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H103 General Engineering BEng Undergraduate  2018


UCAS code H103
Degree BEng
Professional accreditation This programme is accredited on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer, depending on the route chosen in Level 3.
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 3 years
Location Durham City
Typical Offers A-Level
International Baccalaureate
Please also check Requirements and Admissions.
Alternative qualifications

Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 2468

Course Summary


The Bachelor of Engineering degree in Durham is a high-quality three-year degree course designed to offer you the knowledge and skills necessary to join engineering teams. It is complementary to the four-year Durham MEng, and transfer is possible after the first or second year. In the first two years the course covers a broad base of engineering education, together with a range of practical and project work. In the third year you choose to specialise in civil, electronic or mechanical engineering. The three-year course prepares you for an exciting career in modern engineering, with the flexibility to respond to changing technologies.

Year 1

You study four modules of engineering, one of mathematics and one optional module. In your engineering courses you will receive instruction in the use of 3D CAD software (e.g. SolidWorks) using our computer lab, be taught how to program a computer and take part in a number of practical labs. You will also take part in a group design activity where you have to design, build and test a device. Recent examples include a spring powered dragster and a miniature hydro-electric plant. On the course you also attend lectures, problem classes and supervisions with academic staff.

The compulsory modules consist of:

  • Applied Mechanics I
  • Electromagnetism
  • Thermodynamics & Fluid Mechanics I
  • Electronic Measurement
  • Mathematics for Engineers and Scientists

And one free elective.

The optional (free elective) module may be selected from anything that will fit the timetable and for which you meet the necessary prerequisites. Popular choices have previously included ‘Introduction to Programming’, ‘Computational Thinking’ and a range of different language modules but some students have done courses in History or Poetry.

Year 2

You continue with a broad range of engineering courses (with some selection) and mathematics, and you build on your design skills and experience through a major design activity.

Compulsory modules for the BEng are:

  • Engineering Mathematics 2
  • Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 2
  • Mechanics 2
  • Electrical Engineering 2
  • Electronics 2
  • Engineering Design 2.

Year 3

You now specialise in Civil, Electronic or Mechanical Engineering routes, with appropriate technical lecture courses (four modules) plus an individual technical project (two modules). For your project you will work closely with a project supervisor and will be responsible for planning, design and manufacture of equipment, experimentation, analysis and reporting of your results. Civil students work on identical design exercises to students on the MEng.

The module lists for each route are given below:

Electronic Engineering Route

Compulsory modules of:

  • BEng Engineering Project
  • Electrical Engineering 3
  • Electronics and Communications 3
  • Control and Signal Processing 3
  • Advanced Computer Systems and Digital Electronics 3.

Mechanical Engineering Route

Compulsory modules of:

  • BEng Engineering Project
  • Materials 3
  • Applied Mechanics 3
  • Thermofluids and Fluid Mechanics 3
  • Electrical Engineering 3.

Civil Engineering Route

Compulsory modules of:

  • BEng Engineering Project
  • Geotechnics 3
  • Structures and Geomatics 3
  • Environmental Engineering 3
  • Civil Design 3.


Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University in 2016 please click here.

Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, problem classes, practical and design activities. Typically lectures provide key information on a particular field of study, and identify the main underpinning engineering concepts in that area. Problem classes then provide opportunities for smaller groups of students to work through practical examples, based on the knowledge that they have gained through their lectures and through independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Finally, practical classes allow students to gain direct experience of practical and interpretative skills through laboratory classes, design activities and a Professional Engineering Applications Course (PEAC).

The balance of these types of activities changes over the course of the programme, as students develop their knowledge and the ability as independent learners that is one of the key attributes that the programme develops in its students (thereby preparing them for work or further study once they have completed the programme). In the first two years students typically attend 13 hours a week of lectures and have 3 hours of practical classes or design activities each week. In the first year there is a 1-week full-time PEAC course and in second year there is an extended laboratory project. Outside timetabled contact hours, students are also expected to undertake their own independent study to prepare for their classes and broaden their subject knowledge.

The balance starts to shift in the third year, as students develop their abilities as independent learners. In the third year fewer modules comprise lectures, with an average of 6 hours a week. This emphasis on using the independent study and research skills developed in earlier years is continued through the technical project that all final year students undertake and which is the cap stone of their undergraduate degree. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom they will have weekly one-to-one supervisory meetings, students undertake a detailed study of a particular area resulting in a significant piece of independent research.

Engineering is an increasingly international discipline and living and working in another country is a valuable addition to your CV. For this reason, students are encouraged to apply during their degree for a year-long placement with one of the Engineering Department's or the University's international partners, as an additional year of study. Students may study in English at some of the partner universities, whereas at others foreign language skills are essential. Students are fully supported by the Department both during the application process and during the year abroad. Language tuition is available in the first year in a range of languages as free elective modules and in other years through the University’s Languages For All scheme.

Throughout the programme, all students also have access to an academic adviser who will provide them with academic support and guidance. Typically a student will meet with their adviser seven times a year in the first year and three times in the second year. In addition to this all members of teaching staff have weekly tutorial hours when they are available to meet with students on a ‘sign-up’ basis. The department also has an exciting programme of research seminars which undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

In addition to satisfying the University’s general entry requirements, please note:

  • We welcome applications from those with other qualifications equivalent to our standard entry requirements and from mature students with non-standard qualifications or who may have had a break in their study.
  • Mathematics and Physics at A-level or the equivalent are required for all courses
  • We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking as part of our offer.
  • We do not accept two AS-levels in place of one A-level.
  • Typical IB score 37 to include 666 in higher level subjects. Higher level grade 6 in Mathematics and Physics is required
  • If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Centre offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
  • Please consult the University website for required evidence of English language proficiency
  • If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take an International Foundation Year pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre
  • We are pleased to consider applications for deferred entry.

Science A-levels

Applicants taking Science A-levels that include a practical component will be required to take and pass this as a condition of entry. This applies only to applicants sitting A-levels with an English examination board.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Information relevant to your country

Fees and Funding

The tuition fees for 2018/19 academic year have not yet been finalised, they will be displayed here once approved.

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding 

Career Opportunities

Department of Engineering

The Department of Engineering runs degree programmes that produce talented graduates with strong academic and scientific competences, aligned to the needs of industry on a local, national and global level. The Department is amongst a small number of general engineering departments in the UK. Engineering is viewed as an integrated subject and students are given opportunities to develop a diverse technical grounding during their degree courses. The Department is closely linked to many industrial partners for both teaching and research purposes, which ensures that graduates are best placed to apply their learning on entry to the working environment.

Of thse students who graduated in 2015:

  • 92% are in paid employment or further study 6 months after graduation

Of those in employment:

  • 96% are in graduate level employment
  • Median salary £28,000

(Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey of 2014/15 graduates. The DLHE survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. Full definitions for the DLHE Record can be found here:

Siemens puts great value on engagement with partner universities such as Durham University's Department of Engineering: by collaborating with the relevant faculties and university student societies, graduates receive a much more realistic view of what careers they could embark upon. Visits to Siemens, for example, show graduates how they will be able to apply their academic education in the workplace. Siemens is a proud partner of the university's employer engagement scheme.

Employment development opportunities

First Year Engineering Students:

  • Engineering Day: A one day event (normal timetable suspended) held during the early weeks of first term. Students work in teams on a design build & test type engineering project. This is the first course element that exposes students to design project management, team-working, delivering to deadlines and making verbal presentations.
  • First Year Design course: This is conducted during first five weeks of the second term and builds on skills developed during Engineering Day. Students work in Groups (typically six people) on a substantial design, build and test project. Design work is completed during timetabled 1 hour/week classes during first four weeks, plus additional non-timetabled team meetings organised by the student project teams. Supporting 1 hour lectures on the Engineering Design Process are held during first 4 weeks. The L1 lecture timetable is suspended for the fifth week of the second term. This entire week is given over to manufacture, build, commissioning and testing of designs. The students are also required to give group presentations on their designs and to produce an individual poster, as part of the course.
  • PEAC (Professional Engineering Application Course). This occurs during the final week of the third term of the first year. This course is held off-site at South West Durham Training Association. Students are given hands-on experience of basic workshop tools and machines. The aim is to allow students to start to develop design for manufacture skills by providing them with first-hand knowledge of the capability and limits of standard workshop machines (e.g. lathes, milling machines etc). The course includes visits to manufacturing companies during the week. This course is mandatory for accreditation of our Engineering Degree programmes by the Engineering Institutions.
  • Laboratory Classes: Engineering laboratory classes are held each week over the course of the first year. During these sessions students gain skills in conducting experimental investigations to a given specification, measuring and recording data, data reduction and analysis, physical interpretation of experimental results and technical report writing to deadlines.

Second Year Engineering Students:

  • Second Year Design Course: Students work on group design projects. Outputs are an industry style design report and a group presentation. Each group has two tutors. One is a member of teaching staff and the other is an external industrial tutor.
  • Project week: Students work in teams of 2 or 3 on an extended laboratory experiment during the final teaching week of first term. Experiments are carried out either within the Department or in association with a local company. The exercises are more open ended research style experiments, allowing students to start to develop skills that are appropriate to development type projects.
  • Laboratory Classes: These are held weekly and are more technically challenging activities than those carried out during the first year.

Third Year Engineering Students:

  • Industrial Problem Solving Practicals: Approximately half of the L3 students participate in this activity, which occurs during the first two weeks of the final term. The first week consists of classroom based case studies and presentation skills teaching. Students then sign-up in pairs for an industrial based project and spend four days during the second week working off-site within their chosen company in a consultancy type role. Projects are mainly product design or manufacturing process improvement based. The student teams present their findings to senior management of their sponsoring company during the final day of their placement.
  • Third Year Design: this is an extended version of the L2 course. Design teams are set individual projects. Projects are inter-disciplinary across the range of engineering sub-disciplines that are taught within the Department.
  • Surveying: Students registered on the MEng Civil Engineering course are taught surveying during their third year.
  • BEng students carry out a major R&D project during this final year of their degree programme. The individual projects count for one third of the final year mark. The projects allow the students to develop independent working skills during an open ended research led development project. Students report their work in a research paper style document which they defend during a half hour oral examination. They are also required to produce a poster summarising the work. Some projects are sponsored by Industrial Partners.

Fourth Year Engineering Students:

  • Final Year projects: All MEng Engineering students undertake a major final year project during the fourth year of their degree programmes. The project counts for 50% of their final year mark. The projects undertaken are essentially more substantial versions of the same type and style of project carried out by 3rd year BEng students. Students work individually on project topics that are aligned with their engineering degree specialisation. Many projects are linked with external engineering companies and organisations. The learning objectives and transferable employment skills that are developed during the project work, are the same as for the 3rd year BEng Projects. The 4th year of the MEng programme allows these outputs to be taken to a higher level for BEng students.

Engineering - All Years:

  • Durham University Engineering Society (DUES): This is a student run organisation in the Department. The Society organises industrial visits, talks and social events.

Work experience

The Department has a close working relationship with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) and has a dedicated Academic Careers Contact for Engineering. Work experience and placement opportunities are advertised to the students both via the CEEC resources and internally within the Department on our DUO pages. The following activities take place within the Department each year to advertise work placement and graduate recruitment opportunities: multi-employer careers fairs, company graduate/internship/placement recruitment presentations - approximately 10 companies per year make individual presentations, careers advisory talks to penultimate year students and mock interviews.

The Department also benefits from an active Industrial Partnership Committee which currently has representation from approximately 20 local/national and international companies. The Committee forms a direct link between the Department and employers. Its objectives include ensuring that students are given the best possible opportunities in terms of industrial placements and graduate employment.

Professional accrediation

The Department of Engineering offers eight 4-year MEng, plus one 3-year BEng, undergraduate degree courses in Engineering. These engineering degrees are fully accredited by: the Institution of Civil Engineers; the Institution of Structural Engineers; the Institution of Engineering and Technology; and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The MEng programmes satisfy the academic base for a Chartered Engineer under the provisions of UK-SPEC. The BEng programme partially fulfils these requirements.

As the first two years of the Durham Engineering degree are common for all students before going on to specialise in the final years; each student gains a fundamental knowledge across a range of disciplines, making a Durham graduate a well rounded engineer. A comprehensive lecture course in excellent facilities give a strong foundation in theoretical side of the subject. With many lecturers coming from an industrial background, real-world examples help contextualise text-book knowledge. Weekly laboratory sessions boosted my confidence working with practical equipment throughout the first three years of the degree and allowed me to apply the theoretical knowledge I had learnt. All this provided thorough preparation for my final year project, where each student is given 9 months to research a particular area of choice, which was by far the most enjoyable part of my degree.

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Please see the following page for further details and information on how to book a place:

Campus Tours

Discover Durham tours offer a brief introduction to the University. The tour begins at one of our undergraduate colleges, where you will receive an introductory talk from a member of college staff, followed by a tour of the college by current students.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Department Information

Department of Engineering


Engineers are needed now more than ever. At Durham University we produce world class engineers who are continually in high demand. Our modern engineers are capable of solving the problems of the twenty-first century, bridging the traditional engineering disciplines; from fly-by-wire aircraft to mechanical devices manufactured on a microchip.

You will undertake a common first two years, which allow you to make an informed choice of specialism in your final year, while in your third year you can study at an overseas institution. Currently we have links with universities in Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Denmark, Germany and France.

Our Engineering degrees are accredited by the relevant engineering institutions (for example, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and the Institute of Highway Engineers).

You will be taught by expert staff who are all actively engaged in research at the frontiers of modern engineering analysis, design and practice. This excitement and knowledge are brought into the undergraduate course through design projects, the final-year project and third- and fourth-year-modules.

  • 97% of our Engineering students thought that staff are enthusiastic about what they are teaching in the National Student Survey 2016 (sector average 91%).
  • 2nd in The Complete University Guide 2016.
  • 4th in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2016.


For a current list of staff, please see the School's web pages.


Each week in the first to third years you will do a laboratory class which involves three hours with a set experiment where you follow a lab script writing up the results as you go. We have made a conscious effort to use real pumps, electronics, beams, etc as this gives you a much better idea of how well analytic theory does (and does not) work. Lab classes cover everything from breaking reinforced concrete beams, to building electronic circuits, balancing rotating masses, operating a 1.8 litre diesel engine test bed or a supersonic wind tunnel. Students also make use of our extensive research facilities during their final-year projects.