Taught course

Advanced Engineering Design

Brunel University, London · Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Entry requirements

Entry Criteria 2016/7 A UK first or second class Honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification in engineering or appropriate science and technology discipline. Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

This MSc in Advanced Engineering Design is aimed at high calibre and ambitious engineering graduates who want to gain expertise in systematically developing complex, multidisciplinary engineering design.

You will learn how to design products requiring embedded intelligence and comprehensive engineering analysis and how to use six CAE software packages.

The programme - accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) - has been developed to fulfil the industry’s need for an integrated course that offers:

  • teaching of advanced theory, human factors and creativity tools essential to successful product development
  • training in software, research and applications
  • practical experience of applying your knowledge and skills through an integrating, real life group project.


Integration of mechanical, electrical, electronic and control knowledge into a single product is challenging – and this course allows you to appreciate the complexity of modern product design and to develop your expertise.

The Brunel programme aims to create the new generation of engineering designers who can combine knowledge from different areas and produce world class design.

Engineering design is the application of engineering principles, the experience of making, and use of mathematical models and analysis. The design and production of complex engineering products often require the use of embedded intelligence and detailed engineering analysis involving mechanical, electronic and control functions. Advanced theoretical knowledge and a wide range of computer driven tools, methods and methodologies are essential for this process – and the course provides graduates with these essentials.


The MSc Advanced Engineering Design is accredited by both the Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.

Compulsory Modules

Sustainable Design and Manufacture

Students will be taught methodologies for assessment sustainability of a product design, and methodologies for assessing the sustainability of manufacturing procedures and operations. The module has a practical orientation, and at the same time offers common analytical tools for assessment to be used in the design and manufacturing environment.

Manufacturing Systems Design and Economics

This module looks at advanced aspects of:

  • Manufacturing processes including description, analysis and classification of basic manufacturing processes; process capabilities, recent advances and developments, assembly systems, automation, robotics and CNC machines, CAD/CAM application
  • Production operations including plant layout, group technology, cellular manufacturing and flexible manufacturing systems. Lean manufacturing techniques, Kaizen, KANBAN, JIT, 5S, seven wastes, Poke Yoke, Value Chain, supply chain management and outsourcing and design reuse. Inventory control and MRP, and quality control
  • Design for manufacture and process selection: including the relationship between design features and process capabilities, manufacturing system selection to produce a given design
  • Economics for manufacture including inventory costing, economic order quantities, costing machine tool selection and cost of production strategy.

Computer Aided Engineering 1

In this module students will be taught:

  • How to constitute entities of physical object, points, edges, surfaces and solids which are modelled for CAE, and the skills to implement them using a contemporary CAE software to create a computer model of a part, or assembly (Pro/Engineer, CATIA, Solidworks)
  • Theory and useful applications of computer models in mechanism synthesis and analysis using a contemporary CAE packages [MATLAB, SIMULINK].

Computer Aided Engineering 2

This module covers:

  • advanced theory in Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Structural Design
  • useful application of the FEA modelling thermal or electrostatic or electromagnetic fields and use of contemporary CAE packages like Pro/Mechanica, ANSYS, ABAQUS.

Design Experience

This is a module over two terms where students will learn and experience:

  • the design of a multidisciplinary product or system in a manufacturing environment
  • skills in project planning, management and execution as a team member
  • how to use various knowledge and skill components acquired during their undergraduate and postgraduate study
  • how to acquire knowledge on self learning basis.

The module is normally based on projects taken from industrial partners and with direct practical implementation of the results.

Dissertation Project

Following the taught part of the programme and reflecting individual interests, the dissertation is an in-depth study of a manufacturing problem or situation, requiring a high standard of investigation and presentation. The analysis of a ‘real’ problem is expected, frequently involving a company or workplace. Close liaison between you, the University and company is essential when selecting a topic which has a suitable academic content and an appropriate scope, relevance and timescale. Some students may wish their dissertations to be considered by the Chartered Engineering Institutions to satisfy requirements for corporate membership. In this case, a further set of criteria will have to be satisfied and you should contact the appropriate institute on the best way to proceed.

Optional modules (choose two modules)

Advanced Manufacturing Measurement

This module aims to provide in-depth knowledge of the theories and principles of advanced measurement systems (including micro/nano metrologies) and develop the practical skills of uncertainty evaluation and error analysis/reduction of measurement systems. The topics covered include basics of measurement; measurement error theory and uncertainty evaluation; coordinate measuring machines; industrial non-contact dimensional metrology; surface metrology (stylus and optical instruments; profile and areal characterisation; calibration); scanning probe microscopy (SPM, including STM, AFM, EFM, KFPM, etc.) and their applications; and low force and mass measurement.

Human Factors in Design

In this module you will:

  • Develop an understanding of the physical characteristics of humans
  • Learn to use the main qualitative and analytical methods of human-centred design
  • Appreciate the application of human-centered design techniques using examples from the automotive, electronic and consumer product industries
  • Acquire skills in multidisciplinary thinking and multidisciplinary design practice.

Robotics and Manufacturing Automation

The module provides understanding and critical awareness of designing and controlling modern automated manufacturing systems, and employs a systems approach in doing so. You will learn about a variety of industrial and factory automation practices, and develop an understanding in selecting appropriate automation and control methods for the equipment or process at hand. You will be able to:

  • understand the criticality and importance of automation and robotics in the modern industrial environment, and will also understand the issues and differences in automation practices between discrete and process industries.
  • apply current technical knowledge in, and operating a modern manufacturing system, as well as critically analyse manufacturing systems and specify select suitable approaches for control, and to evaluate and justify an automated system.

Design of Mechatronic Systems

In this module you will be taught how to:

  • Integrate mechanical, electronic and control functions
  • Critically analyse and use mechatronic design concepts
  • Apply multiple discipline expertise in an integrating mechatronic process and use advanced software to simulate power electronic circuits (PSPICE).

Information for international students

English Language Requirements •IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas) •Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores) •BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

You may be eligible for Brunel bursaries, as well as external funding and other support.
Overseas students often obtain external funding, and may be eligible for Brunel bursaries studentships and scholarships and prizes and other support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Marketing and Recruitment Office
+44 (0)1895 265370