Research course

Mechanical and Design Engineering

University of Portsmouth · School of Engineering

Visit the institution website for COVID‑19 updates

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

February, October

Course content

If you're ready to take your existing expertise and knowledge in Mechanical and Design Engineering into a postgraduate research degree, Portsmouth is the perfect place to do it.

From the phone in your pocket, to the train you take on your morning commute, much of everyday life relies on the work of engineers.

Our current research in Mechanical and Design Engineering searches for creative and practical engineering solutions to some of society's most-pressing issues – and when you join us to study for a postgraduate research degree, you'll have the opportunity to make your own contribution to the pioneering work we're doing, and play a part in transforming our research into impact.

Our students are already making a positive difference through their research – recent projects include using artificial intelligence to improve powered wheelchairs, creating more efficient solar panels, supporting clinicians at the local hospital, enhancing medical devices, and developing new lightweight manufacturing materials.

And in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), we were ranked as the 3rd best new university in this area, with 61% of our research outputs rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent.


Biomedical Engineering - We're working at the interface of engineering, life sciences and biomedical sciences to deliver research with socioeconomic impact- including health technology and bio-inspired materials.

Materials Engineering - In response to the ever-worsening condition of our planet, our materials engineering research is helping make manufacturing more sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly.



Managing three groups from across the School of Engineering, the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing group works to advance research into the way products are made, and the materials used to make them. Our activities include research and development into design, creation and testing of materials, and analysing their effectiveness. We also investigate modelling, rapid prototyping, 3-D printing, and structural integrity. We explore materials across biomechanics, ceramics, woods, metals and alloys, composites and plastics.

Our research informs teaching and knowledge transfer activities in the School of Engineering and Faculty of Technology. We contribute to the international research of profile of the University of Portsmouth, through high-profile publications and participations.

Our mission is to build modern work in advanced materials and manufacturing, through collaborative partnerships with industry and other partners.


The Biomedical Engineering Research Group aims to explore biological systems and solve problems at the boundary of engineering and life sciences.

Our group is multidisciplinary and incorporates interests in bio-solid and bio-fluid mechanics, biomimetics, biological and medical imaging, biomaterials and advanced modelling and simulation. Facilities are state-of-the-art and exploit the latest in manufacturing technology, predominantly using 3D printing, as well as the recently established Zeiss Global Centre to support 3D microCT imaging and numerical/FE modelling capacity.

Specific solutions the group provides include understanding the function of biological systems in healthy and diseased conditions, multi-scale modelling of structure-function relationships in tissues complemented by novel bioimaging, and the manufacture of bioinspired structures and their optimisation for conventional and translational engineering applications.

The group has established links with key strategic partners including Diamond Light Source, Carl Zeiss Ltd., Glaxo Smith Klein, the National Heart and Lung Institute, and the Royal National Orthopaedic and Queen Alexandra Hospitals. The group has attracted funding from the Royal Society as well as from Research councils such as the EPSRC and STFC.


The Zeiss Global Centre (ZGC) is a collaboration between the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering at the University of Portsmouth and Carl Zeiss Ltd. It is an important part of the HEFCE-funded Future Technology Centre.

At the Zeiss Global Centre, we research the competence of biological structures, biomaterials, and bio-inspired engineering materials using advanced X-Ray microscopy.

We support the work of the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Research Group at the University of Portsmouth, and also provide excellent training and consultancy opportunities for academic and industrial collaborators.

What can a Postgraduate research degree do for my career?

Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.

Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions team
023 9284 5566