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Automotive Engineering with a Foundation Year - BEng (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2025/26 Entry. Switch to 2024/25 Entry

Study our Automotive Engineering BEng degree course 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 will 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

This course is:

Open to International Students


In today's fast paced world, technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. From cutting edge developments in artificial intelligence to sustainable energy solutions, engineering at BCU is the forefront of these innovations. Our campus is situated in the heart of the city, providing you with the perfect environment to immerse yourself in the dynamic field of engineering.

The course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle real world challenges. As a BCU engineering student, you'll be positioned to make an impact in various sectors, from civil and automotive to renewable energy and beyond. The demand for skilled engineers has never been higher, and the opportunities are boundless.

Companies are actively seeking graduates with practical skills and critical thinking that is taught on this course. We also have strong ties with industry partners, providing you with invaluable networking opportunities. You'll get to access BCU's cutting edge facilities and also benefit from using the specialist equipment over at the GBS IoT.

This is where your engineering journey begins. Embrace the possibilities and engineer a future that makes a difference.

Study our Automotive Engineering BEng degree course 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 will have the chance to be at the forefront of developments within the industry. You will 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.

We ensure you gain practical experience so that you are equipped to apply engineering science to real life situations.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

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.

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 Jaguar LandRover, Norton Motorcycles or Continental Engineering Services.

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?

  • 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.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. Booking isn't open yet for this event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: 28 September 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2025/26.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

Essential requirements

80 UCAS Tariff points. Learn more about UCAS Tariff points.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

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 2025

  • 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 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

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.


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.

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

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

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Course in Depth

Foundation Year

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

First Year

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

Second Year

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

Final Year

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

Download course specification

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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.


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.


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


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

[00:00:01] Speaker 1: Hello, my name is Olga.

[00:00:02] Speaker 2: And I'm Carlos. 

[00:00:03] Speaker 1: And we are both Engineering students here at BCU. And today we're going to take you on a tour in Millennium Point to all the engineering facilities.

[00:00:11] Speaker 2: Follow us.

[00:00:20] Speaker 1: Now we're on ground floor in the electronics lab, and this is where you can build circuits such as this one using these machines, you can control them and power them. So in your first year, you might end up doing a circuit like this, which is just the power on LED. And then you can go on using an oscilloscope to test sequences.

[00:00:39] Speaker 2: So now we're going to take you to the soldering lab. Anytime we need to do some soldiering on any type of projects, here is where we do them. Like Olga is doing right now, she is working on the micro mouse and with all the soldering for all the components. [00:00:57]

[00:01:00] Speaker 1: So this is where all the programming happens, such as coding and schematics and diagrams. All of this you'll be doing in this room. 

[00:01:12] Speaker 2: Welcome to our mechanical lab. This is where we test different materials on different bays for different applications, for things like their strength, versatility, and depending on which application, we have different machinery for it.

[00:01:26] Speaker 1: So we use microscopes to see the internal structures of materials, as you can see here. We do this to find how different structures behave under different conditions. So this is the workshop where we actually have real industrial machines here that are used from some of the parts for the projects we build. 

[00:01:45] Speaker 2: We do have industrial type machines capable of building engine parts like this one here. We are building a cylinder. 

[00:01:52] Speaker 1: Like this one here as well. This is a crank used in engines as well. It's really cool that we can use all of this machines just right here in our workshop.

[00:02:01] So this is another project that we built, and it's to test your knowledge on everything you've learned. And this is for the ball to stay on track at all times, even in this loop, as you can see here.

[00:02:09] This is the common area where you can come to either relax or catch up on your work as there's loads of seats and comfortable sofas.

[00:02:26] Speaker 1: So this is a hydraulics lab where you can do very interesting things like 3D printing, earthquake simulator and wind turbines. So these smaller 3D printers I used for reverse engineering and rapid prototyping. We can also use them to repair small things where we would ask students to design whatever parts broke and then we can 3D print it here so they can replace it on their project. In this room we actually have industrial level machines such as a metal 3D printer which can do something like this.

[00:02:56] Speaker 2: We also do various simulations here from a hydro station and also as you can see right next to me here, we do have a earthquake simulation running at the minute.

[00:03:09] So coming from our hydraulics lab, we are now in our civil lab. We test different types of soil, play around with it and try them out and develop new concrete as for example, here. 

[00:03:23] Speaker 1: So this is a biomedical lab where we test soils from different areas for pollution and soil health so we know if it's good for farming. 

[00:03:31] Speaker 2: So we are actually working with big names, big companies like Rivers Trust, and we are trying to develop new solutions for soil health. 

[00:03:40] Speaker 1: So this is the Formula student lab where we actually built a car that's going to go to Silverstone. 

[00:03:58] This is our engine test lab where we have an Audi, R8, E-TRON engine.

[00:04:03] Speaker 2: We also have a battery simulator in this room. We can actually do real life simulations of our engine, for example, in Silverstone, and see if we can actually complete the track and the times. 

[00:04:15] Thank you for watching our engineering facilities - I hope you enjoyed.

[00:04:18] Speaker 1: To find out more, you can come to one of our Open Days or you can visit the link below.

Our Facilities

The Department of Engineering provides the perfect setting for practical work with modern-day teaching and learning facilities. We pride ourselves on equipping our students with the skill set that they need not only working on industry standard equipment, but having industrial links, which set them up perfectly for a career in engineering.

We are currently undertaking a £400 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 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 IoT has enabled procurement of new technologies for material testing, electronics prototyping and production and 3D scanning to compliment computer aided design for manufacture

Engineering facilities

Engineering bays

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.

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

Jens Lahr

Senior Lecturer for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering

Jens is a senior lecturer for BEng/MEng Automotive and BEng/MEng Mechanical Engineering. His teaching includes the subjects of Finite Element Analysis, Structural Analysis and Powertrain Performance. He helps and supports practice-based learning (CDIO).

More about Jens

Dr. Md Mostafizur Rahman

Senior Lecturer

Dr. Rahman is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Built Environment, Birmingham City University. He got his Ph.D. from Queensland University Technology(QUT), Australia in 2015. He then worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher at QUT and the University of Cambridge respectively in collaborative research projects with leading industry...

More about Mostafizur