H103 General Engineering BEng Undergraduate 2021
Please note: 2020-21 courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Summaries of course-specific changes resulting from the impact of Covid-19 will be provided to applicants during August 2020.
For the latest information on our plans for teaching in academic year 2020/21 in light of Covid-19, please see www.durham.ac.uk/coronavirus
|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|
|Typical Offers||A Level|
|Please also check Requirements and Admissions.|
|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?|
The BEng Engineering degree is a high-quality three-year degree 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 between the courses up to the end of the second year.
In the first two years, the BEng covers the same broad base of engineering education as the MEng degree. 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.
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 Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software (e.g. SolidWorks), be taught how to implement engineering algorithms into computer code (specifically in C and MATLAB) 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 to solve a specific engineering challenge. Recent examples include miniature hydroelectric generators and chain-climbing robots. On the course, you also attend lectures, problem classes and supervisions with academic staff.
- Solid Mechanics and Structures 1
- Electronic and Electrical Systems 1
- Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 1
- Engineering Practice 1
- 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.
Engineering and mathematics now occupy the full six modules in the timetable.
You will undertake a major design project as part of a small team with guidance from an academic supervisor and an ‘Industrial Tutor’ (an engineer from industry). This lets you put into practice the skills and knowledge that you have developed in your lectures. The end result is a detailed design report and a series of CAD drawings good enough to manufacture a device from.
- Engineering Mathematics 2
- Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 2
- Solid Mechanics and Structures 2
- Electrical Engineering 2
- Electronics 2
- Engineering Design 2.
At this point in the degree you will specialise into one of three streams: Civil, Electrical, Electronic or Mechanical Engineering.
Each of the routes comprises appropriate stream-specific lecture content (four modules) plus an individual technical project (two modules). For your project, which is the highlight of most of our students’ degree, 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. For the Civil stream you will undertake a major design project supervised by practising Civil engineers (plus an academic supervisor), which will allow you to develop new skills and knowledge in various areas, from bridge design to geotechnical structures. Practical skills, in addition to the weekly laboratory sessions, cover topics from land surveying to industrial problem solving with interaction with local industry, depending on the selected stream.
The module lists for each route are given below:
Electrical Engineering Route
- BEng Engineering Project
- Electrical Engineering 3
- Power Semiconductor Devices 3
- Electronics and Communications 3
- Control and Signal Processing 3.
Electronic Engineering Route
- BEng Engineering Project
- Electrical Engineering 3
- Electronics and Communications 3
- Control and Signal Processing 3
- Digital Electronics and Digital Signal Processing 3.
Mechanical Engineering Route
- BEng Engineering Project
- Materials 3
- Solid Mechanics 3
- Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics 3
- Electrical Engineering 3.
Civil Engineering Route
- 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 2021 entry from September 2020.
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.
Placement Year/Year in Industry
Practical engineering experience is invaluable and to recognise this you can choose to take a year-long placement in industry between your second and third year. The Department will assist you in finding placement opportunities through the Industrial Partnership Committee (IPC) which consists of local, national and multi-national companies, including: British Airways, BP, IBM and Caterpillar, amongst many others.
You may be able to take a work placement. Find out more.
Course Learning and Teaching
The course 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 to work through practical examples, based on the knowledge that they have gained through their lectures and through independent study outside the degree'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 degree, as you develop your knowledge and your ability as an independent learner. This is one of the key attributes that the course develops in you (thereby preparing you for work or further study once you have completed the course).
In the first two years, you will typically attend 12 hours a week of lectures (two hours per module) and have three hours of practical classes or design activities each week plus problem classes and small group supervision. In the first year there is a one-week full-time compulsory PEAC course and at the end of the second year there is a two-week full-time practical course. 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 eight hours a week. This emphasis on using the independent study and research skills developed in earlier years is continued through the technical project that you will undertake. 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.
Throughout the course, you also have access to an academic adviser who will provide you with academic support and guidance. You will meet regularly with your academic supervisor throughout your degree and they act as your first point-of-contact for any academic queries. In addition to this, all members of teaching staff have weekly tutorial hours when they are available to meet on a ‘sign-up’ basis. The Department also has an exciting programme of research seminars and talks from industrial companies which undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to attend.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A level offer – A*AA including Mathematics and Physics.
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma – D*DD and Mathematics at grade A at A level (or equivalent) are required.
IB Diploma score – 38 with 666 in higher level subjects, including Mathematics and Physics.
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.
- If you do not satisfy our general entry requirements, the Foundation Programme offers multidisciplinary degrees to prepare you for a range of specified degree courses.
- 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||£27,350.00 per year|
|Home Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|Island Student||£9,250.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£27,350.00 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
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.
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
- 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.
We offer MEng and BEng undergraduate degree courses in Engineering. These engineering degrees are fully accredited by:
- The Institution of Civil Engineers
- The Institution of Structural Engineers
- The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
- The Institute of Highway 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 programmes partially fulfil 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: www.durham.ac.uk/opendays
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 of Engineering
Our modern engineers are capable of solving the problems of the twenty-first century, bridging the traditional engineering disciplines – from offshore wind turbines to mechanical devices manufactured on a microchip.
Our Engineering degrees are accredited by the relevant engineering institutions, for example the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Joint Board of Moderators (including the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, among others) and the Royal Aeronautical Society. You will be taught by expert staff, who are all actively engaged in research at the frontiers of modern engineering analysis, design and practice.
- 5th in The Complete University Guide and the Guardian University Guide 2020.
- 91% of our students are in graduate-level employment within 6 months of graduation, the Guardian University Guide 2020.
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.