Automotive Engineering BEng

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
H335
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
A*AA (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
AAB
Full entry requirements
Accredited
Yes

Course overview

A photograph showing students in a mechanical engineering workshop working on rovers.

This course will prepare you for a career in both traditional mechanical engineering and in the electric and hybrid automotive industries, as well as in motorsport sector.

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 vehicle technology. You’ll also develop an awareness of the commercial issues that impact design and production processes.

Studying automotive engineering at Leeds will 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 and motorsport sectors. From your first day, you'll be encouraged to join our Formula Student team, Leeds Gryphon Racing and engage in the development of an IC, electric or autonomous race cars. Early participation in Formula Student and motorsport activities has helped some of our students 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 computer cluster for Computer-Aided Design (CAD) work and computational modelling, in aerodynamic analysis for example, and workshop facilities for various rapid prototyping systems. You’ll also develop your programming skills in industry standard languages like Matlab/Python and C++ for microprocessor systems, giving you everything you need to get started on your career in modern engineering.

Our active Industrial Advisory Board helps inform the development of this course to ensure that it is up to date with industry developments and requirements. That’s one of the reasons why our graduates are so in demand from industry, and why our courses are accredited by the leading professional bodies.

Why study at Leeds:

  • This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Work on your own mechanical projects, putting into practice what you have learned by designing, manufacturing and assembling devices and testing their performance.
  • Our globally-renowned research here at Leeds helps to solve real-world mechanical engineering problems and feeds directly into your course, shaping what you learn with the latest thinking.
  • Access specialist facilities, including a high-spec computer cluster and extensive laboratory space.
  • We have strong university links with the Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics, Robotics Leeds, the School of Medicine and the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
  • Develop your experience and boost your career prospects with our industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
  • At the end of your second year, there’s the possibility of transferring to the four-year integrated Masters (MEng, BEng).
  • 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

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students.

This course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council.

This BEng degree is accredited as partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Course details

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.

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.

Each academic year, you'll take a total of 120 credits.

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. 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.

Year 3

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 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

One-year optional work placement or study abroad

During your course, you’ll be given the opportunity to advance your skill set and experience further. You can apply to either undertake a one-year industrial work placement or study abroad for a year, choosing from a selection of universities we’re in partnership with worldwide.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Automotive Engineering BEng in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Computers in Engineering Analysis 20
Design and Manufacture 1 20
Thermofluids 1 20
Solid Mechanics 20
Engineering Materials 20
Engineering Mathematics 20

Year 2 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Engineering Mechanics 20
Vibration and Control 20
Design and Manufacture 2 20
Economics and Management 20
Mechatronics and Measurement Systems 20
Thermofluids 2 20

Year 3 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Automotive Propulsion Systems 20
Vehicle Design and Analysis 20
Additive Manufacturing 20
Individual Engineering Project 40
Finite Element Methods of Analysis 20

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’ll have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course.

You’ll have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds, who will be an academic member of staff. You’ll 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 each 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'll also receive support from fellow students through our peer mentoring scheme.

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.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed through a variety of assessment approaches to test different knowledge and skills. Assessments will enable you to demonstrate your competency in a particular skill, as well as measuring the extent of your knowledge and understanding. They are designed to be fair and inclusive.

We'll use different forms of assessment including written examinations (held at the end of each semester) and coursework that also develops key transferable skills that will be relevant to your future professional practice, such as laboratory and project reports, teamworking and presentations.

Assessments will develop your ability to bring together evidence from a variety of sources, and to critically understand and evaluate. You'll also have frequent opportunities to develop your understanding of assessment and to improve your performance, for example through formative assessments with feedback, guided marking, peer review and opportunities to practise key assessment methods.

Entry requirements

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.

Alternative qualification

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.

BTEC

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.

Cambridge Pre-U

D2, D3, D3 including Mathematics and Physics or Chemistry, where the D2 must be in either Mathematics or Physics.

International Baccalaureate

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.

Other Qualifications

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 School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual 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 contextual 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.

Foundation years

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 science and mathematics qualifications.

You could also study our Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc which is for applicants whose background is less represented at university.

On successful completion of your foundation year, you will be able to progress onto your chosen course.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information, please contact the Admissions Team.

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.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 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 UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

Applying

Apply to this course and check the deadline for applications through the UCAS website.

We may consider applications submitted after the deadline. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed on UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Admissions guidance

Read our admissions guidance about applying and writing your personal statement.

What happens after you’ve applied

You can keep up to date with the progress of your application through UCAS.

UCAS will notify you when we make a decision on your application. If you receive an offer, you can inform us of your decision to accept or decline your place through UCAS.

How long will it take to receive a decision

We typically receive a high number of applications to our courses. For applications submitted by the January UCAS deadline, UCAS asks universities to make decisions by mid-May at the latest.

Offer holder events

If you receive an offer from us, you’ll be invited to an offer holder event. This event is more in-depth than an open day. It gives you the chance to learn more about your course and get your questions answered by academic staff and students. Plus, you can explore our campus, facilities and accommodation.

International applicants

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students.

We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Read about visas, immigration and other information here.

If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Mechanical Engineering

Contact us

School of Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Admissions

Email: ugmech@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

The employment opportunities in the field of automotive engineering are far-reaching, with the potential to take you all over the world.

Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 5 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2024, 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.

Careers support

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'll 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'll also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

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.

This programme offers you the option to spend time abroad as an extra academic year and will extend your studies by 12 months.

Once you’ve successfully completed your year abroad, you'll be awarded the ‘international’ variant in your degree title upon completion which demonstrates your added experience to future employers.

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

An industrial placement year is a great way to help you decide on a career path when you graduate. You’ll develop your skills and gain a real insight into working life in a particular company or sector. It will also help you to stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market and improve your chances of securing the career you want.

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.

Benefits of a work placement year:

  • 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
  • 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'll 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

Find out more about Industrial placements.