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Automotive Engineering BEng

Subject area: Mechanical Engineering Campus tours: Book your place Apply Full Time via UCAS
Mode of study

3-years full-time; 4-years thick-sandwich


HH30, HHN1 with Placement Year

Start date


Automotive Engineering BEng

Placement Offered This course has a Placement Year option


Apply for a £2,000 Academic Excellence Scholarship award each year for a maximum of three years

About the course

Low carbon vehicle technologies are at the cutting edge of innovation within the automotive industry - one of several exciting areas of study for students of this BEng course.

This programme develops the key technical and managerial skills that graduates need to excel within a fast-moving industry, through a curriculum designed to give a good balance between fundamental mechanical engineering subjects (including maths and engineering science) and the applied engineering disciplines (such as vehicle design and performance).

We have one of the largest and most active engine research groups in the UK and strong links with industry to provide a vibrant, commercially-focused environment for our students' learning.

View the Brunel Engineers graduate showcase video.


The UK automotive industry is historically known for highly innovative engineering, with various technical centres of excellence recently set up by global car manufacturers and suppliers.

The main challenge for these engineering centres is to design, develop and manufacture the next generation of road vehicles capable of providing improved environmental impact whilst maintaining acceptable vehicle performance, reliability and cost.

The overall aim of Brunel's programme is to provide our graduates with excellent understanding of the fundamentals which, coupled with in-depth knowledge of the technical workings of current and future automotive systems, will allow them to become future technical or managerial leaders.


Admissions and Course Enquiries
Web: Admissions Enquiries Information
Tel (before application): +44 (0)1895 266633(College Marketing Office)
Tel (after application): +44 (0)1895 265265 (Admissions Office)
Contact Admissions or Course Enquiries Online

Course Content

Both programmes (BEng and MEng) cover the same topics in Levels 1 and 2, allowing students to transfer between them at the end of Level 2. The courses cover the fundamentals of mechanical engineering and design, providing an excellent grounding in key subjects common throughout the mechanical engineering disciplines.

The first two years/levels also provide exposure to other related engineering subjects, such as electrical and electronic engineering, and commercially important topics, such as management and related law.

Levels 2 to 4 progressively introduce a greater degree of specialisation. Strong emphasis is placed upon achieving a good balance between practical and theoretical engineering skills, making best use of the excellent facilities available.

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Fundamentals of Solid Body Mechanics
  • Fundamentals of Thermofluids
  • Analytical Methods and Skills
  • Engineering Materials, Manufacturing and Electrical Machines
  • Introduction to Engineering Design
  • Automotive Laboratories, technical drawing and workshop experience

Level 2

  • Automotive Vehicle Design and Performance
  • Solid Body Mechanics
  • Thermofluids
  • Computing, Analytical Methods, Control and Instrumentation
  • Professional Engineering Applications and Practice.

Level 3

  • Major Individual Project
  • Automotive Structures, Propulsion and Manufacture
  • FEA, CFD and Design of Engineering Systems
  • Professional Engineering Practice.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • Our Centre for Advanced Powertrain and Fuels (CAPF) is one of the best academic research facilities within the UK for this specialism.
  • Our recent research projects have been in partnership with companies including Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus Cars, SAIC (MG), BP, Shell, Ricardo, MAHLE Powertrain and Delphi.
  • The University was also recently awarded a multi-million pound contract from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to accelerate the introduction of future low carbon and lightweight vehicle technologies specifically in close collaboration with industry.
  • We have 11 test engines housed in two laboratories at CAPF.
  • At the end of Level 2, students registered on the BEng course may switch to the MEng course if they have achieved an average of at least 60% in their Level 2 modules.

Brunel Automotive Lecture Series

Brunel’s Automotive Lecture Series is a special feature of the taught programmes in the areas of automotive and motorsport engineering. The Series consists of talks on technology and careers by industry leaders, alumni and expert technologists appropriate not only for late stage undergraduate and postgraduate students but also for researchers in the these areas. Topics include themes from the broader automotive and motorsport industry and its technologies including advanced powertrains, vehicle testing and advanced components.

For more information and the programme of talks this year please download the program. 

Women in Engineering and Computing Programme

Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.

Facts and Figures

The UK auto industry is resurgent, according to the Chief Executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Paul Everitt: "The UK automotive industry is leading economic recovery with increased manufacturing output, growing export volumes and new jobs being created on the back of major international investment in the sector.

"Our engineering expertise, workforce flexibility and renowned motoring heritage, combined with top level collaboration between industry and government, makes the UK an important location for the global automotive industry."

Teaching and Assessment


Teaching is by a mixture of lectures, laboratories, design studios and one-to-one supervision. There are written examinations in May of each year and some assignments appropriately spread throughout the academic year and designed to aid student learning.

Use of our modern and well equipped laboratories and standard industrial computer software plays a major role in the learning process. The practical aspects of automotive engineering are introduced as early as Level 1 in the form of laboratory experiments on existing vehicle sub-systems, which then lead to more advanced laboratories in Level 2.

Advanced computer software in design, structural analysis, dynamics and mathematics are used from Levels 2 to 4, with our laboratory facilities also made available for experiments undertaken by students individually.

In Level 3 all students undertake a major individual project, often involving experimental work and sometimes with industrial support. This is worth a third of the overall marks for the year.


Brunel has an excellent reputation in the field of mechanical engineering and the automotive subject discipline is one of our most active areas.

Some of our graduates go directly into such sponsored research at Brunel, leading to the award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD), whilst others spend several years in industry first.


If you opt for a sandwich course, you will have the added bonus of putting your academic study into practice and developing ideas about future careers. Some graduates are offered full-time graduate posts at the companies where they carried out their work placements. Students who complete the thick-sandwich course will be awarded their degree ‘with Professional Development’.

Many Brunel graduates are currently working in key technical and managerial positions within the automotive industry. Recent destinations have included Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, McLaren Automotive, Bentley Motors, Ford, Nissan Technical Centre Europe, BMW (Mini), Lotus Cars, SAIC (MG), Changan, Tata Motors, BP, Ricardo, MAHLE Powertrain, Cummins, JCB, Perkins and Delphi.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2017/18 entry

UK/EU students: £9,250 full-time; £1,000 placement year

International students: £17,500 full-time

Additional course related costs

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Entry Criteria 2017/18

  • GCE A-level AAB, including Maths and Physics (General Studies not accepted).
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma D*D*D in Mechanical Engineering with Distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles modules.
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma D*D in Mechanical Engineering, with distinctions in Further Mathematics for Technicians, and Further Mechanical Principles, plus A-Level Maths at grade A.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D, with A-Levels grades AA in Maths and Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 33 points, including 6 in Higher Level Maths and 5 in Higher Level Physics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Engineering course with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher. All Maths and Physics units must be Distinctions at level 3, plus A-level Maths at Grade B. Access students who are not taking A-Level Maths are encouraged to apply for the Foundations of Engineering course.
  • Foundations of Engineering courses For Brunel Foundations of Engineering progression requirements, see the course page.

5 GCSEs to include grade B in Maths, C in English Language and 2 Science subjects.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.