Published: 29 March 2021

A week in the life of a mechanical engineering undergraduate

From lectures to laboratory-based practicals and personal tutorials, discover what a typical week looks like as a first-year BEng or MEng mechanical engineering student at Surrey.

How you’ll learn

Year 1 is a common first year across all four study streams of aerospace, automotive, biomedical and mechanical engineering. Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:

  • Group work
  • Laboratory-based practicals
  • Lectures
  • Online learning
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials.

Outside of these, you’ll be given coursework to help to consolidate what you’ve learned, and you’ll be expected to carry out independent study and reading.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Surrey. The course content is stimulating and challenging, but the lecturers are happy to provide support and they’re easy to talk to when you’re struggling.”

Abigail Lamb, Mechanical Engineering MEng

We’ve also introduced hybrid learning, a mix of online and face-to-face sessions, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A typical week in your first year

In your first year, you’ll receive approximately 20 contact hours each week.


  • 9am - 10am – Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics – Lecture
  • 10am - 11am – Design and Component Production – Lecture
  • 11am - 12 noon – Materials and Statistics – Lecture
  • 2pm - 4pm – Design and Component Production – Workshop.


  • 9am -11am – Mathematics – Lecture
  • 1pm - 4pm – Design and Component Production – Workshop.


  • 9am - 10am – Materials and Statistics – Lecture
  • 10am - 11am – Mathematics – Lecture.

Wednesday afternoons are left free for sporting and other university society activities, such as MechSoc


  • 9am - 10am – Mathematics – Lecture
  • 10am - 11am – Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics – Lecture
  • 11am - 12 noon – Mathematics – Tutorial
  • 2pm - 3pm – Materials and Statics – Tutorial
  • 4pm - 5pm – Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics – Tutorial.


  • 9am - 10am – Design and Component Productions – Lecture
  • 10am - 11am – Materials and Statistics – Lecture
  • 11am - 12 noon – Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics – Lecture.

We’re a campus university so everything you need is within a five-minute walk, including the Students’ Union building, grocery shopping, wellbeing and support services, the launderette and the medical centre. Students also have access to more than 180 student clubs and societies, with interests ranging from mixed martial arts to mah jong, and poker to politics.

Nearby Surrey Sports Park is a £36million facility, offering state-of-the-art training facilities such as a climbing wall and an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Guildford’s picturesque cobbled high street boasts a wide range of retail and catering outlets, plus an excellent range of pubs and a busy nightlife. The town is also only a 35-minute train journey to London.


Find out more about undergraduate study in our Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences.

Disclaimer: The timetable and modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication and may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. Given the changing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hybrid learning model is under continuous review. See the latest information on all changes.

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