Engineering and the Environment

H300 BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering (3 yrs)

The BEng Mechanical Engineering degree is a three-year programme, covering all the traditional core subjects of Mechanical Engineering, with opportunities to take options which reflect particular interests eg Automotive, Enhanced Materials, Mechanics of Materials. In the first two years the course content is identical to that of the MEng (H301) programme.

Programme Overview

This three-year degree in Mechanical Engineering meets the core technical requirements for accreditation by IMechE and allows graduates to achieve chartered status subject to the completion of approved additional learning.

Throughout this Mechanical Engineering degree course you will spend time in lectures and the laboratory as well as on design activities that relate theory to practice and combine analytical skills and creativity in the solution of real engineering problems. Design is an important theme which runs through all years of our courses.

In the third year you will undertake an individual project, ranging from design studies to open-ended experimental or theoretical research. This project will arise from a real need and may be sponsored by industry (you may suggest topics in line with your sponsor's interests).

To Apply

All undergraduate applications for the BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu on this page for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.


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 partly meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Programme Structure

Teaching on this Mechanical Engineering degree is structured on a semester pattern. You study modules comprising 120 credits in each of Parts I (level C), II (level I) and III (level H), and 150 credits in Part IV (level M).

There are two degree possibilities in the programme of study:

  • Three years full-time, leading to a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng).
  • Four years full-time, leading to a Master of Engineering (MEng) in one of several specialist themes.

In addition there are the following exit points:

  • Certificate of Higher education, following successful completion of Part I.
  • Diploma of Higher education, following successful completion of Part II.
  • Ordinary Degree of Bachelor of Engineering BEng (Ordinary), following successful completion of at least 300 credit points, including 60 points at level H.

A University credit is the equivalent of 10 notional study hours. Each module is a self-contained part of the programme of study and carries a credit rating. The duration of all the programmes may be extended by one year through enrolment on the Engineering Foundation Year.

Key facts

  • Our Mechanical Engineering programmes are ranked number 2 in the Guardian University Guide 2014. They were also ranked number 1 in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • Engineering and Design teaching is transformed by our new £300k state-of-the-art 3D printing facility. 3D printing works by converting 3D CAD engineering drawings into solid objects from nylon powder using laser melting.

  • We are one of only six universities providing undergraduate training for the Armed Forces through the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS).

  • Amongst the 10 MEng Mechanical Engineering courses in England with the highest entry tariff for existing students, our MEng courses have the highest rating for student satisfaction for quality of the course and the lowest unemployment rate in the southern half of England (data from

2013 Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Dr Suleiman Sharkh has been awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Exxon Mobile award 2013 for Excellence in Teaching. Dr Sharkh teaches several modules in electro-mechanical engineering.

“One of the main reasons that I chose to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton, is that Engineering Sciences has strong links with the Williams F1 team, Renault F1 and McLaren.”

Derek Mallinson, MEng Mechanical Engineering

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements


GCSE English Language, at Grade C or above


A Levels:

A-level A*AA (Including A* in Mathematics or Physics. General Studies not accepted)
Scottish Advanced Highers AAA, including Mathematics and Physics (General Studies not accepted)



International Baccalaureate 38 points, 18 at higher level to include 6 in mathematics and 6 in physics; standard level 5 English
European Baccalaureate 85% overall; 85% in Mathematics (Level5) and Physics; 70% English
French Baccalaureate 15/20 overall; 15/20 Mathematics; 15/20 Physics; 14/20 English


English Language requirements

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our programmes, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.

Equivalent Qualifications

We are always happy to receive applications from candidates with equivalent qualifications. If you are unsure about our entry criteria, please contact our admissions staff who would be happy to provide advice in advance of your application.

Selection process:

Intake: 120-140 (total part 1 Mechanical Engineering cohort)
Average applicants per place: 9

While the average level entry onto our degree programmes is among the highest in the UK, we always look carefully at each individual application. In addition to your examination grades, we also take into account your personal statement and references. These give us an indication of your personal attributes and your enthusiasm for your chosen area of study.

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

On the BEng Mechanical Engineering degree you will study a number of core subjects during the first two years. These provide sound preparation for the final part of the degree. you will concentrate on the fundamentals of engineering and gain the skills and understanding required to use information technology in an engineering context. Modules tailored to the mechanical engineering discipline are available in Years 1 and 2.

In Year 3 of this degree in Mechanical Engineering you will have the opportunity to specialise or retain a broad-based study path through a wide selection of subject modules. You will also undertake an individual project that usually takes the form of a design or research exercise, and involves the production of a formal report.


Special Requirements - All Courses

Visits to industry and research establishments are organised for Part I and Part II candidates in the summer term. Candidates are required to attend the Part I Workshop Training Course unless exemption is given by the School.

Candidates are required to attend the Part II course in Library Search Techniques. This is normally held after the Semester 2 examinations. Assignments set in this course will be formally assessed as part of their examination requirements

Year 1

The first year provides a background in engineering science, emphasising mechanical engineering aspects. We have an award winning induction programme during which teams of new students work together to design and build projects. This exciting introduction provides the opportunity to get to know fellow students and gain hands-on experience. You will have the opportunity to take apart and put back together a 4 stroke engine and also test your skills in bioengineering through stabilising fractures in bones.

You will earn a total of 120 credits in your first year. All modules are compulsory.

Year 2

The second year covers the main mechanical engineering subjects with modules tailored to the mechanical engineering discipline.

You will earn a total of 120 credits in your first year. All modules are compulsory.

Year 3

In the third (final) year the course includes an individual project. There is a range of optional modules available.

Learning and assessment

Educational aims of the programme

As defined by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Mechanical Engineering is concerned with “the innovative application of engineering and management sciences that underpin existing and emerging technologies to the complete life cycle of all mechanical devices, machines and systems.” A Mechanical Engineer needs to be skilled in the application of a knowledge based on mathematics, science, design, materials and manufacturing, integrated with business and management to develop sustainable and environmentally compatible technological solutions that provide the infrastructure, goods and services needed by society.

The aims of the BEng Mechanical Engineering degree are to:

  • provide you, in Parts I and II, with a sound understanding of the fundamental principles, methods, analysis and synthesis in engineering design and applications appropriate to the discipline of Mechanical Engineering
  • provide you, in Parts III and IV with a range of specialist modules integrated within the structured learning environment, reflecting the internationally renowned research expertise within Engineering Sciences, in order to broaden and deepen your educational experience
  • train you so that you are able to become a professional engineer meeting the requirements of the Engineering Council (ie UK-SPEC), and to have a broad range of knowledge and skills (including IT and communication skills) capable of meeting the present and future demands of the mechanical engineering profession
  • offer you a degree structure that is relevant to industry, and responsive to changes in technology and the needs of the community
  • provide you with a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment that encourages an attitude of independent learning and enquiry, and fosters an ethos of lifetime learning and professional development
  • offer you a range of individual and group projects and assignments that are supported by the research activities within Engineering Sciences and stimulate individual innovation, self-assessment and teamwork skills required in engineering design

Teaching and learning methods

Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and understanding is gained through a combination of formal and special lectures, tutorials (small group teaching), example classes, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group projects at all levels. Throughout this degree in Mechanical Engineering you are encouraged to use additional recommended reading material for private study to consolidate the formal learning process, and to broaden and deepen your understanding. You are encouraged to become student members of the professional institution, to use their libraries and resources, and attend meetings.

Intellectual skills

These are developed through the teaching and learning activities. Analysis and problem solving skills are further developed through regular problem sheets issued by module lecturers and through small group teaching. Experimental, research and design skills are further developed through coursework exercises, laboratory, and design and research projects. Individual feedback is provided on all work submitted. Appreciation of the practical applications of these skills is provided by interaction with industry through visiting lectures and industrial visits.

Assessment methods

Testing of the knowledge base is through a combination of unseen written examinations and assessed coursework in the form of problem solving exercises, laboratory reports, design exercises, essays, and individual and group projects.
Analysis and problem solving skills are assessed through unseen written examinations and problem based exercises. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises, project reports and oral presentations.

The tutorial system

Every student on the BEng Mechanical Engineering degree is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. Your personal tutor is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


Our research is relevant to your degree in Mechanical Engineering because you will be taught by people who are experts in their area of research. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly true for your final year. In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader

Dr Julian Wharton

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our Mechanical Engineering degree programme are in high demand among employers from the private and public sector, and have entered careers including: graduate mechanical engineer, Royal Naval officer, associate (chartered accountant), helicopter engineer, applications engineer, consultant, graduate design engineer, research consultant, associate (management consultant), and development engineer.

If you are considering a career in the armed forces after the BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering, Southampton is one of the universities designated for the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme, which provides sponsored places to students on specific courses, and has active Army, Navy and Air Force units.

Among the organisations employing our Mechanical Engineering degree graduates are: WS Atkins, AWE, IAC Aviation, GE Aviation, Johnson Matthey, Lloyds TSB, PricewaterhouseCoopers, QinetiQ, Royal Navy, Dysons, BAE Systems, BP, Dstl, Fluor Daniel, Jaguar, Schlumberger.