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Mechanical Engineering with Foundation Year

BEng (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Mechanical Engineering

UCAS Code: H302 with Foundation Year

Start Date(s): September


Four years full-time not including placement year


UK - £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.

In Brief:

  • Opportunity to learn a broad range of subjects, giving you the knowledge and skills needed for a variety of engineering careers
  • Accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • Apply the practical knowledge acquired with an optional placement position
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity

Course Summary

The Foundation Year course provides students with a broad introduction to mechanical engineering. It is ideal for students who may not have reached the required level in A levels or BTEC study or those who have chosen a new direction for their studies.

Mechanical engineers are an important part of our society. They are concerned with the development, installation and maintenance of engineering systems. These engineering systems cover a wide range of processes, particularly in the field of manufacturing. Whether it is silicone chips or jumbo jets that need to be produced, mechanical engineers are a key component in the process.

On completion of the introductory Foundation Year you will go on to study the same curriculum as the standard degree course.

Course Details

This course is an effective bridging programme for applicants who do not meet the entry requirements for the BSc/BEng (Hons) and so can take this foundation year to bring thier Maths and Physics knowledge up to the academic level required for the BSc/BEng.

This course will develop your professional knowledge as well as design and analytical skills. You will gain awareness of social, legal and environmental issues that are all associated with the role of a senior engineer. You will study a broad range of engineering subjects that will give you the knowledge and skills to prepare you for a wide variety of engineering careers.

Year 1

An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in engineering. These modules will provide an introduction to mathematics and review the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with some emphasis on their applications to engineering.
Engineering projects have a lot in common with other engineering disciplines such as mechanical engineering. This module, introduce some of the properties of material including fluids and provide the necessary information on energy transfer using mathematics and physics.
Study skills are the skills you need to enable you to study and learn efficiently – they are an important set of transferable life skills. This module will help you to develop your own study skill to suit your learning style. In addition, Information technologies are also developed. In this module you will be introduced to some of the elements of information technologies which will provide you with the necessary skills to use in future (including writing reports and presentations).
You will develop an ability to analyse basic structures using the main laws of physics. Simple introductory examples are used to extend your knowledge of analysis of basic structural elements such that you will have the ability to analyse structures. In addition you will also be able to analyse dynamical system performance in the cases of both constant acceleration and variable acceleration.
This course covers the fundamental principles guiding the design of engineering experiments, including the methodology of physical experiments, as well as statistical issues inherent to the design of experiments. It also provides an introduction to the standard statistical tools used in the analysis of experimental results.

Year 2

An understanding and ability to use mathematics are essential skills for success in engineering. This module will review and expand on the following subjects: algebra, trigonometry, functions, geometry, vectors, complex numbers and calculus, with emphasis on their applications to engineering.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the basic properties and applications of materials and of the principles of electronic and electrical engineering. This will include learning about the relationship between microstructure and mechanical properties of materials, mechanisms of corrosion and corrosion protection, the principles of electronic and electrical engineering, and the response of electrical elements in circuits to d.c. or a.c. supplies.
You will develop an understanding of the basic concepts of engineering thermodynamics and be given a introduction to the subject of fluid mechanics. Skills in handing thermodynamic concepts enabling the definition and analysis of thermodynamic systems are vitally important to the mechanical engineer.
In this module you will gain an insight into the complete process for the design or engineering of products and services. You will learn to interpret and produce drawings to British Standards and develop skills in the manufacture process including machining, forming, joining, fitting, assembly and inspection and testing.
This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of structural behaviour and the nature of stress and strain. It will provide you with a foundation in engineering dynamics, allowing you to tackle simple engineering problems and preparing the you for subsequent modules.
This module will introduce you to a range of basic manufacturing processes and their application, enabling you to specify appropriate manufacturing techniques, taking into account quality, quantity and cost. You will work in groups throughout this module, building on your communication and team working skills.

Year 3

This module will build on the year 1 module and develop more advanced knowledge and skills in mathematical analysis, to enable you to tackle more advanced engineering problems. Subjects covered include partial differentiation, determinants and matrices, vector analysis, Laplace transforms and functions of a complex variable.
This module will provide you with an introduction to the design and analysis of both analogue and digital feedback control systems and the application of fundamentals in spatial kinetics and multi-degree of freedom vibrations. You will also be introduced to the fundamentals of the analysis and solution of engineering problems in dynamics and robotics and the application of fundamentals in discrete event systems and their application to robotics and automation.
This module will further your knowledge of thermodynamic and fluid mechanic systems. You will learn thermodynamic analysis of systems employing phase changing fluids, appreciation of turbomachinery and reciprocating air compressors, the principles of heat transfer, the treatment of fluid mechanics to two dimensional low speed flow and one dimensional compressible flow, and the concepts of boundary layer theory.
Your understanding of manufacturing methods and current processes will be enhanced through this module, and you will be able to specify the most appropriate manufacturing method/process for a particular application taking into account quality, quantity and cost. You will also be introduced to computer simulation modelling and programmable logic controllers and their programming language.
Through this module you will become proficient in the application of theory of beam deflections, instability, three dimensional stress analysis and criteria for strength, and develop an appreciation of the direct stiffness method, the nature of elastic stability, the need for failure criterion and the nature of plastic strain.
In this module you will be provided with a broad understanding of qualitative methods used for decision making in the manufacturing industry and an understanding of the role and function of quality, reliability and maintenance within an organisation. Through group work you will develop key skills in communication both written and oral, group dynamics, interview skills and the running and reporting of formal meetings.

Year 4

This module has two main components. Industrial management in which you will be introduced to the commercial issues which must be addressed by engineering businesses, and the principles of quality management systems; and project preparation which will develop your ability to work independently, become competent in analysing and assessing the value of information, and develop effective communication skills both written and orally.
You will be provided with an introduction to the design and analysis of both analogue and digital feedback control systems and the application of fundamentals in spatial kinetics and multi-degree of freedom vibrations. Subjects include encirclement theorem, Nyquist stability theorem, compensator design and spatial kinetics applied to machinery and robots.
Finite element analysis is an important and advanced tool of the engineer. In this module you will be taught the principles of finite element analysis. how to construct an appropriate finite element model of a physical system, and how to interpret results of the analysis. You will also be given practical instruction the use of an industry-standard finite element analysis program.
In this module you will be given an understanding of the internal combustion engine and the gas turbine and an introduction to refrigeration cycles. You will also expand your knowledge of heat transfer processes, fluid mechanics to viscous flows by examination of the Navier-Stokes equations, and compressible flow analysis to one and two dimensional flows.
You will extend your knowledge and experience in design: the writing of clear and concise specifications; the generation and presentation of concepts; performing appropriate calculations, selecting suitable materials, treatments and manufacturing processes; the development of the concepts into workable schemes and their communication in a form suitable for manufacture including dimensional toleranced scale drawings or sketches.
One of the most important parts of your preparation for your future career, whether in industry or research, is the undertaking of an individual project. Projects are based on particular engineering theme of industrial relevance.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above.
UCAS tariff points 64 points
GCE A level 64 points including Mathematics at grade E. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma MPP including Engineering or Science with Merit in Maths modules.
Scottish Highers 64 points in relevant subjects including Mathematics or Physics.
Irish Leaving Certificate 64 points including Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

This course is not suitable for international applicants.

Applicant profile

We are looking for students who have a keen desire to follow a career in Mechanical Engineering. Good interpersonal skills and a strong work ethic are desirable. You should have a good understanding of linking theory to real life applications and an attention to detail.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed for this purpose. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University. Please contact Henry Leonard for further information.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £8,250 for Foundation Year, then standard UG fee per year.

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 per year for subsequent years

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.


  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Laboratory exercises
  • Projects


Please note these are average values. Assessment methods used and associated weightings vary from module to module

  • Exams
  • Laboratory
  • Reports


This course provides a fast-track entry to careers in a wide range of engineering industries. You may choose a career in product design, manufacturing or the operation and maintenance of complex plants, such as power stations. Many opportunities exist in automotive, aerospace, petrochemical, transport and communications companies, as well as other areas such as the armed forces and information technology companies. Graduates may expect to reach senior management posts in engineering industries as their careers progress.

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