Module code: ENG1091

Module Overview

Engineers need to develop a variety of experimental, transferable and programming skills as part of their education and on-going professional development. This module introduces the concepts of experimental and professional skills and includes:  (i) laboratory skills, (ii) basic data handling skills, (iii) basic programming skills (iv) report writing (v) presentation skills and (vi) an introduction to the expectations and responsibilities of a professional engineer. 

The laboratory part of this module is designed both to support learning in other parts of the curriculum, through practical experiments, and also to further develop generic and transferable skills, including practical laboratory skills, data handling, a basic understanding of experimental uncertainty and scientific writing. Working as part of a group is an integral part of the laboratories. Some digital capabilities are developed throughout this module including some basic data handling and programming skills.

The professional skills part includes preparing a CV and cover letter, and delivering a presentation to a small group of their peers which considers basic aspects of the economic, legal, social, ethical, security and environmental contexts in which professional engineers operate.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

KEDDIE Joseph (Maths & Phys)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 80

Lecture Hours: 3

Seminar Hours: 6

Tutorial Hours: 6

Laboratory Hours: 12

Guided Learning: 31

Captured Content: 12

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Laboratory Experiments - laboratory experiments will be conducted in small groups.

Skills Tutorials - data handling and basic programming skills are developed through formative exercises. Excel exercises are completed to reinforce data handling and presentation. Matlab skills are taught to explore basic programming skills, data handling and manipulation and data presentation.

Professional Skills seminars. The expectations of a professional engineer will be introduced. These will introduce basic aspects of the economic, legal, social, ethical, security and environmental contexts in which professional engineers operate. The seminars will also consider the skills employers seek and include preparation of a CV and cover -letter for an engineering career. Students will develop their presentation skills on a subject linked to the role of a professional engineer.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test Matlab Test - 40 minutes 20
Coursework Laboratory report 1 15
Practical based assessment Professional skills portfolio 30
Practical based assessment Laboratory sessions 20
Coursework Laboratory report 2 15

Alternative Assessment

Matlab test: an online assignment. Laboratory report 1: full laboratory write up.  Laboratory report 2: full laboratory write up Laboratory sessions:  written answers or on-line quiz for two different experiments and a report on the performance of one laboratory accounting for the nature and minimization of experimental error. Professional skills portfolio: Written assignment and audio/video recording of the presentation.

Assessment Strategy

Undertake basic research and preparation prior to a practical investigation. 

Carry out laboratory experiments and analyse and discuss results, including identification of sources of experimental uncertainty.

Produce written technical reports to a prescribed formal style.   

Use MS Excel and Matlab to address problems that require data manipulation and handling and repetitive use of mathematical functions. 

Present engineering data in a formal academic manner using MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Matlab as appropriate for a specific context. 

Produce a short formal oral presentation and learn from the experience of taking part in a series of presentations delivering a presentation to a non-technical audience. 

Prepare for a career as a professional engineer. 


The summative assessment for this module consists of:

Preparation, participation and review for each experiment (approximately weekly) Learning outcomes 1, 2 , 3.

Production of two lab reports Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 ,4. 

A test which requires the use of Matlab to perform basic calculations and data handling. Learning outcomes 1, 4.

Participate in seminars considering the basic aspects of the economic, legal, social, ethical, security and environmental contexts in which professional engineers operate and the employability skills required. Prepare a cv, cover letter and prepare and deliver a short, oral presentation. Learning outcomes 3, 5, 6. 

Feedback: In every laboratory session, students have face-to face discussions with the experiment supervisor. Written feedback on the lab reports is returned within 3 weeks, to enable feed-forward to the writing of the next report, and is formative as well as summative. Staff and PGRs give formative feedback in the tutorials as the students undertake a diverse range of tasks involving academic presentation skills, basic programming, data presentation and data handling. Peer formative feedback is provided suring the presentation sessions.

Module aims

  • Introduce students to the economic, legal, social, ethical, security and environmental contexts in which professional engineers operate.
  • Provide students with knowledge of the employability skills expected by the engineering profession
  • Expose students to a laboratory experience which reinforces and illustrates wider aspects of the engineering curriculum
  • Provide basic training in experimental approaches, including the handling of data and identification of the likely contributions to experimental uncertainty.
  • Expose students to the experience of effectively working as part of a team
  • Provide an introduction to basic programming/Matlab.
  • Knowledge and experience of using standard MS Office products to support academic writing and data analysis and presentation.
  • Develop the knowledge and provide students with experience of using standard MS Office products to support academic writing, data analysis and presentation.
  • Introduce students to basic report writing skills, which they will be expected to refine and develop as they progress through their degree
  • Equip students with the knowledge and experience of how to present information in a formal professional context.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Prepare, perform and effectively report experimental investigations, both individually and as part of a team, analysing and interpreting experimental data while working with experimental uncertainty; KCT
002 Demonstrate an awareness of the principles and importance of experimental measurement and related health & safety and risk issues; KT
003 Conduct academic research demonstrating knowledge of the resources and the ability to handle them with academic integrity; PT
004 Use MS Word MS Excel and Matlab in support of your academic studies, especially in handling experimental data; CT
005 Structure and deliver a short oral presentation, chair presentations and provide feedback after a presentation; PT
006 Demonstrate understanding of the commercial context and the importance of professional conduct in engineering. PT C/M10, C/M18

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students with a basic grounding in experimental procedure and scientific/technical report writing.

Reinforce engineering science concepts taught in other modules though practical experimentation and demonstration. Enable students to have a basic grounding in the use of MS Excel, MS PowerPoint and Matlab to produce (i) appropriately formatted academic writing, (ii) appropriately presented engineering data, (iii) simple formal presentations, (iv) implement simple programmes

Enable students to participate in all aspects of formal oral presentations.

Introduce wider aspects of the context in which professional engineers operate.


The learning and teaching methods include:

Introductory briefing lectures on lab work and presentations,

Laboratory sessions in small groups; including a guided introduction to experiment and apparatus, group work on experiment itself to obtain results and discuss conclusions and an assessed review of session preparation and outcomes. Guidance (written and oral) on report production, to support students to write laboratory reports

IT-lab based tutorials using Excel and Matlab

Seminars to reinforce professional skills and expectations

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG1091

Other information

The School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module

is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital capabilities: Students will be introduced to and expected to use appropriate technology to complete authentic assignments including Powerpoint or a presentation tool of choice, to deliver presentations, MS Word for report writing, Excel for data presentation such as graph plotting and data handling. Students will learn some basic data handling and programming skills specifically using mathematical formulae and functions in Excel, creating academically appropriate graphs using MS Excel; an introduction to Matlab including: variables, assignments, operators, built-in functions and plotting, Matlab scripts, m-files, indentation, commenting, for- and while- loops and if-conditions + Boolean variables, arrays and matrices, user-defined functions. They will also be able to use specialist software (Matlab) to solve engineering problems. Students will be introduced to risks and prevention of breach of Cyber Security in an industrial setting.

Employability:  Students will be supported to develop their knowledge of the Engineering Council, Professional Engineering Institutions and expected competencies in ethics, EDI, risk, sustainability and security. Transferrable skills including communication, team work, report writing and presentation skills will be improved through module activities. Students will also refine their CV, consider job requirements and practice writing a cover letter  - all skills which will help them become employment ready.

Sustainability: The students will take part in a seminar on sustainability in relation to engineering. The students will work together in a group to discuss which of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are of prime importance to engineers providing a justification to which are the top 3 of importance for engineers, plus consider routes to net zero.  Students will be prompted to explore the interconnections between the goals they selected and the others, as well as the tradeoffs between the individual goals through the lens of the discipline. As part of the assessment, students are required to prepare a short presentation on the responsibilities of a professional engineer, of which sustainability is one of the key competencies required by the Engineering Council.

Global and Cultural capabilities: Students will work in randomly assigned groups. This will require students to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds in ways that respect the interests of cultural groups. Peer assessment of the presentations encourages students to value and recognize perspectives from different cultural backgrounds. Invited industrial speakers will demonstrate how their specific company is responding to equality and diversity requirements within an engineering context.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Through participation in the group laboratory sessions and seminars, students will actively engage in group working which will emphasise the importance of team cohesion, respect, empathy and build trust with other learners. This will provide opportunities to positively respond to team setbacks i.e. if an experiment does not go to plan, they can discuss together as a team how they could have improved the results and this will reinforce the message that engineering tasks often “fail” in the first instance and this is not seen as a failure, it is just part of the journey to improve design or to solve a problem.

Students will provide peer feedback for presentations, therefore building their confidence , through taking ownership of identifying strengths. Students will have to engage with a range of information sources in relation to the responsibilities of a professional engineer, some which may challenge their own values and this will encourage them to be open to adapt their own viewpoint.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Aerospace Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering MEng 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering BEng (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.