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Automotive and Autonomous Vehicle Technology (AAVT)

BEng (Hons)/ MEng (Hons)

School - School of Computing, Science & Engineering

Subject area - Mechanical Engineering

UCAS Code: BEng: H333; BEng (with placement year): H334; MEng: H331; MEng (with placement year): H332.

Start Date(s): September



Three years full-time

Four years full-time with industrial placement


Four years full-time

Five years full-time with industrial placement


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • This programme of study is unique in the UK and has been specifically designed to meet the current and future needs of the automotive and autonomous (or driverless) industry
  • You will have the opportunity to design and build a driverless prototype car which could also be part of the Greenpower Electric Car Challenge
  • You will gain sufficient knowledge and hands-on skills in the diverse field of automotive and autonomous (or driverless) vehicle technology
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

The transport industry is experiencing an extensive revolution since the car was invented in 1885/1886, with car manufacturers moving towards car electrifications and autonomous (or driverless) technologies. This course not only covers the different aspects of design and manufacture of conventional cars but also provides sufficient background knowledge and understanding into the future of the car industry in both electric and autonomous vehicle technologies.  

With its innovative approach, this programme encompasses the new emerging areas of automotive engineering, autonomous and Hybrid vehicle systems and emission control such as NOx and PM. The underlying knowledge of Ethics and Cyber Security, within the driverless vehicle technology, is also part of the formation of the programme and will be emphasised within the relevant modules.

This course also features hands-on practice, offering various automotive workshops to develop your design capabilities through computer programming and computer aided design tools. The structure of the course will be multi-disciplinary combining automotive engineering, robotics, acoustics, electrical and electronic, physics and materials, as well as computer and environmental sciences.

Course Details

The BEng programme is taught over three years. In year one, you will study a range of six topics covering various sides of engineering fundamentals and applications. Example modules: Engineering Mathematics, Manufacturing and Automotive Group Design, Programming, Engineering Thermodynamics and Fluids and Hybrid Systems.

Throughout year two, the course offers further specialist modules in automotive and autonomous vehicle technologies. Example modules: Chassis, Suspension, Vibration and Acoustic Engineering, Control Engineering and Automotive Group Design and Data Structures and Algorithms.  

In year three, you will continue to develop your skills in advancing your knowledge in learning and practicing on hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicle system and design. Example modules: Autonomous Vehicles & Operation, Powertrain, Hybrid and Electric Vehicles and AAV Embedded Systems and Group Design.

If you undertake the MEng, the modules include: Automotive NVH and Measurement and Analysis, Engine and Hybrid Technology and Emission Control, Mobile Robotics and two optional modules i.e.Penetration Testing and Exploit Development or Artificial Intelligence. Both the BEng and the MEng offer one year placement, which you will arrange with our support.

Year 1

In this module you will learn a range of basic manufacturing processes and their application. Particular reference is made to the primary processing of metals and metal cutting operations. This will enable you to specify appropriate manufacturing techniques, taking into account quality, quantity andcost. Key skills will also be developed, notably in communication both written and oral, and group dynamics. The use of computer systems and applications of IT and CAD in support of design, communication and the analysis of data will also be explored.
This module will introduce you to a systematic approach to programming, and you will develop an appreciation of the software development cycle. You will be taught excellent programming practice through design, implementation and testing, and will be introduced to the basics of a structured programming language and the use of an integrated programming environment.
This module aims to build upon the syntax and semantics base of Java developed in the ‘Programming 1’ module. You will also develop an appreciation of recursion as well as your knowledge of dynamic data structures. Additionally, the ability to test and debug code will be developed, along with an appreciation of more sophisticated programming behaviour. Furthermore, you will be introduced to a non-BlueJ means of compiling and executing Java applications.
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.
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.
In this module you will learn about the basic concepts of Engineering Thermodynamics with regard to the 0th, 1st and 2nd Laws and the implications of these upon prime mover performance. In this module you will also develop an appreciation of the relevance and application of thermodynamic principles in modern engineering practice, to provide a broad based introduction to the subject of Fluid Mechanics.

Year 2

In this module you will first be introduced to some of the most important data structures used in the design and implementation of computer software and shown how these are implemented using Java. You will then learn to analyse the requirements of algorithm resources to allow you to provide a soundbasisfor objective choice when dealing with competing algorithms.
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and the loads experienced by chassis structures, including various suspension systems, steering and tyres. Also explored in this module are the concepts of ride and handling in terms of analytical modelling and practicalapproaches to enhance driving experience, along with the analysis of vehicle vibration, noise and noise control.
In this module you will develop a knowledge and understanding of the elements of control theory and control engineering, which will enable you to create dynamic representations of both open-loop and closed-loop systems and to analyse them with respect to stability and response. Also developed within the module is knowledge and application of a range of design tools and concepts to address real word challenges facing the automotive sector.
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 functionsof a complex variable.
The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the thermodynamic analysis of systems employing phase changing fluids. You will also develop an appreciation of turbomachinery and reciprocating air compressors. The principles of of heat transfer will also be introduced within this module.The theory will also be developed to include the treatment of fluid mechanics to two dimensional low speed flow and one dimensional compressible flow. The concepts of boundary layer theory and incompressible flow through turbo machinery will also be developed.
In this module you will develop knowledge and understanding of project and quality management techniques used in the areas of project planning, organisation and control. Also developed within the module will be your understanding and application of financial and risk management tools andhow these canbe used in the decision making process.

Year 3

In this module you will develop knowledge and understanding of the components of automotive embedded systems and the principles for the design of suitable embedded systems. The theory taught in this module along with management skills will be put into practice through a group design.
The aim of this module is to introduce the fundamentals of autonomous vehicles operation and to analyse the performance of autonomous vehicle and the technological aspect and challenges of autonomous vehicles operation. Also in this module methods of software for autonomous vehicle applications will also be explored, notably, sensors, communications, navigation, machine learning and sense and avoid concept for autonomous vehicles.
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, and become competent in analysing and assessing the value of information, and develop effective communication skills both written and orally.
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.
In this module the fundamental characteristics of different powertrain systems and powertrain controls system will be explored. Also in this module the fundamental concepts of Hybrid/Electric vehicles and the performance of Hybrid/Electric vehicles and battery energy storage systems for Hybrid/Electricvehicles will be developed.
The aims of this module are to introduce the effects of air quality from vehicle emissions and to explore the environmental and health effects of vehicle emissions. This module then explores the concepts of low emission vehicle design and discusses sustainable transport strategies.

Year 4

In this module you will develop a critical understanding of the physical and mathematical representations of vibrating systems with application to an automotive setting. Throughout the module the application of theory and analysis to realistic automotive problems will also be further developed along with practical skills in the measurement and analysis of noise.
This module aims to develop a critical awareness and understanding of traditional engine technology and the latest forms of automotive power systems. The learning is further enhanced through laboratory exercises which develops practical hands on skills to analyse and evaluate engine performance. Also developed in this module is a critical awareness and understanding of vehicle legislation relating to vehicle emissions, how these emissions can be controlled and the environmental implications.
This module will teach you to critically review and analyse current autonomous intelligent robots, consolidate and extend knowledge in robotics applications and provide a practical understanding of robotic navigation and locomotion. You will also be taught the theory and practice of autonomous intelligent mobile robots and how these techniques and technologies impinge on research and industrial activities.

Optional Modules

You will study network and host-based penetration testing tools and techniques and methods for vulnerability detection, exploiting development and countermeasures. This course provides the information needed in order to obtain ethical hacking and exploit development certifications.
You will explore the role of artificial intelligence in control applications with practical experience of using techniques such as fuzzy logic, artificial neural networks, and evolutionary computing in engineering applications.

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 BEng: 104-112 points; MEng: 120 - 128 points. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
GCE A level BEng: 104-112 points including Mathematics at grade C; and grade C in one other Numerate Science-based subject such as Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Design Technology and Computer Science. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved. MEng: 120-128 points Mathematics at grade B; and grade B in one other Numerate Science-based subject such as Physics, Chemistry, Electronics, Design Technology and Computer Science.A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma BEng: DMM relevant subjects include Engineering or Applied Science – must include Distinctions in Maths modules. MEng: DDM with Distinction in Maths modules.
Irish Leaving Certificate BEng: 104-112 points including Higher Level Mathematics and Physics. MEng: 120-128 points including Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level.
International Baccalaureate BEng: 30 grade 5 or above in Higher Level Physics and Maths. MEng: 32 Grade 6 or higher in 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

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

We are keen to hear from applicants that have strong numerate and scientific abilities and want to pursue a career in an upcoming and rapidly changing automotive sector.

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. Please contact Jos Hirst the Director of Admissions for further information.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

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


The majority of the teaching and learning is delivered through lectures and tutorials. Group laboratory work is undertaken in a purpose built automotive laboratory and is used to relate theory to practical application. There is also a strong emphasis in developing the skills for guided self-learning.


  • Taught modules are assessed via both coursework and examination. Typically a split of 70% assignment and 30% coursework.
  • The final dissertation module is 100% assignment.


This program provides a fast-track entry to careers in a wide range of automotive and autonomous (driverless) car industry. You may choose to pursue a career in car manufacturing, hybrid and electric engine manufacturing, automotive exterior and interior design, emission control, R&D, or the rapidly-growing area of smart driverless and connected cars. Graduates may expect to move to senior management posts in engineering industries to achieve their desired goals and career aspirations.

Career Prospects

There is currently a skills shortage of engineers in the UK within the connected and autonomous vehicles technologies sector.

It has been proposed that the autonomous vehicle technology sector will generate substantial employment opportunities in the supply of autonomous vehicles and the associated technology. The programme has therefore been designed so that following completion of the programme students are equipped with the necessary skills to gain employment within a rapidly changing sector.

Further Study

There are many areas for PhD research including: 

  • Vehicle dynamics
  • Development of ultra-low vehicle emission technology
  • NVH and infotainment
  • Environmental monitoring of vehicle pollution
  • Cyber-security of automotive vehicles
  • Advanced manufacturing techniques


Autonomous and Automated Vehicle Technology (AAVT) Laboratory

Teaching and learning takes place in our new purpose built AAVT laboratory. The facility is designed to enable research into ultra-low emission vehicles and the development and testing of autonomous systems and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) testing.

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