Mechanical Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng MEng

2024-25 entry
Department of Mechanical Engineering

This is the most flexible of our MEng degrees. It covers fundamental engineering principles, while giving you the freedom to follow individual interests in your third and fourth years.

Key details

Explore this course:

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2024-25 entry. View 2025-26 entry or find another undergraduate course.

    Course description

    Mechanical engineering equipment.

    Passionate about mechanical engineering, and keen to get into the workplace?

    If you don't have the usual scientific or mathematical background for an engineering degree, a foundation year is for you. After successfully completing the foundation year, you can start a BEng or MEng degree.

    Sheffield’s Mechanical Engineering BEng is an excellent alternative to an MEng course – offering the option to graduate, or continue your engineering education with an MSc or switch to a MEng depending upon performance.

    In the first two years you'll study the core subjects that you need to be a successful mechanical engineer and we’ll embed that knowledge by applying it to open-ended projects, typical of the engineering industry.

    In the third year, you will have the opportunity to tailor your degree in a way that supports your career aspirations by choosing from a wide selection of engineering modules.

    One of the highlights for the third year is the individual research project, chosen from a very wide range of topics and under the supervision of an expert in the chosen field.

    Throughout the course, you will be given many opportunities to develop and demonstrate the professional skills, such as written and spoken communication, group working and project management, that employers desire.

    This course is seeking re-accreditation from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) for 2024-25 entry.

    Why study this course?

    • Project-based learning - our system of project-based learning integrates engineering science with practical projects. So, you’ll become comfortable and capable in tackling realistic, open-ended problems – which makes you a better engineer.
    • Professional skills focus - the course includes professional skills learning, which empowers you to take responsibility for your own development and become an independent learner. This includes areas such as developing communications skills, teamwork, and presentation skills, helping to create more employable engineers.
    • Personal tutorials - all our students are assigned a personal tutor from day one, someone who will be your point of contact for both pastoral and academic support throughout your studies. You’ll meet your tutor on a weekly basis throughout the first year to receive both pastoral and academic support. The small group academic tutorial system in your first year strengthens the student-tutor bond and helps you to develop as an independent learner.
    • Vibrant student and staff community - our excellent ‘student voice’ is consistently recognised and rated highly in the National Student Survey (NSS). Students are encouraged to be involved and have a say in their own education and to work together with staff to improve their mechanical engineering programmes.
    • Specialist teaching facilities - 'Learning by doing' is the reason The Diamond was built. Dedicated to engineering, with a focus on developing practical engineering skills, this is where you’ll apply the theory you learn in lectures – consolidating your understanding alongside students from other disciplines, and beyond the bounds of the curriculum.


    After successfully completing the foundation year modules, you can start your main degree.

    A selection of modules are 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.

    Title: Mechanical Engineering with a Foundation Year MEng or BEng course structure
    UCAS code: H301
    Years: 2022, 2023
    Foundation year

    Core modules:

    Core Foundation Mathematics

    The syllabus for MAS003 covers the common core A Level curriculum. The unit is tailored for students who have been away from mathematics for a period of time, but who will have gained some A-Level or similar qualifications. The unit covers the basic principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Following the introduction of new material in the lectures, students have the opportunity of extensive problem solving, both in the tutorial sessions with the lecturers and in their own time.

    40 credits
    Introduction to Engineering

    This module will introduce the application of engineering principles to foundation year students and give the student an appreciation of the breadth of engineering activities across the faculty and identify to students what knowledge areas and skills are needed in order to contribute to their development and be successful. It will also help create links with departments and draw on the other modules that students will take in the foundation year especially maths and physics.

    40 credits
    Foundations of Physics

    PHY009 provides students with the foundations of Physics required to enter the first year of a regular Physics or other scientific degree course, or an engineering course where detailed knowledge of Physics is needed.

    Understanding will be developed in 3 lectures per week over a full academic year. Problem solving and example classes are integrated into lectures. The following topics will be covered: Dynamics/Mechanics; Electricity and Magnetism; Thermal Physics; Oscillations, Waves, and Optics; Properties of Matter; Atomic and Nuclear Physics.

    As PHY009 teaches no practical Physics, this module is complemented by the 10 credit laboratory module FCE002 for most science foundation year students (except for foundation year students leading to a Mathematics undergraduate programme) or FCE001 for engineering foundation year students.

    The greatest advances in technology have taken place in the last hundred years. In 1897 few would have imagined that the probing of materials at the atomic level would reveal so much. These early discoveries of atomic constituents and their structure would pave the way for semi-conductor electronics, develop key concepts in physical laws, and offer a replacement energy source for fossil fuels in the form of nuclear power. This course summarises key discoveries in early particle physics and combines historical background with the detailed physics understanding needed to fully appreciate the subject.

    These full modules aim to provide a sound foundation in Physics in preparation for Level 1 Physics modules. It introduces (i) Properties of Matter, (ii) Oscillations, waves & optics and (iii) Atomic and Nuclear Physics. (i) Properties of Matter discusses structural, mechanical and electrical properties in terms of simple models. (ii) treats vibration and waves introducing the concepts of wavelength, frequency and wave speed. (iii) discusses the physics of the atom, including historical aspects, the electron, the photo-electric effect, Bohr¿s atomic model, nuclear structure and radioactivity.

    30 credits
    Further Foundation Mathematics

    The syllabus for MAS004 covers important material which appears on the A level maths and further mathematics A Level curriculum. The module is for students who are taking MAS003 and need a deeper background in mathematics for their degree course. The module covers advanced principles of algebra, geometry and calculus. Following the introduction of new material, students have the opportunity of extensive problem solving, both in the problem classes with tutors and in their own time.

    10 credits
    Foundation Core and Enhanced Mathematics

    This module builds on the common core curriculum from A level maths (which is a prerequisite). This unit covers enhanced comprehension of topics in pure maths, statistics, probability, and numerical methods. These topics are chosen to further prepare students for their undergraduate studies in the science and engineering faculties.

    40 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.

    Learning and assessment


    You'll learn through a mixture of:

    • lectures
    • tutorials
    • practical activities
    • coursework
    • assignments (including oral, video and poster presentations)
    • online resources.

    We invest to create the right environment for you. That means outstanding facilities, study spaces and support, including 24/7 online access to our online library service.

    Study spaces and computers are available to offer you choice and flexibility for your study. Our five library sites give you access to over 1.3 million books and periodicals. You can access your library account and our rich digital collections from anywhere on or off campus. Other library services include study skills training to improve your grades, and tailored advice from experts in your subject.

    Learning support facilities and library opening hours

    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. The proportions for each will vary depending on the modules you choose.

    Programme specification

    This tells you the aims and learning outcomes of this course and how these will be achieved and assessed.

    Find programme specification for this course

    Entry requirements

    Standard offer

    The A Level entry requirements for this course are:
    BBB; BBC
    BBB (any A Level); BBC, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology

    International Baccalaureate
    32 (any subjects); 31, with Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology at Higher Level 5 or Standard Level 7
    BTEC Extended Diploma
    DDD in Engineering + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
    BTEC Diploma
    DD in Engineering + A at A Level (no STEM at A Level) + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering + B in an A Level science subject (Physics, Chemistry, or Biology) + GCSE Maths grade 7/A; DD in Engineering + C in A Level Maths + GCSE Science grade 6/B
    T Level
    Distinction in either the Maintenance, Installation & Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing or Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing & Control T Level, including grade B in the core component + GCSE Science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A
    Scottish Highers
    AABBB (any subjects); ABBBB, including Maths and at least one of Physics, Chemistry or Biology
    Welsh Baccalaureate + 2 A Levels
    B + BB (any A Level subjects); B + BC in Maths and either Physics, Chemistry or Biology
    Access to HE Diploma
    Award of Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, with 45 credits at Level 3, including 24 at Distinction (to include 12 Maths units), and 21 at Merit + GCSE Maths grade 7/A
    Other requirements
    • If you are studying both Maths and a science (Physics, Chemistry or Biology) at A Level or equivalent, there are no additional GCSE requirements. If you are studying any other subject combination, we require GCSE science grade 6/B and Maths grade 7/A

    English language requirements

    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

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

    Graduate careers

    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.

    Department of Mechanical Engineering

    1st in the Russell Group for student voice, assessment and feedback, and learning resources

    National Student Survey 2023

    4th in the UK for mechanical engineering

    Guardian University Guide 2024

    5th in the UK for mechanical engineering

    The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

    Mechanical engineering students taking notes

    At Sheffield our students learn by doing – connecting engineering theory to practice. This means our courses will not only challenge and engage you but they’ll also help you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience that employers look for. You'll have the chance to manufacture prototypes of your designs, and you’ll be introduced to business and management within 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 the opportunity to work on real-life projects with our industrial partners – companies like Rolls-Royce, Siemens and Network Rail – giving you experience that will support your employability. And you’ll have an academic personal tutor who will support and guide your progress throughout.

    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 is situated in the Grade II listed Sir Frederick Mappin Building and the 1885 Central Wing. We also have 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.


    The Diamond is home to specialist facilities such as our engineering applications workshop, structures and dynamics laboratory, and thermodynamics and mechanics laboratory. This means you'll directly apply what you’ve learnt in lectures to lab sessions, which will help 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.

    Science and Engineering Foundation Year

    University rankings

      Number one in the Russell Group
    National Student Survey 2024 (based on aggregate responses)

      University of the Year and best for Student Life 
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024

      92 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally excellent
    Research Excellence Framework 2021

      Top 50 in the most international universities rankings
    Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023

      Number one Students' Union in the UK
    Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2024, 2023, 2022, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

      Number one for teaching quality, Students' Union and clubs/societies
    StudentCrowd 2023 University Awards

      A top 20 university targeted by employers
    The Graduate Market in 2023, High Fliers report

    Fees and funding


    Additional costs

    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.

    Examples of what’s included and excluded

    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.

    Additional funding

    We want to recognise the hard work and achievement of our undergraduate students. Our department and faculty scholarships for undergraduates acknowledge and encourage academic excellence.


    University open days

    We host five open days each year, usually in June, July, September, October and November. You can talk to staff and students, tour the campus and see inside the accommodation.

    Open days: book your place

    Subject tasters

    If you’re considering your post-16 options, our interactive subject tasters are for you. There are a wide range of subjects to choose from and you can attend sessions online or on campus.

    Upcoming taster sessions

    Offer holder days

    If you've received an offer to study with us, we'll invite you to one of our offer holder days, which take place between February and April. These open 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

    Our weekly guided tours show you what Sheffield has to offer - both on campus and beyond. You can extend your visit with tours of our city, accommodation or sport facilities.

    Campus tour: book your place

    Apply for this course

    This course is no longer taking applications for 2024-2025 entry. View 2025-2026 entry or find another undergraduate course.

    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.

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

    Our student protection plan

    Terms and Conditions upon Acceptance of an Offer

    2024-2025 Science and Engineering Foundation Year

    This is the most flexible of our MEng degrees. It covers fundamental engineering principles, while giving you the freedom to follow individual interests in your third and fourth years.