Module code: ENGM308

Module Overview

The design of mechanical systems requires technical and creative skills to deliver engineering solutions for society’s grand challenges. Within this context, engineers must operate in a responsible and ethical manner, recognise the importance of diversity, and help ensure that the benefits of innovation and progress are shared equitably and do not compromise the natural environment or deplete natural resources to the detriment of future generations.

In this module students will work to tackle an engineering challenge, drawing on relevant technical skills, and present a final technical outcome.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

HILLS Nicholas (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 590

Lecture Hours: 5

Captured Content: 5

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Each project is an independent, individual piece of work, such that the specific technical content would vary. However, all students would be expected to cover indicative content including: familiarisation with current literature, health and safety, project and risk management, errors and uncertainties, ethics for engineers, data management, security, open research, equality, diversity and inclusion in engineering practice and design, professional behaviour, sustainability in complex problems.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Performance Review 20
Oral exam or presentation Viva 20
Coursework Paper 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the intended learning outcomes.


Summative assessment:

  • Continuous assessment of the student’s professional and independent analytical skills, this will be assessed by the supervisor who will review meeting minutes and determine the performance mark based upon the students engagement throughout the project (addresses learning outcomes 1, 4,)

  • Viva (addresses learning outcome 5)

  • Written report/paper (addresses learning outcomes 2, 3)


To support the learning, formative assessment will be employed as method for self-reflection.


Formative assessment:

  • Interim technical reporting

  • Regular progress meetings



Students will receive technical and performance feedback during regular progress reviews.

Module aims

  • To equip the participants with the engineering and communication skills to investigate a complex engineering problem and effectively communicate solution and recommendations to multiple and diverse stakeholders.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Independently manage a complex engineering project ensuring suitable data and sample handling, project reporting and liaison with supervisor(s) P M9, M10, M14, M15, M17
002 Demonstrate appropriate depth of understanding and analysis of complex engineering problems KCT M1, M2, M3, M6, M12, M13
003 Evaluate complex, often conflicting, evidence from primary and secondary sources to build weight of evidence to support a line of reasoning KC M2, M3, M4, M5
004 Develop a solution for a complex or challenging research question KC M2, M3, M4, M5
005 Employ approaches that address inclusiveness in communication and dissemination of engineering subject matter PT M11, M16, M17
006 Operate in a professional capacity recognising the needs and behaviours of others outside of the immediate project PT M12, M16, 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 allow students to apply and strengthen their understanding of approaches to solving engineering problems or questions, including the development of an appreciation of non-technical challenges and barriers for practicing engineers and research scientists. Focused around a specific engineering problem, students will also engage in a piece of student-lead problem solving research, under the guidance of an experienced researcher. The supervisor will meet with the student weekly to monitor progress and provide guidance on the development of their research.

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: ENGM308

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 develops the students high-level analytical skills in tackling a complex engineering problem. The module builds on this to develop the student’s skills in developing sound arguments based on weight of evidence. Students will work with a supervisor – sharing and critiquing ideas and concepts – to refine and test their hypotheses. Students will be able to demonstrate to a prospective employer their independent project planning skill, research skills of information retrieval, project specific deliverables and analysis, and delivery to set deadlines. Their written report will demonstrate  student’s ability to document their planning, research, and analysis. The use of a viva-voce examination allows students to explain their project in both technical and non-technical language and answer questions, a skill highly valued by employers


Digital capabilities: Students will use digital platforms to evaluate and interrogate hypotheses in order to come to sound and robust engineering solutions. students may have opportunity to analyse experimental data using Excel, use engineering software such as CAD, FEA or Fluent, or write and test their own code. Furthermore, their digital capabilities will be enhanced via the writing of mid-project presentation and final written reports using data analysis software and presentation, generation of figures, tables etc. and use of appropriate referencing style. Students will be able to build upon and apply their experiences of using software to produce an effective individual project. 


Global and Cultural Capabilities: The communication of engineering knowledge and best practices requires students to demonstrate global culture awareness due to the global nature of the audience. Students are encouraged to learn and share from each other's personal and cultural knowledge and perspectives in order to develop effective communication strategies. Students will be able to become members of the supervisor’s research term which will expose them to staff and PhD student researchers from around the globe and their personal and professional experiences. Students will learn to communicate their ideas with both a technical and non-technical audience.  Students should consider ethical aspects of their projects. Students will also be encouraged to include within their literature views from diverse authors.


Sustainability: Effective engineering solutions should fully embrace the sustainability of the product or process. In doing so the students need to address and compare the environmental, social and manufacturing capitals involved, linking to the UN sustainability goals, in order to both define the sustainability of a product and its manufacturing process and also suggest ways in which the product and processes could be made more sustainable. 


Resourcefulness and resilience: Students will develop resourcefulness in responding to problem-based task requirements and interacting with others in order to successfully deliver the project. Students will develop an appreciation of potential barriers and challenges, faced by themselves and others, in tackling an engineering problem and provide support and show empathy towards each other in working towards achieving successful outcomes for all. Students’ skills will be enhanced through demonstration of risk identification and minimisation to ensure as successful a project as possible as judged by the project objectives.  Students will have an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the project via meetings with their supervisor and the associated feedback. Students may face challenges as the projects progress and they need to demonstrate the ability to adapt the project to overcome these challenges.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2025/6 academic year.