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Durham University


H103 General Engineering BEng Undergraduate  2019


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
Contextual Offers You may be eligible for an offer which is one or two grades lower than our standard entry requirements. Find out more.
More information Still have questions?
Department(s) Website

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 on graduation. 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 BEng 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 BEng prepares you for an exciting career in modern engineering, with the flexibility to respond to changing technologies.

Year 1

You will study four modules in engineering, one in mathematics and one optional module. In your engineering modules, 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.

Compulsory modules 

  • Applied Mechanics I
  • Electromagnetism
  • Thermodynamics and 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 taken modules in History or Poetry.

Year 2

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

Compulsory modules 

  • 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 content (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. 

The module lists for each route are given below:

Electronic Engineering Route

Compulsory modules 

  • 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 

  • BEng Engineering Project
  • Materials 3
  • Applied Mechanics 3
  • Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 3
  • Electrical Engineering 3

Civil Engineering Route

Compulsory modules 

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


We review course structures and core content (in light of e.g. external and student feedback) every year, and will publish finalised core requirements for 2019 entry from September 2018.

Placement Year

You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.

Course Detail

To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University 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 you 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 you develop your knowledge and your ability as an independent learner. This is one of the key attributes that the programme develops in its' students (thereby preparing you for work or further study once you have completed the programme). In the first two years, you will typically attend 13 hours a week of lectures and have three hours of practical classes or design activities each week. In the first year there is a one-week full-time PEAC course and in the second year there is a one-week full-time laboratory-based research project. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to undertake your own independent study to prepare for your classes and broaden your subject knowledge.

The balance starts to shift in the third year, as you develop your abilities as an independent learner. In the third year, fewer modules comprise lectures, with an average of six 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 capstone of their undergraduate degree. Under the supervision of a member of academic staff with whom you will have weekly one-to-one supervisory meetings, you will 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, you are encouraged to apply during your 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. You may study in English at some of the partner universities, whereas at others foreign language skills are essential. You 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, you also have access to an academic adviser who will provide you with academic support and guidance. Typically you will meet with your 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 38 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

Full Time Fees

EU Student £9,250.00 per year
Home Student £9,250.00 per year
Island Student £9,250.00 per year
International non-EU Student £24,300.00 per year

The tuition fees shown for home and EU students are for one complete academic year of full time study and are set according to the academic year of entry. Fees for subsequent years of your course may rise in line with an inflationary uplift as determined by the government.

The tuition fees shown for overseas students are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

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. We believe this overarching understanding of engineering and how engineers work together, not only provides wider knowledge but also equips graduates to be leaders in their fields.

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.

Work Experience

We have a close working relationship with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre (CEEC) and 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

On average there are 10 companies per year that visit for individual presentations, plus the Careers Service provide advisory talks to penultimate year students and mock interviews.

Our students also benefit from an active Industrial Partnership Committee which currently has representation from approximately 20 local and national and international companies, with the Committee forming 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

We offer 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
  • 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.

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:

Discover Durham 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


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 you can study at an overseas institution as an additional year between Levels 2 and 3. 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. Their excitement and knowledge are brought into the undergraduate course through design projects, the final-year project and third- and fourth-year modules.


  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2018
  • 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2018.


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.


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