Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons) or MEng (Hons) – 2017 entry

A highlight for me was being Technical Director for the Formula Student team here at Surrey. This role gave me tons of responsibility, and taught me how to manage and motivate a team.

We were able to successfully design and build a single-seat racing car and compete against different universities at Silverstone circuit.

What you'll study

Road vehicle design is being transformed through innovative developments in engineering, including hybrid powertrains, active control and drive-by-wire technologies.

If you join us, you’ll learn from experts in their field and position yourself right at the heart of this exciting industry.

Whether you are dreaming of a career in motorsport or want to work in the commercial automotive industry, our Automotive Engineering degree programmes give you the specialised knowledge and skills you need to become a professional engineer.

You will be able to build on solid knowledge in engineering science with further tuition in vehicle design, comprising modules on vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, chassis and powertrain development.

Programme overview

Teaching at Surrey is informed by the University’s extensive research interests and strong links with automotive and motorsport industries.

As a student here, you will benefit from the latest laboratory and computing facilities, with the emphasis firmly on modern manufacturing techniques.

You will also get involved in Formula Student, Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition, which is a major focus every year for the Department.

Offering you the choice of broad-based or specialist study, our degrees are geared to the real needs of industry today. Tuition is delivered through lectures, tutorials and seminars, supported by practical laboratory classes and project-based work.

This multi-faceted approach introduces you to the broad basis of automotive engineering and gives you the chance to interact with engineers from different specialisations. We also have a first-year commonality with medical, mechanical and aerospace programmes.

Read about the experience of Mechanical Engineering student Dan Hook.

MEng and BEng transfer

Direct entry to the MEng programme normally requires higher qualifications, but transfer from the BEng to the MEng is possible during the degree programme, depending on academic performance. This would normally happen after Year 2.

Transfer is also possible from the MEng and BEng programmes without a Professional Training placement to ones with (and vice versa).

This transfer can be made after Year 1, giving students who were initially undecided time to consider the benefits of the Professional Training year.

Surrey Merit Scholarship

This programme is eligible for our merit-based scholarship, which provides a £2,000 cash award – and membership of Surrey Sports Park for the first year of study – for eligible undergraduate students. More information can be found on our undergraduate bursaries and scholarships page.

Programme structure

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, not only do you study the technical topics like mechanics, design and thermodynamics, but you develop the key broader transferable skills of communication and teamwork.

All first-year students are also given practical training in standard workshop and laboratory practice.

Compulsory modules:

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 provides you with a comprehensive range of automotive engineering subjects, supported by extensive laboratory work, which will prepare you for your Professional Training placement.

You also have the opportunity to work in a team on a design project, for which you will need to draw upon the knowledge you have gained throughout the programme.

Compulsory modules:

Professional Training Placement

A crucial part of all our programmes is the Professional Training placement. This allows you to gain ‘real-life’, hands-on experience that you cannot learn in a lecture theatre and gives you a real edge over others as you enter the job market.

The optional Professional Training placement starts at the end of the second academic year. Preparation for the Professional Training placement begins during Year 2. If you decide not to do the Professional Training year, you proceed directly to Year 3.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

In Year 3, you will study core modules, including an extensive group design project, based on the Formula Student car; an individual project (if you are a BEng student) and management modules; plus a number of optional modules.

Recent examples of BEng projects include ‘Formula Student engine development’, ‘Robot Martian Rovers’ and ‘Force-feedback design for a Formula 1 simulator’.

If you are an MEng student, additional emphasis is placed on further development of your selected technical specialisation and managerial expertise.

Compulsory modules:

Optional modules:

Year 4 (MEng only, FHEQ Level 7)

In Year 4 (MEng only) you study theory and application to a greater depth and breadth. As part of your programme, you carry out an extensive individual research project.

You also benefit from multidisciplinary design work with students from other engineering disciplines in order to simulate an industrial engineering context.

Compulsory modules:

  • Research Project
  • Multidisciplinary Design Project
  • Vehicle Structures and Analysis

Optional modules:

Additional costs

There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) programme:

  • Books/stationery/admin: £10 - Compulsory Book puchase; Rogers GFC & Mayhew YR, Thermodynamics and Transport Properties of Fluids (SI Units), 5th ed, Blackwell, 1995. (ISBN 978-0-631-19703-4)
  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £15-£20 - PPE equipment
  • Grand total: £70

There are associated costs with this MEng programme:

  • Books/stationery/admin: £10 - Compulsory Book puchase; Rogers GFC & Mayhew YR, Thermodynamics and Transport Properties of Fluids (SI Units), 5th ed, Blackwell, 1995. (ISBN 978-0-631-19703-4)
  • Safety equipment and/or uniform: £15-£20 - PPE equipment
  • Grand total: £70

Professional Training placements

During this optional year, you will earn a salary from your employer while still remaining a member of the University. Many students are subsequently offered employment by the firms with which they spend their placement year.

Companies participating in the scheme include:

  • Bentley
  • Vauxhall Motors
  • Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • Delphi Diesels
  • Torqueleader
  • Cummins Engines
  • Applus+ IDIADA


We recognise that each student is an individual with a unique academic background. We attempt to meet these differences with a blend of teaching methods, ranging from lectures and group tutorials to small class groups in laboratories, plus the development of online teaching resources.

You are allocated a personal tutor to guide you through the programme and advise on option and career choices, helping you get the most from your studies with us.

Your communication skills, vital to professional automotive engineers, are developed in communications and information technology modules where you explore the whole spectrum of communication media, from chalk-and-talk to state-of-the-art computer software presentation packages.


Degrees are awarded on a combination of examinations and continuous assessment, in the form of coursework, projects, laboratory reports and presentations. Our students generally find this combination helps them to plan their time more effectively.

Year 1 marks do not count towards your degree but allow us to see that you are making good progress. For BEng programmes, your final degree class is based on Years 2 and 3. MEng degrees are assessed on Years 2, 3 and 4.

Contact hours

The number of contact hours you can expect to have each week starts at 21 hours in Year 1, but will reduce to 10-15 hours per week in your final year. The following represents an indicative estimate of how you can expect your time to be split on this programme, based on the information available at the time of publication (February 2016):

  • 60% lectures/large group teaching
  • 25% tutorials/small group teaching
  • 15% labs/workshops/supervisions


Specialised facilities include:

  • An engine test cell with three diverse engines
  • A hybrid electric powertrain testing laboratory
  • Test benches for automotive brake systems and dampers
  • Six wind tunnels, including one with a rolling road, an environmental wind tunnel, unique within the UK, and high-quality instrumentation
  • A dedicated Formula Student workshop/lab area

Career opportunities

Our graduate employment record is truly outstanding. The University of Surrey is consistently at, or very close to, the top of the league table for graduate employment.

This is due to the professional focus of our degrees, accreditation by professional bodies and the quality of our Professional Training placement programme.

Most of our graduates proceed directly to employment in an engineering profession. Typical careers span a wide range – professional mechanical engineering, general engineering and manufacturing.

Employers include some of the most famous names in engineering, aerospace, energy, telecommunications and research. A small but significant number of students take higher degrees at Surrey and elsewhere.

Graduate prospects

Recent graduates from the Mechanical Engineering programmes have entered employment in roles such as:

  • Caterpillar UK, Design Engineer
  • Honda UK, Engineer
  • Jaguar Land Rover, Product Development Engineer
  • McLaren Racing, Production Engineer
  • Ricardo, Performance and Calibration Engineer

Global opportunities

The international exchange programme offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either one semester or a full academic year as part of their degree. Currently, for students on the Automotive Engineering programme this is possible in your second year at one of our partner institutions:

  • USA (Texas Tech, North Carolina State or Florida)
  • Singapore (Nanyang Technological University)
  • South Korea (Seoul National University)

The exchange programme enables you to study and live in another country, without paying additional tuition fees to the partner.

In doing so you will broaden your horizons, meet other students from around the world and experience student life in some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Studying abroad also enables you to become more independent, teaching you how to adapt and adjust to the culture and climate of another country.

In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have worked at Airbus in France or IDIADA in Spain. If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus grant.

This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also improve or learn another language.

2017 Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?




We do not include General Studies or Critical Thinking in our offers.

Those applicants taking part in the Physics Science Practical Endorsement are required to attain a pass grade.

BTEC (QCF Level 3) Extended Diploma


MEng: D*D*D-D*DD

European Baccalaureate

BEng: 76 per cent-75 per cent

MEng: 78 per cent-76 per cent

International Baccalaureate

BEng: 36-35 points

MEng: 38-36 points

Scottish Highers


Scottish Advanced Highers AAA/Scottish Highers AAAAB-Scottish Advanced Highers AAB/Scottish Highers AAABB


Scottish Advanced Highers AAA/Scottish Highers AAAAA-Scottish Advanced Highers AAA/Scottish Highers AAAAB

Welsh Baccalaureate


Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA


Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level A*A-Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma and A-level AA

Other international qualifications

If you are an international student and you don’t meet the entry requirements to this degree, we offer the International Foundation Year.

Select your country:

Required subjects

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above (or international equivalent – see relevant country page).

Mathematics A-level and Physics A-level (or equivalent) are required. 

Selection process

Offers are normally made in terms of grades.

Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.

English language requirements

6.5 IELTS minimum overall

6.0 IELTS minimum in each sub-skill

If you are an international student and you are concerned that your English is not to the required standard, you may benefit from the International Foundation Year, run by the Surrey International Study Centre.

Please note that the University of Surrey offers English language programmes and is also an IELTS Test Centre.

See 2018 entry information

Course Options

Qualification Course Length Professional Training UCAS code KIS code
BEng (Hons) 3 Years H330 View KIS data set
BEng (Hons) 4 Years H331 View KIS data set
MEng (Hons) 4 Years H334 View KIS data set
MEng (Hons) 5 Years H332 View KIS data set

Tuition fees

View a complete listing of all ongoing fees for our undergraduate programmes.

The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.

Additional costs

There are additional costs associated with this programme – view the additional costs section for full details.

Professional Training placement fees

Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.

A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.

Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.

Bursaries and scholarships

We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.

Find out more

International students

Experienced staff in our International Student Office are available to help from the moment you consider studying at the University. We offer professional advice on immigration, visa issues, entry qualifications, pre-departure information, employment regulations and international student welfare.

How to apply

Find out how and when to apply to study at Surrey.

More info


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Professional Training Placement

Professional Training placement: Formula Student

Harry Bradley talks about his placement year with the Formula Student team at the University of Surrey and the culmination of this year at the international competition held at Silverstone.

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