will inform your final decision.
- Investigative Project
Each student will undertake an individual research project, which is often industrially-focussed, under the guidance of a member of academic staff. The students select a number of potential projects from a list provided by academic staff members. The project will permit the student to demonstrate their planning and organisational skills, to show initiative and also to display the technical skills that they have developed over the preceding years of study. The technical components of a project may be experimental, theoretical, analytical or design-based and most projects will require proficiency in a number of these. Assessment of the module is based upon conduct throughout the project, submission of a thesis and the ability to present the findings of the project at a colloquium and viva.30 credits
- Control Engineering for Mechanical Engineers
This module aims to introduce the student to the key components which are used to implement feedback control of a physical process: sensors, actuators and controllers. The student is introduced to these elements through the language of classical control systems modelling. Emphasis will be placed on electrical, mechanical and electro-mechanical systems but reference will be made to the much wider applicability of the techniques. An introduction to dynamic system modelling will also be included. Analysis methods (based upon the characteristic equation and the Bode diagram) will be used to demonstrate how performance can be defined, analysed, predicted, and designed.10 credits
- Integrated Design Skills
The module aims to integrate the design and mechanical elements of the students' engineering learning of the previous two years by studying the integration of these components to design an automated solution to an engineering problem.10 credits
- Robotic Systems
Robotics is having an increasing impact on society and the way we live. From advanced10 credits
manufacturing to unmanned aerial systems and driverless cars this exciting area is presenting increasing technological challenges. This unit provides students with the advanced knowledge and understanding to apply control and systems engineering concepts to the field of robotics.
The unit covers the theoretical foundations of manipulators and mobile robots, and reviews robotic systems with reference to their applications. The unit further covers advanced techniques in autonomous vehicles and swarm robotics.
- Mathematics (Computational Methods)
This module introduces some important numerical methods for solving partial differential equations such as the heat conduction equation which arise in engineering and develops methods for optimisation problems. It also gives an introduction to splines as a tool in design for curve fitting and surface approximation. Optimization techniques including numerical techniques, dynamic programming and integer programming are studied. This module is designed for mechanical engineers.10 credits
- Advanced Mechanics of Solids
The module provides an introduction of advanced analytical techniques used for study of deformable solids, a general knowledge of the techniques employed and skills to perform analysis for selected solid components and structures. It aims to provide students with the following: the skills and confidence to perform advanced analysis of solid components and structures; the knowledge of selected advanced analysis techniques employed on the more common components and structures; and an understanding of the behaviour of solids under two or three dimensional stress fields, and the limitations imposed by assumptions and boundary conditions.10 credits
- Finite Element Techniques
The module aims to give students a thorough knowledge and understanding of the principles of the Finite Element Method, an understanding of the various modelling strategies within the method, an appreciation of its scope of application, and the ability to interpret the results of a finite element calculation. Theoretical foundations of the method in the context of linear elastic structural analysis will be covered, as well as practical aspects of its implementation. The assessment is by coursework only. Lectures will be supplemented by surgeries and computer laboratory sessions, which will provide opportunities to further explore key concepts and to obtain further support for the assignment work.10 credits
- Renewable Energy
The module provides an introduction to some alternative energy technologies with emphasis on solar and wind energy. It aims to provide students with a fundamental appreciation of the potential and usable energy obtainable from the sun and wind; a general knowledge of wind turbine aerodynamics, wind turbine systems, photovoltaics and domestic photovoltaic systems.10 credits
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
The module introduces fundamental concepts of Computational Fluid Dynamics from the governing physical principles to their mathematical definition, approximation and numerical solution, with a particular focus on experimental and theoretical validation. The course explains the typical steps for a robust use of CFD analysis to predict the behaviour of complex fluid flows encountered in typical engineering applications, including turbulent flows. Students will consolidate their understanding by performing and critically assessing the results of a CFD analysis of a typical and industrially relevant fluid problem.10 credits
- Structural Vibration
In this module we will explore how structures vibrate and how we can model them in order to understand and optimise their behaviour. We will look at how to model systems/structures mathematically as multi-degree of freedom systems and as continuous systems. The module will link theoretical models with experimental modal analysis, where knowledge of the system is derived from measurements (such as accelerations). You will explore the world of dynamics through lectures and dedicated reading. The theoretical learning will be supported by two laboratory experiments to be carried out in groups. Your understanding of experimental modal analysis will be cemented by coding your own analysis tool and applying it to data gathered in the lab.10 credits
- Aero Propulsion
This module provides students with an understanding of principles of operation of gas turbines, pulse-jets, RAM-jets and solid and liquid fuelled rocket engines as applied to aero propulsion. The understanding is built upon fundamental thermodynamic and fluid mechanic analyses of components and systems for each propulsion method. Methods for improving efficiencies and increasing specific work output of components are also introduced as well as an introduction to combustion, losses and efficiencies.10 credits
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. We are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.
Learning and assessment
You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, lab sessions and design classes.
At Sheffield, we firmly believe that our research expertise should translate into research-led teaching that inspires future generations of mechanical engineers.
Our learning and teaching vision is to recruit high calibre students and inspire each one to become a self-motivated and adaptable learner.
To achieve this, we provide our students with a challenging curriculum, preparing our graduates to contribute to the diversity of challenges present in global engineering and technology.
You will be assessed by a combination of exams and tests, coursework and practical work.
This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.
With Access Sheffield, you could qualify for additional consideration or an alternative offer - find out if you're eligible
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including Maths and at least one of Physics or Chemistry
The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
including Mathematics and at least one of Physics or Chemistry
A Levels + additional qualifications | AAB, including Maths and Physics or Chemistry + A in a relevant EPQ; AAB, including Maths and Physics or Chemistry + A in AS Level or B in A Level Further Maths AAB, including Maths and Physics or Chemistry + A in a relevant EPQ; AAB, including Maths and Physics or Chemistry + A in AS Level or B in A Level Further Maths
International Baccalaureate | 36, 6 in Higher Level Maths and at least one of Physics or Chemistry 34 with 6,5 in Higher Level Mathematics and at least one of Physics or Chemistry
BTEC | DDD in Engineering + A Level Maths grade A DDD in Engineering or Applied Science + B in A Level Maths
Scottish Highers + 2 Advanced Highers | AAAAB + AA in Maths and at least one of Physics or Chemistry AAABB + AB in Mathematics and at least one of Physics or Chemistry
Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels | A + AA in Maths and either Physics or Chemistry B + AA in Maths and either Physics or Chemistry
Access to HE Diploma | 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at Level 3 including 39 credits at Distinction, to include Mathematics and Physics units, + 6 credits at Meri + Grade A in A-level Mathematics also required 60 credits overall in a relevant subject with 45 at Level 3 including 36 credits at Distinction, to include Mathematics and Physics units, + 9 credits at Merit + Grade A in A-level Mathematics also required
Mature students - explore other routes for mature students
You must demonstrate that your English is good enough for you to successfully complete your course. For this course we require: GCSE English Language at grade 4/C; IELTS grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; or an alternative acceptable English language qualification
- Pathway to engineering
If you are not taking Physics or Chemistry at A Level but are passionate about studying mechanical engineering, find out about our pre-sessional engineering pathway programmes. We would still require AAA from your A Levels, which must include Maths. These pathways are only available to applicants who do not require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK
If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
At Sheffield, our students learn by doing - connecting engineering theory to practise. This means our courses will challenge and engage you, but also help you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience that employers look for. You'll have the chance to manufacture prototype your designs, as well as being introduced to business and management in an engineering context.
You'll be taught by academics who are experts in their fields, with a wealth of experience and links with industry and research. You'll also have chance to work on real-life projects with our industrial partners - such as Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Network Rail - giving you experience that will support your employability. You will also have an academic personal tutor who will support and guide your progress.
Alongside different engineering project weeks and development programmes, our students are involved in a huge range of extra-curricular activities - from building single-seat racing cars and human powered aircraft, to designing and manufacturing a sustainable wind turbine, energy efficient vehicles, rockets, and more.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering has recently returned to the Grade II listed Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing and has teaching space and labs in the new state of the art Engineering Heartspace. The majority of mechanical engineering undergraduate lectures and labs take place in the Diamond, which is purpose-built for undergraduate engineering teaching.
The Diamond is home to specialist facilities such as our engineering applications workshop, structures and dynamics laboratory, and thermodynamics and mechanics laboratory. This all means that you will directly apply what you’ve learnt in lectures to lab sessions, helping you to put theory into practice. Alongside teaching and study spaces, the Diamond is also home to iForge - the UK’s first student-led makerspace.
Why choose Sheffield?
The University of Sheffield
A Top 100 university 2021
QS World University Rankings
Top 10% of all UK universities
Research Excellence Framework 2014
No 1 Students' Union in the UK
Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019, 2018, 2017
Department of Mechanical Engineering
National Student Survey 2020
Department of Mechanical Engineering
As a Sheffield graduate, you could enter a number of different industries and sectors including manufacturing, transport, power, research, design, consultancy and more.
Fees and funding
The annual fee for your course includes a number of items in addition to your tuition. If an item or activity is classed as a compulsory element for your course, it will normally be included in your tuition fee. There are also other costs which you may need to consider.
Funding your study
Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a bursary, scholarship or loan to help fund your study and enhance your learning experience.
Use our Student Funding Calculator to work out what you’re eligible for.
University open days
There are four open days every year, usually in June, July, September and October. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.
At various times in the year we run online taster sessions to help Year 12 students experience what it is like to study at the University of Sheffield.
If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our applicant days, which take place between November and April. These applicant days have a strong department focus and give you the chance to really explore student life here, even if you've visited us before.
Campus tours run regularly throughout the year, at 1pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Apply for this course
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The awarding body for this course is the University of Sheffield.
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.