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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MECH3890 Individual Engineering Project

40 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Dr Saikat Dutta

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

MECH 3800 Professional SkillsMECH 3810 Individual Project

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Individual Engineering Project gives third year students the opportunity to choose a project area within a list of predefined areas in which they can carry out research and make use of many concepts that they have learnt from their core engineering science and design modules.Students will conduct a significant project that will require them to make use of professional skills, including project planning, risks and management. Delivery of a final project report will give students the opportunity to apply critical analysis and detailed research in addition to developing their communication skills.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- be competent in creating a project plan and appreciate the constraints and time resources in managing small projects;
- be able to identify the risks associated with a project, predict their likelihood and assess their potential impact;
- be capable of describing ethical standards and principles and relate them to professional engineering ethics, responsibility and accountability;
- be able to describe the application of standards and codes of practice in engineering with special emphasis on health and safety;
- appreciate where to locate literature pertinent to their engineering project and position their work against it;
- have gained an understanding of how intellectual property can be protected using copyright, design registration and patents;
- have had experience in approaching an engineering problem in a systematic and rigorous manner;
- be able to apply logical reasoning based on a firm knowledge of engineering science and design, gained in earlier years;
- have developed powers of critical assessment and analysis;
- have developed effective communication skills.

Learning outcomes
A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles and methodology necessary to underpin their education in their engineering discipline, and an understanding and know-how of the scientific principles of related disciplines, to enable appreciation of the scientific and engineering context, and to support their understanding of relevant historical, current and future developments and technologies (SM1m)
Ability to apply and integrate knowledge and understanding of other engineering disciplines to support study of their own engineering discipline and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively (SM3m)
Awareness of developing technologies related to mechanical engineering (SM4m)
A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of mathematical and computational models relevant to the engineering discipline, and an appreciation of their limitations (SM5m)
Understanding of concepts from a range of areas, including some outside engineering, and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively in engineering projects (SM6m)
Understanding of engineering principles and the ability to apply them to undertake critical analysis of key engineering processes (EA1m)
Ability to identify, classify and describe the performance of systems and components through the use of analytical methods and modelling techniques (EA2)
Ability to apply quantitative and computational methods, using alternative approaches and understanding their limitations, in order to solve engineering problems and implement appropriate action (EA3m)
Ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies (EA5m)
Ability to extract and evaluate pertinent data and to apply engineering analysis techniques in the solution of unfamiliar problems (EA6m)
Investigate and define the problem, identifying any constraints including environmental and sustainability limitations; ethical, health, safety, security and risk issues; intellectual property; codes of practice and standards (D2)
Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies (D3m)
Communicate their work to technical and non-technical audiences (D6)
Demonstrate the ability to generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs (D8m)
Understanding of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering, a knowledge of professional codes of conduct and how ethical dilemmas can arise (EL1m)
Knowledge and understanding of management techniques, including project and change management, that may be used to achieve engineering objectives, their limitations, and how they may be applied appropriately (EL3m)
Understanding of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (eg operations and management, application and development of technology, etc) (P1)
Understanding of the use of technical literature and other information sources (P4)
Awareness of quality issues and their application to continuous improvement (P7)
Ability to work with technical uncertainty (P8)
A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments (P9m)
Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others and the effective use of general IT facilities (G1)
Plan self-learning and improve performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD (G2)
Monitor and adjust a personal programme of work on an on-going basis (G3m)
Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader (G4)


Covering two terms, the engineering project comprises some or all of the following elements: analysis, design, experimentation or computation. Hence, experience is gained of the type of detailed engineering project work commonly encountered in industry.
Each student carries out an individual engineering project, although two or more projects will usually have a common theme identified by a project area and may be part of a major investigation, under the supervision of an individual member of the academic staff.
During the first term, students are required to present a scope and plan document, which is to clearly identify the scope of their engineering project based on a literature search and project planning. For MEng candidates, the project should provide an introduction to the level 4 project, MECH5030M.
Descriptions of engineering project areas are posted in week 0; students make 5 choices.
Lectures and seminars will include aspects of health and safety, risk management, project management, intellectual property, standards and codes of practice, engineering ethics and professional conduct, literature searching and reviewing, critical thinking.
There will be optional lectures which include how to make use of high performance computing for projects that are simulation based.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours365.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will use all of their private study time to employ the skills that are required to undertake an engineering project, including research the literature, learning how to use new software and/or experimental equipment, to execute the engineering project. A final individual report is required for assessment, which includes an oral examination at the end of the second semester. Students are expected to use 50 hours of private study to complete the written report.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students attend weekly supervision meetings with their allocated supervisor. These meetings provide opportunities to discuss progress and gain feedback from the project supervisor.
Short formative QCM are also available online for topics covered in lectures for students to assess their understanding of the content

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportEngineering Project Report40.00
Oral PresentationIndividual Presentation20.00
ReportProject Scope and Plan Report20.00
EssayProfessional Conduct Essay10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit offered in the next academic session. Students must satisfy certain threshold conditions of competence in order to be awarded the credits for this module. These additional competences are specified in the project module handbook, and typically relate to; - Participation in any activities deemed necessary by the university or the project supervisor to undertake work to ethical standards, safely, and competently using workshop or research laboratory facilities - Certain UK-SPEC Engineering Council learning outcomes required for accreditation that are uniquely assessed in this module - Technical writing meeting a minimum standard expected by the Office for Students (OfS)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 06/12/2023


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