Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus. Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more
These programmes provide an appropriate blend of the theoretical and practical skills that professional mechanical engineers will need on graduation.
This course is available at BEng Hons and MEng Level. This course if offered at the Jordanstown campus by the Faculty of Computing and Engineering. Modern technology involves an increasingly complex and challenging range of research, development and design skills applied in a wide range of industries such as automotive, aerospace, medical instrumentation, domestic and leisure products. These MEng/BEng Hons Mechanical Engineering courses are designed for those wanting to become chartered engineers. The MEng course is accredited for CEng status by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the BEng Hons course is also accredited for CEng status, subject to the appropriate further learning. Graduates from both programmes are equipped to enter a variety of mechanical engineering areas, such as; design and consultancy, materials technology, manufacturing and project management, process engineering and maintenance. The courses place an emphasis on individual and team projects providing the opportunity for hands-on involvement and an understanding of engineering materials, processes, devices and systems. Analytical and communication skills are developed with an emphasis on computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacture (CAM). The skills and knowledge acquired are applied to a wide range of real-life engineering problems.
Sign up for course updates
Sign up to receive regular updates, news and information on courses, events and developments at Ulster University.
We’ll not share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.
About this course
In this section
This course has been designed with the aid of industrialists to address the needs of industry and the research community. The MEng and BEng Hons courses are taught and assessed in common over the first two years. Students on the BEng Hons programme are eligible to transfer to the MEng programme at the end of Placement year providing that they have obtained a year average of at least 60% in year 2. The third year of each programme is spent on Placement – and successful completion of the Placement year leads to a Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) which is awarded at Graduation. The BEng Hons students have one additional year of study whereas the MEng students have two additional years of study.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Find out more about placement awards
Typically 18 – 20 hours per week class contact time between 9.15 am and 6.05 pm. There are no timetabled activities on Wednesday afternoons.
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Programmes employ a broad range of teaching and assessment styles and place an emphasis on practical demonstrations and on interactive learning opportunities. Many traditional features such as lecture, tutorial, laboratory and seminar modes are used, there has been an increasing utilisation of technology-mediated teaching approaches.
The programmes use a diversity of assessment modes such as formal examinations, seen and unseen problems in class tests, on-line multiple-choice assessments, laboratory seminars, poster sessions, oral presentations of design solutions, and to a limited extent, peer assessment, where group project work is involved.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Analytical Methods for Engineers
This module provides an understanding of the language and terminology of mathematics, together with the mathematical techniques from algebra, calculus and statistics that are necessary for the description and analysis of engineering systems.
This module provides the fundamental principles mechanical and electrical technologies and provides a methodology for their practical application. The module covers topics such as: Statics and Strength of Materials, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Linear DC Circuits, Energy Storage and AC Circuits.
This modules makes students aware of the relevant professional, ethical, legal, and sustainability issues associated with being a professional engineer. Induction in how to study at university is included at the start of the module. Assessment is a combination of individual report, class test and team group report.
A module which integrates lectures with practical sessions in the study of the basics of common production and the behaviour of engineering materials. The student will consolidate their learning of the interaction among materials, production methods, quality and workshop safety.
A module which integrates formal study with a significant practical programme for the understanding and application of common manufacturing processes. Production of a working electro-mechanical product will deepen knowledge and develop basic skills for selected manufacturing processes. Candidates will critique their work to improve the product design and select appropriate production processes for batch manufacture.
Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD) 1
This module provides an introduction to the fundamentals in the use of a modern 3D CAD system to create robust 3D part modules using an introductory range of feature types.
Drawing and Design
This module includes freehand sketching, systems of projection, drawing conventions, dimensioning and tolerancing, design documentation, an introduction to the total design activity, formulation of a product design specification (PDS), material selection and manufacturing considerations in design.
This module provides the fundamental principles of Dynamics, Statics and Strength of Materials in relation to mechanical engineering and provides a methodology for their practical application. Its content includes: Basic and derived units, static equilibrium, statically stressed systems, theory of torsion and bending, kinematics of a particle and kinetics of a particle. Those theoretical and practical principles required within each topic area will be developed in lectures and applied in assignments and tutorials.
Control Theory & Applications
This module provides an understanding of the theoretical concepts and use of feedback-control systems. Theoretical studies are supported by the use of appropriate PC-based analysis and design packages.
This module provides a strong basis in important analytical techniques from algebra and calculus and statistics, which are necessary for the description and analysis of engineering systems.
Electrical services: the operation and application of transformers, AC and DC motors including selection, electromagnetic fields, circuits and electronics. Lighting systems. Students will also conduct laboratory experiments and undertake pratical laboratory based projects.
The module provides a general coverage of different classes of materials and usage of computer packages. Metallic and non-metallic materials are studied with respect to processing, microstructure, mechanical performance under different conditions, applications, cost, the environment and health and safety.
Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD) 2
This module builds on the fundamentals of 3D solid part modelling (MCAD1) with the introduction of more advanced solid modelling tools, assembly modelling, creation of 2D drawings from part and assembly models and surface modelling.
Design and Industry 2
The module considers creativity in design; product innovation; technical and non-technical aspects of design; safety and product liability; design analysis techniques for economic product manufacture and assembly; functional analysis; value engineering; safety and reliability through design projects; manufacturing processes; assembly techniques; material handling methods; component and product inspection and testing.
The module further develops engineering design capability across a variety of issues. Group projects provide the means of assessment. In addition a programme of industrial visits exposes the students to a wide variety of production scenarios and processes.
A module which examines the relevance and application of Quality principles and techniques to the manufacturing environment. Discussion of current topics in Quality Management and Quality Improvement is supported by study of the fundamentals of ISO 9001, Statistical Process Control, Measurement System Analysis and Nonj-Desctructive testing. This module prepares the student to contribute to these challenging activities in their early employment.
Thermal Fluid Sciences
This module provides an introduction to the principles behind fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. Emphasis is placed on the application of this theory to everyday items, ranging from relatively simple devices such as pumps, pipes, bicycles, refrigerators and heating systems through to internal combustion engines, hydroelectric power stations, gas turbines and steam engines.
An understanding of how fluids flow, and the forces that result, along with knowledge of energy and how it can be transformed and made more useful are the intended outcomes of this module. It will enable students to continue their study of thermal fluid sciences at a higher level if desired.
This module provides an extension of the fundamental principles of Dynamics and Statics and Strength of Materials in relation to mechanical engineering and provides a methodology for their practical application.
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
International Academic Studies
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
This module provides an insight to key areas of management within organisations; operations management, strategic management and human behaviour within organisations. Teaching methods include lectures, guided discussions and seminars.
Design and Industrial Applications 3
This module is based on the execution of an industrially generated major design project through multi-disciplinary team activity involving aspects of: project management, market analysis, specification, concept design, budget costing, decision making, detail design, production planning, manufacturing requirements and product costing.
This module involves the technology of fixed automation; computer numerical control; materials handling; low cost automation; computer integrated manufacturing; industrial robot technology; robot applications; automated inspection and advanced robotics.
Mechanical Science 3
This module provides adequate technological principles to allow for the solution to practical problems. Those theoretical and practical principles required within both the thermopdynamic and mechanical disciplines will be developed in lectures and applied in assignments, laboratory and tutorials.
Final Year Project
Each student taking this module will carry out an individual project on a topic relevant to their degree of study. Students will be expected to design the project in collaboration with a nominated supervisor. They will be responsible for carrying out the project and writing up results in the form of a final written report.
Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
This module is optional
This module provides students with a detailed understanding of the composition, function and application of synthetic and natural biomaterials in the context of the medical implant devices they are used to fabricate. The approach taken highlights the important materials science issues involved in the provision of these systems. The increasing importance of tissue engineering to the provision of enhanced medical implant devices that cam more effectively replace damaged and/or diseased tissue and organs is also addressed.
This module is optional
This module gives the student an overview of nanotechnology and its applications in engineering.
This module is optional
This module introduces environmental issues/aspects and provides coverage of science, technology, design, regulations and management systems pertaining to environmental protection, resource conservation and alternative energy sources.
Computer Aided Engineering (CAE)
This module is optional
This module provides a practical, hands-on treatment of Computer Aided Engineering in the context of application in design practice or manufacturing company. It majors on the more advanced part modelling techniques, assembly modelling, good modelling practice, collaboration and interoperabilty, design documentation, 3D printing, surface modelling rendering, mechanism simulation and Finite Element Analysis. It involves the utilisation of an integrated, state-of-the-art MCAD suite along with the teaching of the general principles of these technologies.
Mechanical Behaviour of Metallic Materials
This module is optional
The module commences with a revision of the basic principles of stress and strain, leading to elasticity, tensile testing and plastic behaviour. It then proceeds to address more advanced topics including, micro and macroscopic deformation mechanics and their influence on material performance. It concludes with an introduction to the mechanical forming of materials.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB to include one from Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Technology & Design, Design & Technology, Engineering, Electronics or Double Award Science/Applied Science. If presenting only Design and Technology, please contact the administrator listed in the Contact details section below.
Desirable subject offer:
Applicants presenting GCE A level Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics will receive a one grade reduction at the time of offer.
See the GCSE subject and grade requirements including specific Mathematics grade required depending on the GCE A level subject presented.
Applied General Qualifications
The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Envionment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Engineering with DDM overall to include at least 9 Distinctions. Also minimum Merit in a unit of Mathematics for Engineering Technicians or Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians and a Merit in Mechanical Principles and Applications.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Engineering with DDM overall award grades to include Merit in Engineering Principles and Merit in Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems.
A Levels with;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma;
BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with an A Level in one of the specified subjects;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma does not satisfy the subject requirement for this course and will only be considered when presented with an A Level in one of the specified subjects;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
Required modules within the BTEC qualifications are:
QCF – Merit grade in Mathematics for Engineering Technicians or Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians and a Merit in Mechanical Principles and Applications
RQF – Merit grade in Engineering Principles and a Merit in Calculus to Solve Engineering Problems
The A level(s) and/or the BTEC qualification(s) must be in the specified subject(s) and must have the required modules.
OCR Nationals and Cambridge Technical Combinations
Do not satisfy the subject entry requirement for this course and will be accepted as grade only when presented with A levels in the relevant subject(s).
For further information please contact the course administrator as listed in the Contact section.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 (typical grade profile) to include Higher Level Mathematics and one other Higher Level from Physics, Chemistry, Physics/Chemistry, Biology, Technology, Engineering or Technology and Design. Plus English Grade H6 or English Grade O4 or above at (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC (to include minimum of AA in Mathematics and a science subject).
Scottish Advanced Highers
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC (to include Mathematics and a science subject).
Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 26 points to include 13 at Higher Level and to include minimum grade 5 in Mathematics and another Higher Level Science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.
Access to Higher Education (HE)
The entry requirement for this course is successful completion of an Ulster University validated Access route in Science/Technology with Overall Mark of 70% and 70% in NICATS Mathematics (Level 2). Alternative Mathematics qualifications acceptable to the University will be considered for the Mathematics requirement.
Other Access courses considered individually, please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
If offering GCE A Level Technology and Design, Engineering, or Electronics as the specified subject/s for this course must have GCSE Mathematics at Grade A or 7 (or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University) otherwise GCSE Mathematics Grade C or 4 (or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University) is required.
GCSE English Language at Grade C or 4.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
HNC requirement is overall Distinction in an Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineering subject will be considered for year 1 entry only. GCSE Maths Grade C or 4 or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University is also required.
HND requirement is overall Distinction in an Electrical, Electronic, Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineering subject to include a Merit in either Level 4 or Level 5 Analytical Methods module. GCSE Maths Grade C or 4 or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University is also required. Applicants may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in a relevant subject area with an overall mark of 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules and 55% in the Level 4 Mathematics module within the Foundation Degree. GCSE Maths Grade C or 4 or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University is also required. Applicants will normally be considered for year 2 entry to the linked Honours degree.
For further information on the requirements for this course please contact
the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.
Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.
The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C or 4 (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.
Exemptions and transferability
Students who have successfully completed studies equivalent in content and level to year 1 modules may be considered for direct entry to Year 2.
Students on the BEng Hons programme who obtain a year 2 average mark of at least 60% are eligible to transfer to the MEng programme. The transfer normally takes place at the end of the Placement year.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Job prospects in a broad range of engineering industries are excellent with the vast majority of graduates finding employment within six months of graduation. Graduates with an MEng or BEng Hons, first class or upper second class award satisfy the entry requirements for a wide range of postgraduate research posts and scholarships in mechanical engineering, engineering materials and manufacturing engineering.
Work placement / study abroad
The industrial placement year is considered a significant period in the formation for the junior mechanical engineer. Involvement in the practice of engineering in an industrial setting develops the engineering, transferable and personal skills of the undergraduate and enhances their employability on graduation. All students are therefore required to undertake an industrial work placement - normally in year 3 of the programme.
Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:
£9,250.00 Discounts available
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Scholarships, awards and prizes
Follow the links to the Faculty of Computing and Engineering
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Admissions contact regarding entry requirements and application process:
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6218
Centralised Admissions staff
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305
For more information visit
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.