student inspecting an engine


Automotive Engineering

Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2017

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Engineering Design and Mathematics
Three years full-time; four years sandwich
Programme leader:
Dr Jason Matthews
Key fact:
Learn about industry through factory visits and professional briefings, and test your designs, using our state-of-the-art automotive simulator.

Page last updated 17 August 2017


Why BEng(Hons) Automotive Engineering?

The automotive industry is set for global growth over the next decade. Environmental challenges mean new vehicles must be cleaner and more efficient, while urbanisation is driving a need for better transport solutions. This will lead to increasing demand for professionals with the right knowledge and skills in automotive design and manufacture.

Why study our course?

Studying Automotive Engineering at UWE Bristol will help you develop a strong grounding in mathematics, design, manufacturing and mechanical engineering. As you progress, you will study automotive manufacturing, engine systems, vehicle dynamics, materials, structures and safety. Throughout the course, you will gain hands-on experience, testing designs for automotive projects using our facilities.

Real world experience

To give you the inside track on the industry, our teaching is informed by industry experts and we arrange factory visits and professional briefings from leading automotive organisations. With work placements ranging from product development, vehicle dynamics and design to manufacturing, you will gain experience to help you decide where to specialise on graduation. You will also be enabled to compete with UWE Formula Student, our multi-disciplinary student team, which achieves regular success at the annual Formula Student competition.

Where it can take you

On graduation, careers range from automotive design to manufacture and maintenance. There are opportunities to go into pioneering research on the next wave of green and sustainable transport technologies.

Depending on your second year results, you may have the opportunity to transfer to the four-year MEng Automotive Engineering course, which fully meets the academic requirements to become a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



The first year of the course is the same as BEng(Hons) Mechanical Engineering. You will be provided with a grounding in mathematics, design, manufacturing and mechanical engineering. There will also be specialist automotive projects and workshops. In the remaining years, you will still find some commonality between the courses, but with added specialist material on topics such as materials and structures, automotive manufacturing, engine systems, vehicle dynamics and safety. There is a significant management element in both Year two and Year three.

The final year project will allow you to investigate an engineering problem that is of particular interest to you, while developing engineering, project management and report writing skills. The project will form a quarter of your final year of study and may relate to any part of the course syllabus, although it is expected to involve an automotive application.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Stress and Dynamics
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Design, Materials and Manufacturing
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Energy and Thermodynamics.

Year two

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Design and Electromechanical Systems
  • Engineering Mathematics 2
  • Stress Analysis
  • Dynamics
  • Project Management.

Placement year

We recommend you take the opportunity to complete a year-long placement in industry or research. However, this is not necessary and you will be able to enter the third year immediately after Year two.

Year three

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Vibrational Dynamics
  • Computational Methods
  • Individual Project BEng.

You will also study one of the following optional modules:

  • Business Environment
  • Industrial Placement
  • Engineering and Society.

In addition, you will choose one optional module from the following list:

  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Motorsport Performance.

In addition, you will choose one optional module from the following list:

  • Control Engineering
  • Materials and Structures for Special Applications
  • Composite Engineering.

You can exit after Year three with BEng or complete Year four and gain an MEng Automotive Engineering.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

As well as a connected programme of lectures and tutorials, you will undertake experimental laboratory work, engineering fabrication, drawing and design, computing and application-based mini-projects.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


You will be assessed through a combination of examinations and assignments. For some modules, formal presentations will form part of the assessment.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has awarded accreditation to this course. If you complete an IMechE accredited degree you will be deemed to have met part or all of the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered or Incorporated Engineer, putting you in a strong position to move on to achieve professional engineering status after a period of initial professional development in industry. This accreditation underlines the strong emphasis that UWE Bristol places on employability.


Students who complete a work placement are more likely to graduate with a better degree and obtain higher quality work on graduation. So, as well as helping hone your professional skills, industry knowledge and network, a placement will make you highly employable on graduation.

On a work placement, you will be able to apply your engineering knowledge at a choice of stages in the automotive industry. Past students have completed placements with JCB, Prodrive, Nissan and Vauxhall as well as smaller dynamic companies in and around the region. Work with these can range from product development, vehicle dynamics and design, to manufacturing.

Study facilities

You will apply what you've learnt and develop vital professional skills, using the latest simulation equipment. As well as helping you develop the practical simulator skills demanded by employers, this equipment will enable you to assess performance before concepts are built. Here, you will test:

  • designs on our state-of-the-art driving simulator that utilises a Formula One monocoque and a wrap-around screen and can be programmed to test concepts on any car type and test-drive these on a range of terrains
  • fuelling and ignition systems on our dedicated motorcycle rolling road.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE Bristol has to offer.

Learn from industry

We have strong relationships with IMechE and the motorsports industry and arrange regular talks with professionals from organisations such as McLaren, Triumph and Jaguar Land Rover.

You will see automotive engineering in action at a range of facilities. Past trips have included destinations such as Castle Combe, Jaguar Land Rover's manufacturing facility and Nissan's technical R&D centre. We also organise an annual student trip to the Autosport International show.

Compete and learn

We encourage students to get involved in national competitions and initiatives to boost their skills and experience. Our UWE Formula Student team represents disciplines across UWE Bristol. Reflecting the real world, the team work not only on the design and engineering, but also the business, marketing and costing of their race car. This has led them to achieve considerable success in IMechE's annual Formula Student competition.

Showcase your work

Many of our final year students exhibit their work to employers and public at our annual Environment and Technology degree show.


Careers / Further study

On graduation, you will be able to access a wide range of careers for engineers with strong analytical and problem solving skills. Areas include automotive research and development, design and manufacture. With green transport technologies being a focus of future transport developments, opportunities for eco-minded automotive engineers are predicted to increase.

At UWE Bristol, there are opportunities to become a graduate tutor. You will also have the opportunity to get involved in world-leading research in our Centre for Transport and Society and Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments.

Award-winning Careers Service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Useful links


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year150

Full time course with placement year

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Home/EU-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Home/EU-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094
International-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee12250
International-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year12250
International-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1531
International-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1531
International-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year10719
Offshore-Sandwich-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Full Annual Fee Following Placement Year9250
Offshore-Sandwich-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Placement Year Fee1156
Offshore-Sandwich-Reduced Annual Fee Following Placement Year8094

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Students starting this course in September 2017 should follow this link to view their joining instructions.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your joining instructions are available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages about your Registration and Enrolment. If you have not received the email please contact our Applicant Experience Team by email at so we may check that we have the correct address.

For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 120
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Grade C or above in Mathematics plus a pass in one of the following subjects: Biology; Chemistry; Computing/Computer Science; Design and Technology; Electronics; Engineering; ICT; Further Maths; Music Technology; Physics; Statistics. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Specific subjects: Maths requirement can also be met by the Cambridge Pre-U Mathematics at Merit 3
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: GCSE Maths Grade B or above, or Grade 5 under newly reformed GCSE grading. One of the following BTEC Diplomas: Aeronautical Engineering; Applied Science; Construction and the Built Environment; Electrical / Electronic Engineering; Engineering; Land-based Technology; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; or Operations and Maintenance Engineering. Must include Merit in one of the following units: Further Maths for Technicians; Further Maths for Construction and the Built Environment. Please list the units that you are taking in your application.
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 Level 3 credits at Merit in Mathematics (before you apply, ask us which Maths units you need to do) and 15 Level 3 credits at Merit in another science or technology subject. Please list the units that you are taking in your application.
  • Baccalaureate IB: To include a minimum grade of 5 in higher level Mathematics and a pass at higher level in one of the following subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design Technology, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies

Entry requirements

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation year entry into this or other related degree courses.

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

UWE Bristol's International College

If you are an international student and do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course, you can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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