The UK is leading the way in green transport with Electric Vehicles (EV) and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV). From 2035, all new vehicles sold in the UK must be electric, which means that the next generation of automotive engineers needs to be trained now to meet the needs of this rapidly changing industry. The development of hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicle technology to replace traditional internal combustion engines is already transforming the automotive engineering sector.
The key issues facing automotive engineers include designing sustainable hybrid and electric vehicles that meet increasing safety and performance standards and challenging cost-efficiency targets. As well as in-depth knowledge of mechanical engineering, specialist knowledge and skills are also needed to succeed in this sector. That’s why you’ll learn both traditional automotive engineering and electric, hybrid (BEng) and autonomous (MEng) vehicle technology. You’ll also develop an awareness of the commercial issues that impact design and production processes.
Studying automotive engineering at Leeds will open up a whole world of opportunities for your career. You’ll develop your abilities, knowledge and skills – and our close links with industry ensure that you’ll be prepared to meet the most pressing needs of the automotive sector. From your first day you will be encouraged to join our Formula Student team, Leeds Gryphon Racing and engage in the development of an IC, electric or autonomous race car. Early participation in Formula Student has helped some of our students to secure industrial placements with leading automotive companies, formula electric and Formula One teams.
This is a practical course, so you’ll benefit from specialist facilities including extensive lab space and equipment our high-spec CAD cluster for design work, High Performance Computing for aerodynamics analysis and workshop facilities for various rapid prototyping systems. You’ll also develop your programming skills in industry standard languages like LabVIEW and Matlab, giving you everything you need to get started on your career in automotive engineering.
Why study at Leeds:
- Work on your own mechanical projects, putting into practice what you have learned by designing, manufacturing and assembling devices and testing their performance.
- Develop your experience and boost your career prospects with our paid industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
- Take advantage of our world leading research here at Leeds, which helps to solve real world mechanical engineering problems.
- Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining our student society MechEngSoc. It’s a great opportunity for you to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds who share your passion for mechanical engineering.
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students. An accredited mechanical engineering course must meet the quality standards set by the IMechE.
The MEng, BEng course is accredited as fully satisfying the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). Once you have graduated with your MEng degree, you will usually be required to have a minimum of three years industrial experience before you can apply for your chartered status.
The BEng is accredited as partially satisfying the educational base for CEng status. A course of accredited further learning will be required to complete the educational base for CEng.
You can choose to take either the four-year Integrated Masters (MEng, BEng) or the three-year Bachelor’s (BEng) degree.
The first two years of our degree courses share the same set of compulsory modules, giving you the flexibility to switch between our different degrees. In years three and four you’ll take modules in your chosen specialism. You’ll also study engineering ethics throughout your course, with lectures and/or seminars in each year of study.
Years 1 and 2
You’ll study compulsory modules to establish the core mechanical engineering principles required by all branches of mechanical engineering. You’ll design, build and test four-wheel buggies and take part in ‘The Daring Dash’ competition, which is typically sponsored by National Instruments and Jaguar Land Rover. The challenge is to build an autonomous, electric-powered buggy to travel over an uneven course and stop on a bull’s-eye.
Since many mechanical engineers go on to positions where they have management responsibilities, you’ll also develop your knowledge of business practices by studying economics and management, taught by the Leeds University Business School.
Building on this foundation, you’ll explore vehicle design and analysis in detail in year 3. You’ll focus on vehicle modelling, tyre-ground forces, acceleration and vehicle handling behaviour. You’ll also study further engine technology including combustion engine, hybrids and electric motors, compressible flow dynamics, and predict the stresses, vibration and buckling of automotive structures. In this year you’ll also choose a specialist optional module, allowing you to focus either on robotics and machine intelligence or additive manufacturing.
Your third year project will be a large individual research project, where you can get involved in an area of current research within the School and will be assigned an academic supervisor for guidance and support.
Recent projects have included:
- Design of electric race car cooling system
- Development of an optimised rear mounting frame for a formula student car
- Future decarbonisation of transport: Propulsion system
- Tribological performance of automotive braking systems
Year 4 (MEng)
You’ll study chassis design and analysis, modern driveline technology, hybrid systems, torque vectoring and transmission design. You’ll also have a broader choice of optional modules, allowing you to focus on topics that relate to your interests and career plans. This year also gives you the chance to work with your supervisor to apply your knowledge and skills to a specific engineering problem when you complete a team project.
In addition to the taught modules, year 4 consists of an automotive-related group project, usually in conjunction with leading automotive companies that are members of the Industrial Advisory Board.
Recent projects have included:
- Virtual Testing Environment for autonomous vehicles
- Design of suspension and chassis for electric vehicle
- Design of electric adventure type motorbike
- Build of small scale autonomous vehicle
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
To advance your skill set and boost your experience, you can choose to take up an industrial placement or study abroad at one of the many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. Both of these options will extend your degree by 12 months.
Ethics plays an integral role in the engineering practices of today, which is why you’ll study engineering ethics as part of your course. You’ll be taught by academics from the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre, as well as your lecturers, covering a wide range of topics such as professionalism and codes of conduct, corporate social responsibility, engineering and responsibility, ethics in innovation and research ethics.
The ethics training will advance your critical thinking, communication and creative problem-solving skills which are crucial to employers, but it will also help you identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you may encounter in your professional life in the engineering industry.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Computers in Engineering Analysis||20|
|Design and Manufacture 1||20|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Vibration and Control||20|
|Design and Manufacture 2||20|
|Economics and Management||20|
|Mechatronics and Measurement Systems||20|
Year 3 compulsory modules
|Automotive Propulsion Systems||20|
|Vehicle Design and Analysis||20|
|Individual Engineering Project||40|
|Finite Element Methods of Analysis||20|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Electric and Hybrid Drivetrain Engineering||15|
|Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Systems||15|
|Automotive Chassis Engineering||15|
Year 4 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Engineering Computational Methods||15|
|Energy Systems, Policy and Economics for Engineers||15|
|Fundamentals of Tribology||15|
|Surface Engineering and Coatings||15|
|Engineering Psychology and Human Factors||15|
|Advanced Finite Element Analysis||15|
|Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis||15|
Learning and teaching
You’ll benefit from our integrated style of learning and teaching. Laboratory classes, project work, and industry sponsored fieldwork allow you to gain hands-on experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. We also organise industrial visits and offer additional seminars delivered by practising engineers and other professionals. Our close links with industry also mean that you will have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.
You will have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You will have fortnightly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first two years, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester. In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries. You will also receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed through both written examinations, held at the end of each year, and through coursework in the form of reports, projects, presentations and posters.
A-level: A*AA including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, with the A* in Mathematics or Physics if presented.
Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Project Qualification (IPQ) and Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (ASCC): Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.
Other course specific tests:
Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, with Distinction, to include Mathematics, Calculus, Further Calculus and Physics or Chemistry.
DDD (RQF) in an Engineering-related BTEC and a grade A in A Level Mathematics.
We cannot consider BTEC qualifications without A Level Mathematics and do not accept BTEC Maths units in lieu of this A Level requirement
Please note – there may be different requirements for the older QCF BTECs, please contact Admissions.
D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry, where the D2 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
36 points overall, with 18 points at higher level to include 6 points in higher level Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 H2, including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry where a H1 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA at Advanced Higher level including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry, and AAAAA at Higher level.
Engineering Diploma: A* (plus A-level Mathematics at grade A or above).
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds A Level offer: AAB including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, with an A in Mathematics or Physics if presented.
Please note that the Access to Leeds offer is dependant on completion of the Access to Leeds Scheme.
For alternative qualification offers please contact the admissions team.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
International Foundation Year
International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £27,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly, we may put your application on hold until after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration.
This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.
Read our admissions guidance and see ‘application decisions’ for details.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Admissions
The employment opportunities in the field of automotive engineering are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.
University of Leeds students are among the top five most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2022, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
The breadth of knowledge and experience, along with including design, problem solving, engineering ethics, numeracy and analysis skills, together with transferable skills, such as communication and working as a team are widely transferable and desirable to a whole host of employers.
Here’s an insight into the job roles some of our most recent graduates have obtained:
- Flight Physics Graduate, Airbus UK
- Graduate Engineer, Bentley Motors
- Offshore Wind Research Engineer, EDF Energy R&D UK Centre
- Driveline Systems Development Engineer, JTEKT Corporation
- Chassis Project Engineer, McLaren Automotive
- Graduate Track Engineer, Motor Insurance Research Centre
- Mechanical Engineering Graduate, Network Rail
- Graduate Engineer, Nissan
- Junior Systems Design Engineer, Red Bull Racing
- Mechanical Engineer, Rolls Royce
- Automotive Engineer, Triumph Motorcycles
Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our students are working.
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Industrial Placement - Prototype and Test, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited
- Garage Equipment Design Placement, Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team
- Intern - Vehicle Quality testing, BMW Group UK
- Intern, Tata Technologies Limited
- Programme Planning, Production Steering and Distribution, Rolls Royce