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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PDES3175 Mechanical Systems

20 creditsClass Size: 55

Module manager: Dr R J Holt

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25


PDES1195Engineering Analysis for Product Designers
PDES1365Basic Electronics for Product Design
PDES2525Advanced Electronics for Product Design

Module replaces

PDES 3170 Mechanical Systems

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module will introduce students to the principles of mechanical systems to give them the skills required to build working prototypes. This will concentrate on the value of working prototypes and mechanical systems in product design, and the selection of appropriate standard components to meet required performance criteria.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- define and sketch out a range of simple mechanisms and describe their function;
- use component catalogues and data sheets to select standard electromechanical parts to satisfy defined performance criteria;
- redesign a given mechanism using standard parts to meet new performance criteria; and
- define and construct a working prototype using standard electromechanical parts.

Engineering Council Learning Outcomes
SM1i - Knowledge and understanding of the scientific principles underpinning relevant technologies, and their evolution
EA1i - Ability to monitor, interpret and apply the results of analysis and modelling in order to bring about continuous improvement
EA2i - Ability to apply quantitative methods in order to understand the performance of systems and components
EA3i - Ability to use the results of engineering analysis to solve engineering problems and to recommend appropriate action
D3 - Work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain and be aware that this may affect the design
D4i - Apply problem-solving skills, technical knowledge and understanding to create or adapt designs solutions that are fit for purpose including operation, maintenance, reliability etc
P1i - Knowledge of contexts in which engineering knowledge can be applied (eg operations and management, application and development of technology, etc)
P2i - Understanding of and ability to use relevant materials, equipment, tools, processes, or products
P3i - Knowledge and understanding of workshop and laboratory practice
P4i - Ability to use and apply information from technical literature
G1 - Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others and the effective use of general IT facilities


This module will provide knowledge of mechanical systems and the selection of standard parts. Students will learn how to perform design calculations to determine performance requirements, and to use data sheets and component catalogues to select parts that meet these requirements.

Lectures will cover the following topics:
- The different types of motion and mechanical advantage provided by mechanisms;
- Data sheets, component catalogues, and how to present design calculations and system requirements;
- Specific calculations and use of data sheets for given mechanisms and their associated standard parts, providing linear, rotary, intermittent, reciprocating, oscillation, and irregular movement;
- Specific calculations and use of data sheets for electrical components commonly interfaced with mechanical system (such as motors).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
In Course Assessment32.006.00
Private study hours175.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Working through provided example sheets (22 hours)
Carrying out Coursework (80 hours)
Revision and exam preparation (73 hours)

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

An online discussion board will be monitored during specified times each week.
Minerva materials are being developed by the careers centre and some of these will be deployed for this module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
PortfolioPorfolio - 10 A3 pages40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:16:42


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