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Mechatronic Engineering - BEng (Hons)

With advancing technology, the fields of engineering multiply and adapt. Mechatronics' aim is to unify these subfields.

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Overview

Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more

With advancing technology, the fields of engineering multiply and adapt. Mechatronics' aim is to unify these subfields.

Summary

This course will allow you to develop an understanding of electronic and mechanical engineering from programming and embedded systems to mechanics and CAD. Utilising a connected programme of study, allowing you to build upon your knowledge gained in each semester, this degree will prepare you to become a well-rounded engineer equipped for a wide range of roles within the electronic, mechanical and general engineering industry.

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About this course

In this section

About

Core to this degree is the Industrial Placement, in which you will take up employment in an engineering company, within the UK or worldwide. This industrial placement provides an important real world context for your studies and also allows you to gain relevant industrial experience, which is beneficial when applying for graduate positions.

Students who maintain a high enough standard within the first two years of the course have the option to transfer to the MEng Mechatronic Engineering.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Duration and Mode of Attendance

Four years (including placement year).

Attendance
Typically 18-20 timetabled hours per week between 09.15 am and 5.15 pm. There are no timetabled activities on Wednesday afternoons.

Start dates

  • September 2020
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching Methods and Assessment

Formal lectures are supplemented by tutorials and laboratory investigations, as appropriate. Practical ‘hands on’ laboratory sessions are an integral part of many modules throughout all years. Case studies and group mini-project work are also extensively used. In the final year there is a major individual project.

Assessment

Generally, a combination of continuous assessment and examination is employed in each module. Continuous assessment includes class tests, library and laboratory based assignments, and individual and group project work. Some modules across all years are continuously assessed.

Content

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.

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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

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.

Academic profile

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.

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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.

Modules

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

Year one

Analytical Methods for Engineers

Year: 1

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.

Engineering Fundamentals

Year: 1

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.

Electronics 1

Year: 1

This module will provide an introduction to semiconductor devices and their application in electronic circuits such as power supplies, voltage regulators and simple amplifier circuits.

Introductory Software Development

Year: 1

Students will be introduced to the basic aspects of software development through the use of the Python programming language. An emphasis is placed on developing a broad understanding of the types of programming used in Engineering and beyond, rather than depth in each specific area. Students will learn about objects, modules and code re-usability and self-documentation. They will be encouraged to take a platform independent approach to development and choose their own tools. They should complete the module with a knowledge of the development landscape in terms of tools and techniques.

Professional Studies

Year: 1

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.

Mechanics 1

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Microcontroller Systems

Year: 2

This module is designed to enable students to be able to implement intelligent digital systems based on microcontroller technology.

Control Theory & Applications

Year: 2

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.

Engineering Analysis

Year: 2

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 Machines

Year: 2

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.

Electronics 2

Year: 2

This module considers further component and system level analysis and design of analogue and digital electronic circuitry, appropriate to fields such as computing, communications, signal processing and instrumentation.

Engineering Programming

Year: 2

This module is designed to introduce engineering students to the basic principles of algorithmic programming, and the solution of engineering problems using MATLAB and LabVIEW.

Mechanics 2

Year: 2

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.

Year three

Industrial Placement

Year: 3

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

Year: 3

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.

Year four

Final Year Project

Year: 4

Each student taking this module will carry out an individual project on a topic relevant to their degree of study. Students are expected to design the project in collaboration with a nominated supervisor. They will be responsible for carrying out the project and writing up the results in the form of a final dissertation.

Mechatronics 1

Year: 4

This module provides an understanding of the concepts and use of mechatronic systems and of the instrumentation, actuator and feedback-control system components necessary for such systems. Theoretical studies are supported by the use of appropriate. PC-based analysis and design packages.

Embedded Systems

Year: 4

This module enables the student to understand, design and program embedded systems using a 32-bit microcontroller.

Mechatronics 2

Year: 4

This module provides a final year course in Mechatronics. Topics covered include: Examples of mechatronic systems; programmable-logic controllers; industrial robotics; machine vision systems and analysis and design of feedback control systems.

Industrial Management

Year: 4

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.

Nanotechnology

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module gives the student an overview of nanotechnology and its applications in engineering.

Object Oriented Programming

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module extends the students understanding of the design and creation of software structures using an object-oriented paradigm. The programming language is C++ which is of particular relevance to engineering students.

ASICs and digital design

Year: 4

This module is optional

Students taking this module are introduced to the major considerations of Digital Design using modern devices and tools.

Mechanical Behaviour of Metallic Materials

Year: 4

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.

Entry conditions

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

A level

The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB to include Grade B in one from Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Technology & Design, Design & Technology, Engineering, Electronics or Double Award Science/Applied Science.

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 Environment accept a range of alternative combinations of qualifications such as:

BTEC Extended Awards
BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma in Engineering with overall award profile of DDM to include 9 unit distinctions. Also requires a Merit in a unit of Mathematics for Engineering Technicians or Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians.

OR

BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma in Engineering with DDM overall award grades to include a 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 (please refer to A level section);
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
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 on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator 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.

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.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC (to include a minimum of BB 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).

International Baccalaureate

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). Equivalent Mathematics qualifications considered for the Mathematics requirement.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact the administrator as listed in the Contact details section below.

http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

GCSE

If offering GCE A Level Technology and Design, Engineering, or Electronics 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

HND/HNC

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

Applicants who have successfully completed studies equivalent in content and level to the Year 1 modules are considered for direct entry into Year 2. Students on the BEng Hons course who demonstrate exceptional performance have the opportunity to transfer to the linked MEng Mechatronic Engineering or MEng Mechatronic Engineering + German Masters degree courses. Transferability is dependent on academic performance and availability of places.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Job prospects in a wide range of engineering industries are excellent with the majority of graduates finding employment within four months of graduation. Graduates with a BEng Hons, first class or upper second class award all satisfy the requirements for a wide range of postgraduate research posts and scholarships in electronic, computing, mechatronic, mechanical and biomedical engineering.

Mechatronic Engineering graduates have career opportunities within a wide range of sectors, including semiconductors, power, renewable energy, software, hardware design, embedded systems, control, automation, manufacturing, product design and development.

Professional recognition

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

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 a Chartered Engineer.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 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:
£4,275.00

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

International:
£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Faculty prize list

ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes.html

follow the links fo 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.

Contact

Course Director: Dr Robert J McMurray

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6176

E: rj.mcmurray@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Contact: Sharon Moore

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6018

E: s.moore@ulster.ac.uk

Admissions Service

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6309

For more information visit

Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

School of Engineering

Disclaimer

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.