Module code: ENG3162

Module Overview

The module provides an opportunity to work on a group based project, allowing students to extend and broaden their subject knowledge and to further develop technical, team working and management skills, all of which they then apply in order to design a customer specified product or system. Module staff act as project customers and provide an initial project definition, often through consultation with industry. Students are allocated to groups and assigned a project which is suitable. Students can gain experience of working on a realistic, complex engineering project, which mimics the integrated team effort of a real workplace as closely as possible. Over the lifecycle of the project, there will be changing priorities and responsibilities, so a group will need to adapt their team organisation, their choice of sub-groups and their allocation of individual roles, for each phase of the project. Technical quality, integration, comprehension, creativity, team working, communication and project management are all part of the experience. 


Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

DOHERTY John (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 260

Lecture Hours: 1

Tutorial Hours: 20

Guided Learning: 18

Captured Content: 1

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Students of mixed skills, work in groups to address the specification and design of a complex engineering product or system, in response to a project customer need

  • Each student group will complete an initial feasibility study, leading to a design specification

  • In response to the design specification, each group will then proceed through preliminary and critical design review phases

  • Team organisation, planning and project decisions are controlled by the group

  • The project is progressed through a mix of individual and team working.

  • Group and individual activities are communicated to the project customers through weekly meetings, minutes of meetings, oral presentation and reporting

  • Each member should demonstrate integrated team working, technical achievement, task leadership and chairing/minuting of meetings


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PERFORMANCE SEMESTER 1 20
Oral exam or presentation ORAL PRESENTATION AND DEFENCE 5
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PERFORMANCE SEMESTER 2 15

Alternative Assessment

Attendance at weekly group meetings with the project customer is an essential part of overall performance assessment. Non-attendance at a large number of meetings may mean key aspects of group working, such as team working and communication, cannot be assessed and may lead to a requirement to the resit the module in a subsequent year. Any group assessment unit is awarded a single group mark, but a zero mark can be assigned to an individual who has not contributed. If any group assessment unit is failed, then an alternative individual assessment can be offered. If any individual coursework assessment unit is failed, but attendance at meetings is considered sufficient for overall performance assessment, then an alternative individual assessment can be offered.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • ability to carry out the project requirements capture and design specification (PDS)

  • ability to undertake a conceptual/preliminary design phase (PDR), followed by a more detailed/critical design phase (CDR) 

  • ability to work effectively in a group, together with demonstrating specific task leadership and planning

  • ability to develop new individual skills, understanding and knowledge

  • ability to present work clearly and concisely

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Product Design Specification (PDS) [Learning outcome 1, 4, 6]

  • Preliminary Design Review (PDR) [Learning outcome 1, 2, 3, 6]

  • Critical Design Review (CDR) [Learning outcome 1, 2, 3, 6]]

  • Oral Presentation and Defence [Learning outcome 1, 2, 5]

  • Performance Semester 1 and 2 [Learning outcome 2, 4, 5, 6]

Formative assessment 

Formative assessment of individual performance is provided at regular intervals during the project

Peer assessment will encourage students to recognise and value the contribution of each team member.


Verbal feedback is given during the weekly meetings with the customer, which is captured within formal meeting minutes. Feedback is also given at the end of each design phase.

Module aims

  • a systematic understanding of a complex engineering system design cycle, starting from an initial 'customer' need and progressing through a number of design phases.
  • knowledge of each stage of the design process, including requirements capture, conceptual design, preliminary design, with consideration of downstream manufacturing, operation and disposal.
  • a critical awareness of the importance of iterative project planning, ensuring efficient/effective use of all group resources, with associated management of project risks
  • a comprehensive understanding of effective and inclusive team working to achieve design goals
  • an understanding of the need for flexibility and adaptability throughout the design process, including development of new individual skills and knowledge through background research and technical literature review

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Analyse customer requirements and apply scientific principles/methodology to first derive a product specification, then to evolve an integrated and evaluated preliminary design for a complex engineering system. KCT C6, M6, C1, C2, C4
002 Plan and manage design work and processes within a team and apply relevant project management techniques to ensure that design solutions are derived on time and meet the customer needs KCPT C9, M9, C5, C15, M15
003 Develop and apply advanced problem-solving skills, engineering knowledge and understanding to develop rigorous and creative solutions and to analyse/evaluate them in terms of performance and functionality, including environmental, economic and social impact KCT C5, C7, C13, M13
004 Adjust one's individual approach and attitude within a project group, to utilise all team resources and to ensure effective/efficient team working CT C11, M11, C16
005 Demonstrate the ability to clearly communicate and present work to different audiences PT C17
006 Demonstrate the ability to communicate and work flexibly within a group endeavour, ensuring overall approach is integrated, while adapting to constantly changing needs during the project  CT C16, C6, M6

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:

Support students as they undertake a group design project activity. Each student group acts like a design/consultancy team, responding to a customer need. The group must organise themselves, coordinating inputs from individuals. All team members will need to carry out research and develop new skills and knowledge to address the needs of the project. Module teaching staff act as project customers, who will want to see technical quality and effective team working being maintained throughout. Customers will comment upon presented progress and seek justification for decisions made or approach followed. The overall project is broken up into phases, with separate assessments associated with each phase, to allow regular feedback to support development.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Introductory lecture to highlight the differing project phases, how assessment is carried out, the role of the project customers and what is expected from students.

Weekly meetings between each student group and one or more module staff acting as project customers. All group members should present progress each week, enabling customers to feedback through comments, questions and constructive criticism.  

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: ENG3162

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:

Employability: This module provides students with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate professional skills which are central to a career in engineering. Students will gain a working knowledge of the lifecycle stages of a complex engineering system design, using a simplified systems engineering approach. Students can demonstrate effective team working, adapting their approach and attitudes, responding to different personality traits in team members and improving communication skills for different audiences. Students further develop their project management skills, by helping to plan group work, making the most effective use of available resources, assigning roles/responsibilities and ensuring targets are met.  

Digital Capabilities: As a member of a group tackling a complex engineering design, students will address numerous project activities that arise, within which various software capabilities may be relevant. It is likely that data management and CAD software will need to be collaboratively applied by each member, in order to develop an integrated solution. Other potential software will depend upon the particular project and could include tools for structural analysis, thermo-fluids simulation, dynamics, electronics design, systems modelling etc. Students may also develop software for simulation, data-processing, visualisation and presentation. Finally, project management tools may also be used as part of project planning.    

Global and cultural responsibilities: Allocation of students to each project group is random, so all students will experience working with a new team of people. This will require students to engage effectively and respect the interests of people from various backgrounds and cultures. Students will interact, communicate and build relationships across the team, as a result of a common focus on driving the project forward successfully. Peer assessment will encourage students to recognise and value the contribution of each team member.

Sustainability: The project briefs provided to students at the start of the project represent real world challenges, within which sustainability is central, alongside performance, cost, risk etc.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Students will need to develop resourcefulness, be able to share ideas and experiences both individually and collectively, appreciate potential barriers and challenges faced by others and provide support and show empathy towards each other in working towards achieving successful outcomes and responding to problem-based task requirements.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Automotive Engineering (Dual degree with HIT) BEng (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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.