The University of Southampton

FEEG6013 Group Design Project

Module Overview

This group project enables you to apply your conceptual engineering and science knowledge to an engineering design problem. The ideas are developed through detailed design, experimentation, computer modelling and/or manufacture. You will also consider and manage wider aspects such as the (a) social, (b) economic, (c) political, (d) legislative, (e) environmental, (f) cultural, (g) ethical (h) and sustainability issues related to the subject matter of the project. Working in groups you will meet regularly with your supervisor and any external sponsor, develop your team working, plan your project, present your work through meetings with your supervisor and sponsor and also prepare and submit reports and oral presentations. You will consolidate your project management skills. At all times you will monitor your progress as a team to ensure you are achieving the objectives set and ensuring quality of output.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to: The aim of this module is to give you experience in designing an original solution to a realistic engineering problem. The focus is also on defining, managing and implementing an openended group project. You will apply the knowledge you have gained during the first three years of your degree programme, plus the knowledge you will gain in the 4th year, to a real engineering problem thereby integrating design and engineering science. You will also gain experience of working as part of a project team with different experiences and skills; tackle a real need/problem with industrial or commercial links; learn to meet both personal and group objectives; work and deal with people inside and outside the university; handle the administration, organisation and finances of a project and develop a range of communication and presentation skills.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Assess the social, economic, political, legislative, environmental, cultural, ethical, technical, environmental and commercial aspects of the problem to be solved in order to develop a comprehensive project brief
  • Evaluate critically your strategy, processes and output
  • Generate ideas related to designing new or appropriate solutions, systems, components or processes
  • Apply appropriate quantitative science and engineering tools to the analysis of unfamiliar problems
  • Coordinate a creative and innovative design solution with the effective use of appropriate design methodologies
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers and be able to describe different research and methodological approaches across disciplines
  • Research information related to a design solution and discuss within the group
  • Describe any commercial risks [as appropriate]
  • Design a component, system or process using appropriate design techniques and be able to describe key elements of those processes
  • Gather and synthesise data, contextualise your results, recommend further work, or how work could have been improved
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Establish a project plan that is efficient and recognises group strengths and the time frame
  • Prioritise competing demands
  • Record discussions at supervisory and peer based meetings in such a way that they can be effectively referred to in the future
  • Use (if appropriate) computer based engineering tools and modelling to solve problems
  • Reflect on group processes and own role in team work
  • Demonstrate independence as a learner
  • Monitor the progress of your design and the project outcomes
  • Communicate both orally and in writing
  • Manage your time
  • Locate, read, understand and review research papers
  • Plan and meet your own deadlines


Key milestones are: Initial meeting with supervisor(s) Nomination of and meeting with your internal second marker/examiner Submission of risk assessments Submission of extracts from your individual Design Journal at regular intervals Interim Review Submission of final design outputs: group report, group presentation, group video, individual Design Journal Oral presentation.

Special Features

These extended group design projects are often industry sponsored allowing you to develop your skills for employment through interaction with industrial partners. You will also develop your ability to work effectively in a group on a complex engineering problem giving you the skills valued by engineering employers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The main element will be regular meetings, preferably weekly but could be less often, as agreed by all parties between the project supervisors and the students. Initially, these meetings will be used to define the details of the projects and then to review the progress of the group. An initial meeting with the students and the project coordinator will help to clarify the objectives and methods of assessment of the projects. Depending on the project and her/his role in the team, each student could be involved in a wide range of learning activities. The following elements will be common: Self-directed study: given the size of the projects, you may be responsible for several sub-tasks. This could include consulting relevant textbooks and researching papers, consulting members of academic staff for technical support, writing computer programs, and liaising with technicians, external companies or ‘clients’. As part of this process you should maintain an individual design journal, where you record and work on ideas, summarise information and results, outline future directions, etc., using text and sketches or other illustrations as appropriate. The journal could be kept either in the form of a notebook or electronically.) Group-led work: you will have to synthesise and report your work to the other group members to contribute to the discussions and decision making within the group. Team work will also include organising the project, distributing the tasks between the students and coordinating these tasks. Reporting: During the regular meetings with the supervisors the students will present their current work. At the end of the first term a presentation describing the project plan and progress of the group will be delivered by each group to the supervisors, project coordinator or external industry sponsor. At the end of the year in May each group will submit a report, a video and a final presentation. Each student will also submit an individual Design Journal, consisting of a summary of his/her contribution to the project. Each group will deliver their final presentation in early June, during a dedicated event. Optionally, students may take part in the "Elevator Pitch" to apply for additional funding for the project, developing and improving their presentation skills. You will have support from your project supervisor(s) during the project. Make sure that you effectively use meetings with him or her. It is up to you also to make good use of all the resources available with the Faculty and the University. There is always support from the library to support your research skills see for help with information skills. You will be asked at the interim review and at the end of the project to comment on the contributions made by each member of the group.

Independent Study402
Total study time450

Resources & Reading list

Potential resources. The projects within this module are diverse and are supported by a wide range of potential resources, including Design Studios and workshops, time allocated within specialist laboratories and testing facilities, and specialist software. Each project group is allocated a budget which can be spent to support the project (e.g. materials for manufacture, travel), as well as time within our Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Centre (EDMC) for the production of professionally manufactured components. Many projects have additional sponsorship from industry. You will be given a budget that you must manage to deliver your design to cost. Each project qualifies for funding at a level determined by the core project funding and the number of students in each group. Funds will cover the costs of travel expenses, materials and hospitality for project sponsors. Total budget per GDP for 2017/18 is £300 plus £80 per student. All orders for single items totalling £60 or above must have a supervisor’s signature of approval prior to purchase. All requests for reimbursement against project funds should be submitted to the Faculty Student Office. Each group should appoint a treasurer who is responsible for ensuring that the budget is properly managed. Teams who exceed their budget will be expected to settle the difference personally. No extra funding is available, unless specially awarded via a successful bid to the elevator pitch, except in extreme and unavoidable circumstances.


Assessment Strategy

There is no referral option for this core module. Students failing this GDP will be required to take an internal repeat year.


MethodPercentage contribution
Group Output 70%
Individual Output 30%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Students are expected to purchase a laboratory note book in which to maintain their individual design journal and also record laboratory observations which form part of the assessment. These can be purchased for £1.20 (thin softback) or £4.75 (thick hardback), depending on student choice.

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students are expected to cover the costs associated with the printing and binding of reports and the printing of drawings and graphic presentations. These are typically expected to be of the order of £100 per group, also depending on the quality of printing and binding chosen. Note that funds from the project's budget cannot be used for this purpose.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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