Engineering and Physical Sciences Pathway

The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences has a long and proud tradition of educating students from across the globe. We welcome scholars from over 200 countries who contribute to the strong international atmosphere that is a major feature of the college.

You will study at the leading edge of modern science and engineering. The College covers a broad range of world-leading research, from developing microengines to our particle physics  research at CERN. STEM (Science, Technology, Enineering and Mathematics) subjects are critically important in the development of our future fuels, materials and machines, and the College plays a significant role in training the next generation of world-class engineers and scientists to solve our future challenges. We have strong links with major UK employers such as Rolls-Royce and Airbus, and our staff and students are at the forefront of research into a wide variety of areas, from working with particle physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to using nanotechnology to develop microengines.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Pathway will lead you towards an undergraduate degree in one of the following:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metallurgy and Materials 
  • Physics and Astronomy 

See the Engineering and Physical Sciences Pathway progression table 2014 for more information about the undergraduate degrees available for a Foundation Academy student choosing this pathway and the compulsory and optional modules you should undertake.

Course fact file

Duration: 1 year / 4 years

Typical Offer: 0 (More detailed entry requirements and the international qualifications accepted can be found in the course details)

Start date: September 2014


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292


Engineering and Physical Sciences pathway modules

You will take modules from the table below including Academic English and Study Skills in terms 1 and 2, amounting to a total of 120 credits. Some modules are compulsry for progression to certain degree programmes; please check the requirements for your chosen programme before you make your module choices. Please note that modules are subject to availability and timetabling.

Modules  Credits
Academic English and Study Skills (Term 1)   20
Academic English and Study Skills (Term 2)   20
Introductory Mathematics   10
Properties of Matter   10
Mechanics and Waves   20
Further Mathematics    20
Foundation Electronic and Electrical Engineering   20
Introductory Chemistry   10
The Periodic Table   10
Introductory Organic Chemistry    10
Organic Spectroscopy   10
Physical Chemistry   20
Practical Chemistry (Laboratory)   10
Introductory Computer Science    20

Module descriptions

Academic English and Study Skills modules are detailed here

Introductory Mathematics

This module is aimed at developing your confidence and knowledge in basic mathematical techniques and skills. Topics you will study include: indices and logarithms; basic algebra; elementary geometry; trigonometry functions; vectors; and an introduction to differentiation and integration.

Properties of Matter

In this module you will be introduced to some of the basic structures of matter and how these structures affect material properties and their behaviour and uses in science and engineering. Topics you will study include: elements, compounds, mixtures; chemical and physical changes; basics of bonding; crystalline and amorphous solids; metals, ceramics and polymers; and physical properties such as thermal conductivity, electrical resistivity, magnetism and radioactivity.

Mechanics and Waves

The aim of this module is to develop a basic understanding of the principles of mechanics and the fundamental concepts of wave motion. The topics you will study include: laws of statics, kinematics and dynamics; properties of materials in tension and compression; gravitational fields; simple harmonic motion; wave equations; reflection and refraction; and diffraction and

Further Mathematics

This module builds on the knowledge and skills developed in the Introductory Mathematics module (Term 1). It will cover topics associated with functions, further calculus and numerical methods.

Foundation Electronic and Electrical Engineering

This module aims to develop basic knowledge and skills relevant to electronics and magnetism. Topics you will study include: electric current and charge, resistors, capacitors, inductors, electric and magnetic fields, simple electronic circuits, and magnetic properties and behaviour of materials.

Introductory Chemistry

This module aims to develop a number of fundamental concepts associated with the discipline of Chemistry. Topics you will study include: electron configurations; basic ionic, covalent and co-ordinate bonding; relative formula mass and composition; stoichiometry (and balancing equations); moles, concentrations and Avogadro’s number; and reacting quantities calculations.

The Periodic Table

This module covers important concepts such as periodicity and molecular shapes. It also expands and develops the basic bonding theories presented in the pre-requisite module (Introductory Chemistry) in more detail.

Introductory Organic Chemistry

This module aims to develop knowledge and skills in basic organic chemistry. Topics you will study include: nomenclature, isomerism, arrow-pushing mechanisms, reactivity of sp, sp2 and sp3 carbon centres, and basic organic reaction schemes.

Organic Spectroscopy

This module is linked to the module Introductory Organic Chemistry. It aims to develop further some of the concepts presented in the introductory module, such as isomerism and arrow-pushing schemes. It also covers structure determination using spectroscopic techniques.

Physical Chemistry

This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills in the broad area of physical chemistry. Topics you will study include: gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium and kinetics. It also includes coverage of acids and bases, solubility and electrochemistry. You will also practise some mathematical techniques within a chemical context.

Practical Chemistry (Laboratory)

This laboratory-based module is designed to provide you with experience of practical chemistry. The module seeks to develop your fundamental practical skills, as well as skills associated with maintaining a lab diary, report writing and interpretation of data. It also provides you with training in aspects of health and safety.

Introductory Computer Science

The module introduces issues relating to the representation, storage, exchange and manipulation of information. The module will introduce theoretical and practical aspects of computing. Students will be provided with an understanding of core features of computer science and develop a solid understanding of programming and its limitations.

Fees and funding

The Birmingham Foundation Academy Package

The cost of the Birmingham Foundation Academy Package for 2014–2015 is £13,300 (International Fee) and £9,000 (EU Fee)

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment

Please note: Accommodation will incur additional charges to the above fee.

Entry requirements

Typical offer: 0

Birmingham Foundation Academy entry requirements apply

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.

How to apply


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292

Learning and teaching

Welbeck Students with Professor Sterling

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, capable of formulating your own ideas and engaging critically with your subject. A key benefit of this approach is that you gain the skills that employers are looking for, such as initiative, teamworking, problem solving and time management.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that you will be guided and supported to make the transition to become an independent and self-motivated learner. You will have access to a comprehensive academic support system that will assist and encourage you, inlcuding a tuor in your college who will provide help and advice with any study-related issues, and will help you to monitor and reflect on your progress.

Our programmes in Engineering and Physical Sciences are accredited, or quality assesssed, by the leading professional bodies. They are three or four years in duration, depending on whether you opt for the Bachelors or Masters qualification. Many programmes include international study opportunities, industrial experience or the option to combine your subject with a language or with business management.

For further information, please visit Learning at Birmingham


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292


Graduates from these degree programmes have excellent career prospects that could take you to board level in major, globally recognised companies in industries as diverse as food, electronics, construction, pharmaceuticals and space technology; or into higher studies leading to careers in research and development


If you have any questions, please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0)121 414 9292