Students working on Formula Student race car

Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) / MEng

Influence the future of global industries through engineered products and systems. Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:

H300 (BEng), H304 (MEng)


This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 points (BEng) / 120-128 points (MEng), from 2 or 3 A levels or equivalent, to include a relevant subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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With huge technological advances taking place in areas of transport, energy, healthcare and robotics, studying mechanical engineering can put you in a position to influence the future of global industries.

To meet the challenges of the engineering world, you'll study the design, development, modelling and operation of engineered products and systems. To establish your expertise in engineering, you'll get to specialise in subjects such as sustainable development, computer-aided engineering and computational fluid dynamics.

BEng or MEng?

The 3-year Bachelor's degree (BEng) and 4-year integrated Master's degree (MEng) share many of the same modules in years 1–3.

The MEng allows you to achieve a Master’s level degree with an extra year of undergraduate study, which can further enhance your career prospects. In the final year of your MEng, you'll complete an interdisciplinary project to get practical experience in the field, normally linked to the University's research and commercial activities, and explore complex topics such as energy systems, application of finite elements in solid modelling and structural integrity.

Course highlights

  • Learn about the underlying elements of successful engineering and manufacturing projects, including engineering analysis, optimisation and design
  • Work on a project proposal sponsored by an external company – previous students have worked on a heat loss optimisation with Rolls Royce, fire alarms with Apollo Fire Detectors and wind turbine blade production with Vestas
  • Get the chance to be involved in Formula Student, where you'll design, construct and test a competitive race car with fellow students to be judged and raced at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix
The Institution of Engineering and Technology - Accredited Programme


of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)


overall student satisfaction for our MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering course (NSS, 2022)


This course is awarded the EUR-ACE (European Accredited Engineer) label. It is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The BEng meets in part the academic requirement for registration as Chartered Engineer (CEng) and the MEng meets in full the academic requirement for registration as Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

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BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 112-120 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - BBB-BBC, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 29

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, you may be able to join this course after you successfully complete a foundation year.

MEng Mechanical Engineering Master's degree entry requirements

Typical offers

  • UCAS points - 120-128 points from 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, to include a relevant subject. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • A levels - ABB-BBB, to include a relevant subject.
    Relevant subjects: Further Mathematics; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics.
  • T-levels - Merit
    Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning, T Level in Building Services Engineering, T Level in Engineering and Manufacturing Design and Development, T Level in Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering and Manufacturing, T Level in Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM  
  • International Baccalaureate - 29-30
find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Ideal skills and qualities for this course

As well as meeting the course entry requirements, you need to have an interest in maths, physics, and design. An interest in how things work and how to improve systems and products is also useful.


Female student using CAD equipment

Manufacturing equipment

Use our computer aided design (CAD) and rapid prototyping suite, including various 3D printing systems for the creation of models for aesthetic, ergonomic and functional testing, including the assembly and integration of working prototypes.

Student using wind tunnel

Energy Systems Laboratory

Our energy systems lab includes heat pumps, two wind tunnels, solar thermal collector and several engines, student project test rigs and our Formula Student design and development area.

Female student using microscope

Stress Analysis Laboratory

An area to learn about the mechanical behaviour of materials, including the ability to perform tensile and impact tests, measure hardness and use microscopes.

Students in metrology lab

Metrology Laboratory

Put the science of measurement into practice with manual metrology equipment and a suite of Mitutoyo measuring machines including coordinate measuring machines, a contour and surface roughness measuring machine and 3D laser scanners.

Learn more

A female member of staff adjusting imaging equipment for project

Future Technology Centre

Room to model and build prototypes using additive manufacturing machines, and test them out in our advanced testing and imaging facility. Equipment includes a laser sintering machine, 3D printers, 3D scanning microscopy and a Micro CT scanner.

Learn more

Take a look at our wind tunnel

Wind tunnels can be used to study the aerodynamic design of cars, trains and planes. Dr James Buick shows you how one works.

The area I teach in is thermal fluids, so that's to do with thermodynamics. That's the study of energy and also fluid mechanics, which is the study of flow of air and water and other gases.

I'm going to show you how a wind tunnel works and how we can use it to understand the performance of a wing. 

Things like wind tunnels are used in areas like Formula One. If you are looking at aerodynamic design and making alterations to try and improve the performance of your car, if you were designing a new train or looking at a lorry design, all these things move very fast through the air and they generate a lot of drag. The downside of that, is that it's expensive because you need more fuel to power your vehicle but also nowadays people are very aware of CO2 emissions and the more efficient you can get a system like a train or a lorry, then you reduce the CO2 emissions as well as reducing the cost.

What we've got set up in the wind tunnel at the moment is probably one of the main applications and that's looking at an aerofoil. Now with an aerofoil, you do generate drag, but also very importantly, it generates lift. The lift is generated by the flow over the top of the aerofoil being different to the flow that goes round the bottom. That gives you a difference in pressure and if the aerofoil is working correctly, then you have high pressure in the bottom, which is pushing up and lower pressure at the bottom, which is sucking the the wing up. And that's what keeps the aeroplane in the sky.

What we're able to do with this lab is change the angle of attack to see how the wing operates in different circumstances and we're also able to directly measure the pressure over the top and the bottom surfaces. That allows us to measure the lift but also to see how that changes very quickly as we go through stall point.

Take a tour of our engineering labs

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The reason I chose MEng Mechanical Engineering at Portsmouth was the facilities. I remember being really blown away by all the equipment we have available here.

Adele Gibbs, MEng Mechanical Engineering

Careers and opportunities

This mechanical engineering degree course will give you the skills and experience you need to work in any industry that depends on mechanical systems, from transport and construction to the armed forces and energy. 

And your skills will be in demand when you graduate – all mechanical engineering roles are listed in the UK Government’s 'skills shortage list'. This is backed up by the fact that 90% of our MEng graduates are in work and/or further study 15 months after they graduate, with 80% of those in highly skilled work. 5 years after graduation, students on our mechanical engineering courses are earning an average of £35,000 a year.

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked for national and global companies such as:

  • Babcock International
  • Pall Corporation
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
  • Bosch Thermotechnology
  • Wärtsilä
  • Mercedes-AMG

What jobs can you do with a mechanical engineering degree?

Roles you could go onto include:

  • mechanical engineer 
  • design engineer
  • test engineer
  • project manager
  • energy storage analyst
  • mechanical design engineer

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

University of Portsmouth Mechanical Engineering Graduate

Israk Ali graduated in 2016 with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Portsmouth. He is now a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin. Find out what Izrak’s role entails and how he’s applying the skills he learned during his time at Portsmouth.

My name is Israk Ali.

I am a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin.

The thing that appealed to me most about the University of Portsmouth is going along to the open day, I quite liked a lot of the lab facilities and it seemed like a good balance of practical and theoretical work.

I got on with a few of the lecturers as well and it seemed like a course I'd really enjoy doing over the next few years.

When I joined University of Portsmouth, I also joined the MMA Society and the Islamic Society as well.

Alongside my studies, I tutored GCSE Maths, English and Science.

I thought it was a good way for me to use some of my academic experience and stuff I was learning in university to help children at the same time.

You realise that all the things you are learning has those real world applications.

By using the Careers and Employability Service and doing interview prep and preparing early, I was able to get my job secured at Lockheed Martin so I could do my masters year.

Then as soon as I graduated, I could start working straight away.

I initially started Lockheed Martin as part of a graduate scheme, so that covered two years where I'd rotate between different areas.

I've covered a lot of things like marine engineering, air space, mechanical hands-on work and working on the training facilities.

There was one time when I was out at sea for two weeks and I was able to work on developing a radar system and test that while we were out at sea.

It's really satisfying feeling for me, knowing that I've been able to work on designing a system and then having that actually being used in real life.

It gives me a massive sense of pride just to see what I've been working on all this time and also how other people would be able to use it as well.

The University of Portsmouth has really helped me to realise my potential.

As part of the Lockheed Martin Outreach Scheme, they do a lot of work in the local communities with schools and one of the challenges we had was to work with a school, help them build an electric go kart.

I helped out with that, help them get more into engineering and see what it takes to build a go kart.

I went down to Whale Island at the end of the session and they raced against all the other kids from the other schools and it gave me a big sense of pride actually, to show the kids that they can achieve things like building a go kart.

The thing that drives me most is being able to create and develop things that will progress the field of engineering that has immediate impacts, but also in the future can be further developed and push the realms of what we can actually do and and achieve.

Mechanical engineering student, Holly Esson presents to fellow students in a technology enhanced learning space

Making the most of your time at Portsmouth

From foundation year to Master's graduate, Holly made the most of her studies and student life to get the career in engineering she really wanted.

Placement year opportunities

Taking an optional placement year gives you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation. You could work in a paid role in a professional organisation or set up your own business, giving you the change to grow your professional network and enhance your CV.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.

You could also choose to set up your own business, or take a voluntary placement.

Taking a placement year with Mechanical Engineering

Hear from a current student on a placement year for their Mechanical Engineering degree.

In my placement, I went to Prysmian Cables in Eastleigh.
I was an Assistant Project Engineer working in the high-voltage cable installation design team.
Looking into the phasing of the cables, whether it needs to be concrete or CBS-surround.
If it's in a highway or is in a countryside, so just everything.
The placement office literally do everything, the amount of times I went in with my CV, five different times a week for five different jobs.
It's lovely, they just do everything and anything to help you.
Prysmian were lovely, they really made me feel like a valued member of the team.
I had to work with people that I never met before, different age groups, different diversities, different specialisms.
Going into my third year, we've all had different experiences and we've been able to build on that together, especially with the group coursework, so it's made it a lot easier.
If I hadn't done a placement, I would definitely find the final years of my course a lot harder.
Being able to do essays and my practical skills in CAD, I got to learn stuff that I would never pick up at university.
Following my placement, I definitely say that I'm more employable.
I've done a year working which is not something most students can say.
I would say I'm more confident.
I've managed to get my part-time job, I've got a promotion there and I've definitely got references that I wouldn't have had if I didn't do a placement.

Potential roles

Previous students have been successful in roles such as:

  • mechanical project engineer
  • intern design engineer
  • sustainability engineer
  • mechatronic systems engineer
  • junior aerospace engineer

Potential destinations

They've worked at exciting companies, including:

  • SMR Automotive
  • Baker Hughes
  • BAE Systems
  • NDS Engineering

Discover Uni course data – BEng

Discover Uni course data – MEng


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Model and predict the performance of simple circuits containing active and passive devices, explain the operation of a range of active devices and analyse simple R, C and L combinations in alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) circuits
  • Explain basic electromagnetic phenomena qualitatively, perform calculations on linear circuits and explain the operation of and perform simple calculations on electrical machines
  • Explain the operation of basic logic elements

You’ll explore all important graphic communication starting with hand drawings to British standards, continuing with 2D computer aided design.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Communicate technical information via manual and computer aided techniques with sketches, detail and assembly drawings
  • Use design tools to produce a conceptual mode

You’ll examine the classification, evaluation, analysis, and selection of different materials and their fabrication techniques in the context of mechanical and manufacturing engineering.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of theories and underlying principles involved in engineering materials
  • Compare and contrast the properties, performances and limitations of different types of engineering materials
  • Select the most appropriate materials for engineering applications
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wide range of conventional and advanced manufacturing techniques
  • Describe different manufacturing techniques, their capabilities and limitations
  • Describe how properties of engineering materials are influenced by manufacturing techniques and use

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Formulate the governing equations for simple solid mechanics, statics and dynamics problems and utilise these introductory concepts
  • Apply the principles of solid mechanics, statics and dynamics developed in the unit to practical applications

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and analyse a range of fundamental concepts in the field of fluid mechanics and thermodynamics
  • Perform calculations to analyse simple physical systems using these concepts
  • Apply this knowledge to various engineering scenarios and problems
  • Apply these concepts to practical applications

You'll focus on basic functions, polynomial equations, trigonometric equations, vector and matrices, differential and integral calculus, and differential and partial differential equations

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of basic functions, polynomial equations, trigonometric equations, vector and matrices, differential and integral calculus, differential and partially differential equations
  • Demonstrate organisational and time-management skills
  • Apply routine mathematical methods
  • Critically analyse and solve mathematical problems applicable to engineering

Core modules

You’ll learn how to use the computer as an aid to engineering activities and advance your capabilities and economics of manufacture and how it relates to product design. You’ll also learn about product modelling and apply manufacturing simulation techniques in the production of a product.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Produce solid models of engineering components
  • Evaluate design proposals using structural finite element analysis to optimise solutions
  • Demonstrate the use of a computer aided engineering package for manufacturing systems
  • Generate appropriate data for computer numerically controlled machine tools, assembly robots and flexible manufacturing cells
  • Appraise machining constraints and economics in the development of components

You’ll examine the conceptual design phase including analysis of needs, development of product design specification, exploration of alternative concepts and the selection of a concept that best meets goals of performance, time-scale, and feasibility. You’ll also look at detail design, the use of standard parts and standardisation for effective design.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and define a problem, through a specification, and demonstrate familiarity with sources of design information
  • Apply problem solving techniques to an open ended design problem
  • Make effective use of standard components in an engineering design
  • Demonstrate ability to utilise engineering design calculations to size features and components
  • Demonstrate ability to present design solutions to an audience

You’ll develop your ability to write MATLAB programmes and explore broader programming techniques needed to solve engineering problems.


When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate competence in recognising, defining and using the functions and techniques introduced in this module
  • Show ability to develop and assess mathematical models of physical processes
  • Demonstrate capability to select and apply appropriate techniques to obtain a robust solution of engineering problems
  • Demonstrate confident use of built-in MATLAB tools
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of algorithms and ability to formulate and implement step-by-step solution of a specific engineering problem based on its mathematical model

You’ll develop your knowledge and expertise in solid mechanics and dynamics which is of vital importance in mechanical engineering. This module will further your problem solving, numeracy, analytical, technical and written communications skills.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and evaluate the principles within solid mechanics of multi-dimensional stress state, elastic limitation and instability
  • Apply the principles kinematic and kinetics to more complex mechanisms and evaluate the principles of epicyclic gear trains
  • Interpret how damping and force modelling can be applied to problems involving a single degree of freedom vibration and evaluate the vibration theory for more complex systems
  • Interpret the concept of strain energy method for solving static and dynamic problems
  • Apply the principles of elasticity to solve practical solid mechanics problems on components

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Use key principles flowing from the Second Law of Thermodynamics
  • Apply analytical and semi-empirical methods to combustion, fluid flow, heat transfer and energy conversion systems
  • Analyse the performance of thermofluid processes and cycles and identify core system variables
  • Apply the principles and concepts developed in the module by means of problem solving
  • Apply thermofluid concepts to practical applications

Optional modules

No previous knowledge of programming is assumed. You'll learn techniques of program design alongside the Visual Basic (VB) and embedded systems programming languages.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design algorithms to solve problems
  • Apply the principles of writing program code using appropriate data types and control structures
  • Use appropriate programming techniques to build GUI interfaces to applications
  • Apply simulation for the programming of embedded systems
  • Apply the principles and concepts developed in the unit by means of problem solving

You’ll examine how to identify and evaluate the capabilities and limitations of different materials and manufacturing techniques, and select them in the context of product design and innovation.

You’ll develop an understanding of the function, value and appearance of products for the mutual benefit of both user and manufacturer.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate performances and attributes of different materials
  • Outline the relationships of materials compositions, structure, manufacturing and properties
  • Compare and contrast different manufacturing techniques for metals and polymers (shaping, joining and surface treatment processes)
  • Identify and select the materials and manufacturing process in the context of product design and innovation


The learning objectives of this module are to be confirmed.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Understand and demonstrate the application of the fundamentals of robot building theory
  • Understand and demonstrate the application of the fundamentals and higher level concepts of automated systems
  • Demonstrate the ability to bring together different relevant technologies to practical projects
  • Evaluate developed robotic and automated solutions from a number of viewpoints (functionality, societal and environmental impacts, sustainability, legislation and ethics)

Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate, justify and apply engineering design approaches proven in industry to create good quality products
  • Appraise the influences of engineering design on manufacturability and quality of a product
  • Appraise the constraints on the designer, engineering standards, codes of good engineering design practice and achieving the quality
  • Identify, justify and apply methods for testing and improving the quality of a product to be manufactured in different production volumes
  • Demonstrate understanding and manage a variety of tools for quality control of an engineering product

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the theoretical bases of the Finite Element Formulation and apply the Finite Element formulation to relevant reference problems in solid mechanics
  • Classify and identify all the relevant parameters influencing the accuracy and the reliability of the numerical solution based on finite element analysis
  • Generate and compute a finite element analysis for a complex 3D problem on solid mechanics
  • Interpret and discuss the results of a finite element analysis for a complex 3D problem involving solid mechanics
  • Assess and characterize the reliability of the outcomes obtained from a finite element analysis
  • Produce a comprehensive report and prepare a rigorous discussion for a finite Element Analysis of an engineering problem focused on solid mechanics

Your project will come from an extensive list provided by academic staff, or suggested by yourself.

You'll develop planning and self-management techniques, as well as the skills for activities that require a solution, investigation or analysis.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Organise, plan and schedule a comprehensive task demonstrating competency in conducting research, design and/or development elucidating project management skills including time and resource constraints, as well as ability to work with technical uncertainty
  • Conduct a substantial problem-solving activity requiring measures of analysis, synthesis, creativity and decision-making reflecting technical skills gained through the chosen programme award
  • Reflect on the commercial, economic and social context of the project, including ethics in engineering, health and safety, environmental and commercial risk, sustainability and innovation, risk assessment and management.
  • Confidently present and communicate information by written report, visual display and orally illustrating competence in critical evaluation and thinking

You'll also learn about the technologies and innovations that might lead to improvements in industry.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify, calculate and analyse the environmental improvement and economic benefits coming from the application of environmental management tools and methodologies
  • Critically analyse global environmental issues, as well as national and international responses
  • Apply sustainable development principles to the practice of engineering, the improvement of efficiency, and the development and implementation of innovations, to reduce the environmental impact of industrial production and processes
  • Review major environmental consequences arising from human activity, and discuss the responsibilities of technologists with regard to sustainable development and business processes such as competition and the need for leadership, ethics, quality and performance improvement
  • Critically evaluate materials (their selection, use and substitutes) and manufacturing processes for engineering materials, using life cycle analysis
  • Critically analyse, formulate and manage constraints in manufacturing operations due to legislation, hazard and risk

Optional modules

You'll focus your study on power plants, CHP systems, fluid flow and turbulence. To take his module, you need to take the Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics module in Year 2.


When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply the principles of conservation to describe the motion of a fluid
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of turbulent flows
  • Apply thermodynamic principles and critically analyse the performance of a thermal plant
  • Critically evaluate system design in relation to the development of thermal plant
  • Apply the principles and concepts developed in the unit by means of problem solving

You'll develop the ability to pick appropriate software tools, and relevant mathematical and statistical knowledge, as you explore areas such as biological and medical, manufacturing, internet-of-things, social networking, finance and marketing.

When you successfully complete this module, you'll be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the performance of different types of data analysis techniques appropriate for application to big data
  • Develop transferable data processing skills applicable to a wide variety of data processing environments and problems
  • Implement and evaluate the performance of data science analysis techniques
  • Analyse the algorithmic performance and storage requirements of common machine learning and pattern recognition techniques

Core modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate and analyse relationships between the characteristics of common gaseous and liquid fuels, the operation of a combustion chamber, and the generation (and reduction) of undesirable exhaust emissions
  • Comprehensively analyse and mathematically model various heat transfer modes
  • Evaluate the effect of operational and design variables on the performance of heat exchanging elements
  • Employ LMTD and NTU methods for heat exchanger sizing
  • Apply taught concepts in practical applications

You'll hone skills you'll need in your career, such as teamwork, critical thinking, progress reporting, communication skills, meeting times, division of responsibility, presentation and risk management.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work effectively as an individual within a project team
  • Demonstrate team working and communication skills through group work
  • Use appropriate technology to design and implement a system that meets technical and business objectives
  • Assess knowledge from a range of sources and apply it effectively to a problem
  • Apply management techniques to achieve project objectives
  • Present project results

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand and use relevant theories and their practical implications in finite element analyses
  • Summarise, present and justify the design of a mechanical component, using a numerical analysis based on finite element analysis
  • Assess the viability of finite element models for the analysis of engineering components, via static, modal and eigen buckling analyses
  • Structure a robust and accurate finite element analysis to model engineering components, and to appraise and improve models
  • Evaluate a finite element analysis, by assessing the reliability of its results, its modelling assumptions, and its use of possible modelling simplifications based on engineering understanding

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate cyclic plasticity theories and contemporary models for cyclic plasticity analysis
  • Evaluate safe-life and damage tolerance prediction methods, apply them to creep and fatigue failure cases, and to predict component service lives
  • Appreciate contemporary fracture mechanics approaches for damage tolerance design and assessment, and apply them to failure analysis and life prediction for engineering components and structures

Optional modules

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create and validate new thermofluid dynamic models, and apply them to complex fluid flow situation
  • Analyse and evaluate fluid flows using the predictive capabilities of complex fluid dynamics software
  • Identify and evaluate the limitation of complex fluid dynamics, and apply tools such as grid convergence, y++ values and different turbulence models to evaluate the accuracy of simulations
  • Assess and validate complex fluid dynamics results by applying the principles and knowledge of fluid mechanics and heat transfer
  • Present results of a complex fluid dynamics study, justifying the methods used and discussing the results

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify systems and estimate parameters, deriving transfer functions from practical input-output data
  • Determine appropriate system design requirements to meet complex design specifications
  • Propose and assess appropriate control structures to meet complex design specifications
  • Use a CAE package to simulate the behaviour of dynamic systems and assess system performance in time and frequency domains
  • Design and implement controllers, including PID controllers, using the CAE package MATLAB/Simulink and associated toolboxes

You'll consider the energy potential of wind, solar, tidal, wave, hydro and geothermal energy solutions, and their limitations. You'll also look at energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental and economic aspects.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate your deep understanding of the advantages and limitations of renewable and non-renewable energy sources with regard to sustainability
  • Evaluate the potential of renewable and alternative energy sources in different scenarios
  • Research alternative approaches to solve complex problems
  • Explain benefits and restrictions of renewable energy sources, and technologies for harvesting renewable and alternative energy
  • Comprehensively analyse the operation of a solar energy installation by applying the principles explored in the module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Student driving a single-seater racing car

Design and build a single-seater racing car to be judged and raced at Silverstone

If you're keen to put your studies into practice, you can apply to be involved in the international Formula Student competition. You'll compete with over 100 teams worldwide to design, build and race a single seater race car and be judged by leading industry experts from motorsports.

Formula Student has given me the confidence in my ability as an engineer, as components that I have designed were built and proven to withstand their environment.

Simon Hotchkiss, Mechanical Engineering Student


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials (personal and academic)
  • Laboratory and project work
  • Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) system activity
  • Open access study

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework
  • Practical tests
  • Project work
  • Presentations

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

All our labs and practical spaces are staffed by qualified laboratory support staff. They’ll support you in scheduled lab sessions and can give you one-to-one help when you do practical research projects.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Cafe offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your mathematics skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship)
  • International (non-EU) students – £19,200 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying and memory sticks.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

There may be occasional trips for which you will be asked to contribute £25 a trip.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – H300 (BEng) or H304 (MEng)
  • our institution code – P80

Apply now through UCAS (BEng)

Apply now through UCAS (MEng)


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form:

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in our international students section

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common mechanical engineering questions

Mechanical engineering involves the design, manufacture and maintenance of mechanical systems – from individual parts and small devices such as microscale sensors and inkjet printer nozzles to large systems such as spacecraft and machine tools.

Mechanical engineers take products from ideas to the marketplace using disciplines such as engineering, engineering mathematics and science.

Mechanical engineering is one of the world's most in demand engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers can work in many industries and on many types of projects.

The number of jobs in mechanical engineering is expected to grow 3.8% from 2019 to 2023 according to Labour Marketing Information (LMI).

The world relies on mechanical engineering solutions, so you'll positively contribute to society when you graduate.

You'll also develop a versatile skillset including analytical, critical thinking and design skills, which makes you highly sought after and employable.

Both. You'll learn theoretical aspects and then apply what you've learnt in laboratory practicals.