Studying a Masters in Engineering
Kazi Hoque talks about why he came to Lancaster to study a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Mechanical engineering combines scientific principles, mathematics, and realisation to design, develop and implement innovative solutions to contemporary problems. This programme will enhance your skills and provide you with advanced subject knowledge to accelerate your engineering career.
From designing replacement hip joints and hospital MRI scanners, to developing autonomous vehicles and monitoring the structural health of offshore windfarms, mechanical engineering contributes greatly to contemporary life and is central to the innovation carried out in many industries.
Accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), our MSc Advanced Mechanical Engineering programme comprises of advanced topics in mechanical engineering and industry linked project work. You will benefit from the teaching of some of the world’s experts in their fields, a state-of-the-art working environment, and networking opportunities to enhance your career prospects.
Over the course of the year, you will study six taught modules and undertake a major individual project. These will provide you with advanced knowledge while allowing you to develop your specialist skills, which will enable you to take advantage of the many senior engineering and technology employment opportunities available at home and abroad. You will become familiar with stress analysis, finite element analyses and modelling; renewables including wind, tidal and hydro-power; mechanisms and mechanical design; control and self-learning systems; systems analysis, advanced materials and manufacturing, application of artificial intelligence in engineering, among other topics. At the same time, you will develop capabilities that are highly valued by employers more generally, such as problem-solving, analytical skills and team-working abilities.
A major element of the programme is a dissertation project during which you will undertake independent research and receive one-to-one supervision from an academic specialist, and possibly be working with one of our industry partners. During this project, you will bring together everything that you have learnt and apply it to an advanced individual project. This will allow you to practise your skills and demonstrate your professional competences, thereby improving your employability. These projects have led to employment for many graduates and recent examples include:
Additional to the dissertation project, you will also complete an industry linked project. This exciting project will both challenge you and allow you to apply your abilities to real-world problems. You will gain experience of working in real professional environments, while gaining and developing highly employable skills, such as communications, team-working and project management.
Engineering is more than just theory and, as a result, you will experience labs/practical sessions, workshops and group tutorials, alongside lectures. This contact is with academic staff that are internationally recognised and work alongside global companies.
In addition, our technicians and admin support team are very approachable and have many years of experience in helping students achieve success.
Assessment varies between modules, allowing students to demonstrate their capabilities in a range of ways. Typically you can expect assignments such as coursework, presentations and formal examinations.
As a department, we prioritise delivering high-quality, rigorous programmes that prepare and equip our graduates for a rewarding career. The Department provides an interdisciplinary approach that reflects the dynamic nature of professional engineering.
Our Department is an internationally recognised leader in research and innovation and, as such, you will join a thriving and supportive academic community. Staff and students alike will welcome and support you both academically and socially.
You will be encouraged throughout your programme in a friendly, vibrant environment that is conducive to excellent research and learning.
Our MSc in Advanced Mechanical Engineering is designed to support your career ambitions and progression. By enabling you to develop your technical and professional skills to an advanced level, and allowing you to apply what you have previously learnt to real-world problems, this programme equips you with the knowledge and experience for a range of engineering careers, and will put you ahead of the competition.
There is a wide range of sectors where mechanical engineering is relevant, and starting salaries are highly competitive. Roles include:
Alternatively, our programme will provide you with the skills, knowledge, and experience to take up further study at PhD level and begin a career in research, exploring innovative, cutting-edge areas of the engineering discipline.
2:1 Hons degree (UK or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or related disciplines, or in Physics. HND or equivalent together with appropriate industrial experience may be considered.
We may also consider non-standard applicants, please contact us for information.
If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.
Some experience in industry in a technical position requiring engineering skills is desirable but not required.
We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.
We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 6.5, and a minimum of 6.0 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications.
If your score is below our requirements, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
There is a perceived lack of critical understanding and training in modern industrial design methods using state-of-the-art CAD/CAE/CAM technology and design optimization. This module aims to address this imbalance by providing exposure to the advanced aspects of many software tools such as finite element analysis (FEA), cutting path analysis and product data management (PDM): all key tools in many decision-making and design optimisation processes.
Students are introduced to the use of computer-based tools for strategic decision making in industry. It is not a training workshop on how to use specific software; it is instead a study on how to use the software well, in particular to facilitate making engineering decisions. During the module, the students will learn what engineering models are required in industry and how that data is managed using PDM and PLM. They shall also learn how to prove that their numerical analyses is of a good enough standard to be used in decision making; and how cutting path analysis can be used as a strategic tool for cost reduction.
Increasingly, employers are expecting graduates to leave university already versed in tools used in industry, so the importance of this module in terms of employment opportunities cannot be overstated.
At the end of this module, the students will be able to use their understanding of solid mechanics to devise appropriate Finite Element Analysis methodologies and assess the validity of their analysis, and shall be able to create designs that can be reliably realised using Computer Aided Manufacturing methodologies. They will also gain a comprehensive understanding of the use of Product Data Management and be able to judge when it is to be used as compared to alternative methods.
Students are given a comprehensive introduction to Systems Thinking and its application to engineering (also known as Systems Engineering) during this module. To that end, the module introduces the tools to help in gathering and analysing requirements and continuing through system architecting to solution generation, evaluation and selection.
The modern integration of mechanical, electronic, chemical and software engineering technologies demands an approach to design that enables the designers to handle the inherent complexity. As such, students will be taught how to design complex systems to meet the desires and expectations of customers; this will increase their employability in the engineering industry.
Students will be educated in the importance of a structured approach to system and product design, including the skills for eliciting, capturing and analysing customer requirements. They shall also learn how to introduce functional modelling methods for the analysis and synthesis of a set of requirements and introduce a systems framework for design, in terms of people, processes and tools. A key aim is to enable the students to develop skills in creative thinking, allowing them to, among other things, use tools to generate and select conceptual system design solutions.
By the end of this module, students will have gained a theoretical understanding of the systems approach to system design, including how it relates to systems engineering and its principles through divergent and convergent thinking processes.
This module involves the development and delivery of an individual engineering project. Project topics are usually aligned with an academic supervisor’s research interests or contribute to industrially collaborative areas of technical enquiry of significance to the department.
Projects can vary from research-orientated investigations of new methods or techniques through to the design and verification of components for manufacture. Part-time students may undertake a project linked to their company subject to approval, and in such cases, students are assigned an academic supervisor from the university and a technical contact within the company.
The emphasis is on applying skills learnt during the course. This will require students to self-manage their project; to select and apply engineering modelling and analysis, and to use this to deliver a technically justified solution to an engineering problem. Students will undertake a feasibility study, write up their project findings in an individual technical report, and produce a poster suited to the communication of technical information and project outcomes.
Where possible, projects are connected to an industrial partner and are structured to enable the student to develop and demonstrate several of the professional engineering competences defined by the Engineering Council.
Projects are obtained from local companies who have a genuine engineering problem, design or development requirement. The three-week project commences with a team and project assignment and briefing lecture. Each team then meets their company and is assigned an industrial contact and academic supervisor for the project. Communication with the company and academic supervisor for most of the project is at the discretion of the team. The modules ends with a presentation session to which the company and all academic project supervisors are invited.
This module gives the opportunity to apply the technical, problem analysis and project management skills learned in earlier modules to a real industrial environment.
Gaining professional experience solving problems in the industry can greatly increase the employability of postgraduates. Students can also forge useful connections within the industry during their communication with the company.
During the project, students will learn how to structure a technical problem; assess the technologies required to meet the requirements using available literature and resources; work creatively to develop possible solutions; and apply multidisciplinary scientific and engineering skills to assess the technical validity of those solutions.
This module is only available to full time MSc students.
The module will familiarise students with families of advanced materials relevant to industries such as automotive, aerospace, machinery and energy. It will examine the materials science paradigm of relating product performance with materials properties, the underlying microstructure as a result of processing with a focus on advanced alloys. The shortcomings in existing families of materials will be identified, and routes for materials design will be presented.
Existing software for materials design will be presented, and it will be demonstrated how materials design plays a key role in the success of companies such as Rolls-Royce, Apple Computers and Airbus.
The design and application of intelligent control systems, with a focus on modern algorithmic computer-aided design methods, is what students will be introduced to during this module. Starting from the well-known proportional-integral algorithm, essential concepts such as digital and optimal control will be familiarised using straightforward algebra and block diagrams.
The module addresses the needs of students across the engineering discipline who would like to advance their knowledge of automatic control and optimisation, with the lectures being supported by practical worked-examples based on recent research into robotics, mechatronic and environmental systems, among other areas.
Students shall also be taught statistical modelling concepts that have a wide ranging application for control, signal processing and forecasting, with applications beyond engineering into health and medicine, economics, etc.
The concept of state variable feedback is utilised as a unifying framework for generalised digital control system design. This approach provides a relatively gentle learning curve, from which potentially difficult topics, such as optimal, stochastic and multivariable control, can be introduced and assimilated in an interesting and straightforward manner. The module also aims to develop an appreciation of the constraints under which industrial applications of control operate, and to introduce the computational tools needed for designing these control systems.
Major global companies across the engineering discipline, including automotive and communications companies, have positions for graduates with a control engineering background. This module is also very useful for those who wish to work with robotics and autonomous systems.
Ultimately, students will come to understand various hierarchical architectures of intelligent control. They will also be able to design optimal model-based control systems and design and evaluate system performance for practical applications.
This module introduces students to the recent advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cutting-edge deep learning methods. Students will learn how to examine the technologies that apply to various aspects of engineering, such as searching and planning algorithms, supervised learning, unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning, deep neural networks, convolution neural networks, recurrent neural networks, and generative adversarial network.
The module aims to equip students with key knowledge and understanding of their application in industrial robots, smart manufacturing, predictive maintenance, design optimisation and digital twin. Students will also learn how to implement the machine learning algorithms by practicing this in our labs, keeping the legal, social and ethical considerations in mind when applying machine learning technologies.
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate the impact of emerging machine learning technologies by understanding the underlying principles of machine learning, typical algorithms, and deep learning methods. Students will be able to analyse real-world problems, such as design optimisation, manufacturing process optimisation, fault diagnosis and prognosis, and be able to design machine learning models to solve them.
This module aims to help students identify, understand and then set out the mechanism and mechanical design requirements for products and, in particular, actuators. It also covers actuation system mechanics and kinematics with the analytical techniques for analysing actuators and their dynamics.
Students shall be taught the operating principles of different types of actuators and how they are selected for a dedicated application. They will learn the principles of precision location and of the guidance of moving parts, and use kinematic design to integrate actuators into their systems. Other tasks will include studying the dynamic analysis of the actuation systems within different industrially relevant drive mechanisms, including drive circuitry effects. These applications of knowledge will allow students to appreciate the mechanics of robotic manipulators, their use in manufacturing and their programming. It will also provide an understanding of actuator operating principles.
Students will become skilled in analysing the dynamics of real systems via applying appropriate approaches including the formulation of actuator system models, time-series analysis and frequency response analysis. They shall also come to understand the meaning and significance of factors which determine the performance and stability of machine systems, and be able to set out the scheme design of a machine system which incorporates principles derived from this understanding.
During this module, students will learn the basics of how the behaviour of device structures change as dimensions shrink, along with how to design these structures and predict their static and dynamic behaviour across a range of energy domains (electro-magnetic, electro-static, thermal, mechanical etc.).
In addition to this, the module will also teach the principles of sensing and actuation in the main application areas that range from mobile communications to bio-chemical analysis. Students will gain knowledge regarding the manufacturing technologies for micro & nanoscale technologies; the product engineering process, including how to achieve high reliability; and the emerging technologies that utilise nanoscale structures.
Semiconductor industry companies like Intel and Texas Instruments have positions across the entire design and manufacturing flow for graduates with a microengineering background. Most of the smaller design companies have activity in MEMS and microengineering.
As a result of undertaking this module, students will come to understand the underpinning engineering science associated with micro-mechanics and microfluidics. Other topics they will discuss include the fundamental principles of solid state physics and materials used within devices involving sub 100nm dimensions; micropackaging concepts; and the mechanics of scaling across multiple energy domains down to sub 100nm dimensions.
In the end, students will be able to demonstrate a wide knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies for microsystems, this will include an awareness of developing technologies in the areas of microsystems and heterogeneous systems.
The aim is to develop students' understanding of the key aspects underlying engineering science, relating to the production of nuclear fuels and the conversion of nuclear energy. The unique hazards associated with handling the materials in the manufacturing train, such as criticality, radioactive exposure, chemical toxicity and flammability, will be highlighted together with methods for their safe management. Students will be able to study advanced material balancing methods suited to the special requirements of nuclear materials including methods of reconciliation and active material accountancy.
Additionally, students will extend their knowledge of heat transfer with particular reference to the design of nuclear reactors and the complex boiling processes occurring in theory geometries.
Ultimately, this module will provide understanding of a range of nuclear fuels, their associated manufacturing processes, and their relationship with the civil/military controversy.
Manufacturing is a key component of engineering. The ability to design and manufacture, high quality, high value products, with short lead times, is essential for industries to be competitive in the modern "digital" age. This module will introduce the context of new product introduction and examine the technologies available to both shorten total lead times and increase confidence in the product. You will study, in detail, a range of rapid product development tools and technologies including specific process principles and engineering applications. Topics covered include Concurrent Engineering, Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Tooling, Additive Manufacturing, Reverse Engineering, Virtual Prototyping and Responsive Manufacturing.
The Renewable Energy module provides students with specialist training in this field, with strong emphasis on engineering design, but also includes discussions of costs, grid integration, optimal resource exploitation and environmental aspects. The aim of this module is to introduce students to the fundamentals of a range of sources of renewable energy and the means of its conversion into mechanical and/or electrical power. In addition, the technical, economical, environmental and ethical issues associated with the exploitation of renewable energy sources are highlighted and discussed.
Students will be provided with a good overview of well established and rapidly growing forms of renewable energy, learning fundamental design concepts of horizontal and vertical axis wind and tidal current turbines, and hydraulic turbomachinery, and analysing key power and load control strategies. An introduction to solar energy for electrical and heat power generation is also included. Student will be taught how to assess renewable energy resources, and how to reliably determine the maximum share of the available source that can be converted into electricity or heat.
Using engineering, physical and mathematical models, students will learn about the formulation and solution of multidisciplinary problems of renewable energy engineering. The discussion of realistic engineering problems and machine design/usage challenges will expose students to technologies presently used in the research and development departments of modern renewable energy organisations.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
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