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Automotive Engineering with a Foundation Year - BEng (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Study our Automotive Engineering BEng degree course with a foundation year and join one of the select UK Universities to take part in Formula Student events at Silverstone. Now is a fascinating time to study automotive engineering as you’ll have the chance to be at the forefront of developments within the industry....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

Study our Automotive Engineering BEng degree course with a foundation year and join one of the select UK Universities to take part in Formula Student events at Silverstone.

Now is a fascinating time to study automotive engineering as you’ll have the chance to be at the forefront of developments within the industry. You’ll get to work in advanced automotive workshops and laboratories equipped with industry-standard equipment, as well as take advantage of more traditional office-based facilities.

You’ll gain practical experience so that you are equipped to apply engineering science to real life situations. Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to join our BCU Formula Student racing club. 

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BEng (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering is designed to develop you as an engineer able to make a significant contribution to the industry as it goes through an important period of transition.

Our engineering courses focus on project-based activities, giving you lots of opportunity to work in teams on projects from design to implementation. This will give you practical experience of applying engineering science to real world problems, working in multidisciplinary teams to develop your interpersonal skills, and prepare you for a key aspect of modern engineering practice.

You will develop key technical skills, enhance your creative thinking and learn from industry experts, as well as gaining knowledge and application skills in stress analysis, drivetrain systems, suspension, body engineering, design and management.

Our course is structured so that its themes have a direct relevance to the industry’s current and expected future needs, and upon graduating you will have the intellectual, technical and personal qualities necessary to successfully implement new technologies.

Throughout your course you will benefit from our strong industry links with companies such as the Morgan Motor Company, Westfield Sportscars and Aquila Racing Cars, Siemens, and GKN.

You will also have the opportunity to join our BCU Formula Student racing club, which designs and builds a racing car each July to race at an IMechE-sponsored event at Silverstone.

Why Choose Us?

  • Accredited course - This course is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

  • Industrial placement year option - Gain desirable employability skills and work experience with the option of an industrial placement year, that will take place between your second and final year of the course.

  • Employable graduates - Our graduates have progressed into roles with leading companies such as Jaguar Land Rover, Ford Motor Company and Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.

  • State-of-the-art facilities - You will be based at our Millennium Point campus in City Centre, where our facilities have undergone a £6.5 million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment to provide you with the very best learning experience.

  • £1.1 million investment in new facilities from the IoT – The Institute of Technology (IoT) has invested in brand-new equipment and facilities, including an Electric Vehicle (EV) Test Rig, an Additive Manufacturing Machine (3D printer) and a material testing-split zone furnace - all industry grade technology that will advance your skills, making you more employable.
  • Formula Student events at Silverstone - We are one of the select UK universities with access to take part in our international Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Formula Student event at Silverstone. Read Thomas’ story.

  • Develop transferable skills – Work in groups and undertake project-based challenges to enhance your employability opportunities and skill set.

  • Problem-based learning - Gain an understanding of the commercial, legal, ethical and environmental factors associated with automotive engineering.

  • Travel scholarships - Opportunities to secure funding to gain experience overseas. Read about our travel scholarships here.

  • Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO) Initiative – You’ll be provided with an education stressing engineering fundamentals in the context of real-world systems and products, to develop your practical and professional skills. 

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area in our course talks.

Next Open Days: Autumn 2022

Register your interest

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

BB or 80 UCAS tariff points

A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted.
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English language and mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • 80 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 technical credits at Merit or Distinction..
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • MMP
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 80 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 80 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 80 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BEng (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BEng (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,980 in 2023/24

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

LinkedIn Learning

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Clothing and safety equipment (mandatory)

This course requires the purchase of safety equipment in order to use the workshop facilities. These items cost approximately £40 together and we can advise where to purchase items.

Media consumable items (mandatory)

This course requires the use of consumables.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Professional Placement Year (optional)

In order to qualify for the award of Bachelor of Engineering with Honours Automotive Engineering with Professional Placement Year, a student must successfully complete all of the modules listed as well as the following Level 5 module:

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

The Foundation Year modules focus on developing the key skills you will need to undertake a degree in engineering. In the first semester, you will study modules in Engineering Science, Mathematics for Engineers and Practical Skills. You will then explore these subjects in more depth in semester two.

Assessments will be carried out in a variety of formats, including written assignments, examinations, presentations and in-class testing. There will also be an emphasis on interactive learning, problem-solving tutorials and computer applications.

Intellectual skills, particularly analytical and problem solving skills are developed using a range of case-studies and problem / task based learning scenarios, promoting self-directed learning facilitated by problem-based learning centred upon industry practice and its inherent problems.

Assessment of such activities includes practical simulation and design exercises and individual and group projects, in addition to the methods mentioned above.

Attendance requirements

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Employability

Our course is highly respected by the industry. Our graduates typically enter work with blue chip engineering companies, and are expected to progress to Chartered Engineer status.

When you study with us you’ll learn all the key aspects of automotive engineering that will help you to get a job and you’ll have the intellectual, technical and personal qualities needed to implement new technologies in the automotive engineering sector.

Wherever possible, we involve employers in curriculum planning and many of our lecturers come from and maintain their links with industry, ensuring they maintain their knowledge of the latest developments.

This strong partnership means you benefit throughout your time with us, because you have access to some of the world’s leading car companies, including Bentley, Morgan, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford.

It’s why many of our graduates have gone on to start very successful careers in a wide variety of roles in the industry, in areas ranging from development or design and performance engineering to automotive marketing.

Placements

We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate, and as part of this commitment we encourage you to further enhance your career prospects by including an industrial placement in your course.

You will do your placement after the second year of study, which will extend the duration of your course to four years if you are studying on a full-time basis, and you’ll be supported throughout your time away.

Thanks to our excellent partnerships and strong relationships with industry, you could join the ranks of our students who have gained exceptionally high quality work experience at companies including Bentley.

More about our placement opportunities

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. As part of this, our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5 million investment to include a new maker area, engineering labs and equipment.

We have invested in industry-standard facilities to support the practice-based elements of our Engineering courses and give students as much practical learning as possible, to prepare for industry placements and job opportunities after graduation. Students have access to our facilities during classes, and can book out of class sessions with our specialist technicians.

We are a partner of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology (GBSIoT) and have secured £1.1 million of government funding for investment in brand-new Engineering equipment and facilities. Funding of £808,000 from the Department for Education has supported our development of an Electric Vehicle (EV) Test Rig, an Additive Manufacturing Machine (3D printer) and a material testing-split zone furnace.

The GBSIoT has enabled procurement of new technologies for material testing, electronics prototyping and production and 3D scanning to compliment computer aided design for manufacture.

Test Cell Facilities

The University Test Cell Facilities are used to enable:
  • Development and delivery of related CPD, Apprenticeships, Undergraduate and Postgraduate provision. This may include understanding and application of: machine equipment digital control systems, system/component testing and identifying/analysing applicable test specifications/regulations for automotive component verification (including performance data).
  • Development and delivery of research projects to reduce mass, weight, costs, lead times and enhance safety critical products and components.
  • Provision of a service to start-ups and businesses for system/component prototype and end product testing. Example: Pre-testing data analysis for automotive component verification. This may include digital twinning to assist such areas as automotive components/systems testing could give a business the ability to stimulate testing scenarios and uncover data driven options for optimisation of its counterpart in real-time, in-order to introduce improvements in build, efficiency, sustainability or safety.

XYZ Machine Tools

We have invested £420,000 in seven new machines from specialist manufacturer XYZ Machine Tools, including: 
  • Three lathes
  • Two mills
  • Vertical Machining Centre
  • Turning Centre

These machines are used by our students, workshop technicians and engineering staff to develop real-world manufacturing skills. They replicate real-world machinery, so by learning how to operate these machines on our courses, our students can develop skills to use that are needed from employers. 

The lathes and the mills have a shared control system, which allow operators to switch from machine to machine very easily. This feature makes working on them more efficient for students who need to produce a large number of parts in a short space of time.

Environmental Lab

The environmental lab is part of the Centre for Low Carbon Research (CLCR) and is home of the bioenergy and bioprocessing research group at the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment. The suite is divided into three main areas a wet lab/pilot facility a fully equipped analytical suite and a microbiological lab. This newly refurbished facility offers state of the art analysis and testing of environmental samples as well as scientific evaluation of lab scale and pilot scale technologies and processes.

The analytical suite includes a broad range of instruments capable of testing the organic, inorganic and physical composition of samples. We also have instruments to test the composition and energy content of various fuel types.

The pilot facility is industry led and contains a 600 litre photobioreactor provided by our lead industrial sponsor Varicon Aqua Solutions Ltd. This is used to evaluate the cultivation of algae and the opportunities for bioremediation and carbon sequestration. A fully automated dosing system and harvesting and extraction system are also included in this facility

Our microbiological lab is currently used for the evaluation of biogas production from various feedstocks. We have state of the automated biomethane potential testing and we are working closely with major utilities and technology providers assessing feedstock pre-treatments for anaerobic digestion.

Learn more about the Centre for Low-Carbon Research

Makers Space

The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students can find support in building their projects.

The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Test Rig

The EV test rig enables the latest industry technologies to provide advancements in skills, research, design, development and production including understanding and application of:

  • Machine equipment digital control systems
  • System and component testing
  • Identifying and analysing performance data for verification against automotive industry specifications and regulations.

Hands-on use of the EV test rig and LabVIEW (systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights) will enable students to understand and manipulate EV motors, gearboxes, connectors and invertors in order to reduce: mass, weight, costs, lead times and enhance critical safety – achieving automotive industry standards.

Additive Manufacturing Machine (3D Printer)

The additive manufacturing machine (AMM metal 3D printer) will enable students to experience transformation of computer aided design (CAD) from packages such as Autodesk to reality. Pre-processing software Materialise magic will be used to create a support structure to convert CAD files for layer manufacture. The software Eplus 3D EP Hatch is then used for process planning to optimise printing path settings based on data that has been sliced using epi to achieve the best printing results.

The AMM produces complex, intricate shapes and geometries for one-offs, prototypes and short runs to industry standard. The machine opens up new design possibilities to students across a multitude of applications, including: aerospace, biomedical, automotive, tooling and research.

The addition of the 3D scanner will enable students to bridge the gap between 3D scanning and CAD for applications:

  • Reverse Engineering
  • Convergent modelling
  • Synchronous modelling
  • Simulation
  • Generative design
  • Additive manufacturing

Students will use the EXscan Pro software package to run scans to provide real-time feedback for scanning data capture to generate a point cloud. EXscan Pro is then used to convert data to a preferred CAD file.

Material Testing - Split Zone Furnace

The testing System provides up to 100 kN (22,500 lbf) Force Capacity and 1200°C with variable temperature control on products and materials: Tensile, Compression, Bend tests.

Simulating working conditions pre-production to advance materials and component properties verification reducing product failure and recall. Students will experience use of Bluehill software for the purpose of machine control, data analysis and reporting of tests performed on metal for measurement to key international standards.


Engineering facilities

Our staff

Man-Fai Yau

Senior Lecturer

Man-Fai has 10 years' experience in private sector industry, two years' with a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and 12 years' university lecturing.

More about Man-Fai

Florimond Gueniat

Senior Lecturer in Automotive Engineering and Course Leader for MSc Automotive Engineering

Florimond Guéniat has a PhD in fluid mechanics and computer science from Univ. Paris Sud.   He then spent two years in the Department of Mathematics, at Florida State University researching on the control of fluid flows. Before joining BCU, he also spent  two more years in the department of Mechanical Engineering at University...

More about Florimond

Dr Richard Cornish

Senior Lecturer

Dr Richard Cornish is an Automotive Engineer with a wide experience of automotive research and development, especially developing test methods and models to capture new practical knowledge and theoretical insights. His areas of expertise include simulation, test, measurement, durability, fatigue and product perception, and he has worked on CAS,...

More about Richard